As you travel along the winding gravel road through the Gawler Ranges, it is difficult to comprehend that these gentle and peaceful hills were the result of powerful volcanic activity millions of years ago.
The ranges themselves have much to offer the visitor, whether it be for an extended camping trip or a pleasant one-day excursion to enjoy and picnic and observe the geological formations. The ranges are a spectacular wilderness area of unspoiled beauty.
Vast domes of volcanic rock display a vivid array of colour against the pure white of the many salt lakes in the area, including Lake Gairdner. The ranges are renowned for their display of wildflowers in the spring. The first recorded sighting of South Australia's floral emblem - Sturt's Desert Pea was made here in 1839 by Edward John Eyre during an early exploration of the region.
Accommodation and visitor facilities in the Gawler Ranges are provided at Mt. Ive Station. Here visitors may experience the peaceful tranquillity and explore the area's unique geology, birdlife and vegetation with expert guidance from the station's owners.
Perhaps the best way of seeing the Gawler Ranges at "close quarters", is by taking a guided 4WD tour.
The Gawler Ranges and Gawler Ranges National Park is a wilderness area of considerable beauty and the need for tourists to take great care of this unique environment is vital. The park is surrounded by pastoral lease land.
Permission is required from station managers to camp or access this land.
We ask that you respect the rights, the property and the privacy of the pastoralists in the area. Stay on public roads wherever possible (graded roads only not station tracks).
Camping, hiking or touring on station properties only with permission.
No camping within 1km of any building or within half kilometre of watering points (dams, tanks and troughs). No camping on roadside.
Access to Lake Gairdner via key - map and permit available from Mt Ive Tourist Centre.
Do not bury rubbish - take it home with you. If possible - bring your own firewood.
There are some 140 species of birds recorded in the Gawler Ranges, including the Emu, Wedge-tailed Eagle, Major Mitchell Cockatoo, Flycatchers, White Winged Choughs, Fairy Wrens, Rainbow Bee Eater, Singing Honey Eater, Blue Bonnets, Scarlet Breasted and Ringneck parrots, Cockatiels and Budgerigars. Also found in the ranges are the Red and Western Grey kangaroo, Euro, Southern Hairy-Nosed wombat, Pygmy possums, Hopping mice and Yellow Footed Rock Wallaby.