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“Special Outback Experience” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Arkaba Station

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Arkaba Station
Wilpena Road | Near Hawker, Flinders Ranges National Park, South Australia 5434, Australia   |  
Hotel amenities
Kiawah Island, South Carolina
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Special Outback Experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 14, 2014

We visited Arkaba Station in January, 2014. Despite it being very hot and not the high season for Arkaba, it was one of the highlights of our trip to Australia. Fantastic property. Hilly. Scenic vistas. Great wildlife - kangaroos, emus, birds. Excellent accomodations. Great meals served by the resident chef. After a day, he ascertained our taste and served our favorite drinks and food without our asking. Kat and Brendon, the resident managers and tour guides, could not have been more gracious, knowledgeable, and enjoyable. We went on range rides in the Landcruiser over fantastic terrain. Sunrise breakfasts, sunset cocktails and appetizers while touring the outback. Not another person in sight. Kat was so informative, it seemed as though she must have PhD's in geology, biology, botany, zoology, history and several other disciplines. Arkaba Station is a special place.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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42 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    40
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (7)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
London, United Kingdom
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 18, 2014

This was the final leg of our family three week vacation in Oz and what a way to finish! Brendan and Kat were outstanding hosts, Richard was an excellent chef and the location was out of a picture book. The kids (12 year old twins) were amazed with the walks/treks, the geology, the wildlife and the outright adventure. Kat made sure they were engaged and intrigued with great stories, facts and education - Mum & Dad learned a hell of a lot as well. The station itself is wonderful offering the kind of luxury and remoteness you would normally find on safari in Africa. Night time was equally beautiful with a sky full of stars and Kat there to pick out everything from Jupiter to the Milky Way. We are definitely coming back - in fact the kids have already started our to plan our next trip there. Mike & Pauline O'B (London)

Room Tip: All the rooms are excellent
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Auckland Region, New Zealand
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 24, 2013

I half wake to check the progress of the moon above me, then snuggle back to sleep. I’m on an open platform in the middle of 26,000 acres of outback, and yet I’m swathed in feather duvet and pillows, utterly comfortable. To be way out in majestic range country yet outrageously pampered, this is the magic of The Arkaba Walk, South Australia.

For three days we’ve been marvelling at this remote orange land. Starting in a natural amphitheatre of mountains, Wilpena Pound, we found our legs striding through a flat, arid interior with weirdly spaced Mallee Gums, sporting multiple trunks and flaking bark. Before long we were walking down deep dessicated creeks, with River Red Gums overhead, and a kaleidoscope of purple, orange and greenish rocks underfoot. (I contemplate becoming an interior designer, just to make colour palettes from these earthy tones). We pass Dr Zeuss grass trees, wide-open tussocklands of medicinal herbs, and see more kangaroos – and skeletons - than we can count.

Each day’s walking ends in a sublime moment –arrival at a new camp. Cooling facecloths, canapes and cold beer are immediate rewards. A long table stands under trees, laid with linen, bottles of South Australian wine and lanterns for our three-course dinner later. But first we find our swag – that blissful canvas-wrapped open-air bed. Our luggage is waiting there, along with fluffy towels.

An open sided stall is our shower. Water has been heated on a fire and hauled up into a tree overhead. Three minutes’ daily lathering seems miraculous in the middle of the wilderness. It sweetens the remaining 23 hours 57 minutes immeasurably. We relax around the firepit before dinner, on proper porcelain, under the stars. Astounding chef-prepared patisseries are served.

Our guides on Arkaba Station are passionate and informative. It emerges that these luxury walks are not so much low-impact tourism, as a source of funding for conservation efforts. Rabbits, goats and foxes are being destroyed so native species can thrive again.

Our small group – never more than ten people on 26,000 acres – move at the pace we like. Our guides stop often to show us the quirky adaptations of the ecosystem we’re in. One moment we’re lifting the flap on the burrow of a trapdoor spider; the next we’re smelling the amber of an unpromising, spiky shrub.

Outdoors 24/7 in this wild mountain spaciousness with nothing to do but walk and observe, the mind expands markedly. My legs grow firm. The more intimately I know it, the more i love this exotic, rugged terrain.

Three days later, we’re almost sad to arrive at the old Arkaba Homestead, wonderfully stylish though it is. Perhaps the epic Australian landscape has spoiled us for anything manmade?

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Christchurch, New Zealand
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 18, 2013

We stayed for four nights at the beginning of this month. We were not able to do the walk, but Brendan drove us on extensive tours of the property, and went out of his way to ensure that we got the chance to get "that" photo of the Ranges. We cannot speak highly enough of the attention to detail that went in to making our stay such a great experience - from Richard's welcoming chais through to Brendan's ensuring that the motel that we were staying at on the night that we left had its sports channel switched to the NZ/France rugby test.
Our bedroom in the homestead was quiet and comfortable, the library, with its log burner, was a cosy retreat, and the lambswool-covered hotties placed in our bed by Richard each evening while we were enjoying his superb dinners made a delightful end to each day.
The meals provided by Richard were wonderful, and he was generous in sharing his culinary knowledge, skills and recipes. The location, facilities and people involved would make this an ideal place for a 2-3 day "cooking experience".
Highly recommended!

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 27, 2013

This Arkaba Adventure was amazing. 6 girlfriends did the 4 day walk/hike. We had the best time!
Brendan and Kat were so helpful and knowledgable and truly enyoyed their jobs. Richard fed us very
well indeed! The history of the surrounding area and the colours before,during and after our walk
were eye opening!! Around every corner was something fascinating!
What a backyard to explore!
Sleeping out in the swags was an experience!! Especially with the little treat of the hot waterbottle
when you got inside!
I do hope to return to this beautiful property in the future!
THANK YOU for sharing your backyard!
Karen

Room Tip: Rooms are all lovely!
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 1, 2013

Have just spent two days at Arkaba Station (8 travellers in group). We found the staff very accommodating in regards to all our needs from assistance with a disabled traveller to food intolerances and assistance with morning photo opportunities. Food and wine were of the highest quality and knowledge of the area was exceptional. Nothing was too much trouble. Thanks to Brendan, Stuart and Richard for their hospitality.

Room Tip: Ask Brendan if you can meet his dog. He's very entertaining.
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Top Contributor
85 reviews 85 reviews
34 hotel reviews
Reviews in 49 cities Reviews in 49 cities
57 helpful votes 57 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 15, 2013

Probably the best trekking experience I have ever had. We were greeted on arrival by our hosts Brendan and Kat who made us feel welcome immediately. We had the use of our bedroom for the whole of the trek so we could leave extraneous items for our return from the trek. We joined some wonderful people for the three day trek. Ages ranged from honeymooners to near retirees but everyone had a story to tell and it was a pleasure to be in their company. The trek itself was aptly described as moderate to challenging but as there are two guides it can be modified to suit all forms of fitness. The Flinders Ranges have an Australian beauty which defies description. The play of light on the rock, the vegetation struggling to survive in such a harsh ecosystem and the kangaroos jumping around make you feel a million miles away from civilisation. The Bush camps are wonderful. Hot showers, camp fires, excellent cuisine and a swag under the stars make it an indescribable experience. The Arkaba station homestead is also lovely with beautifully decorated rooms and bathrooms. Well equipped with every modern luxury though the current drought conditions made one sensitive to wasting too much precious H2O. The homestead itself is a delightful residence with an open bar, hot drinks on tap and a comfortable library and dining room. It all ended far too soon.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Arkaba Station

Address: Wilpena Road | Near Hawker, Flinders Ranges National Park, South Australia 5434, Australia
Location: Australia > South Australia > Flinders Ranges > Flinders Ranges National Park
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 5 B&Bs / Inns in Flinders Ranges National Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Arkaba is a 60,000 acre private conservancy set in the heart of the Flinders Ranges. With just five rooms the Arkaba homestead is an oasis of comfort and style amidst a harsh and rugged landscape, where guests enjoy a taste of classic Australian country hospitality. The Flinders Ranges is in a class of its own for taking in the sheer size and scale of Australia's outback offering the chance to immerse oneself in 600 million years of geological history. Arkaba's conservation management program has seen a transformation in bird and mammal species on the property and offers guests a unique insight to the challenges that Australia faces in saving its unique and diverse natural heritage. Activities include bush walking, photography, safari drives, visiting ancient Aboriginal sites, or just soaking up the sights and sounds of the bush. Enjoy bush picnics underneath magnificent River Red gums, track native wildlife, learn the stories of early European settlement or take a scenic flight over Wilpena Pound and the salt pans of Lake Torrens. The real luxury at Arkaba comes in sharing this spectacular conservancy with just a handful of other guests. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Arkaba Station Flinders Ranges National Park, Australia - South Australia

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