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Five star bush luxury in South Australia

11th March 2010 Print

Arkaba, one of Australia’s oldest Outback sheep stations, is situated in the Flinders Ranges close to the geological amphitheatre of Wilpena Pound, South Australia. Built in 1851, Arkaba recently reopened with new managers having undergone a complete refurbishment.

This historic homestead now not only offers genuine five-star bush luxury, guests can also enjoy a wide variety of activities including a fantastic four-day/three-night walking safari.

The homestead, now part of the Wild Bush Luxury portfolio, offers all the comforts of a boutique hotel. Set in the unique wildlife environment of Wilpena Pound and the magnificent Flinders Ranges National Park, the homestead, whose extensive renovation and refurbishment was overseen by designer and renowned wildlife artist Rose Woodford Ganf, provides visitors with an insight into outback life as well as easy access to the region’s spectacular natural assets.


The heritage homestead, located around a 4½ hour drive or a 65-minute private charter aircraft from Adelaide, is a classic Flinders building with thick stone walls and deep shady verandas set against the backdrop of the rugged Elder Range. The property offers five bedrooms, four of which are located within the main building, each with en-suite, plus the Coachman’s Cottage situated in the garden.

To ensure a peaceful and tranquil experience, there are no telephones, televisions or minibars. Facilities include a library with deep leather chairs and a large stone fireplace and a swimming pool that overlooks Arkaba Creek.

Dinner is hosted on the terrace overlooking the Ranges and the resident chef serves up contemporary Australian cuisine using local produce with a native twist. Guests also have a choice of premium South Australian wines from the well-stocked cellar.


This region has been sculpted by millions of years of rain and sun creating a fractured landscape of rugged gorges, furrowed valleys with cypress pines, dry creek beds lined with river red gums and amazing vistas across miles of outback plain. Being a walker’s and wildlife lover’s paradise, the homestead offers the following activities:

- Four-day walking safaris can be undertaken in the company of an expert guide whose knowledge and passion will inspire. Guests will hear stories about the indigenous inhabitants, explorers and settlers, spot native wildlife, see the ancient ramparts of Wilpena Pound and admire the varied landscape.

The walks are conducted in small groups of up to eight, visiting permanent camps set up in spectacular locations providing the chance to sleep out under the stars in swags – the bedroll of choice for generations of Australian bushmen. Guests are treated to the luxury version with 100% cotton sheets, pillows, duvets and a thick mattress. Every evening a delicious dinner is prepared complete with wine and other beverages.

- 4WD day trips venture into neighbouring Flinders Ranges National Park with a drive through Brachina and Bunyeroo Gorges, a visit to the old mining town of Blinman and lunch at an outback pub hotel.

- Wildlife viewing includes spotting an extraordinary variety of bird and wildlife including red and grey kangaroos, euros (common wallaroos) and yellow-footed rock wallabies.

- Sheep station activities – being a working sheep station allows guests to observe the daily routine of station life – managing stock amid the challenges of the outback. The Arkaba woolshed was built in 1856 and is one of the finest in Australia. Shearing takes place each August but visitors can be taken to neighbouring stations if visiting outside this time to see the sheep shearers in action.

- Mountain biking – cyclists will love the station’s varied tracks and trails, from the gentle inclines in the centre of the property to the steeper angles in the foothills of the Elder Range.

- Indigenous culture – the Elder Range is steeped in stories and rarely visited art sites and guests can enjoy a fascinating introduction to Aboriginal culture with a local indigenous guide.

- Scenic flights – there is no better way to appreciate the stunning beauty of Wilpena Pound and the massive salt pans of Lake Torrens to the west of the ranges. A full day’s expedition to Lake Eyre can also be organised.

Most of these activities are included in the price of a stay at the homestead with the exception of the four-day walking safari and the scenic flights – these are additional.

Prices start from AUS$790 (around £462) per person, per night valid to 31st March 2011. This price, based on a minimum two-night stay and two people sharing, includes all meals, beverages, round trip transfers by road from Port Augusta or Hawker and scheduled activities (4WD safaris, mountain biking, wildlife viewing and daily guiding).

For more information and reservations, visit: