Most people would think that a driving adventure in the Aussie outback involves heading out into the middle of nowhere. However, the South Australian outback brings the remote, rugged landscapes to all of us – even if we only have a few days to get away.
A Road Trip to Arkaroola, South Australia
Arkaroola is one of the most stunning and important geological sites in our entire country. And as always, the journey to get there is every bit as interesting as the destination!
Located in the northern Flinders Ranges, it’s about 600km from Adelaide. For the most part, it’s a pretty flat drive through sheep country. As you enter the Flinders Ranges, the light hitting the rock formations is quite a spectacle, while the flat roads quickly become undulating hills and incredible rocky escarpments.
We’re soon surrounded by giant rock formations that have been here for literally billions of years. Entering the grounds of the Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary, the place feels majestic and untouched by civilisation and time.
Arkaroola is a 610-square-km wilderness sanctuary. Filled with endless rugged mountains, towering granite peaks, magnificent gorges and mysterious waterholes, it’s home to 160 species of birds and even the shy and endangered yellow-footed Rock Wallaby.
A paradise for bushwalkers and four-wheel drivers, we take the Subaru Outback into ancient seabeds and across razorback ridges, discovering new terrain and views around every corner.
The area has a long and rich history with Antarctic explorer Sir Douglas Mawson discovering uranium here. Then, in 1968, Arkaroola was established by his student Reg Sprigg, after he purchased the pastoral lease and turned it into a wildlife sanctuary. In the past, there’s been much debate on mining the uranium that’s present here. Luckily for us travellers, the area has now been protected. His family carry on his dream today.
You can stay here in the award-winning eco-lodges or set up camp like us! We set up our caravan in front of a mountain range, and at around 5 o’clock the sun starts to set, lighting up the mountain in the most vibrant of oranges. We sit around a campfire toasting marshmallows, taking in the silence and the smells of the Australian bush.
When we’ve finished looking at the sun setting over the ranges, it’s time to look up! There are three astronomical observatories here and it’s simply mesmerising to take in the beauty of the Southern Hemisphere. It’s like the heavens are putting on a show.
This place is so stunning. It would be a shame to drive straight past it on the highway and not turn off and be treated to this. The Flinders Ranges and the Outback of South Australia really are a place like no other.
And what’s more, it’s so easily accessible for us all!
Feel free to tell us about your own Australian road trip experience in the comments below!