Arkaroola – June 2015

By Andrew

  Arkaroola is a privately owned Sanctuary in the far Northern Flinders Ranges (Gammon Ranges).

It was the June Long Weekend (cheers Liz) and the plan to go to Adelaide was cancelled at the last minute. As the family wasn’t interested in heading North (too cold/far/boring/remote/lazy) I called Tim and asked if he wanted to come along. His family also wasn’t interested (see previous reasons) so the two of us left Whyalla in the Patrol with the camper on the back.

I knew it had been a long time since I’d been to Arkaroola and a return visit was overdue. This was a place that we had spent quite a few long weekends at many years ago. I soon realised how long it had been as I’d never taken the green Patrol there and I’ve owned it for nearly 16 years!

Ark GQ

Our GQ Patrol at Arkaroola in the mid-90’s


Lunch at Hawker

A lazy drive North, with stops for food shopping (Port Augusta), lunch (Hawker) and Iced Coffee supplies (Leigh Creek) we arrived mid afternoon at Arkaroola Village. We paid our modest fees, $22 per night, and headed off to the campground. With the camper set up it was time to explore some tracks and find the all important firewood. The wood gathering was a success and with a well loaded roof rack we had enough (we thought) for that night.


Photos in the Gammon Ranges, on the way in to Arkaroola







What we also found was a sharp rock had punctured one of the rear tyres. I noticed this back at camp as the tyre was slowly deflating. Pretty annoyed with myself for making a rookie error and I do know better. Sure the rears are a bit old and worn and that didn’t help, but when we turned off the bitumen at Copley I hadn’t stopped and spent five minutes dropping the tyre pressures. Like I said a dumb rookie error that I’ve trained plenty of people not to make. Doh! A couple of plugs fixed that problem.

Back at camp we had a few beers, lit the fire and cooked dinner (steak and salad for those that require detail). Despite it being extremely cold, somehow over half a bottle of Bundy Red managed to evaporate during the evening. It helped me sleep well and ignore the cold though.


The backdrop to the Camping area



Arkaroola has many options for exploring including walking trails, bush walks, mountain biking, self drive station tracks, self drive 4WD trails and their signature tour the Ridgetop Tour which is in their open-top 4WD vehicles. Other activities include photography, bird watching and astronomy tours in their three observatories. Scenic flights are also available.

Bolla Bollana Copper Smelter



 Enough of the free advertising…

The weather was superb during the day, warm with clear blue skies. Not good for landscape photography but no real complaints from me. We drove a few of the station tracks but skipped doing the self drive Echo Camp Backtrack ($40 per vehicle plus key deposit). I had done that one a few times before but really after all of these years I should have done it again. Next time…

Here are some of my pictures from around the property.

IMG_6336 IMG_6295






Nooldoonooldoona Waterhole




Arkaroola was done and dusted for this trip but I won’t leave it so long to return. If you get the chance I highly recommend a visit. Its an easy run on the bitumen up to Copley (near Leigh Creek) and a bit over 100km in on a good gravel road – fully accessible in a 2WD car.

For more info visit:


Here are some pictures from the drive home.



We took the long way (because it’s more interesting!) via Chambers Gorge and Blinman.

Last shots of the trip, some sunset shots around Hawker.




Thanks for reading. As always, comments and feedback are welcome.

  1. Oldlux says:

    Nice, I love the Flinders and Arkaroola but I have trouble motivating friends to go there too.

  2. Steve Hinder says:

    Thank you Andrew,
    I have seen a fair amount of Australia, including The Kimberley.
    The Northern Flinders is up there amongst the best area of Australia.
    I personally think that up in the Arkaroola area is better than the Kimberley.
    Thanks for sharing your trip, i don’t get out much these days…

  3. Murray says:

    Terrific pics, Arkaroola is on my ‘must do’ list. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Anthony says:

    Hi Andrew,

    great photos (and website!). Much better than mine

    Any tips/techniques/filters that you can share? Would love to improve my photography skills.