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Flinders by bike, SA

Thursday, May 22, 2008
South Australia's largest mountain range starts around 200km north of Adelaide. The range stretches for over 430km from Port Pirie to Lake Callabonna.

Its most characteristic landmark is Wilpena Pound, a large, sickle-shaped natural amphitheatre which covers almost 80 square kilometres. It contains the 1170km St Mary Peak, the ranges' highest point. The Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary and the Vulkathunha-Gammon Ranges National Park are in the northern ranges. The southern part is known for the Pichi Richi Scenic Railway and Mount Remarkable National Park.

Other small areas of the Flinders are protected national parks. Dutchman's Stern Conservation Park and the Mount Brown Conservation Park are protected areas of the ranges.

The Heysen Trail and Mawson Trail run for several hundred kilometres along the ranges, providing scenic long distance routes for walkers, cyclists and horse riders.

Flinders by Bike is a new 200km loop train in the Central Flinders Ranges. It is run by Tim Spurling of the delightfully named Barking Gecko Tours, the only operator along the trail. It can only be ridden with a guide and is not open to the general public. There is a strong safety policy with an emergency procedure in place. The journey through the diverse landscape takes adventurers through open plains and forested ranges. The route is shared with kangaroos, emus and eagles, and wildflowers add some beauty.

The circuit starts at Rawnsley Park Station in Wilpena Pound in the south and extends to Gum Creek at Blinman in the north. The circular route has been created so there is no need to retrace your steps.

It takes four days to ride, with an average of 60km a day, and a good level of fitness and mountain bike experience is strongly recommended! You will need plenty of stamina.

The trail, created by local land owners, takes you through private properties as well as national park land. It links parts of the Mawson Trail with an existing network of old pastoral trails on each property.

The Department of Environment and Heritage has become involved in the cycle trail because it provides a chance to work with the neighbours of the Flinders Ranges National Park, particularly on matters relating to integrated land and visitor management.

Group sizes are from four with a maximum of eight, so everyone is well looked after while enjoying the magical Flinders Ranges.

The 900km Mawson Trail from Adelaide to the Northern Flinders is open to the public.

Location

South Australia's Flinders Ranges.

Cost

Barking Geckos four-day Flinders by Bike tours cost $1248 per person. Accommodation is provided at Rawnsley Park Station, Wilpena Pound Resort, Willow Springs and Gum Creek. Meals, bikes, helmets and transfers are included. They run between March and November. Check their website for other tours.

Prices correct at May 22, 2008.

For further information

Barking Gecko Tours
PO Box 5
Quorn South 5433
Ph/Fax: (08) 8648 6877
www.barkinggeckotours.com.au
info@barkinggeckotours.com.au

Flinders Ranges National Park
Wilpena Visitor Centre
Ph: (08) 8648 0048
Fax: (08) 8648 0092
www.parks.sa.gov.au/flinders_ranges

Flinders Ranges & Outback
Visitor Information Contact
Phone: 1800 633 060
www.flindersoutback.com

SA Visitor & Travel Centre
18 King William Street
Adelaide 5000
Ph: 1300 764 227
www.southaustralia.com

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