The iconic Flinders Ranges of South Australia have a rich Aboriginal heritage and are home to a number of vitally important cultural sites and ancient artworks that this small group tour for mature and senior travellers has the opportunity its to learn about.
Australia’s Flinders ranges
A small escorted group tour for senior travellers
Small group tour of the Oodnadatta track and Flinders Ranges.
Small group including the now extended to 19 days to include Marla, Mt Dare, Dalhousie springs and then the entire length of Oodnadatta track, including 2 nights in Oodnadatta.
Odyssey Traveller is pleased to announce our small group rs of the Finders Ranges, tou . Our tours of the are a eighteen-day Odyssey, starting and finishing in the city of Adelaide. We take you on a small group tour with a maximum of 15 travellers, through the rugged, weathered peaks and rocky gorges of the in . Some of the most dramatic spectacular scenery and beautiful landscapes in all of with an amazing sunset often at the end of each day. Fortunately, the majority of this lies within 's , extensive and acclaimed networks, providing easy access to the by day tour, our article that covers things to do in Ikara Flinders ranges will assist with your tour planning.
This, like all Odyssey Traveller small group tours is limited to 15 people.
This Curdiminka and Farina in such an as well as a in-depth of the - and adventure takes you to the well-known sights along the Oodnadatta track including Australian - but also to lesser-known gems, including , Parachilna , , which we see and explore on a collection of day trips through the the regions. Our small group allows you to see and explore an ancient Oodnadatta, William Creek, Marree where the Birdsville track ends as well as the ghost towns of Curdimurka and Farina where the legendary stockman Stanley Kidman brought his cattle out from the Channel country. We also see not just a diversity of natural wildlife but all in their natural habitat including the in of the Australian .landscape which is more than 600 million years old. We learn about the culture and history, dating back 60,000 years, and reflect on the history of European settlement in the 18th and 19th centuries along the way at
Leaving Adelaide, our escorted tour into the first explores Port Augusta, stopping briefly in Port Wakefield, a historic port that extracted copper ore and livestock in the Victorian era. Port Augusta is regarded as the crossroads of Australian , we spend time at the 250-hectare Australian Arid Lands Botanic Garden to prepare ourselves for our journey by understanding with our tour guide the natural habitats of the Australian ., where rail, road, and sea intersect and is the gateway to the . Before we head deep into the
On a road trip through the , the times between destinations are typically large - so it's good to have some understanding to make the most out of the many settings you will see from our bus. Hopefully, through our time in Port Augusta, we will have set the scene for our two-hour trip to Woomera, and four-hour trip to the opal mining settlement of Coober Pedy on the third day of our tour.
After Port Augusta, this spends two nights in Coober Pedy as part of our through the . Described by writers in the British Telegraph as the 'world's strangest town', Coober Pedy is a fascinating place where half the town's residents live under the earth. Built around opal mining, the town's residents dealt with the arid climate by moving their residences underground. Today, residents can even play golf underground! Sure, the course has no grass and is played on in the dark -- but it offers reciprocal golf course rights with Scotland's ancient Royal golf course at St Andrews. Coober Pedy has also been the background for many films, so you may recognise the scenery! Today, Coober Pedy is a thriving town, home to some fifty different nationalities.
These are where you will see the world's largest continuous construction - a 5600 km dingo fence spanning Queensland's east coast to the cliffs of the Nullarbor Plain - can be seen near Coober Pedy. It was built in order to protect sheep from dingo attack.
After a of Coober Pedy, during which we explore the opal mining activity that made the town famous, we visit the John McDouall Stuart Monument. Stuart (1815-1866) was the most accomplished and most famous of all 's inland explorers. Stuart completed the first European crossing of from Adelaide to Van Diemen's Gulf in the in 1862, charting new territory and routes into the . His explorations eventually resulted in the building of the Adelaide- Darwin telegraph through the town of Oodnadatta, and the establishment of the main route from Port Augusta to Darwin, now known as the Stuart Highway in his honour. Despite his fame, he never made the fortune he aspired to through pastoral leases in , and returned to his native London, where he lived out his remaining days.
From Coober Pedy, we make a the , echidnas, rock wallabies, numerous bird species, and the fat-tailed dunnart, a mouse-like marsupial. The groups tour guide and local guides share with us their knowledge of the park along the as we take a short in the park. to the Kanku-Breakaways Conservation Park, which overs almost 15,000 hectares of majestic arid scenery. The park is home to almost 60 native flora species, including acacias, mallee and eremophilia. It is also home to a variety of wildlife, including
After Coober Pedy, our small group the After two nights at Oodnadatta the small group tours travels south to William Creek and then we head to Lake Eyre (North) (and yes - there is also a Lake Eyre (South)). Lake Eyre itself - known by local indigenous people as Kati Thanda - covers an area of 11, 000 square km, and the surrounding covers 13.5 thousand square km. A unique salt lake, the lakebed is recorded as being the lowest part of The continent, 15 metres below sea level. Lake Eyre is normally dry, filling completely on average twice a century - though partial, minor fillings happen much more often. When filled completely (as happened in 1950, 1974, and 1984), the lake takes about two years to dry up again. To explore the northern part of Lake Eyre, we base ourselves in William Creek, and explore the southern part of the lake on our way to Marree. The group takes a over Lake Eyre to understand the vast size of the lake system, putting it into perspective within the and, , as the landscape rolls away underneath the plane revealing the Australian river system. of the pushes North to Marla, Finke, Mt Dare and then the Oodnadatta track heading further into
Our tours for small groups then proceeds to the Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary and the Vulkathunha-Gammon Ranges . The forms the traditional country of the Adnyamathanha people, and retains a cultural importance for the local Aboriginal communities. The spectacular terrain can be explored on many hiking trails leading into spectacular gorges, including Italowi Gorge, Mount McKinlay Spring, and the Weetootla Gorge, taking you deep into the heart of the rugged landscapes of the rare yellow-footed rock wallaby. On our visit, we have a and understand the diversity of plants and animals observed, discussing those that are rare and endangered and their conservation within the network of . The Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary is a privately-owned 610 square kilometre (236 square mile) wilderness sanctuary at the far northern tip of the Ranges . The scenery is impressive: soaring granite peaks, deep gorges, and waterholes - and the sanctuary is one of the best places to see the Ranges National Parks.
From the Arkaroola Wilderness sanctuary, your small group visits the Ediacaran fossil site at Nilpena Station, and then makes the on to Wilpena in the , stopping off at Brachina Gorge on the way.
Brachina Gorge is one of the 's most popular and spectacular tourist attractions. The Brachina Gorge Geological Trail is a 20-kilometre self-guided trail that passes through 130 million years of natural history. Trail signage provides an insight into past climates, the formation of the ranges, and the evolution of early life forms, making the gorge one of the highlights of the Ranges network.
( ) is our last overnight stop in the . Some six hundred kilometres away from Adelaide, (also known by the 's name of Ikara, meaning 'meeting place') is a truly , a natural amphitheatre of mountains. Geologists believe that this landscape is the remains of a mountain range that was once as high as the Himalayas.
After Wilpena the small group Burra. On our return to Adelaide, we enjoy a final dinner at the group's selected hotel. of the makes the to Adelaide via Hawker, Wilmington, Orroroo, and
On our return journey, the group passes through mallee country. ‘Mallee woodlands’ have been listed by the Australian Department of Environment and Energy as one of the 32 ‘Major Vegetation Groups’ of Australia. Mallee country is defined by the predominance of the mallee eucalyptus, a stocky eucalyptus with several stems, which grows on semi-arid soil. Mallee country spreads in a belt across the south of Australia, centering around the Murray River in western Victoria and eastern South Australia, the Eyre Peninsula west of Adelaide, and the 'wheat belt' of Western Australia.
For European settlers, the mallee was a 'dreadful country', desolate and inhospitable, but Aboriginal Australians made a home in these areas for at least 40, 000 years. In South Australia, Aboriginal people lived by the Murray River, which provided fish, meat, and plant life, including the kumpung, which had an number of uses, with the roots used to create a carbohydrate starch akin to flour, and the leaves to create twine, used to construct fishing nets and accessories. In more remote and arid areas, Aboriginal groups such as the Ngargad dealt with a lack of surface water by digging soaks into impervious clays that collected underground water.
For all the articles Odyssey Traveller has published for mature aged and senior travellers, click through on this link.
Odyssey Traveller acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the First Australians and Traditional Custodians of the lands where we live, learn and work. We pay our respects to Elders past, present, and emerging.
Articles about Australia published by Odyssey Traveller:
- The Kimberley: A Definitive Guide
- Uncovering the Ancient History of Aboriginal Australia
- Aboriginal Land Use in the Mallee
- Understanding Aboriginal Aquaculture
- Mallee and Mulga: Two Iconic and Typically Inland Australian Plant Communities (By Dr. Sandy Scott).
- The Australian Outback: A Definitive Guide
For all the articles Odyssey Traveller has published for mature aged and senior travellers, click through on this link.
External articles to assist you on your visit to the Flinders Ranges and South Australia:
- Flinders Ranges and Outback (South Australia tourism)
- Essential Guide to the Flinders Ranges
- Flinders Ranges things to do: 20 reasons to visit South Australia’s largest mountain range
- Guide to the Flinders Ranges
- Tour itinerary is subject to be adjusted, pending local accommodation availability
- Map is indicative only
Overview: The group meets in the afternoon at the hotel for a tour briefing and group introductions. This evening there is a group welcome dinner.
Accommodation: Adelaide. TBA
Overview: Leaving Adelaide, our escorted tour into the first explores Port Augusta, stopping briefly in Port Wakefield, a historic port that extracted copper ore and livestock in the Victorian era.
Port Augusta is regarded as the crossroads of , rail, road, and the sea intersect and is a place of importance today as it has been for almost 200 years. In the afternoon the group tours Port Augusta by small coach.
Port Augusta is also the gateway to the .
Accommodation: Port Augusta – TBA
Overview: This morning we spend time at the 250-hectare Australian Arid Lands Botanic Garden to prepare ourselves for our Australian that are presented in this park. journey by understanding with our tour guide the natural habitats of the
Accommodation: Port Augusta – TBA
Overview: This morning we head deep into the Australian , to Coober Pedy. Our initial journey is a two-hour trip to Woomera where we stop and explore with a short exploratory tour. We continue on for a further four-hours to the opal mining settlement of Coober Pedy. We spend two nights here.
A late afternoon tour of Coober Pedy, during which we explore the opal mining activity that made the town famous, we then visit the John McDouall Stuart Monument. Stuart (1815-1866) was the most accomplished and most famous of all ‘s inland explorers we learn about his stories of exploration. Stuart completed the first European crossing of from Adelaide to Van Diemen’s Gulf in the Northern Territory in 1862, charting new territory and routes into the .
Accommodation: Coober Pedy -TBA
Overview: From Coober Pedy, we make a day tour to the Kanku-Breakaways Conservation Park, which overs almost 15,000 hectares of majestic arid desert scenery.
The park is home to almost 60 native flora species, including acacias, mallee and eremophilia. It is also home to a variety of wildlife, including red , echidnas, rock wallabies, numerous bird species, and the fat-tailed dunnart, a mouse-like marsupial. The groups tour guide and local guides share with us their knowledge of the park.
We return to Coober Pedy overnight.
Accommodation: Coober Pedy – TBA
Overview: Leaving Coober Pedy in the afternoon, this small group heads north to pause at Marla.
Our journeys from here until Wilpena Pound will be mostly on unsealed roads, and depending on weather or road conditions we may need to occasionally detour from our original path to reach our next destination.
Accommodation: Marla roadhouse or similar
Overview: Today we travel to Mt Dare. Along the way we take time to inspect the physical centre of Australia – the Lambert Centre of Australia, named in honour of Dr. Bruce Lambert, one of the nation’s top cartographers. We’ll then make a stop at the small town of Finke before we continue our journey to Mt Dare.
Accommodation: Mt Dare. Possibly shared accommodation at Mt Dare.
Overview: From Mt Dare this small group tour heads towards Dalhousie Springs where we stop. There are some1 20 hot springs bubbling ups from the Artesian basin here. The springs have been enjoyed for all sorts of reasons for centuries. From the Witjira national Park where the springs are located we carry on to join the Oodnadatta track.
We enjoy 2 nights in Oodnadatta. exploring the history and probably helping with the mail run!
Overview: Our second day exploring the old rail head and historic settlement as well as the possibility of helping deliver the mail. Or just relaxing in the Pink roadhouse.
Overview: Our base overnight is William Creek.
From William Creek in the afternoon, we head to Lake Eyre (North) (and yes – there is also a Lake Eyre (South)). Lake Eyre itself – known by local indigenous people as Kati Thanda – covers an of 11, 000 square km, and the surrounding covers 13.5 thousand square km.
The group takes a over Lake Eyre to understand the vast size of the lake system, putting it into perspective within the and Australian , as the landscape rolls away underneath the plane.
Accommodation: William Creek
Overview: From William Creek we head to Lake Eyre (South) to further explore and learn about Lake Eyre. In the early afternoon we arrive in the small township of Marree.
Marree is the end of the line for the rail from Port Augusta and the long journey from channel country for the cattle driven down the Katherine track. This historic town is explored in the afternoon. We take a walk to tour the township with our guide, enjoying the stories from the towns history.
Accommodation: Marree Hotel.
Overview: The small group heads from Marree to the Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary and the Vulkathunha-Gammon We spend two nights in Arkaroola. On our way we pause to visit the ruins of Farine, a ghost town today.
The forms the traditional country of the , and retains a cultural importance for the local communities . The spectacular terrain can be explored on many hiking trails leading into spectacular gorges, including Italowi , Mount McKinlay Spring, and the Weetootla , taking you deep into the heart of the rugged landscapes of the .
We spend the afternoon learning about the wilderness sanctuary.
Overview: Arkaroola wilderness sanctuary is explored by the group for a full day with a guide today. There will be a short hike to key parts of the sanctuary as we explore using our coach.
Accommodation: Arkaroola wilderness sanctuary.
From the Arkaroola Wilderness sanctuary, this small group tour visits the Ediacaran fossil site at Nilpena Station.
the one of the highlights of the network. is one of the ‘s most popular and spectacular tourist attractions. The Geological is a 20-kilometre self-guided that passes through 130 million years of natural history. signage provides an insight into past climates, the formation of the ranges, and the evolution of early life forms, making
We continue on to in the
Overview: Today we spend the day exploring Wilpena pound with a local guide.
(also known by the Adnyamathanha name of Ikara, meaning ‘meeting place’) is a natural amphitheatre of mountains. Geologists believe that this landscape is the remains of a mountain range that was once as high as the Himalayas. There is an opportunity to take a private flight over Wilpena as part of the tour program.
Accommodation: Wilpena- TBA
Overview: After the small group tour of the makes the trip to Adelaide via Hawker, Wilmington, Orroroo, and Burra. We arrive in Adelaide mid afternoon or thereabouts. On our return to Adelaide, we enjoy a final dinner at the group’s selected hotel.
Overview: Tour concludes after breakfast.
What’s included in our Tour
- 17 nights accommodation.
- 17 breakfasts, 11 lunches, 15 dinners.
- Transport by modern and comfortable 4wd or other vehicle suitable for the highway conditions.
- Entrances and sightseeing as specified.
- Sightseeing flight over Lake Eyre.
- Sightseeing flight over Wilpena Pound.
- Services of Tour Leader for the duration of tour.
- Detailed Preparatory Information.
What’s not included in our Tour
- Return airfares to Adelaide.
- Comprehensive travel insurance.
- Items of a personal nature, such as telephone calls and laundry