The Weekend Australian - Travel - - TRAVEL & INDULGENCE -

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; ark­ 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; south­er­nocean­ • southaus­ • lux­u­ry­lodge­so­faus­

Board­walk at South­ern Ocean Lodge, far left; walk­ing the rugged Kan­ga­roo Is­land coast, left; Flin­ders Ranges in­hab­i­tants, be­low left

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