Rawnsley Park Station
Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park, South Australia
Tucked away in a secluded spot with broad views over Wilpena Pound, Rawnsley Park Station is a paragon of sustainable tourism operations and the ideal base for exploring the ancient landscapes of Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park. The property, which today spans 29,000 acres, was settled by Europeans in 1851, one of the first pastoral leases in the Central Flinders Ranges. Over the decades, the land was used to raise crops and graze livestock. In 1968, the first tourist cabin was erected and sheep-shearing demonstrations began as an income supplement to the beleaguered wool production enterprise. Today, Rawnsley Park Station is owned and managed by fourth-generation Flinders Ranges residents, members of the Smith family, which has held the property since 1953. While tourism is now the main pursuit, the station still runs about 2,000 sheep.
We stay in luxury eco-villas with spacious living and dining areas, kitchens, separate bedrooms with over-bed skylights for a view of the stars, and luxurious bathrooms. Furnished in neutral tones and constructed with natural insulating features in mind, the villas also have reverse-cycle air conditioning to keep you comfortable. View the expanse of Wilpena Pound and the surrounding ranges from your private wraparound veranda. Holding advanced ECO certification from Ecotourism Australia for over 20 years, the villas are designed to complement the natural environment. They incorporate many sustainable design features such as rendered straw-bale walls that offer excellent insulation, polished timber floors over suspended concrete slabs, raked ceilings with natural exhaust venting at the apex, and overhanging eaves to shade walls.
When the weather is warm, enjoy the large swimming pool, which is open from October through April. Contemporary Australian cuisine is served at the Woolshed Restaurant, located in an authentic Australian woolshed. The ever-changing menu makes the best of local produce, including Rawnsley’s own lamb. Complement your meal with a choice from the wide range of Southern Flinders, Clare Valley and Barossa wines.
Committed to environmentally responsible and sustainable tourism, owners Tony and Julieanne Smith have entered into a Heritage Agreement with the South Australian Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources to protect the diverse vegetation of Rawnsley Bluff. Their substantial financial investment into the Rawnsley Park eco-villas over the past decade is further evidence of this commitment. As a guest, you’ll be gratified to learn about the extensive sustainable practices in place, including but not limited to the following:
• Recycling of plastic, glass and aluminum
• Removing lawns and replacing with native plants and mulching rockeries
• Use of timers and drippers to water gardens at night, particularly during summer
• Using food scraps from the restaurant to feed chickens
• Use of micro-fluorescent light globes
• Use of recycled timber and double-glazed windows
• Installation of a 9kW solar power generator for the eco-villas
• Replacing windmills with solar pumps, which are easier to maintain
• Climate Action Australia accreditation