SA: Mid-North and Flinders Ranges
"The Clare Valley to Wilpena Pound and the Yorke Peninsula"
A bushwalkers paradise and a fishermans delight
At it southern edge Gawler is a town that leads someplace! From here the road forks to the Riverland and north to the Clare Valley and the Flinders Ranges. It is the separation of the Adelaide Hills and the start of a range that has more diversity than most as it stretches from fertile hills to the rugged outcrops on the edge of the northern South Australian Simpsons Desert.
In its most fertile valley, the Clare Valley, thrives a wine industry that goes back almost to the start of the colony and in its most arid, ghost towns from the same period tell a hundred stories of a disastrous attempt to capture the desert. The vast salt lakes of Eyre and Torrens are plentiful in wet seasons that come only so often and in the meantime struggle to sustain any life.
And so within this diversity are a hundred or more places to visit and marvel at, like the natural wonders of Wilpena Pound, Mount Remarkable, Tellowie Gorge and the Pichi Richi Pass.
The Clare Valley starts at Leasingham in the very southern-most tip of the Flinders Ranges and stretches beyond the beautiful township of Clare seventeen kilometers to the north and is one of Australia's premium cool climate wine regions, with more than thirty cellar doors to explore.
The oldest vineyard in the valley is Sevenhill Cellars, established by the Jesuits in 1848 while Stanley Wines in the heart of the township of Clare has a world-wide reputation for its excellent fortified wines.
However there is more to Clare than its famous wines and the three hundred kilometre Clare Valley Heartland Heritage Trail takes you through and past striking scenery and authentic historical buildings like Martindale Hall built in 1876 and featured in the classic Australian film Picnic At Hanging Rock.
Along the way is a series of beautiful fertile valleys and sweeping plains with reminders of the copper mining and the old farming methods used since the early 1840's. The heritage here is mostly Welsh, Scottish, central England and Cornwall and the famous Cornish Pastie is a local delight still enjoyed by locals and visitors.
Although there is plenty of modern style accommodation it is an experience spending a night in the old stone buildings of the Lyndoch, Auburn and Clare pubs just to mention a few and to enjoy dinner, a late night drink and breakfast in dining rooms and lounges that make you feel right at home in another century.