It’s both funny, and frustrating how a region gets so well known for one particular attraction. In the Kimberley its El Questro, and in the Flinders Ranges, it seems to be Wilpena Pound. The most ironic thing for us though, is that after spending nearly 3 weeks exploring the Flinders Ranges we didn’t really rate Wilpena Pound at all.
The Flinders Ranges are magnificent
I was shocked at how many amazing places we saw in the Flinders Ranges, and we wanted to check out Wilpena Pound, because its so well known, and raved about by so many. It was one of the last places we visited, and we were staying up the road at Willow Springs on our first visit whilst it was pouring with rain. We called to get some information from the visitor centre on road closures, picked up some basic supplies from the IGA and then headed back out.
We came back a few days later after basing ourselves in Rawnsley Caravan Park (but their bush camping), and did the walk to the Wilpena Homestead, and then to both lookouts.
Don’t get me wrong; Wilpena Pound is nice, and we didn’t hate it, but there are so many better places in the Flinders Ranges that it isn’t funny. If you are planning a visit to the Flinders Ranges, by all means visit, and even stay at Wilpena, but don’t make it the primary focus of your visit!
Wilpena Pound is decent
If this comes across like we don’t recommend you visit Wilpena, I apologise. We didn’t mind Wilpena; its well set up, the IGA store and Café is fantastic, and their walk trails are decent. We managed to get some drinking water here too, which was a major challenge in the Flinders Ranges, and we ended up going nearly 3 weeks without topping up at all, which is the longest so far.
The walk to the pound is fairly nice, although we were all worn out by the end of it, and kicked back at the Café in the outdoor seats, drinking cold coffees. As a place, Wilpena is nice, but I’d rate Moolooloo, Brachina Gorge, Willow Springs Arkaroola and Argadells as nicer any day of the week. Even Rawnsley Station and Caravan Park, which we weren’t expecting much of is far more beautiful than Wilpena Pound.
Wilpena Caravan Park looks OK
We had a drive through Wilpena pound, and were curious as to why there were so many bad reviews on Wikicamps. To be honest, it looks fine, and perhaps people just expect something different. I think Rawnsley Caravan Park is nicer (and far better if you go to their bush camping), but it looked pretty reasonable.
Wilpena Pound is not the Flinders Range
The purpose of this post is not to put any particular place down. We like to be honest in our opinions, and if that offends you, sorry. Our purpose is purely to let you know that there are far more places to explore in the Flinders Ranges than just Wilpena Pound, and you don’t have to base your entire Flinders Ranges trip around the pound!
Have you been to Wilpena Pound? What did you think of it?