Adelaide to Flinders Ranges Road Trip – 9 Stops for a Perfect Journey

Adelaide to Flinders Ranges Road Trip
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The Australian outback, which is enormous, isolated, and seems to go on forever, is a scenery unlike any other we have ever witnessed. It has remarkable weather variations, with summertime temperatures exceeding 40°C with cold nights plunging way below 0°C, as you might anticipate. And to top it all off, it is also seemingly dry, dusty, and arid.

You might be as astonished as we were to discover that the outback is teaming with wildlife and is home to sights of unfathomable natural beauty. You can witness part of this amazing, fascinating, and shockingly diverse environment as you travel from Adelaide to the flinders ranges.

But making it one long trip and reaching the range in one drive is anything but exciting. Instead, turn it into a good road trip and enjoy everything this 5-hour-long road offers.’

Where is the Flinders Range?

The Flinders Ranges begin roughly 200 kilometres toward the north of Adelaide. Then it will extend for another 430 kilometres towards the north, occupying a significant portion of a country region of South Australia.

With so much area within the Flinders Ranges, we will discuss two unique trip guides and all the fun things to do and see on your Adelaide to flinders ranges road trip.

On the first sets of driving, we will go to the southern part of the famous Flinders Ranges, mainly towards Melrose. On the second drive, we will go toward Wilpena Pound. You can take any of these roads and enjoy a huge chunk of the excitement Flinders Ranges offers.

When to Go on Flinders Range?

The best time to take a road trip from Adelaide to Flinders Ranges is during the warmer months of the year, between October and April. The temperatures in this area can drop below freezing in winter, making it difficult to explore the area safely. Additionally, the intense summer heat of the region can be difficult to navigate for some.

During your road trip, you’ll experience a variety of climates and terrains, from hot deserts to cool mountain ranges. There’s something new to explore every season, so timing your trip carefully can make it an even more rewarding experience.

Spring is one of the best times to visit the Flinders Ranges, as the wildflowers bloom, and the days are usually warm and sunny. Summer in the region is usually hot and dry, but you’ll find many stunning waterholes to dip into along the way. Autumn brings cool nights, spectacular sunsets, and still plenty of sunshine. Winter is a great time for stargazing, but pack enough warm clothes!

What to Pack for Flinders Range?

When heading out on a road trip to the Flinders Ranges, you want to ensure that you are prepared with all the necessary items. Here’s a list of what you should pack for the ultimate road trip:

Clothing – Pack clothes for all kinds of weather, from shorts and T-shirts in summer to thermals and sweaters for winter. Make sure to include comfortable walking shoes and protective clothing for outdoor activities like hiking.

Snacks – Pack plenty of nuts, dried fruit, and trail mix. This will help keep your energy up during the long drive.

Toiletries – Bring items such as a toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, shampoo, and deodorant so you can stay refreshed throughout the trip.

Sunscreen – The Australian sun is harsh, and it is important to protect your skin with sunscreen to prevent sunburns.

First Aid Kit – Put together a kit with band-aids, antiseptic wipes, painkillers, and other items to prepare you for minor injuries or illnesses.

Flashlight and Map – A flashlight and a good map are essential items to bring on any road trip.

Camera – You don’t want to miss out on capturing the beautiful landscapes and wildlife of the Flinders Ranges, so make sure you bring your camera!

The Drive Time and Distance for Flinders Range

If you’re planning a road trip from Adelaide to the Flinders Ranges, you’re in for an amazing experience. The drive takes about 4.5 hours, depending on where you want to stop. The journey is filled with picturesque views of rolling hills and sprawling landscapes.

Start your road trip with a drive through the Adelaide Hills, where you’ll see some spectacular sights. Make sure to stop at Mount Lofty Summit, the highest point in South Australia, and take in the breathtaking views of the city below.

Continue your journey north, passing through the Clare Valley wine region and the small town of Clare. Take a detour to the Barossa Valley if you have time, and enjoy sampling some local wines.

Next is the Copper Coast, a beautiful stretch of coastline known for its stunning turquoise waters and golden dunes. Stop at Moonta Bay and Port Hughes for beachside fun, then continue your journey inland.

Make your way to the Flinders Ranges, passing through small towns such as Burra, Quorn, and Hawker. If you’re feeling adventurous, make a detour to Bunyeroo Gorge for scenic hiking.

Finally, arrive at your destination in the Flinders Ranges. There are plenty of things to see and do here, so you’ll never be bored! Enjoy your road trip and enjoy exploring this beautiful part of Australia.

Adelaide to Flinders Ranges Road Trip: Itinerary, Attractions & Activities

Car distance4 Hours 45 minutes
Nearest airportAdelaide Airport
Distance to airport11 km

You can also read: Gold Coast to Sydney Road Trip

Adelaide to Tarlee

An 88.1 km Drive (1 hour and 5 minutes)

One of the initial villages along the route is Tarlee. You will reach Tarlee right after you leave the Gawler freeway and come across the farmland.

The public restrooms are conveniently located next to the major road that runs through the town. Additionally, it’s an excellent spot to extend your legs and walk around, appreciating nature quickly. 

To get a nice cup of cappuccino or a bite to fuel your journey, cross the street to the Tarlee Bakery. This place is famous for meat pies.

Tarlee to Auburn

A 30 km Drive (20 minutes)

You do not want to miss Visiting Auburn on your Adelaide to flinders ranges road trip.

This charming tiny village is well-liked by newlyweds visiting for a weekend away. Some wonderful historical walks will offer visitors an insight into the city if you want to do a little exploring.


Riesling Trail, a 32-kilometre path inside the Clare Valley popular for bicycling, also begins at Auburn.

For a lovely, richly flavoured Shiraz to savour during your visit to the Flinders Ranges, stop by Taylor’s Wines. They are the largest wine growers in the Clare Valley.

To enjoy a fantastic pub supper if you drive through Auburn during lunchtime, visit the Rising Sun Hotel.

Auburn to Clare

A 24 km drive (18 minutes)

Upon that journey from Adelaide to Melrose, this would roughly be the midway point. This is also generally the best stop for lunch.

You can find numerous dining choices, including fast food joints like Subway, upscale dining establishments, and casual pub fare.

If you want to enjoy your lunch while enjoying the amazing views of the vineyards, make sure to visit any of the wineries.

Clare to Laura

An 86.1 KM Drive (an hour)

Laura is mainly famous for its Golden north ice cream, the back-to-back winner of Australia’s favourite ice cream for the past years.

You may find sculptures honouring CJ Dennis throughout the major road in Laura, where he spent his formative years. Several adorable little shops sell everything from local goods like crafts and food to vintage items and trinkets. 

You learn everything there is to know about the Southern Flinders Ranges and the walks and driving nearby.

Laura to Stone Hut

A simple 14 KM drive (10 minutes)

This village is among our favourites to pause in because it is relatively small. The Stone Hut Bakery is the only stop location in this area. But what a spot to relax! 

Many activities are available here to cut ties with your long drive, particularly if you travel with children.

The children can explore the amazing petting zoo while you sip coffee and grab a warm bit inside the bakery. Some domestic and agricultural animals are available for feeding and petting.

After seeing the animals, proceed to their bird zoo to observe some lovely birds. But beware, because they enjoy the company and can also sit on your body. So make sure you do not get spooked easily.

Stone hut to Wirrabara

8.6 km (6 min)

Without a doubt, take some time to observe the massive silo art in the middle of Wirrabara. The town is small, so finding the silos won’t be too difficult. That being said, you will need to stray a little from the main road. 

A farmers’ market is usually in high gear on the third Sunday of each month. If you were there on the festival day, you should do the market festivity.

Local suppliers can also sell their products directly to the general public here.

Wirrabara to Melrose

A 27.8 KM drive (19 minutes)

You have only a little distance to get to your last stop on this trip, which is melrose. Inside this region of Flinders Ranges, visitors have a wide range of lodging options.

You can opt for multiple Airbnb options in the area. You can also opt for the cottage at Bluery Bllundstones for a more ambient experience.

Here are some of the best things you can do in Melrose on your Adelaide to flinders ranges road trip,

  • Do a Mount Remarkable Summit Hike
  • Visit the Melrose Heritage museum
  • You can go for a Melrose to Wilmington Cycle and Walking Track. 
  • Enjoy the Bartagunyah Estate Wines and get some for your trip back home.

Melrose to Quorn

A 63.2 KM drive (43 minutes)

Your first stop should be Mt. Remarkable National Park, where you can take in the stunning panoramic views of the surrounding ranges. You can explore the many walking trails, lookouts and picnic spots here.

Then, head to Alligator Gorge and marvel at the amazing sandstone formations and sheer cliffs. The gorge is also home to an abundance of wildlife, so keep your eyes peeled for echidnas, wallabies, and more.

Just 20 minutes down the road lies the small town of Wilmington. Stop here for lunch or to buy souvenirs and regional produce from the local stores. If you have time, there are plenty of nearby attractions to check out too. Visit the local museum, admire the artworks in the arts centre, or take a stroll around Nelshaby Lake.

Continue, and soon you will reach your destination – Quorn. Take a detour to Woolshed Hill Lookout for spectacular views of Wilpena Pound before driving into town.

Quorn is home to some fantastic cafés and restaurants, so grab dinner before turning in for the night. You can stay in one of the many available accommodation options or camp out under the stars.

Quorn to Flinders Ranges

A 112 KM drive (1 hour 12 minutes)

Once you’ve explored the town of Quorn and its surrounding attractions, it’s time to hit the road and make your way to the Flinders Ranges. This route will take you along the Horrocks Highway, a stretch known for its stunning scenery and abundant wildlife.

Once you arrive at the Flinders Ranges, you’ll be greeted by a rugged mountain range. This is a great place to experience the great outdoors and explore various trails. Whether you go on a short hike or a multi-day trek, there are plenty of options for everyone.

You can also check out some of the area’s unique geological features, such as Wilpena Pound, an ancient amphitheatre of mountains encircled by cliffs. With its impressive views and vast sky, it’s worth a visit.

In addition to outdoor activities, there are plenty of things to do in the Flinders Ranges. From visiting local wineries to exploring nearby caves and checking out aboriginal art galleries, there’s something for everyone.

And with several campgrounds and accommodation options available, you can ensure your road trip is as comfortable and enjoyable as possible.

Things to Do in the Flinders Ranges

The Flinders Ranges is home to some of South Australia’s most incredible natural beauty and exciting activities. Whether you’re looking for adventure, relaxation, or something in between, there are plenty of things to do in the Flinders Ranges. Here are some of the top activities that you should add to your itinerary:

  • Visit the Wilpena Pound. This large, natural amphitheatre of mountains is a must-see in the Flinders Ranges and can be explored on foot with guided tours available.
  • Spend the day at Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary. Take a scenic drive around this incredible region, explore the rugged terrain, or relax and enjoy the natural beauty.
  • Go camping. With several beautiful campsites in the area, you can spend days relaxing under the stars and exploring the landscape.
  • Take a bush walk. The Flinders Ranges has various walking trails for all fitness levels, allowing you to explore the stunning scenery.
  • Visit Brachina Gorge Geological Trail. Explore this famous geological trail and take incredible views from various lookout points.
  • Visit Sacred Canyon. Explore this unique ancient Aboriginal rock art site and learn about the traditional Aboriginal culture and spirituality.
  • Check out Caroona Creek Conservation Park. With a variety of wildlife and plenty of walks to explore, this park is perfect for a day out in nature.
  • Go fossil hunting. With some of the oldest dinosaur fossils found in Australia, it’s worth checking out local fossil sites to look for interesting pieces of history.
  • Learn about local culture at Blinman Heritage Centre & Art Gallery. This is the perfect spot to learn more about the history and culture of the area while admiring some impressive artwork.
  • Spend the day at Wangarra Lookout. Enjoy stunning views from one of the best lookout spots in the Flinders Ranges and admire the scenery.

No matter what kind of activity you are looking for, there is something for everyone in the Flinders Ranges! So don’t forget to add these exciting activities to your itinerary and make the most of your time exploring this amazing region!

Where to Stay on Flinders Ranges?

The Flinders Ranges is home to some of the most beautiful and serene accommodations in South Australia. From cozy, rustic cabins to luxurious resorts, various options are available for your Adelaide to Flinders Ranges road trip.

For those looking for a more affordable option, the Wirrabara Forest Park Camping Ground provides the perfect backdrop for a camping getaway. With a range of activities on offer, including walking trails, swimming, and fishing, you will surely find something to keep you entertained.

If you are looking for a bit more luxury, The Prairie Hotel at Parachilna offers a unique experience in the heart of the outback. Boasting stunning views of the Flinders Ranges and its private wildlife park, this luxurious resort is an ideal base for exploring the area.

For those who want something a bit closer to town, the Rawnsley Park Station is situated just outside the town of Hawker. This working sheep station features rustic cabins and plenty of activities for guests, including guided tours and hikes.

Finally, Wilpena Pound Resort is a must-visit destination for those who don’t mind splurging on a truly special experience. Located within Wilpena Pound, this remote resort offers luxury accommodations with breathtaking views of the surrounding area.

No matter what type of accommodation you prefer, plenty of options are available for your Adelaide to Flinders Ranges road trip. Whether you are looking for a budget camping option or a luxurious resort experience, you will find it in the Flinders Ranges.

Tips for Visiting the Flinders Ranges

  • Start your trip early – The Flinders Ranges are vast and varied, so it’s a good idea to give yourself plenty of time to explore. Plan your route carefully and know exactly how long the journey will take.
  • Pack the right gear – As with any trip outdoors, it’s important to have the right gear. Pack comfortable clothes, sturdy shoes, plenty of water and snacks, sun protection, and all the items you may need in an emergency.
  • Take your time – Don’t rush! Explore the unique landscape leisurely, taking regular breaks to enjoy the views and experience the area.
  • Get up close – There are plenty of opportunities to explore the Flinders Ranges on foot. Make sure you bring some good walking shoes, and check out the range of hikes on offer.
  • Respect the environment – Remember that you are in a delicate and precious natural environment. Ensure you take all your rubbish with you and leave no trace behind.
  • Stay safe – Stay on established tracks and be aware of your surroundings. Make sure someone knows where you’re going and when you plan to be back.
  • Take lots of photos – This is one road trip you won’t want to forget! Be sure to take plenty of photos along the way so you can share your memories with friends and family.

FAQs

Where should I stop between Adelaide and Flinders Ranges?

Even though it is a short road trip, we highly advise everyone to stop at some of the places mentioned below to experience the ranges at their finest.

Some places you can stop and visit are:

Tarlee
Auburn
Clare
Laurra
Stone Hut
Wirrabara
Melrose

How many days do you need in the Flinders Ranges?

Three days is just enough to experience all this place has to offer. Make sure to visit all the places mentioned in the article. You will also find some good accommodations there as well.

What is the best time to visit the Flinders Ranges?

If we are being honest, you can visit the Flinders Ranges pretty much any time of the year. That being said, if high temperature is an issue for you, we recommend visiting The ranges from April to October, as the temperature is much cooler and more comfortable.

Do you need a 4WD for Flinders Ranges?

You can get around with two-wheel drive as well. But due to the rough terrain, it s advised to take a 4WD if possible.

Final Words

The ultimate lifetime experience comes from the road trip into the heart of the Australian desert. Travelling in the desert on your Adelaide to flinders ranges road trip can only give you a sense of excitement and thrill you cannot find anywhere else. It will make you more aware of this big nation. 

Just do the following to ensure the best road trip experience.

  • Take frequent breaks to prevent any fatigue.
  • Watch out for wild animals on the road, especially camels, kangaroos, and Emus,
  • Be aware of the winds.
  • Always carry plenty of want.
  • And NEVER drive at night.

And as for the rest of the trip, you are your planner.

Happy travelling!

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Hi, I'm Md Abid Hasan. The owner & content editor of Travellye.com. Travellye.com is a travel blog that covers road trips, day trips, and destinations guide.

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