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Wilpena PoundThe jewel in the crown of the Flinders Ranges National Park, Wilpena Pound, shares its south-western border with Arkaba and the majority of the first day of the Arkaba Walk is spent traversing the base of the Pound. A huge natural ampitheatre which holds great significance for the local Aboriginal people, the 17x8 km Pound has been formed by some of the oldest rocks in the world.
The Adnyamathanha people are the Traditional Owners of the Wilpena and Flinders Ranges are and tell the story of how the Pound was formed by two Dreamtime Serpents encircling a group of people and forming the walls of Pound, with the head of the male snake forming the tallest point in the Pound - St Mary's Peak.
Once used by sheep farmers, somewhat unseccessfully, Wilpena Pound is now rich in native Australian wildlife such as emus, kangaroos, many species of bird and the threatened yellow-footed rock wallaby which is thankfully now increasing in numbers across the Flinders Ranges. The Wilpena Pound has also played a part in the successful re-introduction of the endangered western quoll, a totem of the local Adnyamathanha people, with individuals released in April 2014 now reproducing in the area for the first time in more than 100 years.
While traversing the Pound, walkers will cross through varied vegetation slowly recovering from attempts at farming during the early 20th century. Large cleared areas still remain dotted around the pound, as do old occupation shelters and homesteads which provide interesting pit stops along the walk. The end of the first day sees walkers climb up through Bridle Gap to descend onto Arkaba proper, before retiring for the night at Blacks Gap Camp.