Going Remote Outback Without Doing the Long Miles - Mt Ive Station & The Gawler Ranges | South Australia
If you are looking for a remote outback getaway, yet don't want to drive thousands of kilometres that take up days to travel, then Mt ive Station and the Gawler Ranges is a must consideration. Especially if you live in South Australia.
This working Sheep station property is situated on the Eyre Peninsula, about 500 kilometers west of Adelaide, and covers an area of approximately 280,000 acres (113,312 hectares). Easy five hour drive with only a quarter of the way being on gravel tracks.
Travelling from Adelaide, it is shorter to take the 130km gravel track from the town of Iron Knob. The road is usually well graded. Corrugations can be a nuisance, so best to air down your tyre pressures. Both 4x4 and 4x2 vehicles can do this track. However, some tracks within and around the property are strictly 4x4 only.
These being outback roads, road conditions can vary and even road closures are a possibility due to various reasons. So best to check before leaving home by either contacting the station or through the government web site.
If you are planning on camping, collect firewood along the way as the station does not sell wood.
Once you get onto the gravel track mobile phone reception is none existent. In an emergency, you can contact the station using the UHF repeater/duplex station on channel 7.
As you approach the turn off to the station from the Eastern side, you are greeted by a submarine coming out of the ground. Literally! Sure makes for an interesting sight in the middle of a sea of red soil. How did this get here you ask. Well from what I was told, this is not an actual sub. Rather the creation of a very talented individual. Who this person might be, I have no idea. But sure was a great idea.
The station has a rich history dating back to the early 1800s when the land was first settled by European pastoralists. Today, the station remains an active sheep grazing property, with the current owners working to balance sustainable land management practices with the needs of the farming operation.
One of the unique features of Mount Ive Station is its natural beauty. The station is located in a region of South Australia known for its pipe like rock formations dating back over a billion years, and vast expanses of bushland. The property is home to a diverse range of native flora and fauna, including kangaroos, emus, and a variety of bird species.
In addition to its natural beauty, Mount Ive Station also has a number of interesting historical and cultural attractions. One of the most notable is the Mount Ive Homestead, which was built in 1854 and still stands today. The homestead is a fascinating example of early colonial architecture and provides a glimpse into the lives of the first European settlers in the area. Accommodation in rooms within this homestead can be arranged. Might be something to consider if you like the experience.
The station has an air field and for those who fancy a game of golf in the middle of the outback, they got that covered too. Just don't expect any green fairways. More like, red fairways. Both petrol and diesel supplies is available, however best to check beforehand just in case.
For visitors to the region, Mount Ive Station offers a range of accommodation options, including camping and self-contained cabins. Powered and unpowered sites. A fully equipped communal kitchen and hot water ablutions are part of the service on offer.
There are a variety of outdoor activities to enjoy, including hiking, fishing, birdwatching and 4x4 as well as 4x2 tracks. Access permits to the many attractions on the property can be purchased from the station reception office for a small fee. A very useful map with all the local attractions is available from the reception office.
One such attraction is Lake Gairdner which is a mere few kilometres drive from the station. This is a must visit. This vast white salt lake surrounded by red and orange landscape offers contrastingly beautiful views. A visit to the lake during Sun rise and Sun set is highly recommended. In our case we spent an entire day walking on the salt pans. If you are a petrol head, then if you get your timings right you get the opportunity to see salt lake racing, where enthusiasts and professionals come from all over Australia each year to drive on the salt flats at high speeds. Some setting land speed records. Be mindful, if you are planning a trip to the station during the races accommodation gets taken up very quickly by spectators and participants. Having said this, if you want the quiet experience, avoid the racing all together.
The station offers a number of 4x4 and 4x2 tracks. These tracks meander through some of the hills within the property. once you get to the top the views are breathtaking. Go prepared with a picnic basket to spend some time. You will not regret it.
The giant Wombat holes is another must see attraction within the property. The sheer size of the holes created by these creatures from the past and present will leave you amazed.
Whilst you are in the area, take a drive to see the Organ Pipes, an impressive rock formation located within the Gawler Ranges National Park, which is a 100km drive from Mount Ive Station. The formation is made up of volcanic rock columns that resemble the pipes of a grand pipe organ, hence its name.
The Organ Pipes were formed around 1.5 billion years ago during a volcanic eruption that caused lava to flow into a river. As the lava cooled and solidified, it formed hexagonal columns that, over time, weathered into the unique shapes that we see today. The columns are made up of basalt, a type of volcanic rock that is rich in iron and magnesium.
Visitors to the Organ Pipes can take a short walk along a well-marked trail to reach the formation, which is located on a hill overlooking the surrounding countryside. The Organ Pipes are an impressive sight, with towering columns that rise up to 20 meters high and form intricate patterns and shapes.
However, if you don't want to make the drive to the national park, similar rock formations can be found within the station property. Perhaps a little less grandiose, yet still very impressive.
Whether you are interested in hiking, 4WD adventures, or simply taking in the stunning scenery, Mount Ive Station has something to offer for everyone. With its vast open spaces, clear skies, and pristine natural environment, a visit to Mount Ive Station is a chance to connect with the beauty and majesty of the Australian landscape
Need more information, please write to me. Happy to share our experiences.