Arkaba Guided Walking tour
The Arkaba Walk is a Wild Bush Luxury experience in an iconic outback South Australian setting.
By joining this fully hosted all-inclusive experience you’re not only witnessing an environment in recovery, you’re actively participating in its revival. You’ll see and hear the results of active conservation as you walk through the landscape and meet the wildlife in the company of passionate field guides. Explore 60,000 acres of privately-owned and carefully protected outback with a maximum of ten walkers.
From dry creek beds, isolated waterholes lined with 1,000 year-old River Red gums to craggy ridge lines and rolling hills covered in cypress pines to the ancient ramparts of Wilpena Pound, this is some of the most stunning walking country in Australia. While everyone loves to have a comfortable bed and great food, it is the time spent with people on the ground that leaves a lasting impact. Of course, a really good glass of wine at the end of the day always helps! The true value of a Wild Bush Luxury experience on the Arkaba Walk is the vastness of space, the feeling of exclusivity and the opportunity to retreat into nature.
DAY 1: ADELAIDE TO ARKABA
A guide will greet you in the arrivals hall at Adelaide domestic airport at 9:30am sharp. If you have stayed in Adelaide, you will be met in the lobby of your city located hotel between 9:50 and 10am before hitting the open road to Arkaba. Heading north from Adelaide, you will bypass the small country towns of Virgina, Two Wells and Dublin. Keep an eye out for the imaginative collection of large sculptures along the highway, made by way of protesting the development of a waste facility in the small town. Stop for lunch on the banks of Bumbunga Lake. Following a quick break, your journey will take you past the infamous Snowtown, Redhill, Port Pirie and Port Germein before another short stop in the historic railway town of Quorn. From here, Arkaba is about an hour away, and you will arrive to Arkaba Homestead by 5pm in time to freshen up before your guided lay of the land experience and a three course meal hosted by one of Arkaba’s field guides.
DAY 2: WILPENA POUND TO BLACK’S GAP CAMP (approx 13km | 5-6 hours)
Breakfast will ensure you are sufficiently fueled and ready to explore before our short 35 minute drive to the starting point. The distance today is approximately 13km through the flat interior of Wilpena Pound and a gradual 1.5km ascent to the rim of the Pound, climbing 200 metres ahead of a steeper descent of about 1km into Arkaba wilderness and Black’s Gap Signature Swag Camp. Expect to walk into camp at around 5:30pm in time to settle in, take a hot bush shower (with a view!) and enjoy a pre-dinner drink and canapes service as the sun sinks behind the ancient ramparts of Wilpena Pound Our signature camp is located between Bunbinyana Range and Wilpena Pound, on a site previously occupied by a shepherd in the late 1850s. His stone chimney place still exists and we camp overlooking the creek where he used to take his water. Our field guide and camp assistant will prepare a three-course evening feast, taken al fresco under the evening sky and accompanied by local South Australian wine. Enjoy some interesting tales around our bush TV, the good old camp fire, and retire to your swag bed for an unforgettable night under a canopy of stars.
DAY 3: BLACK’S GAP CAMP TO ELDER CAMP (approx 14-15km | 6-7 hours)
Today is arguably the most scenic, as we move out from Black’s Gap into the rolling hills more suited to the sheep farming activities previously carried out across the property. The first 2km will follow the famous Heysen Trail through Black’s Gap itself revealing a fascinating insight into the pastoral history of the region, pausing at old shepherds’ camps and mustering yards, with Red and Grey Kangaroos and Emus all regular sightings. The last leg of the day will take us slightly west into rolling hills culminating in a sharp 1km climb of about 100m in elevation to the summit of the Red Range where we’ll be rewarded with panoramic views of the IkaraFlinders Ranges before moving on to the foot of Elder Range passing through beautiful stands of native Cypress trees.
Your luggage will have been transported by vehicle to your next signature swag camp, our Elder Camp. A hot bush shower, dinner and another special night under the great Australian sky awaits.
DAY 4: ELDER CAMP TO ARKABA HERITAGE HOMESTEAD (approx 14-15km | 6-7 hours)
Wake to glorious morning light creeping up our very own Elder Range. As we move south east the first few kilometers will be amongst hill country at the foot of the Elder Range. Walking through Mallee and native pine forests, we cross Slaty Creek which can hold precious water well into the dry season, sometimes even offering the opportunity to drink from clear, ice cold springs. Ascending the Red Range and down onto the banks of the Arkaba Creek, shady and picturesque and lined with time-honoured and rejuvenating River Red Gums, with plenty of opportunities to spot birds that commune in the canopy, including galahs, parrots and honeyeater species. We pass reliable water points providing year-round life support for kangaroos, parrots and emus. The pace is unhurried with time to stop and breathe in the outback, view wildlife and take photographs. Arrive Arkaba Homestead mid afternoon and relax or perhaps partake in a massage or a scenic flight over the ancient ramparts of Wilpena Pound. This evening enjoy a hosted feast and guided viewing of the Southern Hemisphere’s clearest skies silhouetted against mountains half a billion(!) years in the making.
DAY 5: CLARE VALLEY WINE COUNTRY OVERLAND TO ADELAIDE
Enjoy breakfast at the Arkaba Homestead before departing at 8:30am for your scenic overland transfer to Adelaide via South Australia’s Clare Valley wine country. We’ll make our way through the historic outback towns of Quorn, Wilmington, Mount Remarkable and Melrose, all famous for their nature filled valleys and riverbeds. Lined with massive River Red Gum trees, the land around these towns is home to a multitude of native Australian animals and birds.
Head from Melrose into the beautiful Clare Valley, a region famous for its wines. We enjoy lunch and some wine tasting (naturally!) before continuing south arriving Adelaide Airport at approximately 5pm. Please arrange your departing flights from 6pm, to allow enough time for check-in. Alternatively, if you are staying on in Adelaide we are happy to arrange to drop you at your city located hotel with our compliments.
- 5 day Original Arkaba Walk
- 2 nights at Arkaba Homestead
- 2 nights swag camping
- All meals and beverages including trail snacks
- Guided lay of the land safari experience
- Expert field guides
- Small group walking experience (maximum 10 people)
- Backpack with hydration reservoir and room for items
- Sock protectors
- Light Wild Rambler walking poles
- Arkaba Conservation Levy
- Return road transfers from Adelaide
DEPARTURE DATES: Thursdays, 7 Apr - 31 May, 27 Jun - 11 Oct 22.