Hawker is located approx. 360kms from Adelaide.
Hawker and the Hawker Visitor Information Centre, is located in the Central Flinders Ranges which is a leisurely 5 hour drive from Adelaide. There are 3 different touring routes to get to Hawker, you can choose a scenic drive or travel up Highway One, turning off at the Stirling North intersection, 5 kms before Port Augusta. You will then go through Stirling North, a lovely scenic drive through Pichi Richi Pass to Quorn and on to Hawker.
A typical outback town, Hawker is known as “The Hub of the Flinders Ranges,” being the junction of roads from Port Augusta, Orroroo, Leigh Creek to Marree and Wilpena to Blinman.
Hawker was proclaimed on 1 July 1880 and named after the Honourable George Charles Hawker, who was born in London in 1819. George Charles Hawker was a grazier and entered South Australian parliament in 1858. Today Hawker is a tourist orientated community which initially was known as a railway township as the Ghan Train passed through on its way North to Alice Springs.
- Hawker is an important tourist centre in the Flinders Ranges and provides all essential services visitors require, including a Visitor Information Centre.
- Hawker offers a great lifestyle, with sporting facilities, a hospital and doctor, a school, large town house blocks, the wide open spaces and desalinated water. Real estate is reasonably priced and this attracts people to the town.
- Hawker has much to offer film companies, being an ideal base for locations, office base and food and accommodation for the crew. Many Australian films have been made in the general area.
- Hawker is a great place to live.
Just 56 Kilometres North of Hawker is Wilpena Pound and the Wilpena Pound Tourist Resort. Between Hawker and Wilpena is Rawnsley Park Station which also offers a variety of accommodation and activities.
Is available from Hawker Motors at the corner of Cradock Road and Wilpena Road. This is the South Australian Accredited Hawker Visitor Information Centre, open 7 days a week except Christmas Day, offering local information, maps, Visitor Guides and operator brochures. Hawker is an excellent base for your Flinders Ranges holiday, from here you can explore the ranges, travelling through gorges and scenic drives, go four wheel driving on one of the self drive tracks, look at the scenery and the geology, bush walk, ride a bike or take some photos.
Include a hotel/motel, motel, caravan parks, holiday units including bed and breakfast accommodation and several nearby outback properties providing a variety of accommodation. The town has general stores, hospital, post office, art gallery, sealed airstrip, police station, doctor, hospital and service stations for fuel (including gas) and mechanical repairs. Meals are available at the hotel and cafe and takeaway food from various stores. Group bookings or functions can be catered for within Hawker. There are coin operated barbecues in the information bay area.
Points of Interest
Many enjoyable day trips can be made from Hawker to Quorn and Pichi Richi Pass, Wilpena Pound, Brachina, Bunyeroo and Parachilna Gorges, Parachilna, Blinman including the Blinman Mine Tour, Leigh Creek and Aroona Dam.
Yourambulla Caves, a few kilometres south of Hawker, have a number of Aboriginal paintings as well as a fine panoramic view for you to enjoy. This attraction is currently closed for maintenance. Contact the Hawker Visitor Information Centre for more information.
Wilpena Panorama and Jeff Morgan’s gallery is located on the corner of Wilpena and Cradock roads and is an attraction not to be missed in Hawker. The original paintings, the largest over 30 metres around and 4 metres high is truly amazing and the artist is on site.
A walking trail and scenic lookout has been established at Jarvis Hill which is 6.5 km south west of Hawker. The Lookout provides a spectacular panoramic view of Hawker and beyond.
The railway reached Hawker in 1880. A bullock Jinker, used to cart sleepers (cut locally) to the old line, is on display at the Outback Chapmanton Motel. The ruins of Hookina, 18km to the north, and the old railway bridge are remains of the era when wheat was grown in the area, as are the old pug and pine Willow Waters Homestead, 20km to the east. Wilson to the south and the historic Kanyaka Ruins are just off the main road to Quorn.
Items of Interest
The Railway Station Complex 1885, Hawker Hotel (formerly Royal Hotel) 1882, Sightseers Cafe 1880, Bush Pilots Office (former Post Office) 1882, Institute Building 1893.
Museums: Hawker Motors, corner Wilpena and Cradock Roads, have a display of fossils, minerals, artifacts and pioneer relics.
Walking Trails: An Historic walk of Hawker provides an insight into the towns early history. An informative booklet is available at Hawker Motors and numerically lists all the relevant buildings.
Recreation and Sport: Include a Swimming pool, tennis courts, oval, golf course and a synthetic bowling green which are all located at the Hawker Community Sports Complex.
Events: The Hawker Cup Carnival is held in May each year and is established as a Horse Race day not to be missed.
Tours: 4WD tours are available from Hawker. Tours are conducted through the Flinders Ranges National Park and on private properties. Further information is available from the Hawker Visitor Information Centre (situated within the Mogas Service Station)
The ruins are 18km North of Hawker on the Leigh Creek Road. First settled in 1863 as a stopover for the overland teams. Consisting mainly of a hotel, store and blacksmith shop, the town declined and the hotel closed in 1892. Wheat-farming was established in the area during the 1870’s.
Moralana Scenic Drive
42km north of Hawker on the Hawker to Leigh Creek Road, the Moralana Scenic Drive meanders its way through the spectacular landscape of river red gums following the southern wall of Wilpena Pound through to the Hawker to Wilpena Road. The drive is a must for all those who visit the Flinders and is best east to west in the morning and west to east in the afternoon. There are cueing yards on this drive and the signage gives information on its use.
2km before the Moralana Scenic Drive turnoff you will find on your left hand side (40kms from Hawker) a lookout commemorating the Surveyor William Evans who surveyed the area in 1895. This lookout is one of the best positions to take afternoon sunset shots of Wilpena Pound and is a photographers delight.
Brachina and Bunyeroo Gorge
A further 28km north on the Leigh Creek Road from the Moralana Scenic Drive intersection is the turnoff to the spectacular Brachina Gorge which is part of The Flinders Ranges National Parks “Corridor through Time” drive. The road proceeds through the gorge to the Wilpena to Blinman Road. There is a turnoff in Brachina Gorge into the Bunyeroo Gorge and another into Aroona Valley. Brachina Gorge is renowned for its geological features and the fossil beds. Books and informative brochures on this area are available from the Hawker Visitor Information Centre. The name Brachina is derived from the Aboriginal word ‘vachina’ meaning cranky and refers to a mythical argument between birds over a grind stone. It meanders through sharp sawtooth ridges of resistant quartzite and limestone. This gorge was used as a pass through for bullock teams and is now a favourite picnic and camping area and is the home of the Yellow Footed Rock Wallaby. There are many interpretive signs explaining the age and the significant points of interest. The Flinders Ranges have been referred to as the ‘cradle of life’ and is the home of the ‘golden spike’ of the Ediacaran Period which is the first geological time period to be declared in the Southern Hemisphere.