Take refuge from the wilderness of the Australian outback at this luxurious homestead in Flinders Ranges, where the experience is authentic and thrilling in equal measure
The historic homestead at Arkaba Conservancy is a homely oasis of comfort in the harsh and rugged South Australia outback.
A former sheep farm set on 59,305 acres in the breathtaking Flinders Ranges, Arkaba is now a private wildlife conservancy, where guests can discover native wildlife and explore some of Australia’s most spectacular scenery. The five-bedroom homestead was built in 1856 and the bones of the original building have remained the same, with features such as pressed metal ceilings and flagstone floors beneath shady verandas still key features evident today.
Four of the bedrooms are housed in the main homestead, along with a small library and lounge with an open fire where you can enjoy pre-dinner drinks, as well as an open-plan dining room and kitchen where you can socialise with fellow guests and grab a coffee or drink while the chefs prepare your next delicious meal. The fifth room is in the Coachman’s Cottage set in the corner of the homestead’s garden and is the perfect accommodation for honeymooners. In fact, Arkaba is a peaceful retreat to escape modern day life as there are no televisions, Wifi or telephone reception.
Each day spent at Arkaba includes a unique experience, such as open-air jeep safaris traversing the 60,000-acre private conservancy looking out for native wildlife such as wallabies, echidnas, emus, wedge-tailed eagles and of course oodles of kangaroos. The field guides are spirited characters and passionate about conservancy, delivering immersive wilderness experiences. Other activities include exploring Brachina Gorge where you can hunt for fossils and spot the endangered yellow-footed wallaby or take the Akaroo Rock Art Walk in the foothills of Wilpena Pound. A number of children’s activities are available for younger guests aged eight and above.
Activities normally take place each morning and late afternoon, during the coolest parts of the day and providing you with the best chances of wildlife spotting. Lunch is normally served back at the homestead, followed by time spent by the pool from where you can watch wildlife roam free.
Food is a big part of the experience at Arkaba, using foraged and local South Australian produce. Hosted lunches and dinners with your field guide are served around a large table where you can talk about your day’s experience and what is in store next, while the open-bar offers a selection of South Australian wines and beers.
Heli-adventures leave from Arkaba and provide you with a bird’s-eye view of the spectacular Flinders Ranges and Wilpena Pound. Heli-sundowners offer a 30-minute flight that include landing on a remote ridge where you watch the sunset with a glass of champagne and picnic canapé platter. Take a flight over the Flinders Ranges and land at Australia’s iconic outback pub, Prairie Hotel, where you will be served a lunch platter of ‘feral food’ including emu pate and kangaroo mettwurst before flying back to Arkaba Homestead. With literally no light pollution in the Flinders Ranges, the sky at night is a spectacular sight, there is no better way to experience this than the Arkaba Heli-swag; where you soar over Wilpena Pound by helicopter to a high peak on Mount Aleck, enjoy a full bush dinner and then spend the night sleeping in a cosy swag under the stars.
1/12 - Arkaba Homestead
2/12 - Safari Drive at Arkaba Conservancy, Flinders Ranges
3/12 - Morning Tea at Arkaba Conservancy, Flinders Ranges
4/12 - Bird Watching at Arkaba Conservancy, Flinders Ranges
5/12 - Emus at Arkaba Conservancy, Flinders Ranges
6/12 - Guided Hiking at Arkaba Conservancy, Flinders Ranges
7/12 - Helicopter Adventure at Arkaba Conservancy, Flinders Ranges
8/12 - Wildlife at Arkaba Conservancy, Flinders Ranges
9/12 - Swimming Pool at Arkaba Conservancy, Flinders Ranges
10/12 - Views at Arkaba Conservancy, Flinders Ranges
11/12 - Dining at Arkaba Conservancy, Flinders Ranges
12/12 - Sunset at Arkaba Conservancy, Flinders Ranges
Each of the five guestrooms at the homestead is unique, with a veranda and en suite bathroom, and all with air conditioning and room service. Four are located in the main building, with the fifth in the Coachman’s Cottage for guests seeking additional privacy. Guestrooms sleep two adults, or two children, in double or twin beds.
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