Friday, 29 June 2012
While only a relatively small national park, locals consider this to be an important area as it is one of the few areas of natural bushland left in the southern Flinders Ranges. Another important fact about the park is that it sits on the boundary between the arid north and the wetter south and contains flora and fauna from both regions. This means the park is botanically rich and varied.
Most visit the park on one day walks and indeed it is possible to visit any place within the park on a day walk. To see all of the park takes longer, and an overnight walk following a figure eight circuit enables the walker to visit all of the gorges and major features. While there are no really spectacular sights within the park, the combination of rocky gorges, interesting flowers and plants, inquisitive animals (the emus can actually be a nuisance) and views across the rolling hills make walking here interesting. All of the tracks are clearly defined and easy to walk along.
Edward John Eyre named Mount Remarkable in June 1840. The Nukunu people, who called Mount Remarkable "Wangyarra", ("arra" meaning running water) inhabited the area before the arrival of European settlers in 1844.
Alligator Gorge and Mambray Creek were dedicated as National Pleasure Resorts in 1952. These areas were added to and became managed by the National Parks Commission in the 1960s. After the National Parks and Wildlife Act of 1972, Alligator Gorge, Mambray Creek and Mount Remarkable were proclaimed as Mount Remarkable National Park. Further additions have brought the present total to more than 160 km², the most recent being the Warren Bonython Link in 1998 which joined the eastern and western sections of the park.
A popular destination for bushwalking and camping, Mount Remarkable National Park's dramatic gorges, walking trails and diverse wildlife is just the beginning of its appeal.
The park features the 960m high Mount Remarkable Summit which can be reached along the Mount Remarkable Summit Hike from Melrose, providing impressive views of Willochra Plain and Spencer Gulf.
Autumn to spring is the best time to visit the park when the weather is mild and vegetation and wildlife thriving. The extensive walking trails provide the perfect opportunity to explore the park's diverse habitats, from the red quartzite gorges, watercourses lined with river red gums to grassy woodlands and high ridges.
Along the walking trails you may see the western gray kangaroos and emus that roaming freely throughout the park. Watch out for the echidnas in spring or the protected yellow-footed rock-wallabies.