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Rawnsley Park Station

Discover fantastic Outback scenery, nature & wildlife


Rawnsley Park Station is a 7000-acre sheep property on the southern edge of Wilpena Pound. The station was named after Rawnsley Bluff, the prominent mountain in the southern rim of the Pound.

mountain ranges and woolshed
Rawnsley Bluff from which the station got its name
The silver building is the Woolshed restaurant.

History

Rawnsley Park was a part of Arkaba Station, first settled in 1851.

This was the time when pastoralists attempted to grow wheat in this part of the Flinders Ranges. However, years of good rain were followed by droughts and many of the early settlers gave up farming.

You can still see many ruins of settlements throughout the Flinders Ranges. Kanyaka homestead is the biggest site of ruins just south of Hawker.

Arkaba station was subdivided in 1895. Different pastoralists owned the land that is now known as Rawnsley Park Station.

Rawnsley Park has been owned by the Smith family since 1953. A decade later, Clem Smith bought another piece of land bringing the station to its current size.

In 1968 the first cabin was built, the start of the station's venture into tourism, which is the main business today. However, 2000 sheep are still kept on the property.

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Things to do at Rawnsley Park Station

The station is a top destination. The possibilities to fill your days with various activities are numerous.

  • Enjoy the wildlife, the birds and the stunning scenery of Wilpena Pound and the central Flinders Ranges.
  • You can spend hours with bird-watching. Parrots, galahs, honey-eater, noisy-miner birds, wedge-tailed eagles... the list of birds you can see here is long.
  • The Flinders Ranges National Park with its natural attractions is within easy reach. You can either explore the NP on your own, or join one of the various tours the station offers.
  • Scenic drives include Bunyeroo Valley, Brachina Gorge, Aroona Valley and Aroona Homestead. Continue to Blinman, an old mining town. Take the route through Parachilna Gorge back. Don't forget to stop at Parachilna for a superb lunch. Enjoy the vistas from Stokes lookout, it is a majestic scenery.
  • Rawnsley Park has several marked walking trails for bush-walkers. Climb Rawnsley Bluff (approx. 4 hours return), or enjoy one of the shorter walks. Maps are available from the office. You can also book guided walking tours.
  • Station Hill lookout is a good spot to take some awesome photos of the surrounding mountain ranges. Info signs tell you more about the ranges you see.
    Chase Range and Wilpena Pound - the red iron-oxide sandstone glows in the setting sun, while the peaks of the Elder Range are best viewed in the early morning sun.
  • Take a tour along the Moralana scenic drive, it is awesome, especially early mornings or in the late afternoon.
    Oh well, I needed three attempts to have finally blue skies and sunshine on this route. It is worthwhile!
  • Enjoy a superb meal at the Woolshed reastaurant after a long day of exploring.
  • Sheep shearing demonstrations are run during school holidays in April, July and October.
  • Mountain bikes can be hired to explore the station tracks.
  • Take a dip in the pool after a hard day exploring the nature. The swimming pool is located next to the shop at the caravan park.

Enjoy your Rawnsley Park Station experience. I know I did.
Don't forget to ask about road conditions as some of the scenic drives are unsealed roads.

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How to get there?

Rawnsley Park Station is located approximately 430 north of Adelaide, depending on the route you take.
The closest town that offers full shopping & banking facilites is Hawker, about 30 km south.
Check the driving distances in the Outback for more information, especially if you plan to go further north to travel to other parts in the eastern Outback.

Check out the accommodation facilities at Rawnsley Park station below.

Rawnsley Park Impressions

parrot sitting on a tap
A parrot drinking from a tap
It was really fun to watch this ring-necked parrot.

kangaroo
A kangaroo at the caravan park

mountain valley in the flinders ranges
Stunning view over Bunyeroo Valley

Read travellers' reviews at TripAdvisor

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