We spent the next couple of days driving up to the Flinders Ranges. We did this quicker than we had intended because there were so many flies and they were making us miserable. We booked a 4WD tour for the Thursday, in the days leading up to it we found a lovely beach in Whyalla. We spent our days relaxing and cooling off in the sea, as it was 40+ degrees! On Wednesday we drove back to Port Augusta and visited the Arid Botanical Gardens. We saw lots of different plants and trees compared to other gardens we had visited. We also saw lots of lizards but it was too hot to fully explore. In the afternoon we went to the Wadlata outback centre. This was very interesting with lots of videos and sound recordings telling the history of the Outback, from both aboriginal and scientific points of view.
Thursday arrived and we met our guide at 7.30am for a tour of the Flinders Ranges. On the tour with us was a Scotish girl, a French couple and an Australian man. Everyone was really nice and friendly and it was a good chance to share our experiences and tips to get rid of the damn flies! The tour started in Port Augusta and passed through Quorn and Hawker, both small Outback towns with not much there, just a shop, petrol station and pubn for the farmers. We then travelled the dirt road through some very remote cattle stations up to Warren Gorge. This was where we did our first small walk to try to spot some endangered yellow-footed rock wallabies. We had a few sightings but didn't really get a close look. We returned to the car and continued through Bunyeroo Gorge to Wilpena. We had a small break at the visitor centre while our guide paid the entrance fee and got the key. We then had a short drive followed by a short walk to the inside of Wilpena Pound. On our way we saw some pretty yellow flowers with a red love heart. We also saw a male Emu with seven or eight small chicks about four weeks old. We continued up to the lower lookout, where we got magnificent views of the Pound. By this time we were all hungry so we returned to Wilpena for a cut lunch. We were pleased to have something chilled for once.
In the afternoon we drove through Brachina Gorge to try and spot some more wallabies. This time we saw dozens, including some young ones. They are very well camouflaged against the rocks. Rachel could only spot them when they hopped from rock to rock. Further along the gorge we stopped to see some fossilised marine animal, from when Wilpena was covered by a shallow sea. We the took the main road back to Port Augusta, we were tired by now ut had a great day.