Quorn is the gateway to the southern Flinders Ranges. The post describes five walks from Quorn, Dutchman’s Stern, Devil’s Peak, Warren Gorge, Mount Brown and Alligator Gorge.
Quorn gets its name from an English village in Leicestershire.
The town was initially planned for grain growing. First colonists crops suffered from draughts.
Failing as a grain growing town and with discovery of copper further north, Quorn became a railway town.
Pichi Richi railway line opened in 1879 and run from Port Augusta to Quorn. The railway has been extended to Alice Spring in 1929 and became known as Central Australia Railway.
This was a 1241 km narrow gauge railway and the first train had 12 carriages and 60 first class and 60 second class passengers.
The service was prone to delays, caused by flash floods, damage to bridges or of the railway from the rain. The railway became less profitable and was closed in 1980.
The southern part of the line, between Port Augusta and Quorn was preserved by volunteers and is known now as Pichi Richi Tourist Railway. A journey on the Pichi Richi railway starts at Quorn Railway station every Saturday from Easter to the end of October.
Quorn is a great place to visit. The town remains with old pub, stone built mill, bakery and Pichi Richi railway.
Walking Trails from Quorn
Warren Gorge is a loop walk that takes you along the gorge, campground and Smoke-Oh Lookout. It is a beautiful walk to stretch your legs.
The walk is 5 km long and takes 2 hours.
You walk through the creek, flanked by majestic River Red gums, through rockery ground and on the ridge that offers great views.
The beautiful colored rocks capture the sunlight in the evening, creating a vibrant landscape.
The trail is marked with white circles on the trees.
Warren Gorge is 21 km from Quorn on the Arden Vale Road. After 20 km turn left onto Warren Gorge Access.
There is a vehicle entry of 5 dollars.
The walk starts at the carpark. From the trail head, first walk over the paddocks and then follow the Dutchman’s Stern Hike which is a 10.6 km circuit. Total ascent is 416 meters and takes about 5 hours.
The trail meets Heysen trail at check points 4 and 2. Ensure that you stay on the Dutchman’s Stern Hike trail.
The summit offers spectacular views over the Spencer Golf and surrounding ranges.
At the Dutchman’s Stern you notice 2 types of rocks displayed, the ridge with hard rock ABC range quartzite and softer Branchina siltstone on lower slopes.
In spring you will find along the way, lots of wild flowers, orchids, Sun orchids , native bush daisies, Garland Lily, Sugar gums, Golden wattle. Walking on the trail, you can see Kangaroos, birds, lizards, goats.
You need to drive out of Quorn on the Arden Vale Road for 6.7 km. At the Dutchman’s Stern sign post, turn left and continue for 3km to car park. The trailhead is there.
Devil’s Peak is 697 meters high. The ancient rock is formed of pound of quartzite, approximate 700 million years ago.
The name was given to the Peak, as seen from Quorn it resembles the face of the Devil lying on back, looking towards the heaven.
The walk is 1.3 km long one way and takes 2 hours return. The trail gets steeper as you approach the peak and requires some rock scrambling.
There are 2 lookouts, one “nerve point” and the other on the left. Your efforts will be rewarded with a perfect panorama, 360 degrees view over the Flinders Ranges. From the summit you will see, Mount Brown towards south-east. North in view are Elder Ranges and Wilpena pound and west Richi Pichi ghost town.
The colors of the Devil’s Peak and surrounding views at sunrise are of spellbound beauty, with hues of yellows, red sky, oranges, gold rocks and purple and green ranges.
What a wonderful and privileged experience.
From corner West and South Terrace Quorn, drive on Richmans Valley Road for 2,7 km. Then, turn right on the dirt road heading South which ends in the car park after 6.1 km.
Robert Brown, naturalist aboard Matthew Flinders’ Investigator led a party of 3 and summit Mount Brown on 10th March 1802.
Mount Brown summit hike
The walk starts at Olive Grove Trailhead. The walk was done clockwise and took 5 hours with a total distance of 15.5 km. Total ascent was 614 meters.
From Olive Grove Trailhead follow Mount Brown Summit hike which is well marked with yellow signs and checkpoints.
From checkpoint 1 near the Waukerie Falls start a gentle climb to reach checkpoint 6, ridge junction with great views over Willochra Plain. Continue on marked trail. At checkpoint 4 take the spur track to Mount Brown summit, which is 2 km return.
Mount Brown summit checkpoint 5, has a lookout erected in the honor of Robert Brown. The views from the summit are towards Mount Remarkable, Devil’s Peak, Dutchman’s Stern, and Horseshoe Range.
On the summit there is a solar powered radio station and a trigonometrical station.
Return to Checkpoint 4 and follow Heysen trail to return to the car park.
Mount Brown is 14 km south of Quorn. At the Quorn Mill follow the signs to Richmond Valley and Waukarie Falls.
On the way back to Adelaide is worth a visit to Alligator Gorge in Mount Remarkable Conservation park, a place of stunning beauty.
From car park, you walk on Alligator Gorge Road, turning left on Ring Route. You need to turn right on Alligator Gorge Trail.
Follow the creek which twists its way in the gorge.
The reddish brown quartzite walls, contrast with the green native pines and the gums.
Continue on the Terraces, which are platforms series of seabed. You can see ripples on the rock, 600 millions old in the shallow basin.
Leave the Terraces trail and continue on the Narrow Gorge trail to exit to the car park.
You can see Rock wallabies, grey kangaroos, Euros and numerous orchids in spring. The rare Peregrine Falcon has his home in the area.
From Quorn drive towards Wilmington on Horrocks Highway/ Main North Road, turning on Alligator Gorge Road. Follow Alligator Gorge Road to the car park.
Other resource for information on walking trails in this region are : https://www.walkingsa.org.au/
For other walks in Flinders Ranges check out my posts: