Flinders Ranges - the Bluff and Telowie Gorge 2012

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Flinders Ranges - the Bluff and Telowie Gorge 2012

Postby eggs » Wed 02 May, 2012 10:56 am

This year has been light on big trips - partly due to a long overseas trip coming up.

However, over 2 days at Easter we got in some lovely day walks.
First section was along a branch off the Heysen Trail from the Old Nursery in the Wirrabarra Forest to the main track on the ridgeline at Frypan Hill and then back south along it to the Bluff.
It was a nasty windy day and being a north wind, the air was choked up with dust.
This detracted somewhat from the views as even when it calmed down in the late afternoon the range of view was still restricted.

The whole of this route is along forestry roads, so the walking is easy, but long.
Starting after lunch we were protected from the wind in the forest - which is a mix of Pine plantation and native bush.
9181ForestWalkS.JPG
In Wirrabarra Forest


The ridgeline rises in places to 700m above the adjacent coast and there are views to Spencers Gulf and Eyre Peninsula to the west and the mid north farmlands to the east.
We were windblasted sitting on the edge of Frypan Hill where we met our only snake on the walk.
9195FrypanHillViewNorthS.jpg
Looking north west from Frypan Hill on a very dust obscured day.


The Bluff is the highest part of the range and is the location for a very large broadcast TV tower that services the Iron Triangle of SA.
There are also a number of smaller communication towers along the ridgeline that the Heysen Trail passes.
We explored around and had a refreshing cup of soup in shelter waiting for sunset.
9233BluffViewSouthS.JPG
Looking south from the Bluff along the last part of the Flinders Ranges
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Re: Flinders Ranges - the Bluff and Telowie Gorge 2012

Postby eggs » Wed 02 May, 2012 11:06 am

Despite the murky atmosphere, it was lovely to watch the setting sun from high on the range.
9272SettingSunS.jpg
Looking over Spencers Gulf to Eyre Peninsula beyond under the setting Sun.


We then descended along good roads entirely by moonlight (it was Easter)

Next day was a quick drive through Germein Gorge to the car park at Telowie Gorge.
It was my first time in the gorge and I would rate it as better than the more frequented Alligator Gorge which is further north.
The official track ends rather quickly, but apart from 2 interesting diversions over the sides, following the creek is straightforward.
9316TelowieS.jpg
The gum lined creek with lots of interesting rock on every side


9317TelowieSlopeS.jpg
Fantastic rock features abound, often quite high above the creek
Last edited by eggs on Wed 02 May, 2012 11:35 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Flinders Ranges - the Bluff and Telowie Gorge 2012

Postby eggs » Wed 02 May, 2012 11:15 am

The gorge was relatively dry, but there were several deep pools along the route.
9322TelowiePoolS.jpg
Pool in Telowie Gorge


After sidling one reedy pool on the slope to its right, we came to a remarkable constriction in the gorge.
If one was tempted to wade or swim through it, they would come up against a 6 foot overhanging rock/waterfall.
I only discovered this after walking back into it after a nerve racking climb on the left slope to sidle around it.
9366ConstrictionS.jpg
Standing on the overhanging rock looking into the constricted gorge - looks pretty deep here.


9368ConstrictionS.jpg
Wider view of the constricted gorge - the only place in SA that reminds me of a sculptured Blue Mts canyon.
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Re: Flinders Ranges - the Bluff and Telowie Gorge 2012

Postby eggs » Wed 02 May, 2012 11:29 am

We had lunch at a place where the creek had widened out and the sides had become gentler.
By the map we were just outside the National Park.
Due to the time and the desire to make a loop out of the gorge, we decided to ascend a ridge to the north.
This afforded good views over the gorge, back over the range and out over the coastal flats.
9415OutofGorgeS.JPG
Looking out over the gorge to the coastal flats near Pt Pirie


9432ToBluffS.jpg
The tower on the Bluff shows where we had been the day before


The ridge we chose was a rocky one and remarkably open - so it was great walking and good views.
It took us to a dirt road on a ridgeline which we could take back to the car.
However, there was an interest in taking a more direct line along the last ridge to the gorge entrance.
No use going on a bush walk without a little scrub to test us :cry:
Suffice to say the scrub shortcut took us twice as long as the road would have. There is a creeper infesting the already tight scrub here that forms fence lines.
Its easy enough to break a single strand, but we were trying to break through wads of the tangled lines - often with our necks and sometimes without success.
At least we were reminded that Tas is not the only place with thick scrub.
9446TelowieCreekS.jpg
Looking over the tangled scrub when almost down - the Telowie Creek snakes its way through farmland to Spencer Gulf
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Re: Flinders Ranges - the Bluff and Telowie Gorge 2012

Postby Maelgwn » Wed 02 May, 2012 3:05 pm

Looks great eggs.

As soon as I saw the thread title I was hanging out for the moment you got caught wadeing through scrub. I have had a very similar experience there a few years ago... I think it is ok if you stick to (some) ridges as much as you can.
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Re: Flinders Ranges - the Bluff and Telowie Gorge 2012

Postby eggs » Thu 03 May, 2012 10:12 am

Thanks Maelgwn.
"Caught" is perhaps the wrong word.
Viewed from the road above, the ridge we chose was clearly a lot scrubbier than other options.
But being the slightly more direct route we "relished the chance to try out our scrub skills" :roll:
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Re: Flinders Ranges - the Bluff and Telowie Gorge 2012

Postby roxyadelaide » Sat 10 Oct, 2015 6:01 pm

I have driven past the sign to Telowie Gorge many times on my way to Port Augusta. It is one of those places I have always wanted to go to, but haven't gotten around to yet.
I am looking at organising a trip up to Telowie Gorge in 2016 - and was wondering if anyone could point me in the right direction of where I could find maps and/or gpx files of walks in Telowie Gorge.
Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks.
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Re: Flinders Ranges - the Bluff and Telowie Gorge 2012

Postby eggs » Thu 15 Oct, 2015 12:35 pm

There is a thread on this site with a map posted:
http://new.bushwalk.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=40&t=6156&p=75417&hilit=Hi+Ciaran#p75417
I found this quite helpful, though we were only in the top corner of the map and exited via Whites Track.
I believe the park boundary has also expanded since this map was produced.

The Heysen Trail runs along the top of the park, so any books on the trail would have info as well.
The Heysen Trail web site also lists recent reroutes of the trail - generally with attached topo map sements.
eg http://www.heysentrail.asn.au/assets/reroutes/1341461087_Map-2-6_Northern_Guidebook.pdf

The National Parks page is at:
http://www.environment.sa.gov.au/parks/Find_a_Park/Browse_by_region/Flinders_Ranges_and_Outback/Telowie_Gorge_Conservation_Park
This is an old parks pamphlet which is no longer online.
psa-gen-telowiegorgecp.pdf
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