Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park hiking trails closed over summer

News article |

Four challenging hiking trails and one campsite in the Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park will be closed over the summer in the interests of public safety.

Posted 21 November 2016.

However, visitors are reassured there is plenty to do with 15 other walking trails that remain open as well as scenic drives, scenic flights, lookouts and cultural heritage sites.

The closures – to St Mary Peak inside trail; St Mary Peak outside trail; Cooinda Campsite; Malloga Falls Hike; Mount Ohlssen-Bagge Hike - will take effect from 1 December 2016 to 28 February 2017.

This is the second year that the seasonal closures have been in effect.

The decision was made by the Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park Co-management Board in 2015 after several serious incidents involving walkers who were ill-prepared, had insufficient water and low fitness levels to undertake these challenging hikes during the high temperatures.

Natural Resources SA Arid Lands Regional Director Stuart Paul said the region has a duty of care to visitors and public safety needs to come first, particularly in such a remote region.

“The trail closures reduce the risk to walkers and potentially to emergency services personnel who undertake search and rescues over summer when temperatures are frequently in the high 30s and sometimes in the low 40s,” Mr Paul said.

“We making every effort to notify people before they arrive in the Park and to provide them with information on alternative walking trails and activities and safety advice to ensure they are prepared when bushwalking.”

Information is also available at the Wilpena Information Centre and Resort

Visitor numbers to the Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park are at their lowest during the summer months and less than one per cent of the Park’s 170,000 annual visitors will be affected by the trail closures.

The Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park is managed by a Co-management Board in a partnership arrangement where the Adnyamathanha people and Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources/Natural Resources SA Arid Lands share responsibility and decision-making for the strategic management of the Park.

Further information can be obtained from Natural Resources SA Arid Lands in Port Augusta on (08) 8648 5300 or www.environment.sa.gov.au/parks.


Alternative walking tracks:

  • Hill Homestead
  • Sacred Canyon Walk
  • Wilpena Solar Power Station Walk
  • Living with Land Walk
  • Appealina Ruins Walk
  • Old Wilpena Homestead Walk
  • Wangara Lookout Hike
  • Yuluna Hike
  • Trezona Hike
  • Boom and Bust Hike
  • Arkaroo Rock Hike
  • Bunyeroo Gorge Hike
  • Bunyeroo and Wilcolo Creek Hike
  • Bridle Gap Hike
  • Red Hill Lookout Hike

Other activities available include:

  • Brachina Gorge scenic drive, including the ‘Corridors through time Geological Trail’
  • Bunyeroo Gorge scenic drive, including Razorback lookout
  • Perawurtina Cultural Heritage Site
  • Wilpena Pound scenic flights

Details on the closed tracks

Ngarri Mudlanha, St Mary Peak Hike (21.5 km) – ‘hard hike’. A well-known and popular bushwalk for visitors to the area. At 1171m above sea level, it is a challenging hike due to the long distance and steep inclines.

Malloga Falls Hike (23.2 km) – ‘hard hike’ incorporating part of the St Mary Peak trail beyond Cooinda Campsite and extends to a remote section of Wilpena Pound near Edeowie Gorge.

Mount Ohlssen-Bagge Hike (6.4 km) – a shorter hike but can be as arduous due to its steep rocky inclines.

Advice for walkers

  • Wear sturdy shoes, hat and sunscreen.
  • Carry sufficient drinking water. Allow at least 4 litres of water per person per day.
  • Keep to the defined walking trail and follow the markers.
  • Inform a responsible person of your proposed route and expected time of return.
  • Weather conditions can change quickly, ensure you have appropriate wet weather clothing.
  • Allow enough time to comfortably complete your hike before dark.

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