Day 1(LD): To the Top of the Gulf. (Monday 31 August, 2020)
Port Augusta at the top of the Spencer Gulf is the gateway to the Flinders Ranges – and that is where we are heading today! From here we will stay two nights in the Southern Flinders before touring north to Arkaroola in the Gammon Ranges National Park. Largely unknown, Arkaroola is one of Australia’s true tourism gems. On the way home we have a night in Clare to complete a stunning 7 day tour. This morning we head north to Keith and then through to Adelaide before joining Highway 1 and around the eastern side of Spencer Gulf to Port Augusta for our first night on tour. (Meal inclusions: Light lunch/Dinner in the motel)
Standpipe Gulf Motor Inn, Port Augusta – (08) 8642 4033 – 1 night
Day 2 (BLD): To the Flinders Ranges (Tuesday 01 September)
Port Augusta is located at the top of the Spencer Gulf. Major transcontinental rail services pass through Port Augusta as do the major east/west and north/south highways. The town was once an important base for arid land explorations to the north and later a busy shipping port. We take a brief look around, before embarking on an historical train journey aboard the Pichi Richi Rail. This section of rail line is the original Port Augusta to Alice Springs line which travels through the famous Pichi Richi Pass to the historic township of Quorn. The railway heritage is reflected in the names of some of the old hotels - The Grand Junction and the Trans Continental. After lunch, we continue north, stopping at the Kanyaka Homestead just off the main road, 15 kilometres south of Hawker.
Our next two night’s accommodation is in the Flinders Ranges at Rawnsley Park Station, set below the magnificent Rawnsley Bluff. Dinner tonight will be in the Woolshed Restaurant, where the ever-changing menu makes the best of local produce, including Rawnsley’s own lamb. (Meal inclusions: Breakfast and dinner at the motel / lunch at Great Northern Lodge, Quorn)
Rawnsley Park Station – (08) 8648 0700 – 2 nights
Day 3 (BLD):The Flinders Ranges (Wednesday 2 September)
This morning a local expert joins us for an insider’s tour of this stunning National Park. The Flinders Ranges are well known for their wild flowers but it’s the dramatic gorges and spectacular peaks that are the real highlights. We enjoy a packed lunch along the way then return to Rawnsley mid-afternoon. Wrap up warmly as late afternoon we’ll drive to see the spectacular panorama including Wilpena Pound from Pugilist Lookout and enjoy Sundowners – nibbles and drinks as we watch the sun set. (Meal inclusions: Breakfast and dinner at the motel / packed lunch supplied)
Day 4 (BLD): Rawnsley Park to Arkaroola (Thu 3 September)
We tour further into the Flinders today on our way to the Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary. Lunch today is at Blinman – historic, picturesque and the highest town in South Australia. During the copper mining boom of the 1850s more than 1500 people lived in Blinman. Today it’s just over 20! This afternoon we arrive at Arkaroola in the Gammon Ranges National Park, one of Australia’s true tourism gems. Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary is blessed with a unique landscape created over 2 billion years ago and is home to the most rugged chain of mountains in the Australian Outback. We have time to settle in and perhaps take ourselves on a self-guided walk before dinner. At night there is a chance to visit Australia’s largest privately owned Astronomical Observatory. Tours of the Universe from this facility and the “star chairs” provide a unique experience for the traveller that is normally only available to scientists and astronomers (entry own cost/depends on local weather conditions). (Meal inclusions: Breakfast and dinner at the motel / Light lunch at the Blinman Pub)
Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary – (08) 8648 4848 – 2 nights
Day 5 (BLD): Arkaroola Ridge Top Tour (Friday 4 September)
This morning we take the incredible 4WD ‘Ridge Top Tour’ driving along mine tracks winding through some of Australia’s most rugged mountains. Visit ‘Crystal Candy Mountain’, Mt Painter, Yundnamutana Gorge and Sillers Lookout with awe inspiring views extending more than 80 kms over Lake Frome. We return to Arkaroola for lunch and then the afternoon is free to enjoy the area.
Take a self-guided walk, or the Echo Camp Back Track Tour or a 35 minute scenic flight over the Gammon Ranges, or perhaps just kick back and relax (all touring this afternoon is optional and own expense). (Meal inclusions: Breakfast lunch and dinner at accommodation)
Day 6 (BLD): Arkaroola to Clare (Saturday 5 September, 2020)
We have an early breakfast this morning before our travel day ahead. Driving west, we make our way to Copley and Leigh Creek where we stop for a lunch break. Heading on, we’ll have a quick stop in Hawker to visit the Jeff Morgan Gallery featuring the amazing 30 x 3 metre Wilpena Panorama before we re-join the highway and head south via Quorn and then into the picturesque Southern Flinders and Mount Remarkable National Park. We arrive into our overnight destination of Clare to check in at the delightful Clare Country Club (Meal inclusions: Breakfast and dinner at the motel / lunch in Leigh Creek).
Clare Country Club, Clare – (08) 8842 1060 – 1 night
Day 7 (B): Home to the South East (Sunday 6 September, 2020)
From Clare this morning we travel south to Gawler and then make our way though the Adelaide Hills – via Mount Pleasant and Palmer - to Murray Bridge. We then head home via Keith to complete our 7 day tour. (Meal inclusions: Breakfast in the motel)
All itineraries are subject to change due to occasional restrictions in opening times/days of some attractions. We cannot be held responsible for any changes due to closures, inclement weather or any other reason outside our control.