The Flinders Ranges is the largest mountain range in South Australia. Starting approximately 200 km north west of Adelaide, it stretches for over 430 km, from Port Pirie to Lake Callabonna. Arkaroola, Parachilna, Blinman and finally Wilpena & Rawnsley Park in the South, are the main air tour destinations.
Arkaroola features rugged mountains, towering granite peaks, magnificent gorges and mysterious waterholes. It is home to over 160 species of birds, and the shy and endangered Yellow-footed Rock-wallaby. Arkaroola is a mecca for bushwalkers and four-wheel drivers.
The spectacular Advanced Ecotourism accredited 4WD Ridgetop Tour is world famous. It takes you on a journey to the depths of ancient seabeds, across the razor-back ridges and peaks of the Flinders Ranges most rugged mountains, to a magnificent climax at Sillers Lookout.
Arkaba Station is set amongst 60,000 acres on a private wildlife conservancy. An escape to Arkaba’s beautifully restored homestead is like staying with friends in the country.
With the backdrop of the Elder Range and Wilpena Pound in the Flinders Ranges, guests enjoy exclusive use of the entire five-bedroom 1850s homestead and a private guide while a few ‘Wild Bush Luxury’ touches ensure comfort, style and a truly memorable outback experience. Great walks, a 4WD Ridge Top tour, and understanding of the conservation experience.
Accommodation includes luxury eco-villas, holiday units, a caravan park, and some of the best campsites you’ll find in the Flinders Ranges. Wildlife, birdlife, and flora abound on the Station, while 4WD tours, bushwalking, scenic flights, and cycling are all available. The airstrip is right next to the lodge.
Prairie Hotel – Parachilna
Parachilna is a country town in South Australia. The town was first surveyed in 1863 due to its closeness to a government water well. It is on the railway line and road between Port Augusta and Leigh Creek. Today, the Prairie Hotel, railway station, airstrip and a few buildings remain. The road east into the Flinders Ranges leads through Parachilna Gorge — recognised for its scenic beauty — to Blinman.
The Prairie Hotel restaurant is renowned for innovative dishes with Australian native and ‘Flinders Feral Food’ twists, and a focus on local and South Australian produce.
Amid the vibrant colours of the 800 million-year-old quartzite and limestone outcrop that is the Flinders Ranges, lies Wilpena Pound: a natural amphitheatre 17 km long and seven km wide. Shaped by the weathering and uplifting of land over time, this sacred place has strong significance to the indigenous Adnyamathanha people.
I thoroughly enjoyed visiting places I had not been to for some thirty years and experiencing again the beauty of the outback landscapes and the hospitality of the wonderful people who live there. All this and to have had the privilege to do this in a light aircraft flown by a very competent pilot.
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