One of top Australia’s natural attractions, Wilpena Pound attracts thousands of tourists every year due to its majestic beauty. In the Flinders Ranges, Wilpena Pound is a sizable, naturally occurring amphitheater that has been carved out of the desert and is flanked by rough mountains.
It is a spectacular natural amphitheater that resembles a bowl in the northern Flinders Ranges. Wilpena Pound is 17 km long, 8 km wide, 300 meters higher, and has 8960 hectares. It is eight times as large as Uluru. A low-lying ridge of hills that forms the bowl’s rim surrounds a flat plain home of trees and brush.
From the ground, it appears to be a low, rough mountain range that is simple to travel across. The hills that make up the bowl’s edge can be seen when you look across the plain from the top of the ridge. At the most westernmost point of the Flinders Ranges, it appears from above as an oval-shaped ridge line.
The Legend Of The Creation Of Wilpena Pound
Wilpena Pound, also known as Ikara (‘meeting place,’) was created according to an indigenous Dreaming legend. It provides for an even more dramatic tale. The Pound’s steep walls are the corpses of two interwoven Akurra (huge serpents). According to the folklore of the traditional proprietors, the Adnyamathanha (pronounced Ad-na-mut-na) people, whose migration from the northern Flinders significantly altered the environment.
According to Arthur Coulthard, a senior ranger at Flinders Ranges National Park and a “Northwinder” Adnyamathanha man who longs to be outside in “his land” rather than shackled to a desk. “The geology may tell you differently, but from our beliefs it’s apparent. Particularly when viewed from the air, the ranges resemble a snake print on the ground directly in front of us.”
The two Akurra, according to their history, pursued an elderly man en route to a ceremony at Ikara, eating everyone in their path until they were so full they willed themselves to die. The sacred St. Mary’s (1172 meters), Wilpena’s highest mountain, is thought to be the head of the female snake.
The Meaning Of The Name
Its name was inspired by the shape of the Wilpena Pound. Wilpena, an Aboriginal word that alludes to the curvature of cupped hands, means “bent fingers”. A livestock enclosure normally enclosed by stone walls is referred to as a “pound” in old English.
Today, it is also known as Ikara, which is Adnyamathanha for “meeting place.”
The Best Time To Visit
The greatest time to visit here is from roughly April to October, which is autumn through to spring. However, you can go there any time of year. Temperatures outside of the summer are much more tolerable.
In Australia’s Outback, particularly in the Flinders Ranges, summers can be brutally hot. Since it would be too risky to walk for this long in the heat, Wilpena Pound closes the majority of its walking trails during the hottest months. Summer is still a great time for all other activities. Make sure you have enough water with you at all times.
How To Get There
There are two ways to get here. Either through the Clare Valley or up the shimmering, vast coast road from Adelaide. However, once you arrive at the Southern Flinders, the rolling, blond farmland, which appears to be so idyllically Australian and has served as the backdrop for movies like Breaker Morant and Gallipoli, gives you no indication of what you’re about to encounter. The horizon doesn’t start to get extremely serious until a little bit beyond Hawker.
Wilpena Pound Hiking
In a small plane, with a few thousand feet of context, the gigantic granite crown is blindingly visible; in contrast to the powerful, Viennetta-like folds of Wilpena Pound, the vast Lake Torrens to the west and nearby peaks appear Lilliputian.
Michael Hey-Cunningham, a guide at Wilpena Pound Resort, claims that lacing up your walking boots is the “only” alternative way to have a realistic view of this outback behemoth.
The Pound is the hub of some of the best and most accessible outback treks in the world. Including the opulent four-day Arkaba Walk, one of Australia’s eight Great Walks, the colossal 1,200-kilometer Heysen Trail, and day hikes as far as your legs will take you.
The Wilpena Pound Resort provides the most convenient access to the gently sloping inner basin. The path ascends to the historic Hills Homestead, a good site to begin the post-settlement history lesson, through an (often dry) creek bed and a natural avenue of high old river gums, some petrified by lightning and some growing. The amphitheater opens up in front of you as you continue up the steeper trail to Wangara Lookout and pass through the forest line.
Camping In Wilpena Pound
One of the most interesting things you can do in Wilpena Pound is camping! There are two ways to camp in Wilpena Pound: Powered camping sites and Unpowered camping sites.
If you like enjoying Wilpena Pound’s picturesque surroundings without giving up convenience, powered camping sites are suitable for you. On one of the resort’s powered campsites, stay close to Wilpena Pound’s main resort area and shared camp kitchen.
Stay off the grid at one of the remote bush campsites for an authentic outback experience and a chance to see wildlife up close.