Exploring the Southern Flinders Ranges…..Kanyaka Ruins

4 May

A window view of the area around Kanyaka Ruins

Dear Reader:

There are patches of low scrub and gravelly, ochre shaded soil on either side of the dirt road leading to the ruins. We are not expecting to see much wildlife on this exposed track. A pair of adult Emus surprise us as they dash across the road and I have just enough time to grab the camera from the console and fire off a few frames.

Driving into Kanyaka Ruins

Pair of Emus

We are driving along the entrance track to Kanyaka Ruins between Quorn and Hawker in South Australia’s Southern Flinders Ranges. This area is the ancestral home to the Barngarrla people. Kanyaka (most likely meaning ‘place of stone’) was originally established as a cattle station in 1852 by Hugh Proby who tragically died in the flash flooding of the nearby Willochra Creek. At its height, under later ownership, Kanyaka housed up to 70 families and ran sheep rather than cattle.

Ringneck Parrots

We have timed our arrival for mid-afternoon in order to have lunch at the ruins, explore the area then search for wildlife in the cooler hours before sunset. Our planning is rewarded as a small flock of Ring-neck Parrots settle a few hundred metres away amongst some wild grasses. With the parrots intent on their feeding, I am able to get close enough for an acceptable shot.

Apostle Birds

Nearby in the shade of a eucalyptus grove, I spot a pair of medium sized grey and brown birds fossicking amongst the leaf litter. On closer examination, I recognise them as Apostle Birds; a species I have never encountered around the Adelaide area where I live.

Small mob of Western Grey Kangaroos near the highway

With the sun getting lower in the sky it is time to leave in order to reach Hawker before dusk. Driving at night or in low light conditions is a recipe for disaster around the Flinders. With so many kangaroos in the area it is easy to have a collision, which can be devastating for both wildlife and driver alike. As if to emphasise the point, we pass a small mob of Western Grey Kangaroos, some with joeys in the pouch, feeding ­close to the highway.

Yellow-footed Rock Wallaby on steep hillside

After resting overnight in Hawker we will head into the heart of the Ranges and search for Yellow-footed Rock Wallabies in the steep gorges. However, that is a story for another time.



Additional notes

This is a long drive from Adelaide but easy walking and quite suitable for families and seniors 

Please pass on this blog title and or contact information (URL) to any person or organisation with an interest in taking walks and enjoying wildlife in SA.

Click on the links below to see more South Australian stories and pictures in my Weekend Notes articles as well as locating similar blogs on Feedspot’s top 20 Australian wildlife blogs.




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