Your guide to camping at Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park

Your guide to camping at Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park

Want to go camp­ing in South Australia’s Flinders Ranges? Here’s what you need to know.

Ikara-Flinders Ranges Nation­al Park is one of South Australia’s icon­ic des­ti­na­tions. Locat­ed 477 km north of Ade­laide, you’ll need to block out a few days to vis­it this park.

The park com­pris­es approx­i­mate­ly 95,000 hectares. It includes the Hey­sen Range, Brachi­na and Bun­yeroo gorges, and the vast amphithe­atre of moun­tains that is Wilpe­na Pound.

The park is filled with oppor­tu­ni­ties includ­ing walk­ing, hik­ing, moun­tain bik­ing, four-wheel dri­ving, bird­watch­ing and pho­tog­ra­phy. While vis­it­ing, you’ll be sur­round­ed by native wildlife, rich cul­tur­al her­itage and impres­sive geo­log­i­cal features.

Ikara-Flinders Ranges Nation­al Park is a favourite for peo­ple look­ing to explore and take in the incred­i­ble land­scape. Before you pack the car, read these use­ful tips so you’re pre­pared for a great trip away.

Where to stay

There are 10 camp­grounds dot­ted around the park, each offer­ing var­i­ous lev­els of facil­i­ties and near­by activities.

It’s impor­tant to know that many sites cater for vehi­cle-based camp­ing, while oth­ers can only be accessed by foot.

Here are a few we’ve picked out:

1. Aroona Campground

Aroona Camp­ground is locat­ed at the north­ern-most point of the park, and is the start­ing point for sev­er­al loop walks, par­tic­u­lar­ly the Yulu­na hike.

The camp­ground is sit­u­at­ed on the Aroona Creek between the ABC Range and the Hey­sen Range, and is near­by to the icon­ic Hey­sen Trail.

Facil­i­ties at the camp­ground include long-drop toi­lets, a BBQ plate and fire pit so you can break out the marsh­mal­lows on chilly nights (note: sea­son­al restric­tions apply).

Top tip: Explore this camp­ground on Google Street View to get a taste of the area before you go.

Your guide to camping at Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park

2. Brachi­na East Campground

The Brachi­na East Camp­ground offers 2 dif­fer­ent camp­ing expe­ri­ences on the banks of Brachi­na Creek and Aroona Creek.

The 2WD sec­tion is locat­ed high on the south­ern bank while the 4WD sec­tion is reached by a rugged track across the creek.

The 2WD sites have easy access for car­a­vans and camper trail­ers, which offer creek views.

Facil­i­ties include long-drop toi­lets, BBQ plate and fire pit (note: sea­son­al restric­tions apply).

Top tip: Before you go:

Your guide to camping at Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park

3. Team­sters Campground

Sit­ting high on the cliffs of the Brachi­na Creek, the Team­sters Camp­ground is close to where the creek flows into the plains.

Look out for fos­sil worm bur­rows and Wilka­w­il­l­i­na lime­stone fos­sils that can be found nearby.

Facil­i­ties include long-drop toi­lets, BBQ plate and fire pit (note: sea­son­al restric­tions apply).

Top tip: Explore this camp­ground on Google Street View.

Your guide to camping at Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park

4. Wico­lo Campground

The Wico­lo Camp­ground is the only walk-in camp­ground in Ikara-Flinders Ranges Nation­al Park, and is nes­tled between native pine and the East­ern side wall of Wilpe­na Pound.

The camp­ground offers pic­turesque views and is a per­fect camp­ing spot for park vis­i­tors trav­el­ling the Hey­sen Trail, Maw­son Trail and Flinders Ranges by Bike trail.

Toi­let facil­i­ties are avail­able onsite, but note that camp­fires are pro­hib­it­ed at this campground.

Top tips

What to see and do

There’s so much to see and do in the park and Rangers James Skin­ner and Tom McIn­tosh know it like the back of their hands. Check out James’s tips and plan your day out with Tom’s four-day itin­er­ary, or try these ideas:

1. Bush­walk­ing

There are plen­ty of bush­walk­ing options with a vast net­work of trails locat­ed in the park for walk­ers and hik­ers of all abilities.

If you’re look­ing for an easy stroll, try the Liv­ing with Land Walk. This 3.2 km loop trail begins from the Old Wilpe­na Station.

The self-guid­ed walk dis­cov­ers the themes of self-suf­fi­cien­cy, impro­vi­sa­tion and sur­vival in the remote and iso­lat­ed pas­toral set­tle­ments of the Flinders Ranges.

If you’re up to a chal­lenge, try the Red Hill Look­out Hike. The trail begins in the carpark at Aroona Camp­ground, can be quite steep in sec­tions and will take about 4 hours to com­plete the 9 km.

Hike up to the top of Red Hill for views of the Aroona Val­ley and south to the peaks of Wilpe­na Pound.

Before head­ing out on your bush­walk, whether it’s a short stroll or a long hike, make sure you’re well pre­pared by:

  • tak­ing a suf­fi­cient sup­ply of drink­ing water
  • tak­ing a park map; save a copy from the parks web­site or down­load the Aven­za Maps app on your smartphone
  • find­ing out how long your walk will take so you know how much time to allow before the sun goes down
  • let­ting some­one know of your intend­ed trip
  • tak­ing the nec­es­sary hik­ing equip­ment if you’re going on a hard hike
  • check­ing the weath­er fore­cast so you don’t run into extreme heat or cold tem­per­a­ture drops
  • choos­ing a bush­walk that com­ple­ments your fit­ness abilities.

Top tip: Before vis­it­ing Ikara-Flinders Ranges Nation­al Park, or any nation­al park for that mat­ter, take a read of our blog: What to do if you get lost or strand­ed in a nation­al park.

2. Moun­tain biking

Ikara-Flinders Ranges Nation­al Park has fan­tas­tic moun­tain bik­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties for vis­i­tors. The Maw­son Trail and sev­er­al roads pro­vide access to some of the most stun­ning scenery in the park.

For a great cycling expe­ri­ence, the long-dis­tance cycling trail, the Maw­son Trail, tra­vers­es the park and uses many fire access trails that offer spec­tac­u­lar views. The Maw­son Trail is acces­si­ble from Wilpe­na Pound and Tre­zona campgrounds.

Top tip: Here are our handy tips for moun­tain-bik­ing in nation­al parks.

3. Cul­tur­al sites

Ikara-Flinders Ranges Nation­al Park has a rich and com­plex cul­tur­al her­itage com­bin­ing Abo­rig­i­nal and pas­toral history.

The Adnya­math­anha peo­ple (mean­ing hills or rock peo­ple) are the tra­di­tion­al cus­to­di­ans of the Ikara-Flinders Ranges Nation­al Park. Their con­nec­tion with the land stretch­es back many thou­sands of years.

Two of the park’s impor­tant cul­tur­al sites, Arka­roo Rock and Sacred Canyon, are filled with ancient rock paint­ings and engravings.

At Arka­roo Rock you’ll find ochre and char­coal rock paint­ings from the land’s Tra­di­tion­al Own­ers, while at Sacred Canyon you’ll come across etch­ings in the rock faces, thought to depict ani­mal tracks and people.

When vis­it­ing these sites, ensure they’re treat­ed with respect and admi­ra­tion. Please do not touch any of the site as this can cause sig­nif­i­cant damage.

One of the most impor­tant things you can do in a nation­al park is to leave the area exact­ly how you found it when you arrived. This means leav­ing no trace.

Know before you go

Book online

Camp­ing and vehi­cle entry fees need to be booked before arriv­ing in the park. You can book online or in per­son at one of our sales agents, such as the Wilpe­na Pound Vis­i­tor Cen­tre.

Book­ings can be made up to a year in advance, so you can be sure your camp­site is ready and wait­ing for your arrival at the park.

Check for clo­sures and alerts

Before head­ing out, check the Nation­al Parks and Wildlife Ser­vice web­site for any clo­sures and alerts in the park.


South Aus­tralian park maps are avail­able to use in the Aven­za Maps app on your smartphone.

The maps are geo­ref­er­enced and work with the GPS on your phone to pin­point your loca­tion direct­ly onto the map, even if you are out of phone range.

You’ll just need to down­load the app and maps while you have mobile data or a WIFI connection.

You can also down­load Nation­al Parks and Wildlife Ser­vice maps and print them at home.

Mobile phone coverage

Mobile phone cov­er­age in the park is patchy and unre­li­able and will also depend on your ser­vice provider. If you require phone cov­er­age, it’s best to check your provider’s cov­er­age maps.

Leave no trace

There are no bins in nation­al parks, so don’t for­get to take rub­bish bags with you so you can take your rub­bish home with you when you leave.


Fire restric­tions apply in all South Aus­tralian nation­al parks. At Ikara-Flinders Ranges, gas fires are per­mit­ted through­out the year, oth­er than on days of total fire ban.

Wood fires and sol­id fuel fires are only per­mit­ted out­side of the fire ban sea­son in des­ig­nat­ed camp­fire pits.

Fire ban sea­son usu­al­ly starts on 1 Novem­ber and runs through to 31 April, how­ev­er, dates are sub­ject to change based on sea­son­al con­di­tions. Always check the SA Coun­try Fire Ser­vice web­site to keep up-to-date about fire bans.

You must bring your own fire­wood if you plan to have a wood fire, as it is pro­hib­it­ed to col­lect fire­wood with­in nation­al parks.

No dogs allowed

Leave your pooch at home – Ikara-Flinders Ranges Nation­al Park is a dog-free zone.

Want­i­ng to explore more of the Flinders? Check out our blog:6 nation­al parks to vis­it in South Australia’s Flinders Ranges.

Park of the Month

Through­out the month of July, Ikara-Flinders Ranges Nation­al Park is being cel­e­brat­ed as one of Nation­al Parks and Wildlife Ser­vice’s Parks of the Month. 

There are heaps of events and activ­i­ties to get involved in to help you explore the park. Check the web­site for all the details.

This con­tent was pro­duced in part­ner­ship with  Good Living