Highway One: Pildappa Rock, South Australia

By Catherine Lawson 7 November 2013
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The giant pink granite Pildappa Rock has captured the eye of our roving Highway One team, in South Australia.

Catherine Lawson and David Bristow, along with baby Maya, are doing a lap of Highway One, the road that circles Australia. 

THE DAY’S MUCH-ANTICIPATED highlight looked set to be a walk through Gawler Ranges National Park, South Australia, to the widely talked about Organ Pipes. While we enjoyed our stroll, it was a rock of a very different kind that captivated our imagination just outside the national park.

We had Pildappa Rock earmarked as a good place to camp, but it is so much more than that.

A giant pink granite inselberg that glows tangerine and gold at sunset, Pildappa Rock stretches for 100m, its flaring, weathered walls cresting like waves frozen in time.

Gentle rock spurs rise three to four storeys high to a lichen-covered summit pockmarked with dozens of gnamma (water) holes, many holding rainwater and sustaining flowering grasses. At its base, there are excellent picnic and camping facilities – shelters, with tables, gas barbecues, lights, rainwater tanks, rubbish bins and toilets. And the camping is free.

To get there, turn north off Highway One at Minnipa, 270km west of Port Augusta and follow the signs.

The gnamma (water) holes on Pildappa Rock, South Australia (Credit: David Bristow)

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