8 Day - Arkaroola & Lake Eyre Explorer
Embark on a truly unique and varied journey as we discover the very best of South Australia's remote northern outback wilderness on this great 4wd & walking journey. Showcasing the best day walks in Vulkathunha – Gammon Ranges National Park, Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary and Lake Eyre – Kati Thanda National Park.
7 Nights - Twin share accommodation (single occupancy upgrade available for an additional $470)
Day 1 – Adelaide to Blinman (Travel day with upto 3 km walking)
Gets underway with a 6:30 am early morning departure from Adelaide and out through the Northern reaches of the SA capital towards the town of Red Hill where we have a short comfort stop where were we will introduce you to the trip in detail.
The journey onwards passes along side the Flinders Ranges tracing the old tracks of pioneering pastoralists. Our next port of call is the Prairie Hotel where you can buy yourself a very decent cuppa. Again it’s only brief because we want to get to Blinman an historical copper mining town in the Northern reaches of the Flinders Ranges. We have time to explore town on foot before settling into our fine digs for the evening at the historic Blinman Hotel.
Day 2 – Chambers Gorge (6 km walking)
Today we journey along picturesque gravel roads through the more remote Northern Flinders Ranges. A late morning detour on a short 4wd track sees our arrival at the rarely visited Mount Chambers Gorge. We enjoy a short walk to an extensive Aboriginal petroglyph site here set amongst towering rock walls and a spring fed river bed. The Chambers Gorge area is also a great spot to see the Sturt Desert Pea growing naturally in the wild and when in flower it's just simply beautiful.
More 4wd tracks in the afternoon before our day winds up in the fabulous and remote village of Arkaroola. Arkaroola is run by the Sprigg family as private wilderness retreat and an important conservation reserve. A truly beautiful place with so much to offer avid bushwalkers, naturalist's and geologist's.
Accommodation during our 4 night stay is in the Greenwood lodge. Each room has a double bed, a smaller single bed and it's own en suite. There are no TV’s in the room. Greenwood lodge has a central gallery with tables where we dine or
we'll sit around the fire next to to the pool and enjoy a relaxed outside BBQ.
Day 3 – Grindles Hut & Weetootla Gorge walk (14 km walking)
Not far from the village of Arkaroola is short 4x4 track that leads us to the beginning of our days walk. Our walk today is a 14 km circuit in the Vulkathunha-Gammon Ranges National Park that includes the stunning Weetootla Gorge and Grindells Hut. This is a moderately challenging walk, where historical interest and varied natural landscapes and unlike anything you are likely to have encountered before. We have all day on the trail before returning to Arkaroola in the late afternoon where we will enjoy an evening of fine tucker around the fire.
Day 4 – Mawson Trail & Arkaroola sights (5 or 12 km walking)
Gives you the option of partaking in Arkaroola's iconic Ridge top 4WD tour. Alternatively you can just relax around the village, or head off on the 6 km Acacia ridge walk. After lunch we will be off to explore the Northern reaches of Arkaroola to see the Bolle Bollana smelters and Bolle Bollana water hole before enjoying a stunning 4km well tracked walk on the Mawson Trail back into the village of Arkaroola.
Ridge top tour is optional but highly recommended and costs $140.
Day 5 – Bararanna Gorge Walk (10 km walking)
The walk today is quite varied and allows us to discover the true geological story of Arkaroola as we explore the different rock surfaces and gorges with a magnificent hike through Bararanna Gorge. The walking is rough underfoot; but the scenery is just awesome! There are pools of still water indicating that this usually dry environment does get its share of rain. We’ll be eating our lunches out on the trail under the shade of some enormous ancient river red gums.
By mid-afternoon our 10 kilometre walk winds up and you will have time to stop off at a couple of other stunning vantage points before a well earn't relax upon your return to Arkaroola.
With a fire blazing away it’s time to dine under a million stars. Perhaps tonight you might like to consider doing an astronomy tour. Optional $40
Day 6 – Historic Farina & Marree (travel day with short walks)
We depart Arkaroola today and venture into the Heart of Australia's outback. The arid lands that surround Lake Eyre are unbelievingly beautiful with vistas in every direction. We see traditional Ochre cliffs and walk amongst the ruins of the Great Northern Railway and the old Ghan at the historic rail head town of Farina. The quiet outback town of Marree at the start of the Oodnadatta track is our destination today. We will arrive in the afternoon allowing time for optional flights over Lake Eyre and the opportunity to absorb the history of this remote outback town.
We stay at the historic Marree Hotel and sit down for a 2 course dinner in their restaurant this evening.
Marree is the closest place to fly over Lake Eyre - Optional flights with Bush Pilots start at $320 for a 1 hour flight.
Day 7 – Lake Eyre & the Oodnadatta Track (Lake Eyre walk)
We begin our day with a continental breakfast in the Marree Hotel before hitting the Oodnadatta track bound for the Southern shores of Lake Eyre. We stop to witness the seemingly endless salt pan to horizon like mirage as we walk out onto the lake shore. This walk changes from year to year as does the moisture content of the lake and the surface we walk on. If there is water in the lake; as there has been in recent years, you will be in for a very unique and rare experience.
In the afternoon we turn off the Oodnadatta track and pass alongside the Olympic Dam mine and the distant opal fields of Andamooka. We finish our days journey at the utterly unique town of Woomera.
Tonight we stay at the Eldo Hotel - being an army base each room has exactly the same configuration. The rooms are very comfortable and clean but also very simple. There are two rooms with a double bed in one and two single beds in the other. We think you'll enjoy your experience staying here as it is utterly unique. We enjoy our last dinner together at the local restaurant (own expense)
Day 8 – Woomera & Arid Lands Botanical Gardens (2 – 4km walking)
We get underway with a continental breakfast before departing for the Arid Lands Botanical gardens just north of Pt Augusta.
Enjoy the extensive wild flower and arid lands plants within the extensive gardens on a network of short walking trails. It's a great opportunity to see plants in flower that we may not have seen over the last week exploring the arid regions of SA. The botanical gardens has arguably the largest Eremophila collection in the world and it's something they are very proud of.
We arrive in Adelaide around 6:00 – 6:30pm.