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Day 1 is approximately 12km, 4-5 hours
After an introductory briefing you will be transferred to Wilpena Pound. Set off on foot over the pound before making our descent into Black Gaps Camp.
Meet at the Arkaba Homestead at 10.00 am. Meet your guide for the trip and, over a cup of tea, listen to an informative briefing and overview of what to expect over the coming days and nights. Depart by road for the 35 minute drive to our starting point at Wilpena Pound Resort and set off on foot, on the first leg of the trail. The distance today is approximately 12 km, from Wilpena Resort into Wilpena Pound, crossing the interior of the pound before the brief ascent to the rim of the Pound. From here, overlook Arkaba Station and the route for the next three days. From here, enter the Arkaba Wilderness and descend off the lip of the pound to Black’s Gap Camp.
Expect to walk into camp at the foot of Wilpena Pound at around 5.30pm, in time to orient and settle in; take a hot shower and enjoy a cuppa or something a little stronger, while enjoying the evening light on the Pound behind camp. Our camp is located between Bunbinyana Range and Wilpena Pound, on a site previously occupied by a shepherd in the late 1850’s. His stone chimney place still exists and we camp overlooking the creek where he used to take his water. Our guide and camp assistant will prepare a three-course camp dinner, taken al fresco under the evening sky and accompanied by fine wine and some interesting tales about Arkaba and the Flinders area. Turn in to our deluxe swags and enjoy a night under a canopy of stars.
Day 2 is approximately 10-14km, 6-7 hours
Enjoy a challenging day hike through creeks and broken country approaching the foothills of the Elder Range to Elder Camp.
Today’s walk covers a magnificent 10-14km of distance - again, depending on fitness and interest we will vary the route accordingly. This day is arguably the most scenic, as we move out from Black’s Gap into the rolling hills more suited to the sheep farming activities of the station with more open vistas. The first 2km of the hike will follow the famous Heysen Trail through Black’s Gap itself. Today’s section of the walk provides fascinating insight into the pastoral history of the region, passing through areas that once were cultivated for wheat, pausing at old shepherds camps and mustering yards, with Red and Grey Kangaroos and emus all regular sightings. The last leg of the day will take us slightly West into the hills and up to the very base of the Elder Range among beautiful stands of Native Cypress Pine trees.
Our luggage and swags will have been transported by vehicle to our new camp - Elder Camp and we will again expect to arrive into camp around 5.30 pm in time for a hot shower, 3 course dinner and another beautiful night under the stars.
Day 3 is approximately 10-14km, 6-7 hours
Enjoy a day hike, crossing a variety of habitat, Mallee, native pine, river creek beds and hill country to Arkaba Homestead.
Wake to the glorious morning light onto the Elder Range directly ahead and above you – after a nourishing breakfast and pack up, set out on the next leg of the journey. Depending on the group's fitness and ability, the day will cover a minimum of 10km - with some diversion to points of interest and lookouts, this is more likely to be around 12 - 14km day. The pace will be unhurried, with plenty of time to stop for photographs, bird watching, botanising and discussion. We will again traverse multiple habitats today, as we move south east - the first few kilometres will be amongst the hill country at the foot of the elder range, traversing mature Mallee and Native Pine forests as we cross Slaty Creek. This creek holds water well into the dry season and sometimes offers the opportunity to drink from crystal clear, ice cold springs. From here, we progress up to the ridge top of the beautiful Red Range before beginning our descent to Arkaba Creek. The riverbank is home to hundreds of magnificent River Red Gums, and is quite spectacular. With strategic stops along the way for rests and a relaxing lunch in a shady spot, we will expect to arrive at our final destination - Arkaba homestead, in early-mid afternoon.
The final day begins with a leisurely breakfast at the Arkaba Homestead with a few options to fill your morning, depending on the mood.
You might like to relax in the library with a book or take the opportunity to book an optional scenic flight for an aerial view over Wilpena Pound. There is also the option of a self-guided walk along the creek to the historic Arkaba Woolshed. The walk is 6km round trip and is also possible by vehicle for those who are interested. Still to this day you will find names etched on the stone wall of shearers gone, dating from today right back to the late 1800s. Check out is required by 11:00am.