As promised, I have gone through my 203973 photos taken this past week to share a selected few with you. There still are loads on this post thought, and I apologise in advance for the loading time.
We had three nights at the magnificent Rawnsley Park Station which was about 40 k’s from the nearest town, Hawker (which only has 300 people or so living there anyway). It’s far away from anything, there is no phone coverage and no internet, and though everyone thought their throats had been cut initially, it was actually really lovely.
I think, if memory serves correctly, this is Rawnsley Bluff.
Rawnsley Station began its life as many of the other stations in these areas did – the family lived in little stone huts until life got more prosperous and the big house could be built. The cottage above is what the original family lived in until they could build the bigger place. Quaint, isn’t it?
Now it’s more of a storage area for ‘the old stuff’, it’s a bit sad to see it not being looked after but it’s quaint all the same.
This broke my heart – it was once a horse carriage. The cushion was still in place, still red in places. But left to fall apart.
Rawnsley Park is HUGE and if I took a thousand photos it wouldn’t capture the sheer size of the property. And it was wonderful that there were so few houses – sadly the best view seems to be spoilt nowadays by people who want to build up high in ‘the best spot’. None of that happening in the Flinders, which was brilliant.
The tree above is outside of Wilpena Pound and I have found out that it’s a famous one. Called the Cazneaux Tree, it was photographed by Harold Cazneaux in 1937 and he titled it ‘The Spirit Of Endurance’. Apparently it has won many photography competitions and judging by the picture below, has barely changed in eighty years.
And of course, there were emus, emus, emus. Emus everywhere, and really not all that bothered by our presence. Kangaroos are a dime a dozen at home, but emus seem to hide a lot more out here so the girls thought seeing them up close was pretty special.
We saw those particular emus above on the way to a group of ruins in a place where the name escapes me. But long story short, English immigrant came out, staked his claim and built a little house and various outhouses for himself and his family so he could run his sheep/cattle. Built this down the road from a mine, and in those days (and I suspect now also) mines are big business and the miners didn’t like him being there. This brought forth years of antagonistic letters/trials/fights over the land.
The houses were lovely. They were originally filled in with mortar and covered with a lime wash, but over the years that has disappeared and only the rocks remain.
This was the toilet. A long drop. I can’t imagine going out there in the middle of the night! Bring on the chamber pot!
I think visitors to the site built this mound. We added a rock to the pile.
The house above was the Mine manager’s house. Much bigger and much better built than the other smaller houses. This one seemed to stand the test of time much better.
I don’t like to include the children in this blog too much, but I wanted you to see the scale of my eight year old to the tree above. Massive, isn’t it? She was tiny compared to this gorgeous tree. And this tree wasn’t any thing out of the ordinary, there were bigger trees around. I don’t put my car under these trees, they are notoriously bad at dropping limbs on unsuspecting people.
And of course, there are wildflowers everywhere, including this lonely little poppy out in the middle of nowhere. Poppies aren’t anywhere else in the region – I wonder if this was planted by the original white settlers?
We ended up this particular day rough driving through small creeks till we reached the bottom of a gorge – the name of which escapes me. There are quite a few of them in the region and they are all spectacular. We saw a couple but this was the only one that we got out of the car and explored. It was so very windy I didn’t feel too safe, a lot of those rocks are loose and enormous and I had to keep one eye on the children who were off up those cliffs as soon as my back was turned.
Another photo of the kids, showing you how teeny tiny we are in comparison to the cliffs alongside. All in all, we felt very small and insignificant in the middle of so much size, and space.
On our final day of holidays, we walked around the Bluff, which involved some quite physical walking up quite steep hills (the guide said the walk was ‘easy’ – it lied). It proved to me once again that I am desperately unfit, a state I am determined to rectify once the kids get back to school next week. Once we were at the top of the track, it was horizontal for a long time and we managed to walk about ten kilometres around the mountain, which was amazing. I didn’t take too many photos – it was more fun to soak up the view myself rather than constantly reaching for the camera. The eight year old survived very, very well and the eleven year old was a real trooper but I must admit to really feeling it the next day!
So there’s my very first foray into the Flinders Ranges. I do hope it won’t be the last one. We were very keen to see the Sturt Desert Pea but sadly didn’t come across one single flower. I was told it was too wet and windy just yet, and we were a few weeks early. I shall leave you with a picture someone else took of them, and you can see why I wanted to see them in person.
Beautiful, aren’t they? Maybe next time.
See you soon!