View from one of the lookouts in Arkaroola Resort
25 October 2017
This morning we are getting ready for our Ridgetop Tour, so up about 6am for a 7am breakfast and an 8am tour start. The early morning was a bit cloudy, but this soon cleared and I believe the temperatures eventually reached the low 30s.
There were two 4WD vehicles to take 11 passengers in each, one able to sit in the truck’s passenger seat, and 10 in the open, covered area at the rear, so we will be up and close to the ranges and any wildlife. As we advanced into the area the scenery became more thickly wooded and then we saw the magnificent cliffs of rocks that had been there for millions of years. The first lookout was Goyder Lookout, named after the then Surveyor General G M Goyder. This afforded magnificent views across the valley and the mountains beyond.
Next stop was Mount Painter, (named after Surveyor J M Painter by Surveyor General G MGoyder), and Split Rock (right), aptly named due to the great view of a split rock and its surrounds. On our way we were lucky enough to see a Yellow Footed Rock Wallaby, quite common in the area, but unusual to see at this time of the morning, they are usually around at dawn and dusk – probably looking for a late breakfast!
Our guide (Doug Sprigg, son of the original owner of Arkaroola, Reg Sprigg) (shown centre left of the photo with a green cap) has a wonderful knowledge of this area, not only its geology, but the flora and fauna, and he apparently also presented the Observatory show the previous evening.
Morning tea of tea/coffee/milo and lamingtons was served at our next stop, again surrounded by the majestic rocky mountains so prolific in this magnificent area. An unscheduled stop followed to look at some more rocks (much smaller this time) while our guide explained the significance and history of the rocks and the area.
The tour was 4.5 hours long and I would rate the scenery at 10/10, but the mode of transport as 1/10! We were quite squashed sitting 5 people on each side of the vehicle, with lap style seat belts, but the road for the most part was unsealed, extremely rocky in parts especially over old creek beds, extremely steep in other parts and we all felt we were thrown around too much, and most people were glad to finally get back to the Resort!
Flick had prepared some tuna salad wraps for our lunch, then she took those who wished to visit the ochre wall close to the Resort. As I had seen a few ochre walls in the Northern Territory my choice was a catnap to bring myself back to some normality! Flick also organised dinner this evening, Butter Chicken which was delicious eaten out in the evening under the stars. We were all given a gift of Truely Tribal T-shirts which we promised to wear on our last day (below). Tomorrow we are heading south to Wilpena Pound. We have booked a flight over the area and I can’t wait to see the vista from the air!