About Melrose

Melrose, because it was officially proclaimed in 1853, can proudly claim that it is the ‘oldest town in the Flinders Ranges’. This quiet and attractive town, which is nestled below Mount Remarkable, has had a colourful history characterised by farming on very marginal land and mining poor deposits of copper. Today it has a number of interesting historic buildings and there are pleasant bush walking tracks in the surrounding countryside (sourced from the Aussie Towns website – click for more).

TIP: The links below are “short-cuts” to each section on this page…

Our Accommodation

Staying at:Melrose Caravan Park (click for Facebook)Park Map (click to open)
Address:Joes Rd Melrose (click for location)WikiCamps (click to open web page)
Contact: Tel: (08) 8666 2060Email (click to send)
Arrive:Friday 8th September 2023
Stay for:3 nights
Depart:Monday 11th September 2023
Notes:This Caravan Park is on BORE WATER - BYO drinking water!
The park has a dump point
The park sells ice, water (small bottles & boxes) as well as firewood
The nearest supermarket is IGA in Booleroo (18.5kms from the CP) & is open from 8:30am-5:30pm
Each site has their own fire pit, as well as a communal fire pit near the camp kitchen
There is a large covered BBQ area where we can gather for happy hour
A few sites have concrete pads or grass, the rest are crushed rock (You’ll need a mat)
TIP - There's not much lighting at night, suggest you bring a torch

Please Note: Sites will be assigned on arrival. No-one is to occupy another site other than the one they have been allocated by the caravan park management.

Here’s some images (from the internet) of Melrose Caravan Park…

Dining out in Melrose

Here’s a list of places where you can dine in the Melrose area (listed by distance from the CP)…

EateryAddressCallDistance from CP
Mount Remarkable Hotel Restaurant (no website - more info in Activities section below)14 Stuart St, Melrose(08) 8666 2119140m walk
Wozza's Vault - Café (no website)10 Stuart St, Melrose(08) 8666 2280160m walk
Store 54 - Café (on Facebook)24 Stuart St, Melrose(08) 8666 2057180m walk
Over the Edge Café (more info in Activities section below)4 Stuart St, Melrose(08) 8666 2222200m walk
North Star Inn Restaurant (in the pub - more info in Activities section below(43 Nott St, Melrose(08) 8666 2110300m walk
Jacka Brothers Brewery (more info in Activities section below)9 Lambert St, Melrose0467 029 400550m walk

Organised Activities

Booleroo Steam & Traction Preservation Society

The Tagalong23 organisers have arranged a personal tour of the museum for Friday 8th September at 2.30pm. This is a terrific opportunity for those interested to participate in a personalised guided tour through this amazing collection of farming and other artifacts from the region.

The volunteers are always delighted to show people through the collection and share the history and some quirky stories.

NOTE: Further details of the visit will be provided during Happy Hour in Claire Valley.

TIP: There is an IGA supermarket in Booleroo, located at 31 Stephens St, Booleroo Centre and is open daily from 8am-5:30pm

Activities & things to do in the Melrose region

Tourist Info

The Melrose Visitor Information Centre is located at 7 Stuart Street, Melrose - 140m east of the CP. Tel: (08) 8666 2060
TIP: Most caravan park offices have stacks of tourist information brochures and the staff are usually helpful on places to visit

Over the Edge Café

Over the Edge Café offers delicious homemade goodies – perfect brunch option before or after a ride or just to drop by for some great coffee and cakes! Their menu focuses on using local produce and suppliers.

Melrose Courthouse Museum

The Melrose Heritage Museum is an adventure into the past. Discover the history of this unique area by visiting the authentic exhibitions and audio visual.

This attractive complex was built in 1862 and comprises the Police Station, Old Court House, cells and stables. At one time it was one of the largest police stations in Australia looking after all the land to the north which, at that time, meant northern South Australia, Central Australia and everywhere to the north coast of the country.

Jacka Brothers Brewery

Set within the natural beauty of the Flinders Ranges, Jacka Brothers Brewery sits at the base of the Mount Remarkable National Park. The authentic redevelopment of this heritage listed site has created the perfect combination of natural, historical beauty and contemporary, modern facilities.

With indoor seating for 120 people and outdoor space for an additional 200+ on the grounds surrounding the heritage buildings, Jacka Brothers Brewery is the perfect location for a cold beer, cider or gin & tonic combined with a fresh, seasonal meal.

Melrose War Memorial

Located on Joe’s Road on the hill (Mount Remarkable) overlooking the town, the Melrose War Monument was constructed to commemorate those killed in action during World War I.

Joe’s Corner – Quirky Gift Shop

From the web – It is the best shopping experience for miles around. A mixture of quality gifts and pre-loved treasures it is a little Aladdin’s cave of delights. The owners are very friendly Scottish folk and there are references to Scotland throughout the shop. Another little space in the back is where you can play board games and eat snacks (Games and Gulsch), which makes it even quirkier.

You can’t guarantee it is open as they are “out of towner’s” most of the week, but a brilliant place to visit if they are in town.

North Star Hotel

The North Star Hotel was originally licensed in 1854 and claims to be the oldest licensed hotel in the Flinders Ranges and the first licensed hotel in town. The present building dates from 1881. The original building was a log cabin. It is the sister Hotel of Prairie Hotel in Parachilna.

It is said “they serve up mighty fine food & ale”

Mt Remarkable Hotel

Typical country pub with home style cooked meals, served with the small outback town hospitality you would cherish to find.

From a review on TripAdvisor – “A wise chef once said to me you can judge a pub’s cook on how well they do a steak. If what she says is true their chef is brilliant. It was a busy night and our meals came out quickly and my scotch fillet was cooked to a perfect medium rare. The salads were fresh and we left with a takeaway container full of what we just couldn’t finish. This place is fantastic and, if our experience is anything to go by, their friendly and welcoming staff will be bringing people here over and over again.”

Bartagunyah Winery and Estate

The Bartagunyah Estate vineyard was first established in 1997 and the resulting wines have quickly become renowned for their quality. Traditionally a pastoral property producing wool and prime lamb, Bartagunyah has diversified and is now better known to visitors for its quality wines and abundance of activities available on the property. The cellar door is at the end of the track.

Alligator Gorge National Park

Alligator Gorge in Mount Remarkable National Park is one of South Australia’s most scenic hikes. With dramatic gorges, bright ochre walls and watercourses lined with river red gums, it truly is a remarkable place. There are plenty of walking options to choose from in Mount Remarkable National Park, but one worth doing is the Gorge Circuit Hike.

  • The Terrace Lookout (marked blue on map) is a short 200 metre walk from the Alligator Gorge Car Park.
  • The Narrows Lookout (marked purple on map) is a short 200 metre walk from the Alligator Gorge Car Park.
  • The Narrows Loop Hike (marked green on map) is generally considered a moderately challenging route. It commences at the Alligator Gorge Car Park and requires you to take 295 steps down to the gorge floor. There are handrails to assist you and benches along the way if you need a rest, or just simply want to sit back and admire the views. At approximately 3 kilometres in length it is a reasonable distance for most ages.
  • The Terraces Walk (marked yellow on map) is a 5.8km out-and-back trail, generally considered a moderately challenging route, it takes an average of 1 h 43 min to complete.
  • The Gorge Ring Walk (marked brown on map) is a 8.7km loop incorporating the highlights of Alligator Gorge and The Narrows in Mount Remarkable National Park and should take about 4 hours to complete. Although it can be done in either direction, most will find going anti-clockwise the most enjoyable. You begin by heading up Alligator Gorge where you’ll be rock hopping up through the magical canyon. At the Ring Route the path turns to fire trail where wildflowers are blooming in Spring. A gradual decline down the fire trail leads you to the final return section along The Narrows Hike, where the impressive gorge walls tower over you once again.

Download the Alligator Gorge Map from Parks SA website here

Check out the Bluff Lookout

Located within the Southern Flinders Ranges National Park, the Bluff Lookout offers spectacular views across the Spencer Gulf region.

A new lookout platform opened Sept 2021 with spectacular views of surrounding country. Steep access drive to the Bluff Lookout takes you from the Wirrabara Forest picnic grounds along Forest Road up towards the Bluff. Last section up the hill to lookout and is now all sealed.

TIP: Access to the Bluff can only be made from the Wirrabara side of the range through Wirrabara Forest, please refer to the map link below.

NOTE: As the lookout is within a conservation park no dogs are permitted.

  • Located on Heysen Trail, Telowie (only accessible via Wirrabara) – 43.1kms from the CP
  • Want more info? – check their website or call (08) xx
  • Read the reviews on TripAdvisor

Here’s a short YouTube video taken from the Bluff Lookout towards the Spencer Gulf…

Something interesting – The Goyder Line

Goyder’s Line is a line that runs roughly east–west across South Australia and, in effect, it joins places with an average annual rainfall of 10 inches (250 mm).

North of Goyder’s Line, annual rainfall is usually too low to support cropping, with the land being suitable only for grazing. Related to that, the line also marks a distinct change in vegetation. To the south, it is composed mainly of Mallee scrub, whilst saltbush predominates to the north of the line. The imaginary line was drawn in 19th century by surveyor general George Goyder marking the 250 millimetre rainfall area from the Eyre Peninsula around to the Riverland. He believed the region north of the line should not be cropped.
Read more on the WikiPedia website or on this website

Nearest Supermarkets & Bottle Shops

  • There are NO supermarkets in Melrose
    • There is a small shop in Melrose called Store 54 Cafe and Food Market – 16 Stuart St, Melrose
    • The nearest supermarket is an IGA in Booleroo, located at 31 Stephens St, Booleroo Centre and is open daily from 8am-9pm
  • Nearest bottle shops can be found in the North Star Hotel & Mt Remarkable Hotel

Our next stop

Our next stop is for 3 nights in Whyalla staying at the Discovery Parks – Whyalla Foreshore Caravan Park located at 51 Broadbent Terrace, Whyalla.

Google maps say it’s approximately 144kms from Melrose and you should expect about 1 hour & 44 minutes traveling time.

TIP: Buddy up with another Bailey to make the trip and maybe even arrange to meet up with others along the way for a cuppa at a bakery – just google bakeries in a town you’re passing through

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