white arcs of beach dotted with fat sea lions. As with Arkaba, birdlife is rich, and ospreys, kites, kestrels and sea eagles wheel and caw overhead. At remote Sanderson Bay, where we stop for lunch, a pod of four dolphins rides a huge swell just metres from shore.
Racing a setting sun back to the lodge, we unpeel swollen, sore feet from hiking boots and compare blisters over goat’s cheese canapes and a rich Kangaroo Island shiraz ahead of a feast of local yellowtail kingfish and Coorong Angus lamb by chef Alastair Waddell. I regard my feet proudly: three bruised toes, one angry bunion and cuts from an encounter with a spinifex bush. Who knew I’d become an evangelical walking convert so early in my 30km trek across outback and coast this week?
If pushed to choose between these two different worlds — the rugged, spectacular remoteness of the Flinders Ranges versus the coastal grandeur of Kangaroo Island — it would be Arkaba for the walking win. But only narrowly. It’s been a privilege to have been out there in the Australian wilderness, swallowed up by bush and sea, cut off from the world, alone with my thoughts.
Sharon Verghis was a guest of Wild Bush Luxury and Baillie Lodges. A four-day, three-night Arkaba Walk ex-Adelaide includes a one-way flight from Adelaide to the Flinders Ranges with a return trip by scenic road transfer through Clare Valley wine country. Includes all meals, drinks, a support vehicle taking luggage between camps, two nights’ camping in deluxe swags and a night in the 1850s Arkaba Homestead. The walk operates until October 12 with departures every Thursday, and additional departures on Fridays during August and September. Walks operate with a minimum of two and a maximum of 10 guests. Rates are $2200 exArkaba and $2400 ex-Adelaide all-inclusive. More: 1300 790 561; arkabawalk.com. Guests at Southern Ocean Lodge can experience parts of the new KI Wilderness Trail right from the doorstep. From $1200 a person a night (two-night minimum), inclusive of all dining, open bar with premium wines and spirits, insuite bar, signature experiences and island airport transfers. More: (02) 9918 4355; southernoceanlodge.com.au. • southaustralia.com • luxurylodgesofaustralia.com.au
Boardwalk at Southern Ocean Lodge, far left; walking the rugged Kangaroo Island coast, left; Flinders Ranges inhabitants, below left