The Flinders Ranges is South Australia's largest mountain range. It starts 200 kilometres north of Adelaide and stretches for around 430 kilometres from Port Pirie to Lake Callabonna.
Its most characteristic landmark is Wilpena Pound, a large, sickle-shaped, natural amphitheatre covering almost 80 square kilometres. The 1170 metre St Mary Peak is its highest point. It has areas of National Park, trails running several hundred kilometres and the Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary. It is a blissful place for walkers, cyclists and horse riders.
Rawnsley Park Station lies on the southern face of Wilpena Pound, between Hawker and Wilpena. It was settled as part of Arkaba Station in 1851 when early pastoralists attempted to grow wheat and farm sheep. A succession of natural disasters, low rainfall and fluctuating prices made their efforts unviable.
Parts of Arkaba were subdivided in 1985, and a 2530 hectare portion became what is now Rawnsley Park Station. Initially solely used for sheep grazing, the station ventured successfully into tourism in 1968 with a cabin and sheep shearing demonstrations. While tourism is the property's main industry, they run 400 sheep. Guests see how dogs yard them, how they are shorn and how wool is classed and baled.
Rawnsley Park has a terrific range of accommodation. Guests choose from luxury eco-villas, one to three bedroom holiday units, cabins, caravans and camping sites.
Everything was designed to complement the natural surroundings. Villas are of the latest environmental design with rendered straw bale walls, polished timber floors over suspended concrete slabs and overhanging eaves over wide verandahs provide shaded. Windows and doors have been placed to allow cooling breezes to pass through the entire building. Retractable ceilings allow you to night sky-watch from the comfort of your bed. Kitchens are fully equipped and there is a barbecue and outdoor setting. Works by local artists are on display.
Three and a half-star holiday units sit at the foot of Rawnsley Buff. They are self-contained with bathrooms and come in one, two or three bedrooms.
The caravan park has cabins, on-site vans, powered sites and bush camping. The surrounding area is dotted with native pines and gum trees.
There is a licensed restaurant, pool, general store and loads of activities scenic flights, horse riding, mountain biking, bush walking, four-wheel driving and, of course, shearing.
So much to see and do in such a private and secluded place with uninterrupted views of Wilpena Pound and surrounding ranges, but within easy reach of the main Rawnsley Park facilities.