Mount Remarkable National Park

Mount Remarkable National Park

Just a 3 hour 20 min drive north of Adelaide is Mount Remarkable National Park. Located in the Southern Flinders Ranges, Mt Remarkable National Park is within easier striking distance than Wilpena Pound, yet still offers breathtaking scenery and plenty to occupy the adventurous traveller. Being more southern, the landscape around Mt Remarkable is covered in an abundance of flora and fauna. There are also plenty of unique and interesting rock formations.

 

the view from sugar gum look out

The view from Sugar Gum Lookout

The natural beauty of the park provides some of South Australia’s best bushland experiences. The park offers a multitude of stony peaks carpeted with lush bush fauna. Also you’ll find breathtaking rocky chasms sitting in dense Australian bushland.

 

Alligator Gorge in Mount Remarkable National Park

The Narrows in Alligator Gorge

The park is home to a variety of plant and animal species in a beautiful display of biodiversity. Kangaroos, Rock Wallabies, Echidnas, Goannas and Emus to name a few. You’ll also find 117 species of native birds, such as Kookaburras, brightly coloured, variegated Wrens, Australian Ringneck Parrots and Wedge-Tailed Eagles.

As Mount Remarkable is a national park, no dogs are permitted (unless they are assistance dogs).

 

The Terraces in Alligator Gorge

The Terraces in Alligator Gorge

What to do In mt remarkable national park

Hikes

One of the biggest draws for Mt Remarkable National Park is it’s stunning natural beauty. The best way to experience this is through one of the many hiking trails that run through the park. One of the most photographed hikes in the park is Alligator Gorge. The somewhat misnamed Alligator Gorge (which is home to exactly 0 Alligators) takes you through a deep rocky crevice overflowing with bush flora. In the gorge itself you’ll see the layered stone terraces of the terrain and climb over rocks through “The Narrows”. You can choose to just see part of the gorge or complete the 4 hour circular route that will take you out of the gorge into a landscape flush with the many plants and animals that inhabit Mt Remarkable.

 

Alligator Gorge Mt Remarkable National Park

A tree stump in Alligator Gorge

For a longer, more challenging hike, you may want to check out the 18km Hidden Gorge Circuit. Hidden Gorge contains some breathtaking red cliffs, and includes an elevated lookout over Spencer Gulf. You’ll also find some narrow gorges to pass through and plenty of wildlife. If 18km seems to be too long of a hike for one day, you can stop overnight at the Hidden Gorge campsite.

 

Stone path in Mount Remarkable National Park

Stone steps on a hike in the park

The Mount Remarkable Summit Hike is accessible from the town of Melrose. It runs as a 15km loop and takes you to the very top of the mountain (which is just 5m shy of a kilometre high). Along the hike you may be able to spot the debris of a plane that crashed there in the 80s. This (at times) steep but rewarding hike provides you with plenty to look at.

 

Creek bed Mt Remarkable National Park

A creek bed in Mount Remarkable National Park

Easier Hikes in Mount Remarkable National Park

If huge treks aren’t your thing there are plenty of shorter, easier hikes, all over the park. For instance the Wirra Water Loop, The Baroota Hike, Davey’s Gully Hike and Sugar Gum Lookout Hike all which are accessible from the Mambray Creek Campground. On the other side of the park you’ll find some shorter hikes too, including the Monitor, Possum and Echidna hikes, as well as the Melrose Nature Hike (which is accessible from the town itself).

 

Mountain Biking

The extensive trail network throughout Mt Remarkable National Park offers a great deal to mountain bikers. There are a number of tracks that are open to bikes. You could bring your own bike or hire one from Over the Edge in Melrose. Spend the day exploring the park from a bike then head back into town for a bite to eat at their cafe.

 

The Baroota Ruins

To get in touch with the history of the area you can visit the Baroota Ruins, just near the melrose creek campsite. The old homestead was once the central point of 17,000 hectares of agricultural land, used mainly as a rough grazing area for livestock. It was occupied for only 12 years before the harsh climate made the land untenable.

 

Port Germein Foreshore Market

Just 15 minutes down the road is. Port Germein. On the 4th Sunday of every month the locals host a Foreshore Market Down by Australia’s largest wooden jetty. Port Germein is a quaint little seaside town and the market is a great place to pick up all kinds of things. Handcrafts, artwork, organic produce, local olive oil, honey, herbs and collectables are all on display. All this in front of the historic railway goods shed.

 

Where to stay in mount remarkable national park

 

Mambray Creek Campground

Mambray Creek Campground sits in the thick of the park just off of the Augusta Highway. The campsite offers some spectacular views of the surrounding hills. It also hosts the start of several walking trails making it a great spot for avid hikers to camp. Mambray Creek has great facilities, with cabins, powered and unpowered sites, clean hygienic toilet and shower blocks, baby change rooms as well as picnic and BBQ areas. There are cabins available for those who prefer not to sleep in a tent and don’t own a caravan. There are also communal fire places that are usable in season.

If you’re the type to enjoy a multi day hike, there are several camping sites throughout the park. However you will have to carry your own supplies.

 

Sunset in Mt Remarkable national Park

Sunset over a hill from the Mambray Creek Campgound

Baroota Ruins Campground

Nearby the Mambray Creek Campground is the Baroota Ruins Campground. Baroota Ruins has fewer amenities but makes up for it with more private campsites. If you have a caravan set up for free camping, Baroota Ruins is a great option. The campsite still has a water tap and toilet block but lacks the other amenities that Mambray has. However many of these are a not an issue if you have a caravan.

 

Melrose Caravan Park

On the other side of the park is Melrose Caravan Park in the town of Melrose. This caravan park has some great views, is close to town AND excitingly includes a bike track. Spots in the park come in both the powered and unpowered variety. The amenities include toilets, showers and laundry. There is a spacious BBQ area and camp kitchen with a central stovepipe fireplace. If you don’t have a caravan or camping gear you can hire out an air conditioned cabin.

 

Stony Creek Bush Camp Caravan Park

Just 3 Kilometres out of Wilmington on the North East side of the park, you’ll find the Stony Creek Bush Camp Caravan Park. This charming caravan park sits among the gum trees and offers all the essentials, like powered and unpowered sites, bathroom facilities, a large camp kitchen and fire pits. Stony Creek is a pet friendly caravan park so you’re welcome to bring the dog along. Another important aspect of Stony Creek is that they are a licensed venue. They offer liquor and a full commercial kitchen upon request as well as an event space making this a great spot for functions.

 

dirt road mount remarkable national park

A dirt road in Mt Remarkable National Park

 

Places to Eat Near Mount Remarkable

 

When you’re out camping nothing beats a meal cooked on the fire or even on the barbie. But sometimes you’ll want to eat out and enjoy some local produce. Fortunately there’s plenty to be found around Mt Remarkable.

Melrose

Pub Grub

For a great pub feed you’ll have a couple of options in Melrose. The first is Mount Remarkable Hotel Motel. This place doubles as a place to stay. The hotel features the usual suspects when it comes to pub food and offers up large schnitzels served with a generous amount of chips. Another option in the town of Melrose is the North Star Hotel which offers a beautiful old hotel setting and has a menu that focuses on showcasing the produce of the local region.

 

The North Star Hotel in Melrose – courtesy of denisbin

Cafes

There are a couple of options for cafes in Melrose. The Store 54 Cafe & Food Market offer a whole range of goods such as groceries, fuel, takeaway and dine-in meals. You can get  freshly baked Barossa bread and house baked sweets and buns. The stylish interior is a delightful place to enjoy a great coffee. In Melrose you’ll also find a cafe at Over The Edge Sports. The Over The Edge Cafe serves all day breakfast and lunch and offers delicious Guatemalan Blend Coffee, Organic Tea as well as Smoothies and Spiders for the traveller with a sweet tooth.

 

cooking on the campfire at mount remarkable

Steaks cooking in a fire pit

Easy Options From Mambray Creek

Now, if you’re camping in Mambray it can be a little bit of a drive to get around to Melrose. Fortunately there are several other options available.

If you’re staying in Mambray Creek and planning on seeing Alligator Gorge, the quickest way to get there takes you through the town of Wilmington. As such, it offers a few great options for food on the way back to camp. Wilmington is also only a 30m drive up the road from Mambray. In Wilmington some good options for lunch are Rustikate’s Feedlot, or the SJ and JA Wild General Store.

An option for dinner just 15 minutes down the Highway from Mambray Creek is the Port Germein Hotel. If you want some decent pub food you won’t go wrong with this place. If you happen to be around on the 4th Sunday of every month you can head down to the Foreshore Markets and pick up some fantastic baked goods!

 

Enjoy your stay at Mt Remarkable National Park

 

Whether you’re a caravanner or camper, you’ll find a spot for you in Mt Remarkable. There’s a wide range of things  to do that will cater to all from the most experienced bush walker to someone who just wants to spend some time among nature. No matter how you choose to spend your stay in and around one of South Australia’s most beautiful national parks, you’re guaranteed to have a good time.

Alligator Gorge

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