Arkaroola & Kati-Thanda - Lake Eyre Walking Holiday
Adelaide South Australia - Fri 20th August 2021

Max Participants:
10
Location:
Adelaide South Australia
Date:
Fri 20th August 2021
Start Time:
6:30am
End Time:
5:00pm
Duration:
8 Days
Non-Member Cost:
$2950.00 per person
Member Cost:
$2900.00 per person
Deposit Required:
$300.00
Single Supplement:
From $500.00 per person
Tagged:
outback walking holiday
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Over 8 days you’ll experience a truly unique and varied journey as we discover the very best of South Australia’s remote northern outback wilderness on this fantastic 8 day 'pack free' walking holiday. Showcasing the best day walks in Vulkathunha – Gammon Ranges National Park, Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary and Lake Eyre – Kati Thanda National Park.

Gallery

The Pinnacles, Arkaroola | Photographer Adam Bruzzone
South Australian Tourism Commission | Photographer John Montesi
Arkaroola | Photographer Greg Snell
Rock Wallabies | Photographer Tyrone Ormsby
Kati Thanda-Lake Eyre National Park, Scenic Flight | Photographer Adam Bruzzone
Kati Thanda-Lake Eyre National Park scenic flight | Photographer Peter Rowe
Arkaroola | Photographer Greg Snell

Location

Please note map locations and route are approximate only

Itinerary

We depart Adelaide at 6.30 am and travel north, arriving at Jamestown for morning tea and a tour briefing at a local coffee shop.

We then continue to Wilpena Pound and our first walk starts at the visitor centre and follows the creek. The trail is quite a wide flat. Much of the walk is cool in the shade of beautiful big gum trees and pines. It’s a lovely atmosphere and there is a pretty waterhole.

Before long we cross the creek and head up to a flat plateau area where we come across the Hill Homestead. There are information boards here that detail its fascinating history which your guides will also discuss. There are toilets here.

The lookout track continues on up the hill behind the homestead. This is where the track gets harder and steeper. The track is uneven with lots of rocks and rock steps to climb over. After 300 metres or so we come to the first lookout platform. The views here are spectacular!

From here we continue up to the next lookout spot. It’s a little bit further than the first and slightly harder. The view here is also fantastic. After this lovely walk we hop back in the van and travel a little further to either Gum Creek Station or Rawnsley Park Station for an overnight stay.

Meals: None included

Accommodation: Gum Creek Station Shearers rooms or Rawnsley Park Station holiday units.

After breakfast, we depart Gum Creek Station and make our way further north to the start of the Mt Chambers Gorge Walk.

We arrive mid-morning and enjoy a short walk to an extensive Aboriginal petroglyph site here set amongst towering rock walls and a spring fed river bed.

The path is rocky slate and is quite skinny as it runs along the side of a rocky cliff. It levels out before long and remains quite flat from there on.

The terrain is sandy and rocky with lots of rock obstacles. You will start to see the engravings become more common as you move along the trail. Before long we come out into a small natural amphitheater and see a wall full of engravings. It’s quite a spectacular site and must have been a very important place for the local indigenous people.

Eventually the creek bed flattens out and we retrace our steps back. There is the option of walking along the creek of the main gorge depending on time and group willingness. We find a nice spot in the shade to have lunch and then continue on. We finish the day in the remote village of Arkaroola.

Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary is run by the Sprigg family as private wilderness retreat and an important conservation reserve. This is a truly beautiful place with so much to offer avid bushwalkers.

Meals: None included

Accommodation: Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary
There is no mobile phone coverage here however you can purchase wifi for around $10 for your whole stay. There is a licensed bar onsite.

After breakfast and lunch making we head out of Arkaroola to the beginning of our days walk.

From the trailhead, the walk heads towards the creek. We follow the creek up the valley. It’s a mixture of sandy soil and the rocky creek bed. Although the path is uneven its relatively flat. The trail crosses some water but its low enough so you can easily find some rocks to get across and stay dry. There are some larger rocks and boulders to step over through this section and then we arrive at the track junction.

Depending on the fitness and willingness of the group we may turn left and head along Balcanoona creek or right onto the Monarch Mine trail. Regardless which route we take, both take us to Grindells Hut.

The Monarch mine trail feels very untrodden and the track is a bit rough as you clamber over rocks and what seems to be the path leading alongside a rocky outcrop. The Weetootla Spring is here along the creek bed. The terrain is still flat though uneven with some rocky slabs to step up and down. We continue along to a gentle ascent with switchbacks to ease the climb. After weaving our way up you can see exactly where the track is leading and start to see some pretty awesome views of the surrounding ranges and the valley.

It’s a narrow track and the sides of the mountain are steep but its surprisingly easy to walk these paths. You get a spectacular view of the trail in the distance on the side of the mountain opposite.

Hiking along the mountain sides is a very unique experience. The views are truly endless. There are a few sections where you will need to climb up and along larger rocks on the steep sides but in general this trail is pretty easy to walk on.

Eventually you spot Grindells Hut in the distance and the trail starts heading down from the mountains. Like the ascent, the descent is also quite gentle. At Grindells Hut there are toilets. We have a rest and look around before making out way back to the junction and through the Balcanoona Creek trail towards the Weetootla campground.

Meals: None included

Accommodation: Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary

Today’s walk is quite varied and allows us to discover the geological story of Arkaroola as we explore the different rock surfaces and gorges with a magnificent hike through Bararanna Gorge.

The terrain starts off uphill on a rocky path, athough it’s not too strenuous. Once we reach the highest point you can see where the trail contours around the mountain side. There is a lot of slate which looks like perfectly made tiles, it’s quite fascinating.

The trail starts heading down hill and there are some incredible views of distant mountain ranges. We start to walk through some vegetation and soon head down a small creek and into the actual gorge.

We take care climbing down here as the path goes over some very awkward and large boulders. We continue following this creek bed. The path is rocky, sand and sometimes on slabs. Once you get down into the gorge the path weaves in and out through large boulders. The steep sides of the gorge come into view and it's spectacular.

We follow the gorge for a little while and come across Stubbs waterhole. This is a scenic area with huge walls of the gorge directly behind it make it a photographers dream. The track continues around through the creek bed and there are some large boulders to maneuver over and around. Near the end of the trail we walk up a steep hill and over the other side and can then see where we started.

There is such a variation in this walk, you get to see a lot and walk on all different types of terrain which is fascinating.

Optional extra: Tonight there is an opportunity to join on an astronomy tour. (Guest expense $40 approx.)

Tonight's dinner is onsite and at guests own expense.

Meals: None included

Accommodation: Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary

We have breakfast, pack up and depart Arkaroola to venture into the heart of Australia's outback.

We stop in Farina and enjoy a bun if the bakery is open, otherwise we will provide morning tea. We then have a short walk to visit the ruins. We wander through the streets looking at the old post office, police station, pub and then head over to the railway lines and on toward the cemetery.

After a little bit of driving the road turns to dirt. Just before you come into Marree you will see a stone statue of a man. It’s a good opportunity to stop here and get a photo.

Dinner tonight is at Marree Oasis with a 2 course meal and live entertainment (incl)

Meals: None included

Accommodation: Marree Oasis Holiday Park cabins

Today we head north and visit the iconic Lake Eyre. There is a small uphill walk of about 200 metres. Once we reach the top you will see a large expanse of white salt flat that continues into the distance - Lake Eyre.

We spend lots of time taking photos and after your visit here you can say that you’ve walked at Lake Eyre! A unique and rare experience.

We then return to Muloorina for a toilet stop and have lunch by a waterhole. The afternoon is open for flights or a town walk to take in some historical sites.

Scenic flight – optional extra (guest expense) – 45min flight cost approx. $280pp. It is best to advise guides so this can be booked in advance.

Meals: None included

Accommodation: Marree Oasis Holiday Park cabins

We pack up and begin our journey south to Almerta Station stopping at Prairie Hotel to explore this unique and interesting outback hotel. Once we reach Almerta Station we stretch our legs on one of the station walks.

The Bluff walk is a great one. We follow the ridgeline up the hill alongside the cliff edge until we reach the summit. We do a loop and walk back down enjoying more views on the other side. Keep you eyes out for wedge-tailed eagles on this walk.

There are more walks at Almerta that we can explore depending on time.

Meals: None included

Accommodation: Almerta Station

We pack up and head south stopping for a circuit hike along the full length of Alligator Gorge, including the Narrows and the Terraces.

The trail starts as a steep downhill descent with rock slabs as stairs. There are handrails which will come in handy. After descending the stairs we follow the track to the terraces.

The trail follows the creek bed on a mixture of sand and dirt soil on uneven terrain. After reaching the terraces, care needs to be taken on the slippery rock surface. There are many obstacles to climb over and the track is undulating.

After approximately 2 kms the track starts ascending and contours around the mountain. The track is much more even here with no rocks or boulders to navigate. After reaching the top it winds around to a 4wd track and we follow this road back towards the carpark and Blue Gum track. At Blue Gum carpark there are toilets.

From here we head back down the gorge and into the narrows. The tall sides of the gorge are incredibly dramatic and it’s a lovely place to walk through. Finally we reach the terraces and the staircase we came down at the start. Luckily there are some seats along the way for a breather heading back up!

We aim to have you back in Adelaide around 5pm. We drop off at the Chifley and Adelaide Airport. If you are planning to fly out after the tour please book flights after 6.30pm.

Meals: None included

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Includes

Small group of 10 or less

Guided walks each day with experienced guides

7 nights accommodation (single supplement available)

Return group transfer departing and returning to Adelaide

Magnificent walking and sightseeing

All Meals as per itinerary plus fresh fruit, trail mix, tea/coffee and other non alcoholic beverages provided daily

Excludes

Flights to and from Adelaide

Airport Transfers

Items of a personal nature

Travel Insurance

Accommodation

Rawnsley Park

The property is situated just outside Wilpena Pound and is the perfect base for exploring the area. Here we stay in comfortable two-bedroom cabins for four nights of the tour. These cabins have two bedrooms with the one shared bathroom between the two rooms, and a shared living area.You can choose a single supplement if you would prefer not to share a bedroom, this means you would have one bedroom in the two bedroom cabin and are likely to be sharing the cabin (and bathroom) with one or two other guests. 

 

Gum Creek Station
Recently upgraded quality Shearer’s Quarters style accommodation, ideal for groups and families and sleeping up to 18 people.  Fully self-contained, with large kitchen plus dining/living area; wood fire and gas heating; 240 volt solar power; large outdoor deck and BBQ area, nestled alongside river red gum-lined homestead creek.Gum Creek Station is a 200 km² pastoral lease which straddles the very backbone of the magnificent Flinders Ranges.  Spanning the northern boundary of the Flinders Ranges National Park, the property also affords easy access to a host of local attractions, including the stunning Brachina Gorge and the unique and historic town of Blinman.  Whilst staying at Gum Creek you will enjoy exclusive access to our 4WD station tracks, day walks and mountain bike trails. Relax, explore, exercise, get up close to wildlife, marvel at the night skies and enjoy clean and comfortable accommodation in a great setting. Feel free to chat with your hosts to share their knowledge and experiences which span over seven generations on the property. 

 

Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary
Suites with spectacular mountain views: (For up to 4 persons) En-suite bathroom facilities, split-system reverse-cycle air conditioning, Queen-size bed, Single Bed, Trundle (roll-out) bed, Small bar-size refrigerator, Tea and coffee making facilities, TV

 

Marree Holiday Park Cabins
The Marree Hotel’s ensuite cabins provide superior accommodation in Marree. Immaculately presented, comfy and convenient with parking at your door and so close to the Hotel.These cabins are generous in proportion with large showers, free-to-air digital TV, tea and coffee making facilities and every cabin is air conditioned. WiFi is available throughout the hotel/motel cabins for a small fee. Optus mobile phone service is now available in Marree. 

 

Almerta Station
Still retaining the authentic farm stay charm, the old building consists of a fully equipped kitchen with two gas stoves, a microwave and a large fridge/freezer. The dining room adjoining the kitchen has an open wood fire place to warm up those cold winter nights. The laundry next to the toilet on the front porch provides not only a washing machine, but also two showers and a large sink for hand washing. It is adjoined by shaded outdoor areas with a gas BBQ.The main sleeping quarters include six different sized and equipped bedrooms suitable for families and larger groups, a large lounge room with a huge shaded porch area and an amenities block with three separate bathrooms. Just a few steps up the hill you can find a renovated Ecohut with two bedrooms, one with a queen size bed and the other with three bunks. There is a unique fire pit area cut into the hill above the Quarters. Top off a wonderful country experience with dinner and drinks around an open fire before bedding down.

What To Bring/Wear

- Clothing for the duration of the trip

- A comfortable pair of walking shoes (runners or flat-soled shoes will not suffice except as something you can wear after a days activity)

- Toiletries and any personal medication.

- Walking poles (if you are comfortable with using these).

- Other items relevant to specific trips will be detailed in trip notes sent to you prior to travel.

More Information

Preparing for your walk:

If you are joining an Adventurous Women/Park Trek combined tour there are a few things to note.

Most healthy adults can participate in our walking holidays. If you can walk upwards of 15 kilometres or more in a day, carrying a lightweight day pack, you will find our tours totally achievable. While we typically walk on well forged walking tracks, the quality and degree of difficulty can vary greatly. You may find some tracks rocky and lumpy underfoot, soft and sandy, or muddy and slippery. Sometimes there is the need to negotiate obstacles such as fallen trees, sections of scree or steep steps. Ensure you come along with, not only the right footwear, rain gear and clothing, but also the right frame of mind!  

 

Track Grading: 

Grade 1 - No bush walking experience required. Flat even surface with no steps or steep sections. Suitable for wheelchair users who have someone to assist them. Walks no greater than 5km.

Grade 2 - No bush walking experience required. The track is a hardened or compacted surface and may have a gentle hill section or sections and occasional steps. Walks no greater than 10km.

Grade 3 - Suitable for most ages and fitness levels. Some bush walking experience recommended. Tracks may have short steep hill sections a rough surface and many steps. Walks up to 20km.

Grade 4 - Bush walking experience recommended. Tracks may be long, rough and very steep. Directional signage may be limited.

Grade 5 - Very experienced bush walkers with specialised skills, including navigation and emergency first aid. Tracks are likely to be very rough, very steep and unmarked. Walks may be more than 20km. 


If you are flying out of Adelaide, please book flights home from 6.30pm onwards.

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Cancellation & Refunds

In the event that you cancel your booking, the following charges apply as per the Terms & Conditions of Park Trek (our walking partners for this holiday).

Notice of cancellation must be in writing, with an email as an acceptable form of communication, directly to Adventurous Women, with the following conditions:

60 days plus prior to trip departure you will forfeit your tour deposit.

59 to 15 days prior to trip departure you will forfeit your deposit and be refunded 25% of the balance of your tour cost. 

Within 14 days of the trip departure you will forfeit 100% of the total tour cost.

No refund is available once the tour has commenced.

Please ensure you read our complete cancellation policy  before booking