Take yourself away from the everyday in limited company on an exclusive private air tour of outback South Australia revealing the raw landscapes and a wealth of extraordinary natural wonders
Take yourself away from the everyday in limited company on an exclusive private air tour. This unforgettable journey into outback South Australia reveals the raw landscapes of the Flinders Ranges, from the air and at ground level, and a wealth of extraordinary natural wonders all the way to the Eyre Peninsula. You’ll get a unique insight to the state’s rich pastoral heritage visiting outback stations and meeting the characters who reside there. And by night, call atmospheric pubs and hotels home. Delight in the myriad tastes of South Australia from ‘feral fare’ and home brew at the Prairie Hotel to world’s finest seafood at Port Lincoln. This adventure is sure to remain with you long after you’ve toasted your final outback sunset.
All accommodation on a double/ twin share basis with private facilities; travel in a luxurious King Air private aircraft, meals as specified; in flight snacks and refreshments; bottled water during transfers and touring; airport welcome; assistance with luggage and group transportation by private airconditioned vehicle; services of an A&K pilot/guide; all entrance fees, planning, handling, operational and communication charges.
This morning depart Adelaide aboard your private Beechcraft Kingair flying north to the magnificent Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park. Prior to landing, your pilot will dip down to give you a breathtaking view over awe-inspiring Wilpena Pound, a mountainous natural amphitheatre in the heart of the Flinders Ranges. Arrive at Rawnsley Park Station in time for morning tea and then a short drive to old Wilpena Pound Station, one of the earliest pastoral runs in the area and one of the most picturesque. Take a guided walk along Wilpena Creek and learn about the cultural and natural significance of the place. If time permits, visit the Cazneaux tree, famously photographed by Harold Cazneaux in 1937 before returning to Rawnsley Park Station for lunch. This afternoon is a chance to relax by the pool or rest up in your eco-villa before toasting a brilliant Flinders Ranges sunset overlooking the rugged Chace Range, glass in hand. A special welcome dinner is planned tonight at the Woolshed Restaurant.
Rawnsley Park Station | LD
After a leisurely breakfast head out by 4WD to discover more of the spectacular scenery, wildlife and geological attractions of the Ikara Flinders Ranges National Park, once an ancient seabed. Admire the rugged rock formations of Bunyeroo Gorge and keep an eye out for the elusive yellow-footed rock wallaby at Brachina Gorge. Brachina Gorge also provides a window through 130 million years of the earth’s history and offers insight into past climates, the formation of the ranges and the evolution of early life forms. Continue on to Parachilna, famous as ‘the Ediacara Capital of the World’ thanks to its proximity to the celebrated Ediacaran fossil fields, as well as the historic Prairie Hotel, owned by the Fargher family, which has become an icon of the Flinders Ranges and is your base for the night. Sit down to a lunch of the Prairie’s famous ‘Flinders Feral’ food which focuses on local produce and bush tucker. Emu, kangaroo, quandong anyone?
This afternoon, travel out west to Nilpena Station, the Fargher family’s working cattle station and location of the famous Ediacara fossil fields, featured in Sir David Attenborough’s ‘Life on Earth’, which demonstrate the extraordinary geological value of the region. The fossils show evidence of large, complex marine organisms which once existed in the Flinders Ranges, an area submerged 555 million years ago by shallow tropical seas. After exploring the fossil fields, see why the property has been so popular with filmmakers with its striking desert landscapes and outbuildings. You may recognise scenes from ‘Rabbit-Proof Fence’. Return to Parachilna and toast the sunset over a Fargher Lager (the Prairie’s home brew). Tonight a gourmet experience like no other as you savour native cuisine at a private “Tastes of the Outback” dinner in the Gallery restaurant.
Prairie Hotel | BLD
Wake up to a ‘cooked to order’ Prairie breakfast before transferring to the Leigh Creek Airport. Rejoin your pilot and plane for the onward flight north to William Creek, Australia’s smallest town with a population of less than 16. Upon arrival meet Trevor Wright, a quintessential outback character dubbed ‘Minister of Most Things Worth Knowing’. Trevor has lived in the area for over 30 years and will share his colourful stories of life in this remote outpost. After lunch at the William Creek Hotel, take to the air again for a bird’s-eye view of the Anna Creek Painted Hills, an extraordinary rocky outcrop, before landing for a guided walk through this fragile environment. Look for fossils, evidence of the inland sea, and admire the contrasting colours and characteristics created by the oxidised minerals within.
A short flight on is Mount Eba Station, renowned as the geographical centre of South Australia. Once a stopover for fuel and provisions on the Old Stuart Highway, the station was established in 1874 and at one time stocked 30,000 sheep and cattle. There’s time for a wander to admire the old homestead and visit the shearing shed before returning to William Creek. Browse memorabilia from The Old Ghan Railway line, the Woomera Rocket Range and other historic artefacts in the William Creek “Museum” located across the road from the pub and then step into the front bar to admire the mementos and memorabilia from the many travellers who have passed through and enjoy a brew or two.
William Creek Hotel | BLD
As dawn breaks over Lake Eyre, Australia’s largest salt lake, a vast ecosystem springs to life and the light glistens off the salt resembling a shimmering diamond. Take to the air and watch the colours change to an array of deep pink and purple as the sunlight intensifies. Then it’s a short hop to Coober Pedy – Australia’s opal capital. This quirky town, known for underground living, opals and spectacular sunsets, is unlike anywhere else. After settling in to your cave hotel, join your guide on a walk around the historic Coober Pedy cemetery which tells a story of the colourful and often eccentric residents who have shaped the town of today. Another breathtaking sunset in store when you journey to the Kanku-Breakaways Conservation Park, a site significant for the Antakirinja Matuntjara Yankunytjatjara People, whose name for the area is Umoona, means “long life”. Enjoy sundowners as the sun slowly sets on the horizon.
Desert Cave Hotel | BD
Heading south today, fly to Mt. Ive Station and explore Lake Gairdner, with its glistening white salt pan set amidst hills of brilliant red sand. Step onto the surface of the lake and look north to see the endless white plain and the striking red surrounds and islands which yield many animal tracks, flowers in spring, interesting vegetation and birds. Photo opportunities are endless. This afternoon drive through a changing landscape on the lookout for emus and red, western grey and euro kangaroos en route to Kangaluna Camp in the Gawler Ranges, your base for the next two nights. Tonight, toast a salt lake sunset over Sturt’s Lake followed by dinner.
Kangaluna Camp | BLD
Begin the day with a leisurely walk over the coloured rocks of the Corrobinnie Valley floor. Then a short drive along a sandy track through the Mallee bush to Yandinga Valley where 1600-million-year-old cigar-shaped volcanic rock formations make up the magnificent Organ Pipes Amphitheatre. There’s wildlife aplenty here too, including the yellow-footed rock wallaby. Return to camp this afternoon pausing at Pildappa Rock, a granite formation to rival W.A.’s Wave Rock, and Sturts Lake.
Kangaluna Camp | BLD
An early morning flight south to Port Lincoln, seafood capital of Australia! The coming days will introduce you to the local characters who reside here, the extraordinary scenery and the freshest bounty from the sea. Today is a visit to Coffin Bay, an area of outstanding beauty, world famous oysters and home to important species of flora and fauna. Join Coffin Bay oyster farmer Chris Hank as he takes you on his educational oyster cruise. Learn about the Pacific and the native Angasi oysters and sample these jewels fresh from the bay. During the cruise, keep an eye out for seabirds, seals and the bottlenose and common dolphins which are common in the area. Later on, a superb photo opportunity at Winter Hill where the city of Port Lincoln, Boston Island, Boston Bay and the Port Lincoln National Park spread before you.
The afternoon is yours to tailor with a choice of optional activities: perhaps a chocolate pairing; or join local chef Tony Ford, one of South Australia’s best, for a unique culinary experience; or venture into the Coffin Bay National Park to see beautiful pristine untouched beaches.
Tonight, meet renowned chef Kris Bunders in his home on the Lincoln Marina for a seafood masterclass and dinner. Begin the evening with a twilight tour on board the Tesla, a unique electric canal cruiser, discovering the rich local history, Australia’s largest commercial fishing fleet and the city’s sought-after waterfront homes before being welcomed into the Bunders residence for an unforgettable evening of locally caught seafood and Eyre Peninsula produce.
Port Lincoln Hotel | BLD
Start the day with coffee on a behind the scenes tour at the Boston Bean Coffee Bar, South Australia’s only specialty coffee roastery. Owners Richard and Sue share their passion for coffee whilst you sample and experience some of their favourite blends.
Suitably fuelled up, you’ll continue to Port Lincoln’s Fresh Fish Place for an ocean to plate experience. Meet local fisherman as they drop off their catch from all over the Eyre Peninsula, visit the factory and hear about the local fishing and aquaculture industries and observe how the seafood is packed and stored. Then it’s time to taste with a tantalising selection of in-house smoked fish and pickled seafood. Locally grown condiments are promoted here too and co-owner Sandy Harder is an amazing local artist whose work adorns the walls. Lunch from the Fresh Fish Place is a highlight. Choose your own piece of fish and have it cooked to your liking before your flight back to Adelaide.