SA Flinders Ranges Discovery Tour
Embark on an unforgettable expedition to discover the natural amphitheaters and
2 billion year old forged landscapes of the awe-inspiring South Australian Outback
23 October –
1 November 2022
Twin / Double pp $4930.00
Including flight over Lake Eyre & Marree Man & flights – Brisbane > Adelaide > Brisbane
Welcome to our 10 day South Australian Tour featuring Adelaide, the Clare Valley, the iconic Marree Hotel (with Outback sightseeing flights) and the Flinders/Gammon Ranges in the Far North. On arrival our coach will meet us at Adelaide Airport for the transfer to our accommodation in the city center. We have time to rest up before joining the group for a “Welcome dinner” this evening.
After breakfast we enjoy a brief tour of the city of Adelaide, with our locally based guide, before heading into Hahndorf in the Adelaide Hills. Here we have arranged a short tour of the Cedars – the home built in 1908 by the famous Australian artist, Hans Heysen. This “Bavarian style” chalet was his base as he painted extensively on site in the hills around Hahndorf and in the Flinders Ranges. We enjoy a guided tour of the house and studio before driving through to Birdwood where we have arranged a light lunch. Birdwood is also home to the National Motor Museum so we will take the opportunity to have a quick look. Then we continue via Williamstown and Lyndoch into the Barossa Valley. Our afternoon stop is at Barossa Chateau – a stunning building that sits in one of Australia’s most important rose gardens of international significance. Combined with Lyndoch Hill, the overall estate covers an impressive 25 acres, 30,000 roses and 5kms of walkways. The Chateau is also home to one of the largest collections of porcelain in Australia.
From the Barossa Valley we continue north through Riverton in the fertile Gilbert Valley. It is said that once, back in the 19th Century, 1200 men drove their 8000 bullocks through this north/south corridor to the port at Adelaide. On arrival into Clare, we book into the Clare Country Club Resort. (Breakfast & dinner in the motel/Light lunch included)
Clare Country Club Resort, Clare – 2 nights
Established in 1841, Bungaree Station became the headquarters of an extensive sheep station with 100 thousand merino sheep by the 1880s.
Today, over 175 years later, it is an efficient mixed farm run by the descendants of the original founder, G.C. Hawker. Consequently, Bungaree Station is not a museum, but rather a living record of rural Australia since 1841. One of the owners will take us on a most interesting tour of the buildings with family insights into the farms history. Country hospitality is at the forefront of our visit as we are treated to morning tea and also lunch of lamb and rosemary pie followed by a sweet treat with tea and coffee. This afternoon we visit Martindale Hall. Step back in time to the days of gracious living on a large pastoral estate late in the 1800’s to early 1900’s where a rumored 14 servants (4 of which lived in the hall) were on call 24 hrs a day to look after the needs of two people! Such was the extravagant upper-class lifestyle of the wealthy pastoralist!!
Today we travel over to the coast via Horrocks Pass on the way to our lunch stop in Port Augusta at the top of the Spencer Gulf. There is a wonderful outback interpretative center here called the Wadlata which provides a great introduction to visitors to the remote north and northwest of South Australia. We have a look through the Centre and a light lunch before a visit to the Australian Arid Lands Botanical Gardens. It’s a stunning story of survival – how the thousands of highly evolved plant communities, have specially adapted to thrive in extreme temperatures and decade lasting droughts.
Standpipe Golf Motor Inn Port Augusta – 1 night
This morning we travel into the Southern Flinders Ranges through the Pichi Richi Pass. We will cross the famed Goyders Line that was marked on the map in 1865 by Surveyor General George Woodroffe Goyder to delineate drought affected country. The line became an important factor in settlement planning in this State, being regarded as an indication of the limits of the lands considered safe for agricultural development. As we will see from the many ruins on the Wilochra Plain, many early settlers didn’t take Goyders advice! An excellent example is Kanyaka Homestead just south of Hawker. From here we continue to Hawker and then onto Farina Station, just north of Lyndhurst, for our packed lunch and for a look at the ruins. Then its onto Marree – a remote town at the junction of the Oodnadata and Birdsville Tracks – it will be a great experience staying at the Marree Pub (in en-suited cabins), enjoying a sightseeing flight (1.5 hrs to see Marree Man & Lake Eyre included) as well as the local hospitality.
Marree Hotel – ensuite cabins – 2 nights
Marree is the gateway to the desert regions of the Far North. It is ideally situated southeast of Lake Eyre, at the end of the bitumen road and the start of the Oodnadatta & Birdsville Tracks. The sheer magnitude of the Kati Thanda-Lake Eyre Region is breathtaking. Our flight (1.5 hours) crosses over the Dog Fence, the Marree Man and onto Kati Thanda-Lake Eyre South and up through to the Southern tip of Kati Thanda-Lake Eyre North and Belt Bay, the lowest point on mainland Australia. From here we pass Silcrete Island and Dalhunty Island. After following the Warburton Groove north, we now track east to the Cooper Creek Inlet then down through Madigan Bay returning to Marree via Goyders Channel. The myriad of colours emblazoned in patterns of ochre and pink algae create an amazing kaleidoscope of colour. With water, the reflections are breathtaking. ARID AIR, who have experienced, professional pilots with extensive knowledge of the South Australian Outback region will provide us with a stunning sightseeing flight in their quality, high wing aircraft where everyone gets a window seat. And tonight is “Darts Night” in the pub where the local community gather to let their hair down – and we are invited!
We farewell our hosts at Marree this morning and make our way into the Gammon Ranges to the east. The Gammon Ranges National Park is one of Australia’s true tourism gems. Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary is blessed with a unique landscape created over 2 billion years ago and is home to the most rugged chain of mountains in the Australian Outback. We have lunch on arrival and then a free afternoon. At night there is a chance to visit Australia’s largest privately owned Astronomical Observatory. Tours of the Universe from this facility and the “star chairs” provide a unique experience for the traveler that is normally only available to scientists and astronomers …… (entry own cost/depends on local weather conditions).
Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary – 2 nights
This morning we take the incredible 4WD ‘Ridge Top Tour’ driving along mine tracks winding through some of Australia’s most rugged mountains. Visit ‘Crystal Candy Mountain’, Mt Painter, Yundnamutana Gorge and Sillers Lookout with awe inspiring views extending more than 80 kms over Lake Frome. The scenery from this pinnacle is so breathtaking you’ll find yourself comparing it to the grandeur of the Grand Canyon! Returning for lunch, you’ll have the afternoon free to enjoy the area. Take the Echo Camp Back Track Tour or a 35minute scenic flight over the Gammon Ranges (own expense).
Take a self-guided walk or perhaps just kick back and relax.
Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary
We have an early breakfast this morning before our travel day ahead. We travel into the Southern Flinders Ranges, spending some time around Wilpena Pound including a stop at Brachina Groge and the Flinders Ranges Visitors Centre. There will also be time for an optional 30-minute flight over Wilpena Pound. After a great day of sightseeing, we head back to Port Augusta for our final night on tour.
Standpipe Golf Motor Inn Port Augusta
08 8642 4033 – 1night
After breakfast this morning we return to Adelaide to connect with our flight to Brisbane where our coach will be waiting to transfer you home.
What an amazing adventure we have experienced together over the past 10 days! You have achieved a remarkable feat traveling this vast yet rewarding landscape. Spending your days uncovering the lively and diverse communities with their rich and industrious history. Being captivated by the isolation of the ancient lands painted with raw beauty. All the while making ever lasting friendships with your fellow explorers as the distant horizon streamed by. The Australian Outback is truly a most enchanting place to visit, and you can now return home feeling like you have truly accomplished an extraordinary adventure!
All itineraries are subject to change due to occasional restrictions in opening times or days of some attractions. We cannot be held responsible for any changes due to closures or inclement weather.
- National Motor Museum
- Barossa Valley
- Barossa Chateau
- Bungaree Station
- Martindale Hall
- Australian Arid Lands Botanical Gardens
- Kanyaka Homestead
- Jeff Morgan Art GalleryFarina Homestead
- Flight (1.5 hrs) over Kati Thanda – Lake
- Eyre & the Marree Man
- Flinders Ranges National Park
- Gammon Ranges National Park
- Arkaroola Ridge Top Tour
- Sillers Lookout
- Stokes Hill Lookout
- Wilpena Pound
- Brashina Gorge
- Adelaide Rockford / 1 Night
- Clare Country Club / 2 Nights
- Port Augusta – Standpipe / 2 Nights
- Marree Hotel / 2 Nights
- Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary / 2 Nights
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You may pay by cheque, credit card over the phone or by Direct Deposit to
Coolum Tours and Travel
Acc # 666873