Arkaroola, we have arrived

After a major change to our itinerary, we have arrived at Arkaroola as per our schedule.  Originally we planned to head west to Innamincka, and then down to Arkaroola, however the weather had other ideas and we ended up having to head South from St George, and then west via Broken Hill, up through the Southern Flinders Ranges, and into Arkaroola.

While this meant a number of days with a bit more driving than anticipated, the advantage of this detour was the amazing scenery that we’ve been privileged to witness over the past couple of days while heading north to Arkaroola. If we had stayed with our original course we would have been either back tracking and 2 days late, or worse, stuck in Innamincka as roads in and out are still closed.

While on the way from Peterborough we booked a night a Rawnsley Station, which was a great stopping point on the way through the Flinders Ranges National Park. Comfortable accommodation and a location just on the edge of Wilpena Pound meant we were treated to some spectacular sights and some great photo opportunities.

Before checking in we continued into Wilpena Pound and visited the centre for a spot of lunch and to check out the information kiosk and store. A few souvenirs were purchased and we went for a stroll through the information boards reading about the plight of the native animals and the steps that are being taken to remove the pests such as foxes and rabbits.

We back tracked to our accommodation and set about unpacking. After we were settled we went for a walk up the hill which provided wonderful views of Wilpena Pound and other mountain ranges in the Flinders Ranges.

We thought we had a relatively short day the following day, so we checked out at 10am on our way back through the national park and to a town called Blinman. Along the way we stopped at a lookout that provided some magical views back to Wilpena Pound and the surrounding area.

Once arriving at Blinman we popped into the shop as there was the promise of Quandong Pie. This did not disappoint and we picked up a few to have for afternoon tea later that day. While in the store we asked the owner if she knew of the road condition to Arkaroola.  In a word, ‘rough’. Estimated travel time was about 3-4 hours for a 160km drive.

We thought it would be closer to 2 hours. With this information at hand we had a quick lunch and then hit the road. This was our first chance to get off the bitumen, and the road was indeed rough. It had been closed only days earlier, and it’s not hard to see why. Many washouts and boggy sections, most of which had dried up for our traversal.

All up it took us about 3 hours to get to Arkaroola, however before arriving we stopped in at the Balcanoona ranger station where there was a toilet and rest area for tourists. We proceeded to devour our Quandong Pie’s along with a cups.

From here it was only 30k’s to Arkaroola and we arrived around 4pm.  The road in was literally crawling with wild life. Emu’s and many different species of kangaroo’s lined the road side pretty much the entire way.

With a major detour out of the way, we managed to make our 3 night booking at Arkaroola and we are looking forward to enjoying the facilities and landscape that this wilderness retreat has to offer.



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