Itinerary: (click here for route map pdf) (click here for printable pdf)
Day 1: Depart Adelaide accommodation 8.00am. We travel to the southern Flinders Ranges via the Clare valley wine region. We enjoy morning tea at the delightful Skillogalee Winery café. (Old stone cottage overlooking the vineyards) Shortly after leaving the Clare valley we have our first views of the southern Flinders Ranges in the distance. Our lunch destination is at the historic township of Melrose, nestled at the base of Mount Remarkable, Lunch is at the North Star Hotel. After all this eating we enjoy a leisurely stroll around the streets of Melrose viewing the ruined remains of Jackas brewery, an example of a Pug-n-pine hut constructed from native pine trees and a huge river red gum with a girth of over 7 metres. Next it's off to the Mount Remarkable National Park to complete the (easy) 2 hour gorge circuit walk in the depths of Alligator Gorge. Then it’s off to the old "Ghan" railway town of Quorn, where we stay for the first night. Dinner in a country pub!
Day 2: Depart Quorn 8.30am Short 10km drive to the Dutchmans Stern Conservation Park for a 3 hour return (easy/medium) walk to an 820m summit to witness 360 degree views from the Spencer gulf in the south, the endless Western Plains, Wilpena Pound to the north, Willochra Plains and Horseshoe Range in the east and Mount Remarkable to the south. We return to Quorn for lunch at the Quandong Café (home of the native peach) We have the whole afternoon to cover 120km to our destination of Wilpena Pound Resort stopping at places of interest including Kanyaka Homestead ruins, outback town of Hawker, an afternoon (easy) 1 hr walk to Arkaroo Rock (aboriginal art site) located on the outer side of Wilpena Pound. Spend the night at the Wilpena Pound Resort with dinner in the Captain Starlight restaurant.
Day 3: 8.30am Pack up the vehicle in readiness for the 3 hour return morning walk discovering what is inside this miraculous circular mountain range. We follow the Wilpena Creek through what's known as the "Pound Gap" to the Hills Homestead before we make the 400m uphill walk to the Wangara Lookout to have an uninterrupted view of the bowl/floor. We return for lunch before we drive through the Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park's Bunyeroo and Brachina Gorges. Next we loop back along the Parachilna Gorge and stop for an afternoon walk (duration to be decided on the day) from the trailhead of the famous “Heysen Trail” a 1,200 km walk from Cape Jervis to the Parachilna Gorge. Then it is on to the old copper mining town of Blinman where we will stay for the night. As the town’s population is only 13 we will make a significant impact!
Day 4: After breakfast we head out to Mt Chambers Gorge for this morning’s (easy/medium) 3hr walk, we visit an ancient aboriginal ceremony site which is a stone wall with hundreds of rock engravings representing past initiation ceremonies. Next we walk to a hill top overlooking Chambers Creek and are able to view distant landscapes. We descend into Chambers Creek and visit the "Three Sisters" waterhole before making our way back to the vehicle. We enjoy a picnic lunch amongst this picturesque outback creek setting. A couple of hour drive is ahead of us to our destination of Arkaroola Sanctuary. We use the remainder of the afternoon exploring points of interest in the southern area of the sanctuary, such as the Pinnacles and Bolla Bollana Springs by 4wd or we can do another (easy) walk to see some of these features on the “Spriggina Loop” . This evening we stay at the Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary with dinner at the “Native Pine” restaurant.
Day 5: Return to Adelaide via Copley and Leigh Creek. We stop for morning tea at the iconic Prairie Hotel “where the outback meets the Flinders” and soak up the atmosphere. We then continue on to Hawker and then Quorn for lunch. After lunch we head to Adelaide via Pichi Richi pass to meet highway one. Arrive in Adelaide approx 6.00 6.30pm.