Acacia Ridge - Copyright Otto OMallee  
Acacia Ridge - Photo: Otto O'Mallee

Dust was choking everything. Although no more but a fine, translucent veil, carelessly discarded by the wind, it held the country in an iron grip, firmly imposing a mood of its own. Right now the late afternoon sun should have painted the jagged mountain ridges and meandering creekbeds in vivid, emotional colours. Yet its magic had been broken, its rays rendered powerless by by a flexible, inescapable light mesh of dust.

Continue Reading »

The area around Italowie Creek had once been the location of a violent family scene in the world of birds. Here, Mr. and Mrs. Mistletoe Eater had had a fierce, short argument.


“A long time ago there lived a bird called Awi – Irtanha. One day he went out looking for tucker to eat. Continue Reading »

  “The Northern Flinders Ranges exercise a subtle attraction to return upon any sensitive person who once visits the region.”
Sir Mark Oliphant in: Sprigg, R.C., “Arkaroola-Mount Painter, The Last Billion Years, p. 6

Some of my friends in Ireland and Germany do argue that I should have read the above words before my first trip and taken them as a warning. Continue Reading »

It was half past four when I walked into the Parachilna Hotel where I was told that the place was booked out. Quite frankly, I did not believe that the place could possibly be booked out but I only had myself to blame! Continue Reading »


The advice I had been given by the Wilpena-Pound National Park Rangers on going north had been right. While some creek crossings should be approached carefully, there was not going to be any problem on the track to Blinman, unless one veered off onto the closed road to Bunyero Creek and Brachina Gorge. Continue Reading »

Leaving early, with frost still covering the ground, I was in time to enjoy the morning show of this master of visual effects, the sun, which this morning utilised quite a repertoire on its stage backdrop, the eastern walls of Wilpena Pound and Heysen Range. One painting by Hans Heysen, after whom the section of the ranges just a few miles west of me had been named, will always remind me of this morning. “In the Flinders – Far North”, painted in oil around 1950, shows a curved line of mountain peaks in the distance, partly touched by light. Continue Reading »

Situated on the eastern edge of Wilpena Pound lies Wilpena Chalet, the Wilpena Pound Tourist Resort, consisting of a motel with good restaurant and bar facilities, a small store and a caravan park. Since the caravan park has no on-site vans I somehow drifted towards taking up a motel- room. Getting up early this morning and putting my nose outside the front door, quickly confirmed that the decision in favour of decadent comfort had not been such a bad choice after all: the air was more than crisp and the grass shining white with ground frost. Continue Reading »