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Things to do at Hawker in the Flinders Ranges

Home > Adelaide > Escape the City | Family | Free | Fun for Children | Fun Things To Do
by Dave Walsh (subscribe)
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Published December 4th 2019
See the magic in the outback
Hawker, Flinders Ranges, South Australia, Things to Do, railway, sunset, photographer
Photographer at Sunset in the Flinders Ranges Near Hawker

The town of Hawker in South Australia's mid-north region was established in 1880 and named after a member of parliament. Until 1956 it was a thriving railway town on the historic but now abandoned Ghan railway line.

Today Hawker is a popular tourist stopover on the road between Adelaide and the Flinders Ranges. The town sits at the junction of roads from Port Augusta, Marree, Orroroo, Blinman and Wilpena Pound, which leaves travellers plenty of options for things to do

Hawker, Flinders Ranges, South Australia, Things to Do, railway, quandong bush, outback motel
Quandong Bush at Hawker Outback Motel

Staying in Hawker
There are a variety of places to stay overnight including hotel, motel, caravan park and camping accommodation. I stayed at the Outback Motel, where the room was clean, meals were good, and we found a quandong tree fruiting outside our room (perfectly timed for tasting).

Sadly there is no free wifi available at the Outback Motel. Mobile coverage is available for Telstra and Optus users, but sadly not for Vodafone users in remote South Australia.

Hawker, Flinders Ranges, South Australia, Things to Do, railway, hawker hotel
Have a Counter Meal at Hawker Hotel Motel

Hungry travellers can enjoy a meal at the Hawker Hotel, The Old Ghan Restaurant in the State heritage-listed former railway station, enjoy casual dining and great coffee at Flinders Food Co, or stock up at the general store or Hawker Motors (don't miss its museum).

Hawker, Flinders Ranges, South Australia, Things to Do, railway, old ghan restaurant, railway station, heritage listed
Old Ghan Restaurant in Heritage Listed Hawker Railway Station

Around Hawker
For a small town, Hawker offers a lot of interesting things to see and do. After buying a drink I was keen to stretch my legs, and the Hawker Town Heritage Walk is the perfect way to see the sights. Grab the map from Hawker Motors, and check out thirty things to see on an easy walk: a pug and pine cottage, Vatican House, the 1882 Hawker Hotel, or head to the State heritage railway precinct and imagine the old steam engines puffing and whistling past the former Hawker railway station and refilling at the huge old water tank.

Hawker, Flinders Ranges, South Australia, Things to Do, railway, wilpena pound, panorama, jeff morgan gallery
Flinders Ranges Wilpena Pound Panorama at Jeff Morgan Gallery

You must visit the Jeff Morgan Gallery in Hawker, it's an experience that's far more than just an art gallery. See the stunningly realistic panoramas and murals of the Flinders Ranges, admire the colourful gems and rocks from the area, but give yourself plenty of time to see it all

The countryside around Hawker is rugged and unforgiving, but see it at sunset and you will enjoy a beautiful range of colours as the distant hills turn blue, gold and even a rich shade of purple. Keep a watchful eye for wildlife too, as they emerge to feed and drink in the cool of the day.

Hawker, Flinders Ranges, South Australia, Things to Do, railway, local wildlife, kookaburra
A Kookaburra, Part of the Local Wildlife

Things to Do and See Near Hawker
The tiny town of Cradock is just a short drive from Hawker on the Orroroo road and boast three beautiful stone buildings. Two of them are churches, the other is a friendly country pub - no prizes for guessing where to visit.

Hawker, Flinders Ranges, South Australia, Things to Do, railway, rock wallabies, brachina gorge
Rock Wallabies in Brachina Gorge

Anyone passing through Hawker in South Australia must visit Wilpena Pound and Brachina Gorge in the Flinders Ranges National Park. With amazing views and wonderful wildlife to see, it's best to allow plenty of time in the National Park.

There are many trails and walks near Hawker, with the best known being the Heysen Trail and the Mawson Trail while you can find ancient Aboriginal rock engravings on Walking SA's Sacred Canyon Walk.

For other ideas of trails to visit and things to do, download the Bushwalking in Flinders Ranges National Park guide.

Hawker, Flinders Ranges, South Australia, Things to Do, railway, prairie hotel, parachilna, railway station
Parachilna Railway Station and Prairie Hotel

An hour's drive north of Hawker you'll find Parachilna and the iconic Prairie Hotel - a welcome landmark for outback travellers. The nearby Parachilna railway station once connected to the original Ghan railway line, but the precinct is now home to art installations including the Parachilna Stockman.

If you're heading south, take a look at these things to do in Quorn and on the way to Adelaide.

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Why? Hawker is the gateway to the Flinders Ranges in South Australia
When: Anytime
Where: Hawker, SA
Cost: Free
Your Comment
Excellent round up, Dave.
The Flinders Ranges are so beautiful at sunset.
by Michael Genrich (score: 3|1852) 899 days ago
What a great article! I love the Flinders so much and can't wait for a return visit. Thanks so much for the share links too! Most appreciated :)
by Paula McManus (score: 3|3782) 901 days ago
I would love to go to the Flinders Ranges and Hawker sonds like a can't be missed stopover.
by Gayle Beveridge (score: 3|9626) 876 days ago
ROAD TRIP! Awesome article and photos.
by SocialHummingBird (score: 3|1449) 876 days ago
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