Your Itinerary

arkaba homestead

 

from $3,199 per person

 

Indulge in some luxury at the fabulous Arkaba Homestead that sits on 60,000 acres of privately owned land and protected wildlife conservancy. Enjoy twice daily safaris with passionate field guides and free roaming wildlife and stay in a piece of history with this homestead dating back to the 1850’s

 

Inclusions

  • 4 nights Arkaba Homestead (stay 4/pay3)
  • All meals

 

  • Beverages
  • Twice daily guided safaris

Travel Dates

01 Dec – 19 Dec 21

09 Jan – 28 Feb 22

 

Blackout Dates

none

Book By

31 July 21 (unless sold prior)

arkaba homestead

Nestled within the Flinders Ranges in South Australia and framed by the walls of Wilpena Pound and the Elder Range, Arkaba offers some of Australia’s most spectacular outback scenery. Here, surrounded by the arid wasteland of the great salt lakes, an ancient seabed has been sculpted by millions of years of rain and sun into a fractured, furrowed landscape of deep valleys covered with casuarinas and cypress pines which fall into creek beds lined with river red gums.

There are a huge variety of landforms in the area, including high ranges, plateaus, gorges, valleys and creek lines as well as floodplains. The intriguing blend of semi-arid to temperate habitats within these mountain ranges that cut into deserts of Outback South Australia has encouraged a huge diversity of wildlife and plant life, with about 1,200 species of plants and nearly 300 species of birds recorded within the ranges. 

HISTORY

In March 1802 the first European explorer to the region was Matthew Flinders, who spotted the ranges from the deck of his ship, Investigator, as it sailed up Spencer Gulf. From his anchorage south of present-day Port Augusta he sent an exploratory party to climb a nearby peak which is now known as Mount Brown, named after his intrepid botanist.

Edward John Eyre was the next to arrive to the region in 1839. He set out over a period of two years to explore the western edge of the range. In 1850 William Browne, J.F. Hayward, G. Marchant and an Aboriginal guide explored more country to the North. Heavy rain stopped the party just north of Hawker so they had to return to Booborowie Station, which was settled earlier in 1843. William Chace, a stockman for the Brownes, was later sent to further explore the country. It was then that Chace discovered the Arkaba, Wilpena and Aroona country (the Chace Range on Arkaba’s eastern boundary remains testimony to his work).

Doctor William James Browne (1815-1884) and Doctor John Harris Browne (1817-1904) claimed Arkaba and were issued with Pastoral Lease 129 in July 1851 and engaged Frederick Sinnett, a surveyor from Adelaide to survey their claims. Although practising doctors, the Browne Brothers abandoned their medical careers soon after arriving in Australia and turned to buying property. They were the second settlers in the region after establishing Booborowie Station.

Early in 1851 they placed managing partners, the Marchant Brothers, in charge, giving each a half share in the property. The Great Drought of the 1860s broke many pastoralists, including the Marchant Brothers, who left Arkaba. The Brownes however, had the means of surviving and stayed on.

During the 1890s dingoes posed a great threat for the survival of Arkaba as it was still unfenced. As a result Arkaba changed hands a few times between the 1860s and 1900, the owners not being able to hold on to the property and it was reduced to 460 sq km (180 sq miles or 115,000 acres). Today the property is 260 sq km (100 sq miles or 64,000 acres).

How to get there:

  • 5 hours’ drive from central Adelaide (assuming no significant stops along the way). Make a day of it and visit scenic stops along the way (see Hit the Road section below).
  • 120 minute private charter flight from Adelaide and the same amount of time to Kangaroo Island. Private charter flights land at Hawker airstrip and are met by Arkaba hosts for the short 20 minute drive to the homestead.
  • 1 ¼ hours’ drive from Port Augusta (scheduled flights operate between Adelaide and Port Augusta with REX Airlines on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday)
  • 2 ¼ hours drive from Whyalla (scheduled flights operate between Adelaide and Whyalla with REX Airlines and Qantas
  • Private guided road transfer hosted by a local guide passing through the Clare Valley and can include wine tastings and lunch.
  • Private air and road transfers are available on request