Traversing the ancient Flinders Ranges and the private Arkaba Conservancy in outback South Australia, The Arkaba Walk is an experience that immerses you in the story of the land.
600-million years of geological history echo through the stratified layers of Wilpena Pound and the Elder Range, providing spectacular backdrops throughout the walk; while craggy sandstone bluffs and dry creek beds lined with River Red Gums offer a quintessential outback landscape. Large numbers of Red and Western Grey kangaroos, wallaroos and emus are regular sightings along the walk, and the country is littered with the stories, and often heroic failures, of early pioneers who tried to eke a living from the harsh but beautiful country.
Arkaba’s own conservation management programs offer interested guests the chance to learn of the challenges that Australia faces in conserving its unique and diverse environment.
This is a four-day walk for groups of up to ten walkers. Departing from Wilpena Pound on day one, you’ll be escorted by one or more of Arkaba’s field guides, whose passion is in opening up the secrets of the country and reconnecting you with the bush.
The accommodation has been designed to expose you to the surrounding country; Arkaba’s signature ‘star beds’ offer you the chance to lie out under the night skies (or within sheltered bush huts). Arkaba’s incredible topography presents spectacular panoramas of Wilpena Pound and the Elder Range, particularly in the evening as the ranges glow with the rich red light of sunset. While spending your days immersing yourself in the stories, both natural and human, of this region, the ‘Wild Bush Luxury’ touches (hot showers, a cold drink, canapés, comfy swags and hot water bottles) appear on arrival in camp in late afternoon. Evenings are spent around the campfire, indulging in a three-course camp dinner, with a selection of fine South Australian wines, before retiring to your deluxe swag for a well-earned rest and the sounds of the bush all around you.
The final night is spent in the comfort of Arkaba’s beautifully renovated 1850’s homestead, a member of Luxury Lodges of Australia.
Thursday ex Adelaide departure
Enjoy the simplicity of a charter flight from Adelaide directly into Hawker with a 45 minute connecting road transfer to Wilpena Pound. Make the most of a sleep in and a packed breakfast to enjoy on the way, before starting your walk.
Friday ex Adelaide departure
Take a scenic flight with REX (Regional Express Airlines) from Adelaide arriving in the regional South Australian town of Whyalla, before a 2.5 hour road transfer to the Arkaba Heritage Homestead, from which you’ll commence your walk.
The Arkaba Walk departing from Arkaba Heritage Homestead remains an option on all departures for those who prefer to self-drive. Self drivers also have the option of a helicopter flight (cost additional), which is not available on walks departing from Adelaide.
Traverse the basin of Wilpena Pound before crossing onto Arkaba’s private conservancy and descend to Blacks Gap Signature Swag Camp.
A challenging hike through creeks and broken country approaching the foothills of the Elder Range to Elder Camp.
Walk across varying terrain through Mallee and cypress forests before ascending the beautiful Red Range for views across the neighboring ranges and crossing Arkaba Creek to arrive at the Arkaba Homestead.
Depart Arkaba Homestead after breakfast at 8:30am for a scenic transfer through charming outback towns with wine tasting and lunch in the Clare Valley wine country. Arrive Adelaide Airport at 5pm to meet onward flights departing from 6pm.
This graph loosely depicts the gradient of the track, providing you with some basic understanding of how challenging the walk will be. The graphs are useful in helping you decide which walk suits you best. Whatever your ability or fitness, there’s sure to be a walk that suits in the Great Walks of Australia collection. * Elevations are indicative only and are not to scale. Walkers should contact individual walk companies to better understand the terrain and difficulty of each walk.
Arkaba’s vision is to blend tourism and conservation in a virtuous circle where the proceeds of tourism are invested in the protection of Arkaba’s 60,000 acres of private conservancy. The removal of sheep and four years of feral management have seen successful control of fox, feral cat and goat numbers and the results are to be seen and heard with the return of native bird, mammal and reptile species to the area. Guests will learn of the various conservation management programs that the Arkaba team are involved in and will see the GPS marking and camera monitoring work that the guides engage in during the walk.
The Arkaba Walk and Wild Bush Luxury also have a conservation partnership with the Australian Wildlife Conservancy.