We had planned a third night at Aroona Ruins, but decided to head back to Wilpena for a crack at St Mary’s Peak. This decision was based on the weather forecast, which predicted a 10 degree drop in temperature. One minor hiccup was two near flat batteries in the truck, reasons unknown. I lugged the gel battery out of the caravan to dump enough charge into the car for a start when a friendly visitor came along. They were summarily flagged down and jumper leads attached. We were soon away and enjoying hot showers at Wilpena.
All smiles – at the start of the walk.
Next morning was cool and cloudy. Perfect for a walk. There is excellent signage and appropriate advice for walkers here, a better approach I think than the overly protective ‘mothering’ we saw at Uluru and Kata Tjuta.
Views of the Pound from the saddle.
Weary but still smiling.
The walk starts off gently, but as you ascend the outer pound wall, it quickly gets steep and requires good balance, especially for me as I ended up with three backpacks. The view from the summit of St Marys peak is a magnificent 360 degree panorama that takes in Wilpena Pound, the ABC ranges to the north and lets you see almost to the Spencer Gulf to the west. From the summit, we watched a monster storm engulf the northern ranges, so we ate a quick lunch and took our wobbly legs back down. Well worth the effort. K – despite Sam’s predictions that the return walk would be “utterly miserable” in the rain, we managed to scamper back in front of the rain, only ever putting up with a light sprinkle – very pleasant indeed.
Vital statistics from the walk.