A WALK FROM FLYNN GRAVE TO MOUNT GILLEN

Flynn Grave is about 7 km west of the town centre on the Larapinta Drive, just past the entrance to the Desert Park.

The walk from Flynn Grave to the summit of Mount Gillen takes about two hours return. The vertical ascent is about 300 m.

Warnings

People have died doing walks like this in hot weather with insufficient water.

Do not try this walk in the middle of the day in summer.

Carry sufficient water for the prevailing temperature conditions.

If walking alone let some one know where you are going.

In the right conditions this is pleasant walk. In summer start before sunrise, in winter any time of day is all right.

Directions

Go through the gate about 100 m west of the monument, and follow the path that leads generally west. If you miss the path continue west until you meet the old fence that runs north-south due north of the summit. Follow the track along the fence south to its southern end. From here on the path is well-defined, though in places there are alternatives. The path goes over a saddle on prominent spur north west of the summit and then climbs up to a small gully that provides a way up through the cliffs. A short scramble up the gully leads to the ridge. From here it is an easy walk east to the summit cairn.

Natural History

There is usually a variety of birds in the shrubland behind Flynn Grave. Yellow-rumped Thornbills are common. Crimson Chats and Western Gerygone are there at times. Grey Honeyeaters have been seen here occasionally.

Euros are often seen on the lower slopes. Painted Finches sometimes feed on grass-seed from the saddle up. In the same area there are Spinifex Pigeons and Dusky Grasswrens among the spinifex. A good place to see the latter is in the corner of the cliffs at the foot of the gully that leads up to the summit, near a clump of pine trees. This is a good place to stop and take a breather and enjoy the view. There are usually Grey-headed Honeyeaters here too. Little Woodswallows can usually be seen soaring around the cliffs. In spring they nest on hollows in the cliffs.

The area around the summit was burnt out early in 2002, but the Dusky Grasswrens have returned to it.

Black-footed Rock Wallabies can often be seen sitting on ledges on the cliffs in this area, especially on summer mornings.

Birds of prey are sometimes seen soaring around the cliffs.