After walking to Fern Tree Falls on Rawnsley Park Station the previous day and seeing the edge of Wilpena Pound, we were keen to head in and do the walk to the Wilpena Homestead and Pound, and set off the following morning.
Where is Wilpena Pound?
You’ll find Wilpena Pound roughly 55km from Hawker, and its one of the most well known places in the Flinders Ranges. Its just up the road from Rawnsley Park Station, and Willow Springs.
Car parks at Wilpena Pound
The car parks at Wilpena are a bit all over the place, but you can park for the day near the main building that you first see, as long as you stay out of the bus and long vehicle bays. This is right near the fuel station, IGA, toilets and information centre, and you can walk up the ramp, past the toilets and down the stairs to begin your walk.
How long is the Walk to Wilpena Pound?
The walk is 3.6 kilometres, and they say 3 hours. With a 3 and 6 year old, we took longer than that, but had a nice time.
How hard is the walk?
The first part of the walk is a breeze, with it being completely flat, wide and really easy. In fact, you actually walk the first couple of kilometres on a track wide enough for the shuttle bus that regularly goes back and forth when there are customers wanting to walk.
From there, the track goes up and down a small amount, and you’ll cross a couple of little bridges, and go up and down some stairs until you reach the Homestead. This walk is fairly easy overall, and then you have toilets and a few places to sit around the Homestead.
From there, it’s a small, but relatively steep walk up decent rocks that have been made into steps to the first lookout, where you can see into the pound, and get a good idea of what its like. If you want to, there’s another 400 metres to take you to the second lookout, which we figured you’d be mad not to do given you’ve come this far. The last 400 metres take a long time though, and you’ll be worn out by the time you get to the top, but the views are much nicer and you get a different perspective.
Coming down the hill requires careful footwork especially if there is water around, but you’ll arrive at the homestead fairly quickly and then have an easy enough walk back.
Our 3 year old and 6 year old did the walk on their own, with the 6 year old stopping about 100 metres from the top, and our 3 year old being absolutely shattered by the time he got back to the carpark. We did carry him a bit towards the end, but they both did an awesome job.
Apply sunscreen and take water
Unless you are going really early, or really late, you should take the time to put some sunscreen on, and take plenty of water. We drank a fair bit, and you get scorched without sunscreen on the last part of the walk!
There are a lot of people that do this walk and you’ll bump into plenty, but you should let someone know where you are going, and when you are going to be back
Is the Wilpena Pound walk worth doing?
We enjoyed this walk. The last part is fairly hard work especially if its warm, but the views are good, and the majority of the walk is in partial shade, which is nice. There’s also a number of signs along the way that are interesting enough to read, about the flora, fauna and life at the homestead, along with its history (which is quite fascinating, and sad in many ways).
We all said that the walk to Fern Tree Falls was nicer the previous day, and less arduous, but it was well worth doing.
We came back and had a couple of drinks from the Café, and then headed back to Rawnsley Park Station to relax for the afternoon.
My overall feel is that Wilpena Pound is a bit over-rated, and we enjoyed other locations far more, but its still worth the walk.