This short break trip into the Flinders Ranges was written by Quorn locals and we hope you enjoy your visit to our lovely historic town of Quorn. With plenty to explore in our area, you just need to know where to look. We have provided this for visitors who would like a few days to escape and explore the historic town of Quorn.
On June 28th, 2020 – UPDATE:- Pichi Richi Railway will be resuming rail operations, and continuing to follow the SA Health guidelines. Book your tickets early on-line to avoid any disappointment.
In the planning stages of your weekend away we suggest you should pre-book your accommodation and your Pichi Richi Railway and Workshop tour tickets. If you are doing a workshop tour make sure you wear closed-in shoes. To book your train tickets click this link.
The Flinders Ranges Visitor Information Centre is open during the day, so call or email firstname.lastname@example.org to book your workshop tour tickets. Remember to pack some closed in shoes as when you tour the workshop you will need to be wearing them.
Friday:– Suggest you leave Adelaide around lunch time Friday and enjoy a leisurely drive up through the Clare Valley, and on through the historic and picturesque small towns of Laura, Melrose and Wilmington.
Alternatively you can take the more direct and faster route along Highway 1. Bearing in mind if you take Highway 1 you may want to allow a few minutes to take a left turn and stop to stretch your legs at Port Germein. It is a nice photo opportunity. I like stopping there if we have some spare time en route.
Arrive into Quorn during the late afternoon, check in and get settled in your accommodation at the Savings Bank of South Australia – Old Quorn Branch.
The IGA supermarket is open every day, for their opening hours check their website.
On Friday night for dinner we would recommend making a booking at one of the town’s pubs and enjoy a refreshing beer or wine to accompany a traditional country style meal. Alternatively you could also stay “at home” and order a pizza from the pub.
>> The Transcontinental Hotel is at 15 Railway Terrace, Quorn Phone (08) 8646 6076
>> The Austral Inn Hotel, 16 Railway Terrace, Quorn Phone: (08) 86 486 017
Saturday:- As you have already purchased your PRR tickets on-line so you now have time to enjoy a leisurely country style breakfast at the famous Quandong Cafe. Make sure you try their legendary quandong pie.
Saturday Lunch:- Fancy a traditional South Australian pastie? If you appreciate freshly baked home-made pasties or scones made to the highest standard then Teas on the Terrace is the place you must visit for lunch. Teas on the Terrace also specialises in vegetarian, gluten and dairy-free menu options.
Make sure you leave some room to enjoy an Award Winning Copley Bakery Quandong Pie, as you may want an excuse to visit again over the weekend, remembering you can always walk it off later!
Saturday afternoon:- take a drive out to see Warrens Gorge, about 20 kms out of Quorn. driving to the Gorge on a sealed road. If you decide to take the 5.2 km walking trail loop (easy to moderate depending on your level of fitness) as always, take some water with you, it takes between 1.5 -3 hours to complete, depending on how often you stop. There are some loose surfaces and short steep parts, but a very pleasant walk. We enjoyed it and the scenery and there are lots of photo opportunities.
Saturday night:- Have a drink before dinner and take a sunset stroll over to the Quorn Railway Station for the Illuminart Silo Light Show, showing every night from sunset until 8pm. It is free and you can take your own chair, or even takeaway meals if you order in advance. It features images, photographs from locals showcasing the region’s cultural and natural heritage.
The new Quorn Silo Light Show on the Quorn Silos in the Pichi Richi Railway yards, is just near the Railway station, from sunset every night, and it’s a free event. The Illuminart show’s most recent screening looks at the involvement of the Quorn CWA and the Troop Trains passing through Quorn during World War II.
For up to date information about the times that future stories will feature check: http://QuornSiloLightShow.info/ or ask at the Quorn Visitor Information Centre.
Saturday dinner:- Try the other pub, and we do recommend you book a table, as seats are limited and country folk and travellers alike tend to dine early as they are on the go pretty much all day.
Garden lovers can explore the Powell Gardens, located at the eastern end of First Street in Quorn. These gardens are managed by volunteers and showcase the diversity of the vast range of our local arid plants.
We thought we should share a recent post of one recent visitor: “…great tribute to Brian Powell AM who was known in the area for promoting native plants and helping CSIRO develop a quandong industry. A great park with walking trails that wind through the collection of native plants, grasses and groundcover. Seating throughout the park so you can sit and enjoy the peace and tranquility. Donation tin at gates and parking available”. Posted on Trip Advisor.
Sunday:- Allow a few hours to explore the town this morning. Why not take town walk and check out the new Heritage Building Walking Trail? Maps are available from the Visitor Information Centre or you can download it from the above link.
Quorn is fast becoming the native bush food capital of Australia and this garden showcases native curry leaf, native lemongrass, all sorts of local native wattle seed and berry producing bushes and trees. But when you are walking through then watch out you don’t get dive-bombed by a hungry grevillea-munching native bird! Personally we love visiting these gardens in the early morning.
On the last Sunday morning each month, Quorn has a Craft & Produce Market in the Town Hall, Railway Terrace Quorn. Featuring plants, fresh produce, bqq, preserves, cakes, jewellery, beads, cards, candles, wood turned products, paintings, homemade pies, pasty slice, sausage rolls, coffee cart, books and more.
If you wanted a little more exercise then why not work up an appetite, get your heart pumping and your legs moving and take the ~45 minute climb up Devil’s Peak? Open all year round you access this popular short hike by driving down Devil’s Peak Road, park your car and start your ascent up the well made track among native trees. You may see some of our local rock wallabies and lizards basking in the sun. Expect some degree of rock climbing to finish, and take in 360° views of the Pichi Richi Pass, the Spencer Gulf, Southern Flinders Ranges, Quorn township, the Willochra Plains and Horseshoe Ranges right up to Wilpena Pound. Make sure you sign the Visitors Book, which you should see on the climb, tucked into a sheltered rock ledge.
After all this activity maybe you may decide to stay a few extra days, as you have really only touched the surface of what’s on offer in Quorn.
Quorn Fast Facts:
Just over 1,000 people call Quorn home
The local indigenous people are from the Nukunu and the Adymthanya
May 2020 – Quorn was awarded a grant to establish itself as the Bush Tucker Capital
Well known native fruits and seeds including:
>> quandong (a native peach with outstanding antioxidant capacity, high folate levels and Vitamin E, and a good source of magnesium, zinc and iron)
>> bush orange
>> wattle seeds
My Personal Highlight:
Seeing the COFFEE POT, which is the last remaining engine of its type in the whole world. Over 100 years old it has been authentically and passionately restored and it only runs several times during the season. It carries ~20 passengers so you have been privileged if you have been on it. Or if you have a little spare change you can always book a private train hire.
It’s very special!
We would love to hear your feedback on your visit to Quorn so please let us know of any tips we should include in future updates.