Wilpena Pound and Saint Mary Peak Circuit

6 h 30 min to 10 h

19.7 km
circuit

↑ 804 m
↓ -804 m

Very challenging
Starting near the Wilpena Pound Resort at the end of Wilpena Road, Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park, this circuit walk takes you to the summit of Saint Mary Peak via the Outside, Inside and Pound Gap tracks. From the summit, walkers are rewarded with outstanding panoramic views of the Flinders Ranges, Aroona Valley, and the salt plains to the west. Wilpena Pound has a wide variety of flora and fauna. The pound is home to Sturt's desert pea, river gums, mallee, acacia and casuarinas. This hike offers a challenge for enthusiastic bushwalkers with steep climbs and rugged terrain. The directions are often marked in very subtle hard-to-spot ways, such as faded arrows scratched into the rocks. The last kilometres to the peak involve a lot of rock scrambling, but the view makes the effort worthwhile. Let us begin by acknowledging the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we travel today, and pay our respects to their Elders past and present.
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Warning
This journey requires significant bushwalking experience, specialised equipment and navigation skills.
Please ensure you and your group well prepared and equiped for this journey.

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Safer Bushwalks
Tips on staying safe on track
Before you start any bushwalk ensure you;
• Tell someone you trust where you are going and what to do if you are overdue
• Have adequate equipment, supplies, skills & knowledge for the whole journey
• Consider the impact of weather forecasts, park/track closures & fire dangers
• Can respond to emergencies & call for help at any point
• Are healthy and fit enough for this journey
If not, change plans and stay safe. It is okay to delay and ask people for help.
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Getting There
Transport options and directions
Start (-31.5270841,138.6056354)
Mode Car
DirectionsFrom Augusta Highway, A1
  • Turn on to Range View Road, B83 then drive for 33.1 km
  • Turn left onto Railway Terrace, B83 and drive for another 66.4 km
  • Turn right onto Wilpena Road and drive for another 50.9 km
  • Turn left onto Wilpena Road and drive for another 3.8 km
  • Keep left onto Wilpena Pound Road and drive for another 10 m
  • Keep right and drive for another 205 m
  • Turn right and drive for another 45 m
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Track Notes
Turn by turn instructions & maps
Getting started
Start from the wooden trailhead signpost with a small desk embedded to it, next to Wilpena Pound Store and Café just off Hawker-Wilpena Road. Head towards the angled hip-height signpost passing by a metal pole with color-coded track signs on it along the dirt path, moving directly away from the store. Keep right and follow the dirt trail as you pass by the said angled signpost to your left. Cross the paved road using the crosswalk and keep going straight down the dirt track as it tightens after the road. Turn right as the track widens and comes to an intersection, passing by another color-coded metal pole to your left to continue along Wilpena Pound and Saint Mary Peak Circuit.....
Turn map Directions & comments
Start.
There is a toilet (about 75 m back from the start).
After another 135 m continue straight.
After another 205 m come to the "Wilpena Pound Campground" (25 m on your left).
Turn right.
After another 35 m cross the ford.
After another 25 m turn left.
After another 130 m (at the intersection of Outside Trail & Pound Gap Track) turn right, to head along Outside Trail (a walking track).
After another 600 m (at the intersection of Outside Trail & Heysen Trail) continue straight, to head along Outside Trail.
After another 4.5 km come to the "Tanderra Saddle" (40 m on your right).
At the intersection of Outside Trail & Inside Trail continue straight, to head along Outside Trail.
After another 390 m (at the intersection of Spur path to summit (Difficult) & Outside Trail) continue straight, to head along Spur path to summit (Difficult).
After another 680 m come to the "Saint Mary Peak".
After another 670 m (at the intersection of Outside Trail & Spur path to summit (Difficult)) continue straight, to head along Outside Trail.
After another 390 m (at the intersection of Inside Trail & Outside Trail) veer right, to head along Inside Trail.
After another 3.7 km (at the intersection of Mallonga Falls Hike & Inside Trail) continue straight, to head along Inside Trail.
After another 250 m come to the viewpoint (7 m on your left).
After another 4.4 km (at the intersection of Wilpena Pound Hiking Track & Bridle Gap Hike) continue straight, to head along Wilpena Pound Hiking Track.
After another 540 m (at the intersection of Wilpena Pound Hiking Track & Wangara Lookout Hike) turn sharp left, to head along Wangara Lookout Hike.
The starting point of an optional sidetrip. A recommended side trip to Wangara Lookout if you're still hungry for views. To start this optional side trip continue straight here. On returning from this side trip turn sharp right when you get back to this intersection. Details below.
After another 20 m turn sharp right.
After another 85 m pass the "Homestead" (on your left).
Then pass the "Homestead" (60 m on your left).
After another 95 m turn left, to head along Wilpena Pound Hiking Track.
After another 390 m cross the bridge (about 15 m long)
After another 225 m (at the intersection of Pound Gap Track & Top track) continue straight, to head along Pound Gap Track (a vehicle track).
After another 1.6 km (at the intersection of Mount Ohlssen Bagge Hike & Pound Gap Track) continue straight, to head along Pound Gap Track.
After another 340 m (at the intersection of Pound Gap Track & Outside Trail) continue straight.
After another 130 m turn right.
After another 60 m turn left.
After another 180 m continue straight.
After another 85 m come to the end.

A recommended side trip to Wangara Lookout if you're still hungry for views.
Turn map Directions & comments
Start heading along Wangara Lookout Hike.
After 210 m pass the "Homestead" (60 m on your right).
Continue straight, to head along Wangara Lookout Hike.
After another 20 m come to the "Lower Lookout" (30 m on your left).
Continue another 370 m to find Wangarra Lookout at the end.
"Wangarra Lookout".
Turn around and retrace your steps back the 580 m to the main route.
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Terrain
Know the Hills, grading & facilities

Wilpena Pound and Saint Mary Peak Circuit


Grading
Class 5/6
Very challenging
Length 19.7 km
Time 6 h 30 min to 10 h
Quality of track Rough track, where fallen trees and other obstacles are likely (4/6)
Gradient Very steep (4/6)
Signage Directional signs along the way (3/6)
Infrastructure No facilities provided (5/6)
Experience Required Moderate level of bushwalking experience recommended (4/6)
Weather Foretasted & unexpected storms and severe weather may impact on navigation and safety (4/6)

Some facilities on route
Camp site: There is one 295 m from the start.

Toilet: There are 2 on route, on average they are 6.6 km apart with the largest gap of 16.6 km.


Order of key facilities on route
ItemFrom StartName & link to notes
Toilet
-48 m[toilet]
Camp site
295 mWilpena Pound Campground
Toilet
16.6 kmHomestead
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