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December 125 minute read

Willow Springs Station in South Australia’s Flinders Ranges is home to the self-guided off-road track, Skytrek.

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While the track around Skytrek isn’t extremely challenging, there are steep climbs and descents and some tricky bits. You’ll need a vehicle with low range, and some off-roading experience to enjoy the drive.

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Skytrek loops out into the heart of the property and the vast Flinders Ranges. The ridgelines genuinely are breathtaking, it was hard to concentrate on driving with the constant distraction of the landscape.

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It’s a varied landscape too, with wooded valleys around one bend, followed by slipping scree slopes around the next.

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Skytrek is a well-managed, one-way track, with a limited number of vehicles permitted each day. While there were plenty of travellers out on the day we drove it, we only encountered two other groups.

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Willow Springs Station issues each vehicle with a map and track notes. The track notes really added value to the trip for us. They highlighted a variety of trees, aboriginal Petro-glyphs, dingo traps, lookouts and Old Moxans’ Hut.

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On the top of Vambata Hill, with a second map, we could quickly identify the surrounding peaks, ranges and landmarks.

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It’s a big day out, and travellers aren’t permitted to start after 10.30 am. It’s worth starting early, though, and enjoying the drive and the sights along the way.

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While the nearby Flinders National Park is spectacular and worth visiting, it’s busier, the tracks are more road-like, and it feels less wild.

Willow Springs Station is a working sheep station and stunning property, and as travellers, we are extremely fortunate to be permitted to explore it. They also offer accommodation and camping.

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While the experience is worth it in itself, with the drought, and now fires, visiting rural tourism operations like this is an incredibly powerful way of supporting our farming community.

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Mike Collister has spent his life outdoors. He has represented Australia as a slalom kayaker, guided whitewater expeditions in Nepal, and taught outdoor education and wilderness medicine. He’s paddled the Kimberley’s Fitzroy River in the wet season and across the Bass Strait and is an avid photographer, overlander and camper.