Satellite images of South Australia show a mostly dust-blown, brown mass, peppered with occasional white salt flats. Lake Eyre, the largest lake in Australia when at capacity, fills once every 50 years or so but is generally a 9500 square kilometre white splotch devoid of vegetation. Only the south-eastern edge of the state is tinged with green.
If you’re happy to hand yourself over to an experienced tour guide, another way to experience the area is on an Ecotourism Accredited Ridgetop four-wheel-drive tour in the Arkaroola Wilderness, at the northernmost extent of the Ranges. In an open-top Landcruiser, the tour runs through the depths of ancient seabeds, then up along precarious razorback ridges, climaxing at the peak of Sillers Lookout and its 360-degree panorama of the area – one of the most impressive in the Flinders.
North of here are massive salt lakes, some of the most barren, challenging and secluded terrain on earth, with nary another soul in sight. It’s not typically South Australia’s biggest tourist pull, but piercing the safety net that is civilisation (ideally with a very reliable vehicle, a lot of water and plenty of bush wisdom) is a worthy experience. The Flinders Ranges end here but the journey need not.
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Pictured is Lake Eyre, South Australia. Image courtesy of iStock: 1024188190