1 TREKKING: Arkaba Walk
Grade: Moderate-Challenging More info: www.arkabawalk.com
THIS GUIDED THREE-DAY trek was recently featured in AG Outdoor but we are happy to showcase it again; in terms of the walk’s many, many highlights (both scenic and scientific) and its luxurious campsites, it really is great bang for your bucks and offers hikers the perfect way to experience what the Wilpena Pound/ Arkaba Conservancy has to offer.
The Arkaba Walk begins and ends at the restored Arkaba Homestead, and takes you southwest through Wilpena Pound (an awesome destination in its own right; there is fantastic vehicle-based camping here, as well as some brilliant day walks through the Pound) into the 24,000ha that comprises the Arkaba Conservancy.
During the walk you will follow parts of South Oz’s famous – and epic – Heysen Trail – and traverse numerous terrain types, such as tree-shaded creek beds, red-rock valleys and peaks and grassy forests (dotted with Cyprus pine and other native trees). With each day averaging 14km of undulating walking, you are never too knackered and have plenty of time to enjoy the scenery. Just as enjoyable is the fantastic campsite that awaits you each night; threecourse meals, a campfire and a luxury swag to sleep (these are covered by a roof make for the perfect way to end a day in one of Australia’s most spectacular walking regions.
Mixed in with the fantastic walking is the chance to see how the brains trust behind the Arkaba Conservancy has worked to re-introduce a number of native plants and animals (feral animals, such as foxes, goats, etc., have been near-totally cleared out). Dotted around the route are plenty of historical sites, including the Old Hills Homestead, just inside Wilpena Pound.
The end of each day will have you thinking you’ve seen the best but we reckon the highlight happens on the last morning as you watch the sunrise light up the majestic Red Range that towers over the same-named campsite. It’s a brilliant start for the final day of walking, which follows a number of creeks and gorges before taking you up and over the last hills of the walk, and then down the finish point at Arkaba Homestead and all of its included luxuries (think: celebratory cold beer, another sumptuous threecourse meal, and an even better breakfast the following day). Yes, we’d do it again tomorrow. – Justin Walker
It really is great bang for your bucks and offers hikers the perfect way to experience what the Wilpena Pound/ Arkaba Conservancy has to offer.