Gawler Ranges National Park

Campfire Disabled Park entry fee Toilets Wildflowers Aboriginal site Camping area Four-wheel drive touring Information Ranger Walking


This is one of the most ancient landscapes on the planet – the hills of red volcanic rock are more than 1500 million years old and exposed volcanic rhyolite creates spectacular organ-pipe formations. The plains are dominated by grasslands and bluebush, and stark white salt lakes dot the terrain. Iron oxides create the red colour in the ranges, and dune fields at the southernmost end of the park comprise reddish brown sand. In 1839 explorer Edward Eyre, the first European to visit the area, named the ranges and described his sighting of the Sturt’s desert pea. The region is famous for its displays of wildflowers in spring. With the establishment in the 1850s of Paney Station, one of the first pastoral properties, many of the local Malkaripangala people were relocated.

The national park is a valuable transition zone between eastern and western mallee ecosystems. The spectacular wilderness is home to mammals such as the southern hairy-nosed wombat, lesser and greater long-eared bats and hopping mice, and birds such as the rufous treecreeper. It is also a habitat for 162 additional fauna species, not all of them quite so exotically named, and 976 species of flora, including the red mallee, endemic to South Australia.

There are no marked trails so bushwalkers should advise a responsible person at the start and end of any outback treks, and make sure to carry suitable clothing, maps, first aid, food and water. All roads are dry-weather access only. This remote area offers visitors a great outback experience with amazing landscapes and secluded camping opportunities. Campfires are allowed from May to October but gas or fuel stoves are preferred. Camping fees apply, payable at self-registration stations.

Fact file


Several good sites, some remote and 4WD access only; fees apply


550 km north-west of Adelaide; 40 km north of Wudinna via Barns Rd; 35 km north of Minnipa via Yardea Rd; 90 km west of Kimba via Buckleboo

Park information

  • Parks SA (08) 8204 1910
  • Parks SA Port Lincoln (08) 8688 3111


120 000 ha

Visitor information

Minnipa/Wudinna (08) 8680 2969

See Also


Chillunie camping area

This is secluded no-frills camping, 4WD only, in the north-east of the park. Follow the sign from the LP Track, 9.8 km north of Paney Homestead. From the turn-off it’s 3.6 km west to the camp.... Find out more

Kododo Hill camping area

Camping in the north of the park is signposted 12.8 km north along Minnipa–Yardea Rd from the western end of Old Paney Scenic Dr. The campsite with a hot-water donkey shower is 900 m north-west of this turn-off,... Find out more

Kolay Hut camping area

Small but shaded sites in open country are found on the north-east side of the park, with the organ-pipe formation of Kolay Falls close by. The hut access is 12.1 km north of Paney Homestead via the LP Track, and it is... Find out more

Mattera camping area

This valley, tucked away in the heart of the park, has an array of sheltered sites. Signposted access is along Mattera Track, 8.4 km north of Old Paney Scenic Dr, followed by a further 2.4 km drive west to the camping... Find out more

Scrubby Peak camping area

The signposted turn-off to Scrubby Peak is 8.1 km north of the western end of Old Paney Scenic Dr. It’s another 900 m west to the camping area, which has a hot-water donkey shower and is suitable for off-road... Find out more

Waganny camping area

Pleasant open woodland camping is surrounded by dome-like granite hills to explore, and views of the Blue Sturts. Signposted access is 13 km west of Paney Homestead via the Old Paney Scenic Dr, which is suitable for... Find out more

Yandinga camping area

For accessible camping near the western entrance to the park, take the signposted turn-off 3.1 km north of the western end of Old Paney Scenic Dr. It’s another 600 m west to the sites; the road is suitable for... Find out more

See Also

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