24 October 2016
This morning our coach leaves at 8.30am, so we need to have our bags ready to load on to the coach by 8.15am, so not too early. The tour operator/guide (“Flick”) organised breakfast in our rooms, so all we needed to do was to pack the bags and be ready on time.
We have a long journey to make today (about 600 kms) to Arkaroola Resort where we will spend the next two nights. The morning was cloudy, but no rain was forecast. Our first stop for morning tea was at Hawker where Flick had the coffee and biscuits ready. After morning tea we walked to the fabulous gallery of Jeff Morgan, a well known South Australian artist who paints the most wonderful landscapes. Inside the gallery are the “panoramas” that he has painted, many covering a full wall, and a couple that are painted in circular rooms where you feel as though you are planted in the area he has painted, mainly scenes of the areas around the Flinders Ranges (below).
Our lunch stop was at the Prairie Hotel at Parachilna. The hotel is owned by a family named Farga, and they have their own beer label Farga Larga, which we had to try with our lunch, quite good. Flick had organised for a special South Australian bread to make our sliced pork and double cream brie sandwiches, washed down with the Farga Larga it was a real treat. The hotel had a great collection of pottery, handbags, paintings, steel sculptures and indigenous art, but we resisted any purchasers.
Our final stop before heading to Arkaroola Resort was Leigh Creek where we refuelled the coach, bought some icecreams, and headed further north, with a short stop to view Lake Frome in the distance. Our last 100kms was on unsealed roads, not too pleasant, but the scenery was spectacular especially as we drove through the vast cattle stations and the Gammon Ranges with its steep cliffs and colours of brown, green, yellow and orange.
We finally arrived at our destination of Arkaroola Resort late afternoon, in time for a cool drink, and dinner. It was nice to catch up with our fellow travellers and chat. There was a tour organised for 8.30pm to attend the Observatory to view the beautiful night sky however we declined the offer as we were tired after our long day and preferred to have an early night.
Some information about Arkaroola Resort – Located 600km north of Adelaide and 130km east of Leigh Creek, and in the ruggedly spectacular northern Flinders Ranges, this 610sq km multi award-winning Wilderness Sanctuary, operated by the Sprigg family, contains some of Australia’s most spectacular mountain views and offers numerous Advanced Ecotourism accredited guided tours.
Arkaroola features rugged mountains, towering granite peaks, magnificent gorges and mysterious waterholes, the 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 rugged 4WD Ridgetop Tour is world famous; journey to the depths of ancient seabeds and across razor-back ridges and peaks of the Flinders Ranges most rugged mountains to the magnificent climax at Sillers Lookout (now closed due to erosion following heavy rains).
Tomorrow we join the Ridgetop Tour through Arkaroola Resort.