Flinders Ranges

Authentic Outback

Jan 28, 2008
Outside Magazine
Flinders Ranges

Flinders Ranges    Photo: courtesy, Tourism Australia

How do you know you've landed in quintessential Aussie outback? The quickest way from A to B is by bush plane, the 'roos and emus outnumber the humans, and the flying doctors drop onto the local airstrip once a month. Some 120 miles north of Adelaide, the vineyards and wheat fields give way to dusty, rolling sheep country, backed by the sandstone peaks of the Flinders Ranges.

WHERE TO STAY: Angorichina Station is a sprawling sheep property run by fourth-generation homesteader Ian Fargher and his wife, Di. There are just two guest rooms in the low-slung ranch house, and meals are taken family style on the terrace, overlooking a tennis court and the wool shed, so you'll feel at home right away (doubles from $1,196, including all meals and activities; angorichinastation.com).

WHAT TO DO: Don't come with any hard-and-fast agenda because it won't compare to what Ian will dream up: wandering down to the wool shed to watch the sheep shearing, walking with the kelpies (Aussie sheepdogs) to scout for eagles' nests, four-wheeling to the top of Carey Hill for sundowners, tracking the skittish yellow-footed rock wallaby in Flinders Ranges National Park, or buzzing the 213-square-mile property in Ian's Cessna while he rounds up sheep or checks his wells. But the highlight of any visit to Ango is a ten-minute bush flight to the Prairie Hotel, in tiny Parachilna, for lunch. The 100-year-old hotel and pub, run by Ross and Jane Fargher (Ian's brother and Di's sister), is an oasis of outback style, with gourmet 'roo burgers in the dining room, Aboriginal art on the walls, and—of course—a dirt runway out back.

GETTING THERE: Angorachina is a six-hour drive from Adelaide—or Ian will fly you from the city and back in his Cessna ($1,796 for up to two passengers).

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