Rawnsley Park Woolshed Restaurant
Wilpena Road, Hawker SA 5434
08 8648 0700
There aren’t many restaurants where you can watch sheep having their lunch. However, at Rawnsley Park Woolshed Restaurant 2,000 Merino and Dohne animals run wild, providing a picturesque backdrop for a meal you’ll remember.
Located at Rawnsley Park Station on the southern approach to Wilpena Pound, 450 kilometres north of Adelaide, the Woolshed restaurant is just one part of the 12,000-hectare property. Owners, Tony and Julie Smith, have been running the Station since 1984, developing it from a small business to an award-winning resort, complete with a newly renovated eating space.
Andrew Zdravkovski is the man turning the fresh produce into beautifully presented dishes. He completed his apprenticeship in Melbourne before moving to London and working with Jamie Oliver and Gordon Ramsey. In 2013 he returned home and took up the opportunity to work at the Woolshed, delivering quality and consistency and building the restaurant a great reputation in the process. Dishing up country-style food with a contemporary twist, he aims to produce distinctive dishes that reflect the beautiful location.
Lamb comes from the property, with the Merino cross Dohne breed producing superb meat with excellent texture, taste and tenderness. All the stock is grass- fed and are handled using low stress management techniques, meaning the produce is organic and as tender as possible.
Following the ‘local is lovely’ philosophy, scotch fillet comes from Jamestown Meats and kangaroo from Orroroo Kangaroo. Fresh fruit and vegetables are sourced from Adelaide Wholesales and condiments come courtesy of local South Flinders Rangers producers.
Take a seat and start with a serving of salt and pepper squid, coated in lemon myrtle and buttermilk, accompanied by confit garlic mayo, before sampling the Orroroo kangaroo fillet, served with smoked rustic potato and crispy kale. For an authentic Flinders meal, don’t look past the Rawnsley lamb cutlets – mint and chilli-crusted lamb cutlets, served with cumin roasted pumpkin and broccolini.
No matter the choice of meal, you’ll find the perfect wine to match. The list features principally South Australian drops, with a selection from Barossa Valley, Clare Valley, Southern Flinders, McLaren Vale and Adelaide Hills.
The space itself is designed to reflect its woolshed origins, with corrugated iron lining the walls, restored wooden floors and an open fire providing warmth on those cold country nights. Warmer days see guests sit out on the patio, which boasts direct views of the surrounding countryside.
The fantastic food and wine is matched only by the stunning views looking north to Rawnsley Bluff. When the rays of the setting sun shine onto the weathered sandstone escarpment, the entire mountain glows and the rich red colours of the Outback are even more vibrant, resulting in an experience that’s impossible to match anywhere else.
If just one dinner isn’t enough, take full advantage by staying in one of the eco-villas on-site, an ideal base for exploring the region. Join a local guide on a 4WD tour, guided bushwalk or scenic flight before returning to relax with some laidback country hospitality.