The Dreaming | Camping at Mount Chambers Gorge
We hope you enjoy this write-up by Ricko from Australia ReDiscovered. Ricko has a huge passion for the country, and stories of Australian history came to be, and hopes he inspires Aussies to go out …
We hope you enjoy this write-up by Ricko from Australia ReDiscovered. Ricko has a huge passion for the country, and stories of Australian history came to be, and hopes he inspires Aussies to go out on an adventure and rediscover some great Australian history – whatever form it comes in.
The indigenous spirit is alive and well in Northern Flinders Ranges
In my job, I am fortunate enough to camp in some pretty special places. But when I think of places steeped in Indigenous culture, the campgrounds at Mount Chambers Gorge in the northern Flinders region of South Australia are always near the top of my list.
The campgrounds alone are spectacle enough, particularly the drive in through the usually dry creek bed. However, once you make into the open gorge you are greeted with a rusty red rock backdrop, level ground and huge shady eucalypts that have no doubt seen countless corroborees, campfires and explorers over the centuries. It is truly breathtaking, especially around sunset.
Mount Chambers Gorge is around 60km northeast of the town of Blinman and 80 km south of Arkaroola Village. The track in can be a bit rough at times, so you’ll need a 4WD to safely access its unmatched beauty. If towing, a caravan or camper trailer designed for off-road use is necessary. Whatever vehicle you take, you’ll want to make sure its insurance covers you this far off the beaten track just in case something goes wrong in this very remote region of outback South Australia. Once there, you will find little in the way of facilities (and by little, we mean nothing), so you will need to be prepared to be entirely self-sufficient, and of course, leave nothing but footprints behind.
For those wishing to experience everything the gorge has to offer, you had better pack your walking boots! A walk down the gorge will lead you to a smaller offshoot to the west, where those with the patience to search will find a special little valley that is loaded with incredible indigenous etchings that are said to date back over 40,000 years! The simple shapes and lines in each etching depict things like traditional initiation ceremonies, animals and campsites, and were seen as a form of communication for the nomadic Adnyamathanha people who called the region home.
If you’re like me and appreciate the more recent history of the area, you’d be interested to learn that Captain Frome was the first European to see the area in 1843 (after whom Lake Frome is named). However, it was the intrepid Scotsman, John McDoull Stuart, who gave the place its name of Mount Chambers Gorge, naming it after his financial backers, the Chambers brothers. Stuart of course was the man who ventured from south to the north of the continent, and lived to tell the tale, unlike his contemporaries, Burke and Wills, with whom he was racing to be the first to complete the journey. Burke and Wills may have beaten old Stuart, but Stuart lived to tell the tale.
Best of all however, is that the campsites at Chamber Gorge are free, for all to enjoy, and in fact it is one of just a handful of free campsites in the Flinders Ranges!
Useful Information For The Area:
- Great walking tracks and incredible indigenous history
- 4X4 access pnly
- No facilities – be prepared and fully self sufficient
- No phone service
- No water available