graham flinders campsite

Back in the trusty TD42 GU Patrol, he's headed to the Flinders Ranges National Park in South Australia - somewhere we've NEVER filmed before! 

Red dirt desert, breathtaking Aussie mountain ranges, and endless serenity... 4WDing in the flinders doesn't get much better - Graham's stoked to be back behind the wheel of his old ute but this time he's camping in comfort and style with a serious offroad caravan!

Graham's got some admission to make. He's finally made it to a location that he's been trying to visit for several decades. Having hitchhiked around Australia when he was 17 didn't get here, went around Australia in a 4WD with a camper trailer in 2006 didn't get here, he's been doing a job that sees him travel all around Australia at least one lap every single year for the last 13 years and never been here. He's finally done it and right here in the Flinders ranges.



Graham AuSolo flinders

Mern Merna station gets its name from, believe it or not from the old townsite that used to exist right about where the homestead is today. Mern Merna is a working sheep and cattle station. Located roughly 35kms north of Hawker, South Australia. The reason for Mern Merna being there was that people were mining copper up at Blinman to the north, which was a stopover on the way down to Port Augusta. Like a lot of things from around here, mining turned into agriculture and that's what it is today an agricultural station. Mern Merna Station offers heaps of ruins around the property and Graham's going to go and find quite a few of them on this trip hopefully. Some of the ruins span back hundreds of years, it's just an amazing part of Australia’s history.


graham town ruins

Mern Merna School opened way back in 1911 and continued to remain open right up until 1958. The ruins still stand today and offer a glimpse into how tough life would have been living out in the Flinders Ranges all those years ago. The old Gahn railway line runs directly out front there, so the school was well-positioned. Imagine trying to get away with a day off school out here, they'd find you in a heartbeat, they'd see you from miles away. It's crazy to think that people went to school out here, unbelievable.

If some of these ruins out here could talk, I reckon they'd have some pretty interesting tales to tell. Like this old bucket, it's probably had some fairly average jobs in its lifetime and the way its back ends blowing out well something suggests to me it's lived a hard life.

You know what, it doesn't matter where you go or what ruins you're visiting anywhere in Australia, you'll always find sardine tins. Graham doesn't mind a sardine now and again but given the volume of sardine tins he's found around Australia, it suggested to him that the people of a bygone era really really like sardines.


Graham flinders rocks

Graham gets a little excited over some things and fences are, well one of those things. Have a go at this fence right here, she's falling over here, don't judge it you'd probably fall over too if you were built-in 1890! Originally built to keep sheep on one side and the dingoes on the side. But check this ol'boy out, the story goes this little wall was hand-built probably close to 100 years ago. Built to keep a whole heap of sheep on one side. They didn't want to have to re-muster them from over the other side, they didn't want them getting across onto that side over there because it's rough as guts, you're not gonna get a horseback in there. Back in the day, they did all the mustering on foot, can you imagine walking through here on foot chasing sheep? Some old bloke decided he must have had a spare couple of months, by hand, he was going to make this little tiny wall. Only about a meter high tiny wall on the side of the hill to stop the sheep going over there, in all this country in the middle of nowhere three to four hundred meters of wall to stop sheep running away.


graham railway ausolo

The Old Ghan railway runs through a section of Mern Merna station, or what remains of it. The Ghan Railway of course ran from Adelaide through to Alice Springs and into Darwin. The Ghan Railway started its operation around 1878 but didn't actually make it to Darwin, interestingly enough you get to the end of it and you'd have to jump off the train and get on a camel. Now there's not much left of the old line, in fact, while Graham tried to follow what's left of the line he'd lost it. It's sort of there but isn't at the same time, it can take time to find what you’re looking for. If you follow it long enough there is something really worth seeing and remains pretty much in original condition. Get a load of this, this is incredible, one of the very few remaining bridges from the old Ghan railway. The river must absolutely flow with water. I think because of the size of this structure that why it's managed to stay here for as long as it possibly has.



graham flinders campsite

Graham stayed at the magnificent Mern Merna station and camped at the Ochre campsite. Mern Merna Station offers several secluded paid campsites around the station, as well as access to the Burnette 4WD track that finds its way along the ridges line of the property’s hills, offering magnificent views of the station.

April to October offer mild temperatures in the area and is the most comfortable period for 4WDing and camping. During the summer months, the maximum temperatures range from 30ºC to 45ºC.


flinders ranges graham

I have never seen anything like it. Okay behind me, that's a surveyor's trig point one of the very few that remain. Handmade out of stones and it was used as a survey point, when mapping this entire area, you can see it a miles away. I've been told by numerous people the view from up here was excellent, I get around.

I’ve seen some views and I kid you not, this is nothing short of one of the most spectacular things I have ever seen anywhere. I'm lost for words, this is breath-taking folks do yourself a favour and put the flinders ranges on your map get out here don't leave it for decades like Graham did come and find out for yourself.