Flinders Ranges, South Australia

Brachina Gorge

Brachina Gorge, Flinders Ranges

When talking about Australian landscape, mountain ranges are not an obvious topic of conversation. Australia is generally quite a flat continent, with the average range of elevation of only 330 meters, which is probably one of the lowest in the world. This is because Australia is the world’s oldest continent and its mountain ranges withstood millions of years of geological upheavals and weather erosion.

Flinders Ranges is the largest mountain range in South Australia and one of the oldest environments on the planet. The oldest evidence for animal life on earth was found fossilised here, suggesting that animals may have been present on earth at least 70 million years earlier than previously thought. A new geological period, the Ediacaran (635-542Mya) was established to mark the appearance of these strange primitive sponge life forms.

Baneroo lookout

Baneroo lookout

In the present day, this 635 million years old landscape is made up of rugged cliffs, spectacular gorges and stony creeks.  It is home to a wide array of wildlife species, most notably the endangered Yellow-footed Rock Wallaby. 

Arguably Australia’s most handsome macropod this species is superbly adapted for the rocky environment of the Flinders Rangers. Apart from their amazing agility, they are equipped with a rusty-grey coat that makes them almost invisible amongst the rocks. However, as adapted as they are, they still suffer from intense competition with feral goats for food and water.

Yellow-footed Rock-wallaby

Yellow-footed Rock-wallaby

Yellow-footed rock wallaby

Yellow-footed rock wallaby

Wallaby habitat

Wallaby habitat

Yellow-footed rock wallaby ragged habitat

Yellow-footed rock wallaby ragged habitat

Dry creek bed at the bottom of a gorge

Dry creek bed at the bottom of a gorge

Wallaby habitat

Wallaby habitat

Snack time

Snack time

The establishment of permanent waterholes for domestic stock led to an increase in other large macropods such as Red Kangaroo, Western Grey Kangaroo and Euro .

Euro

Euro

A good place to see some of Flinders Ranges’ wildlife is the environs of Wilpena Pound campground. One of the most characteristic landmarks in Flinders Ranges, Wilpena Pound is a large natural amphitheatre that covers nearly 80 km². The campground nearby is the perfect base for exploring the area.

Western Grey Kangaroo

Western Grey Kangaroo

Western Grey Kangaroo

Western Grey Kangaroo keeping cool on a hot day

Euro

Euro

Mallee Ringneck

Mallee Ringneck at the campground

Mallee Ringneck

Mallee Ringneck

Mallee Ringneck

Mallee Ringneck

Apostlebird

Apostlebird at the campground

Brown falcon

Brown falcon

Male Peninsula dragon

Male Peninsula dragon at Wilpena Pound

Perfectly camouflaged female Peninsula dragon

Perfectly camouflaged female Peninsula dragon

Red kangaroos

Red kangaroos

Rain over the mountains

Rain over the mountains

Fire in the sky

Fire in the sky

Sunset

Sunset

Sunset

Sunset

 

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2 Comments

  1. Ian C Whitworth November 30, 2012 at 6:45 pm #

    Great blog and images to help us learn about the Yellow-footed rock wallaby in Australia, beautiful creature.

    • admin December 1, 2012 at 3:14 am #

      Thank you Ian. This wallaby is one of my favourite Australian mammals. And to see them navigate the steep cliffs at high speed is an amazing experience.

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