A quiet Coonalpyn Downs town 206km south-east of Adelaide, Tintinara is at the heart of a chain of Mallee conservation parks. The Mallee wilderness is like no other region on earth. It is a place where native scrub struggles with the elements in a constant battle for survival. But despite the high summer temperatures and scant surface water, the hardy eucalypt scrub not only survive but harbours a diverse range of wildlife including the rare Mallee fowl, emu, kangaroos and an abundance of birds. And when the seasonal conditions click, entire parks burst into dazzling colour when the wildflowers bloom. The Tyms walking trail about 20km south of the town gives the visitor a taste of the Ngarkat group of parks wilderness wonders. A word, however, of caution: the parks have limited public support facilities and visitors need to prepare for any emergency and should always inform the local National Parks Ranger on their bush-walking plans.