One of the main features of Australia that makes the country so special is that you can find your own totally private corner virtually anywhere in the country. Even in Sydney and Melbourne, if you want to get away from it there are vast national parks knocking on the door, only a short drive or train ride away. The smaller cities of Adelaide, Perth and Brisbane are even easier to escape from, and particularly in Adelaide and Perth’s case, total wilderness is literally a stones throw away.
Take for example the Blue Mountains National Park and the Wollemi National Park in New South Ways. These two parks surround the north and south of the west of Sydney, split by the tourist run out of Sydney up to Blackheath following the railway line.
Whilst the tourist towns out of the Sydney are quaint, it’s the total wilderness either side that offers the most interest. And it’s less than and hours drive from the centre of the largest city in Australia.
The Wollemi in particular is an incredible remote place, with very few roads running into it, and at nearly 5000 square kilometres it’s a quarter of the size of Wales in the United Kingdom. This for a place with a population you can probably count on two hands.
The Wollemi is home to a massive diversity of mammal, reptile, bird and plant life. With 46 mammals recorded and well over 200 species of birds, and over 50 different species of reptile. To go with this a vast diversity of plant life, including the Wollemi pine, which was thought to be extinct some 30 million years ago but was found in a few areas of the Wollemi in 1994.
Moving into South Australia, if you’re thinking about escaping from Adelaide, it’s not far to the wild, although the climate and landscape is very different to the Blue Mountains as south Australia really feels the force of the rain shadow that is the great dividing range. 200kms north is the Flinders Ranges, South Australia’s larges mountain range with peaks running up to 1170m (st Mark Peak) and stretching almost 450kms. The landscape has been carved by over 550 million years worth of weather and it really feels it when you’re there in the silence of it.
The ranges contain a number of National Parks including the Flinders Ranges National, the Vulkathunha-Gammon Ranges National Park and Mount Remarkable National Park, with the region home to a wide range of flaura and fauna, including some rare species such as the yellow footed rock wallaby, and even a endemic species of frog, the streambank froglet.
If you’re fed up with the wilderness and need a bit of modern inventions then in the north of the ranges is the Pichi Richi Railway is a nice diversion, running between port Augusta and Quorn.
Very simply no matter where you are in Australia, very quickly you can find the wild, be it in amongst some of the glorious city parks, or out in the wilds of the this vast continent, your never far from some peace and quiet.