In early August, Fred and I headed off on the well marked trail in the Flinders Ranges on a glorious day without rain or howling winds. Such a relief!
The Warren Gorge is a fairly short drive from Quorn along a sealed road these days and is managed very nicely by the local council. Fortunately it is also open to dogs.
I’d been given the advice from regular visitors on the best direction to begin the walk – so that the steepest section was traversed downhill not uphill. Very glad of that advice as at one point I met another couple who had climbed up the hard way and looked quite worn out with still a long distance to walk.
At first I was concerned that it was going to be too hard or long for Fred with his little legs, but I needn’t have worried. He took it all in his stride 🙂
Starting at the gorge and walking along the green valley I admired the lovely rock formations.
See if you can spot the Kookaburra sitting in the gum tree
Pools of spring water along the base of the gorge are a haven in this otherwise dry land.
As the path slowly rose up the hillside, Grass Trees began appearing. Personal favourites of mine, and this specimen particularly caught my eye. Extremely slow growing plants, this one could be close to 100 years old. You have to respect that!
This is the flower head of one, and it is very sweetly scented and the bees and the butterflies adore it.
The trail was gently shaded by the native pine trees, before opening out to grass tree hillsides.
Another plant common to the arid areas, and not one to get too close too, is the Triodia grass, otherwise known as the porcupine grass – for obvious reasons!
The slender leaves taper to a very very sharp point!
The path then took a sharp right hand turn and up the hillside we went, pausing now and then to admire the view (code for catching our breath).
The silver leafed plants I know as Mulla Mullas, though which particular one I couldn’t say. There are also other forms shaped more like Christmas trees. Nice 🙂
This colourful plant is the Native Hop Bush. I can remember seeing whole hillsides ablaze with these plants catching the afternoon sun, when I lived in this region years ago.
As we neared the summit, the vegetation changed again, to small gum trees.
Soon we reached the summit, and more views.
On the way down, going carefully because of the loose rocks, I was constantly stopping to admire the colours of them. Nothing boring about rocks to me.
Nor to the many geologists from all over the world who come to study this ancient landscape.
Then after more than 5kms, we reached the bottom of the gorge again, and the cooling water which Fred really enjoyed.
I found the walk to be really enjoyable for several reasons. Out walking with my buddy boy Fred 🙂 , being in the great outdoors in nice weather, and finding my old favourite plants again. Long time ago, I lived and walked and rode my horse in the Australian bush, and these plants became my friends and each season I’d look forward to their blooms once more. Now that I’m back in the Flinders Ranges, I’m remembering all manner of things, from the birds to the plants, to the people. It does feel like coming home………