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“Five Star Experience for Fit or Flabby Hikers!”
Review of Arkaba

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Arkaba
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
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Thank Pickytraveller48
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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47 - 53 of 71 reviews

Reviewed April 14, 2013

This experience is pitch perfect for a short break and an opportunity to see the Flinders Ranges and Wilpena Pound. I left Sydney on Wednesday afternoon and was back on Sunday afternoon and in the interim I had walked three days through the spectacular ranges, camped out two nights in fantastic locations and spent two nights in the beautiful Arkaba homestead. The hosts Kat and Brendan are gracious and very thoughtful. Clare and Kat walked and guided us through the ranges and imparted their knowledge on the flora and fauna and the landscape and also enthused us with their energy for conserving this unique region. The food was brilliant and I was very impressed with Richard's ability to provide beautiful three course meals in the middle of nowhere. The appeal of this experience is its simplicity and its sophistication. It is camping but it's very comfortable in a way that does not detract from the simple pleasure of being outdoors in the ranges and under the stars. Highly recommended.

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Sydney1011
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 9, 2013

Combines 1850's Australian history and stunning scenery. Professional yet relaxed, helpful and friendly attentive staff look after your every requirement whether you enjoy a homestead stay or take on a guided 3 day walk. The feeling is - 'arrive as strangers' - leave as friends. The outback tours around the property are amazing and informative and steeped in history. Your appetite is also very much taken care of by the resident chef who surprises your taste buds every day starting with breakfast, morning tea, 2 course lunch and 4 course dinner. Beautifully presented each time. The vast array of wine to suit each meal is included. The only disapointment was that we had to leave this beautiful place......Thank you Arkaba Station - Brendan, Richard, Kat & Stuart for the memories.

Stayed: April 2013, traveled with friends
Thank Tracey C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 20, 2013

Our experience at Arkaba Station and the Arkaba Walk was five star from the minute we were met at Hawker Airstrip by Brendon. At all time Brendon was friendly, warm and welcoming, we immediately felt at ease with our host for the next five days. Arriving at Arkaba Station to refreshing cool towels and a cold drink we stepped into another world of luxury and beautiful memories. The Homestead itself has been furnished and decorated in the a very tasteful outback country style without being corny and remains true to it's heritage as a sheep station so it still feels like you're in a home not a resort. Bedlinen, towels, bedding etc were all what you would expect from a luxury hotel.
The live in Chef, Richard prepared healthy beautifully presented and delicious meals for us both at the station and on camp. Highlights were his caramel souffle, a fresh salmon and egg sandwich, and a very delicious caramelized pork belly. Chef used local and unique Australian ingredients at every meal. What a treat!
The Arkaba Walk was strenuous but very achievable. Our main guide Kat was like a walking encyclopedia for the region. Her extensive knowledge about geology, wildlife, birds, botany meant that everyone's particular interest was covered. Kat was able to tailor the pace and path to suit our interests and the weather. Kat and Claire were great company.
The walk itself is designed to ensure the best possible views of the Flinders, to expose you to many different landscape and systems within the station. As it is on private land most of the time expect to feel as if you have travelled much further into the outback. In a word, this place is magical.
The camp itself is a perfect introduction to camping for anyone who hasn't before and may be a little nervous about the idea. For anyone who is used to camping, you won't believe how wonderful it is to have your bed set up, and a stunning hot shower out in the open. (not to mention the loo with a view!).
The staff were great people and we had a wonderful time.
Finally, apart from actually booking the trip, there are no other decisions to be made. If you love trying new things, and you want to see an extraordinarily beautiful part of Australia with sunsets and sunrises which take your breath away then this is the place.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with friends
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1  Thank HolsRfun4all
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
WildBush, Owner at Arkaba, responded to this reviewResponded March 23, 2013

Thank you for your comments and feedback on your experience at Arkaba. As it was the first walk of the season it is obviously wonderful to have such great feedback, particularly with regards to the members of the Arkaba team. It is their knowledge and passion for the natural history and beauty of the Flinders that makes the experience so exceptional. We are obviously also very fortunate to operate a walk in such a spectacularly beautiful part of the country. As part of our tourism operation you will have learned during the walk of the conservation work that Brendon and his team are also undertaking, which will over time only enhance the natural quality of this wilderness experience.

Thank you walking with us and your kind feedback.

Charlie Carlow

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Reviewed December 25, 2012

We stayed at the homestead for 3 nights, we were the only guests during this time and the experience was truly memorable.
The activities / guided trip were very enjoyable and our guide Kat very knowledgable on the plants, animals and history of the area. The food was delicious, possibly the best we had experienced on our travels through South Australia. The chef Richard had great attention to detail and as one of our group was vegetarian had to effectively make 2 menus each meal. It was also my birthday while there and we came back from an evening wildlife trip to find a special table set up under the stars and was finished off with a birthday cake.

Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
1  Thank PushkinExpatinBaku
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
WildBush, Owner at Arkaba, responded to this reviewResponded January 1, 2013

Delighted you had a great stay. The Flinders is such an amazing part of Australia and our team on site, Brendon, Kat & Richard, have such a passion for exposing its secrets and reconnecting guests with the bush so it is great to receive your feedback - thank you for taking the time. Hopefully, you will return to try out another 'Wild Bush Story' at Ningaloo Reef or the Top End of Australia.
Charlie Carlow

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Reviewed October 18, 2012

Our family group of six recently completed the four day Arkaba walk. From start to finish the experience was truly excellent and one that we will never forget. Stuart, our guide for the four days, shared his extensive knowledge about the changing landscape as we walked providing information on the native plants and wildlife as well as interesting insights into the life of the early settlers in the area and the many challenges they faced. One member of our group had a particular interst in rocks and Stuart was able to identify and discuss the significance of various rocks and the insight they provide to the geological history of the Flinders Ranges. We were welcomed into camp after each day's walk by Brendan and Kat who looked after all our needs beautifully and provided further information about conservation efforts at Arkaba as well as answering our questions about what we had seen that day. The food and wine was excellent and the hot water bottles in our swags each night were a nice touch of luxury to keep our feet warm as we slept under the stars. All in all, fantastic staff and a really unique experience made this trip unforgettable.

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank pec876
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 7, 2012 via mobile

We didn't stay at the homestead (just didn't have enough time) but visited it at the start and the end of the walk and will be back to stay one day....but we loved the walk.
From the moment we arrived we were warmly welcomed by John, Brendan, Kat and Stuart and enjoyed a cool drink before heading off on the 4 day walk.
The Flinders Ranges are stunning. Stuart our guide allowed plenty of time for us to enjoy all of the amazing areas that we visited and was able to answer all of the questions that people had as well as sharing his local knowledge.
What can I say about the amazing camps ( thanks John and Brendan) that were waiting for you at the end of a long walk. I love sleeping under the stars and was able to do so snugly wrapped up in my swag. I never thought that I would enjoy an outdoor shower but I loved it.
The cool facewashers the AMAZING food and wine topped off a fantastic trip.
If you love the Australian Bush and walking this is a must!

  • Stayed: October 2012
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2  Thank alideb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Arkaba

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 #2 of 4 B&Bs / Inns in Flinders Ranges National Park
Price Range: $1,395 - $1,503 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Arkaba 3*
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 Flinders Ranges National Park, Australia - South Australia

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