Nestled alongside Vulkathunha-Gammon Ranges National Park in the Northern Flinders Ranges is Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary, a geologically spectacular region that spreads out around a comprehensive resort.
What to expect
The Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary is spread across 610sq/km around 700km from Adelaide. The area is known as being the first legally protected wilderness sanctuary in South Australia.
The sanctuary encompasses some of the most spectacular mountain scenery in the entire Flinders Ranges, the region’s rippled and buckled ranges stretching out to the horizon in every direction. There are numerous opportunities for adventure, with plenty of walks, natural attractions and 4WD tracks of different levels of difficulty contained within the Arkaroola area.
Wildlife enthusiasts will be happy to know that there are more than 160 bird species that inhabit the area, as well as the yellow-footed rock wallaby, which is currently endangered.
Arkaroola is accessible from multiple directions – coming south along the Strzelecki Track, heading north from Yunta, or coming from the west through Leigh Creek and Copley, which is a distance of about 130km.
Staying at Arkaroola Village
The drive into Arkaroola Village heads along a generally good gravel road through a gap in the ranges, which means patrons of the resort are surrounded by looming peaks that catch fire at sunrise and sunset. Arkaroola Village itself is a well-equipped resort in remote surrounds, containing a range of facilities for travellers to utilise: a pool, camp kitchen, BBQ area and a mechanical repair workshop.
The resort features a caravan park and campsites, in addition to a range of cabin accommodation for additional comfort. Booking isn't essential for campsites or the caravan park, though other accommodation can be booked over the phone (08 8648 4848) or through email (email@example.com). Next to reception is the Pick and Shovel Bar and the Native Pine restaurant, while on the other side is a shop and place to fuel up. At reception you can also book off-road and helicopter tours, which includes a potential visit to Sillers Lookout – a contender for the best scenic lookout in Australia.
There are numerous tracks and trails around Arkaroola that showcase its spectacular scenery and lead to various points of interest. Four-wheel drive tracks split off with regularity, heading over red rocky tracks upwards into the ranges or through dry, boulder-strewn creek beds. The Echo Camp Backtrack is one of most technically challenging tracks in the sanctuary and delivers some of the best views, and requires a fee to access it.
The area is also filled with abandoned mines, including the Welcome Mine in the east or the Yudnamutana and Daly mines in the north, which are all accessible by 4WD track; making for some great on-foot exploration.
Throughout Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary is a huge range of walking trails, which include the stunning Acacia Ridge Trail (5.8km, moderate), the Mawson-Spriggina Trail (8km loop, easy), Oppaminda-Nudlamatana Trail (15.2km, moderate), Bararranna Bush Walk (6.8km walk from Welcome Pound) and the Kingsmill Gorge (4km, moderate). Each of these walks takes in a unique section of the sanctuary, from windy granite ridgetops to deep creek beds.
The view in Arkaroola is not limited to the Flinders Ranges (although this view is spectacular). The area also boasts three observatories, all fitted with professional telescopes, allowing visitors an astounding view of the Southern Hemisphere sky. You can book in a Tour the Universe astronomy tour to get a comprehensive guide to the sky from an expert.
Learn more about Arkaroola's facilities and history by heading to the Arkaroola website.
Explore around Arkaroola with maps & navigation: