Roam the wild landscapes of South Australia and revel in the freedom to live life untamed. Escape to the vast, wide-open spaces of the Eyre Peninsula and Flinders Ranges. The perfect paradox of outback and ocean to awaken your senses and fire your curiosity. Unearth ancient land and lose yourself among 540-million-year-old mountain ranges, sweeping gorges, bushland brimming with wildlife and rich Aboriginal history on one of the best Flinders Ranges tours.
Venture to the Eyre Peninsula, winding from the red dirt to roaring ocean swells as you pull up in Port Lincoln. Here, sample the region’s sought-after seafood, learn to surf and add a deeper meaning to your trip by volunteering at a koala conservation project. Have the opportunity to swim with wild sea lions and come face-to-tooth with a Great White Shark. Then, go off-grid, falling asleep under a sea of stars.
Day 1: Adelaide to Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park
Your nature roaming journey begins as we head north, stopping at Clare for a quick coffee before continuing to Mount Remarkable National Park to hike Alligator Gorge. A must for any Flinders Ranges tour, make a steep descent, then follow a trench of towering bright ochre-coloured quartzite cliffs. After a picnic lunch, travel a bit further north, arriving at Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park. So unique are the fossils found in this landscape, geologists had to revise the geologic timeline of Earth’s history to encompass a new era called the Ediacaran period.
Arrive at our Wilpena Pound campsite for a Welcome to Country in the Adnyamathanha people’s language. Enjoy Aboriginal songs, traditional stories, and local information as you are welcomed to the Flinders Ranges. Enjoy dinner by the campfire and roll out your swag for your first night under the billions of stars of the Milky Way.
Today we drive approximately 450 km (5 hours), with stops along the way. Swag camp in the camping area at the Wilpena Pound Resort, which has toilet and shower facilities.
Day 2: Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park
Wake to the sounds of birdsong, and after breakfast, set out on the Hills Homestead Walk. Wander through the tranquil Pound Gap into Wilpena Pound and follow Wilpena Creek through tall river red gums and pines. Head up Wangara Lookout for panoramic views of the Pound and keep your eyes peeled for echidnas in the underleaf. Breath deep and take in the magic all around you.
Return to camp for lunch and a dip in the resort swimming pool to cool off. This afternoon we will set out on the Arkaroo Rock Trail, with impressive views over the Chace Range. Arkaroo Rock is a significant cultural site for the Adnyamathanha people and has an incredible example of Adnyamathanha rock art depicting the Yura Muda (Dreaming or creation story) of Ikara.
Back at the resort, relax and soak up the serenity of this ancient landscape and fall asleep with shooting stars overhead.
Day 3: Flinders Ranges to Port Lincoln
Say farewell to the Flinders Ranges and visit the Jeff Morgan Gallery in the tiny town of Hawker to see an incredible 360-degree immersive panorama of the region. Travel through to Port Augusta for lunch and see some impressive silo art at Cowell. Come late afternoon, arrive in the Seafood Capital of Australia, Port Lincoln.
Take a look around the town to get your bearings and stretch your legs before heading to our unique campsite at Mikkira Station. This private property is home to the Eyre Penisula’s only wild koala population, with around 170 koalas and lots of kangaroos and emus calling Mikkira home. Head to a nearby beach for a swim and soak in the sunset before dinner at the campsite.
Travel around 500 km today (6 hours) and set up camp for three nights at Mikkira Station, which has shower and toilet facilities.
Day 4: Port Lincoln and surrounds
Surfing is a way of life in Australia, so today, pull on a wetsuit for a two-hour learn-to-surf lesson. The turquoise and calm water of Fisheries Bay are the perfect place for beginners to perfect their skills. Those not wanting to surf will be able to relax on the beach or swim. After a bite to eat, take a 14-kilometre scenic coastal drive along Whalers Way and admire the breathtaking coastline and cliffs shaped by the force of the Southern Ocean for millions of years.
This afternoon, you have the opportunity for a truly meaningful regeneration experience, contributing to important koala conservation work at Mikkira Station. Depending on the time of year, we will spend the afternoon removing weeds, or collecting, propagating or planting manna gum tree seeds. These trees are critical habitat for the koalas at Mikkira Station, and our partnership with land management and conservation groups will hopefully make a difference in their protection.
Travel 100 km today (2 hours), and sleep under koala-filled gum trees at Mikkira.
Day 5: Aquatic adventures or Coffin Bay
Today you are offered two very different itineraries. Those who love aquatic wildlife can choose the full day optional experience of coming face-to-tooth with a Great White Shark on a cage dive and swimming with the ever-playful Australian Sea Lions. Please see ‘Optional Experiences’ for more information.
Those who choose to stay on dry land spend the day unearthing Port Lincoln and Coffin Bay. After a coastal hike along part of the Parnkalla Trail, head to Coffin Bay National Park. Famed for its white sandy beaches and wildlife, spend some time exploring, swimming and relaxing here. No visit to Coffin Bay is complete without tasting the region’s famous oysters, so you also have the option of pulling on some waders and joining the Coffin Bay Oyster Farm Tour.
Back in Port Lincoln, enjoy a spot of wine tasting at Boston Bay Wines before we collect the rest of the group. Get ready for the best fish and chips you have ever had from the award-winning Fresh Fish Place and head back to camp at Mikkira Station for our last night together.
Drive time today is about 1.5 hours unless you are doing the shark experience, in which case it is only 1 hour.
Day 6: Port Lincoln to Adelaide
After breakfast, pack up camp and head to Port Lincoln for a must-do walk up Stamford Hill. Named one of the 40 Great Australian Short Walks, this challenging but rewarding walk has magnificent views of Boston Bay, Port Lincoln and Lincoln National Park.
On the way out of town, take a final look at Port Lincoln from Winters Hill Lookout. Then, stop for a barbecue lunch at Arno Bay as we make our way to Lucky Bay. Our Searoad Ferry will set sail across the Spencer Gulf towards Wallaroo on the Yorke Peninsula at 2.30 pm. Grab a coffee at the onboard café and relax and enjoy the two-and-a-half-hour cruise across the gulf.
On disembarking in Wallaroo, jump back on the bus for our last stint into Adelaide, where you will arrive at around 8 pm.