Now is an ideal time to explore Hawker and Quorn according to Pichi Richi Railway Preservation Society representative, Barbara Smythe.
“It seems to be a really bumper season for the Flinders,” she said.
“We always expect the spring to be our best time but we have had full trains right through the winter.”
“It has blown my mind the number of people who are travelling from interstate and overseas.”
But it’s not only the Railway that is doing well according to Barbara, “Our booking numbers are exceeding expectations at the moment which is fantastic, but we think that it is indicative of the whole of the Flinders Ranges.”
“You talk to all the accommodation places and they all say they are absolutely brimming.”
There has never been a better time to support local and visit tourist locations in your own backyard according to Flinders Ranges mayor Peter Slattery.
“There are a number of tourist destinations with the Pichi Richi Railway being a point of difference between us and anyone else in the Flinders Ranges,” he said.
“Quorn features some magnificent old buildings and has really retained its character and heritage.”
The town's old charm has not been lost on movie producers with the historic streetscapes and surrounding landscapes having been used in many films including Gallipoli and Wolf Creek.
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“We have a variety of pubs and cafes to visit on a day trip and some great half day bush walks, bike trails and 4WD tracks in the immediate area,” Peter said.
Another point of difference in the area is the variety of events throughout the year including the Quorn Show which will take place this Sunday, September 23.
“The Quorn Show is a great family day out with a lot of horse action, cooking and craft competitions and free kids entertainment,” Peter said.
The Quorn Races are another big day on the social calendar with a thousand odd people expected to attend to enjoy the festivities and watch the races.
The Christmas street party, Anzac day commemorations, as well as the Motorsport Rally which held its inaugural event this year, are also a drawcard.
“The rally was popular with residents and officials alike, we hope that it will become a fixture,” Peter said.
So if you’re heading to Quorn make sure you make a booking to experience train travel as it was a century ago on the Pichi Richi Explorer, a half-day steam-train journey from Quorn or the full-day Afghan Express return trip from Port Augusta Railway Station to Quorn.
You'll get a close-up view of the ancient Flinders Ranges geology in the deep rock cuttings built in the 1870s.
“Between the Afghan Express and the Pichi Richi Explorer there is steam somewhere on the railway every weekend, between April and October, with more services during school holidays and long weekends,” Barbara said.
Head to the Flinders Ranges Council webpage for more information on tourist attractions and upcoming events in Hawker and Quorn.