Willow Springs Skytrek

Where: Willow Springs Station, Flinders Ranges, South Australia
Permits: None
Costs: $25 per night camping, $60 to drive the Skytrek track
Difficulty: Rated as moderate to difficult and they do ask you have four wheel drive experience. If you are an experienced 4WDer this is easy to moderate.
Days required to do it justice: 1day (you can’t camp on the track. The drive took us 7 hours).

The Flinders Ranges is sheep station country surrounded by stunning mountainous scenery. After a downturn in the price of wool a few years ago farmers in the area started getting creative with ways to make a few pennies. Willow Springs Station turned to tourism and set up ‘Skytrek’, a four wheel drive track which meanders through the stunning Flinders Ranges scenery while at the same time providing a little bit of a driving challenge. We decided to give the track a go after reading articles about it in two four wheel drive mags on the same day.

Wheels aloft on the Skytrek at Willow Springs

Wheels aloft on the Skytrek at Willow Springs

The beauty about stations like this are that they’ve thought about the kind of people they want to attract. Willow Springs have set up some great, private bush camping sites, built a good camp kitchen as a place to socialise and provided basic but welcome hot showers and toilets. All of this is set up reasonably close to the main station yards so if you’re lucky you’ll also get to see some sheep shearing or mustering during your stay. ‘Skytrek’ is 79.1km long and a gate key has to be picked up from the owners before you head out. Some may baulk at the rules and instructions involved in this drive but in this day and age of health and safety  these guys have been forced to cross every ‘t’ and dot every ‘i’. The bonus is they send you out with a well printed step by step description of what you’ll find along the way and how their sheep station operates which is all very useful and well thought out info.

The locals at Willow Springs

The locals at Willow Springs

Along the way we passed old shearing sheds, ancient rock art, an old shepherd’s hut, saw a plethora of wildlife (kangaroos, emus, rock wallabies, snakes…) and some stunning views once we hit the tops of the hills. The driving itself was fairly easy and the difficult parts had been made so by drivers who don’t know how to operate a 4WD in low range = a lot of ruts on the steep hills and a fair bit of bulldust. All in all though we found this a great way to see the Flinders Ranges away from the Wilpena Pound crowds…..but if it rains Skytrek will be one hell of a good fun 4WD track!

Stunning views on Skytrek

Stunning views on Skytrek

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