Duration: 3 days/ 2 nights - Ikara-Flinders Ranges, South Australia
Type: Private Charter, Shared.
Departs: On Request
Arkaba’s beautifully restored 1850s homestead, welcoming just ten guests at a time, is surrounded by 60,000 acres of privately-owned and carefully protected outback. Nestled within South Australia’s Ikara-Flinders Ranges, a five-hour drive or 1 hour flight from Adelaide, the unusual blend of semi-arid and temperate habitats supports 1,200 plant species and nearly 300 species of birds.
Against the dramatic backdrop of the Elder Range and Wilpena Pound, ancient sea beds and salt lakes have given way to spectacular rock formations, cypress pines and river red gums; this is an incredibly old landscape supporting a varied population of spectacular birds.
This three day experience is presented as an indicative itinerary and is typically adjusted throughout the year and by season to cater to the interests of guests and seasonal birding opportunities.
Enjoy a Wild Bush Luxury welcome to Arkaba, a 60,000 acre private property that has been transformed from a working outback sheep station into a thriving wildlife conservancy. Your afternoon safari will have you heading out on a short walk following the Arkaba Creek through River Red Gum habitat where recovering understory supports healthy populations of galahs, honeyeater species, parrots and Emus.
Arkaba’s new viewing hide has been carefully carved out close to the confluence of Arkaba and Woolshed creeks and provides an ideal vantage point for all kinds of wildlife coming to drink. Not only a place to see, but to watch all the fascinating interactions that occur between species.
Rare and special highlights here include the Apostlebirds, Yellow-throated Miner and the stunning Elegant Parrot. Enjoy a hosted three-course dinner with matching South Australian wine on the terrace overlooking the ranges and overnight at Arkaba Homestead.
On safari today we’ll explore a variety of habitats. Recovering riparian vegetation throughout the numerous creek-beds that carve their way through the Arkaba Conservancy provide a wonderful leafy canopy which is alive with a multitude of parrots, corellas, pardalotes, honeyeaters and the ever melodious Grey Shrike- thrush.
Open spinifex grasslands allow for a totally different birding experience - grasswrens, pipits and Hovering Black-shouldered Kites are often sighted here. Huge areas of pioneer Acacia species provide both food and habitat for incredible numbers of thornbills , babblers, Red-Capped Robins and little explosions of colour in the busy fairy-wren species too.
Although the Chestnut-crowned Babbler is seldom seen, this boisterous co-operative breeder has a distinctive alarm call. Standout encounters today are endless and include Rufous Whistler, Grey-fronted Honeyeater, Spotted Harrier, Red-backed Kingfisher and the Inland Thornbill amongst many others.
Your afternoon is capped off with sundowner drinks on top of the ranges with the scale and grandeur of outback Australia laid out for miles around. Dinner is hosted by one of Arkaba’s field guides providing an atmosphere more akin to staying with friends in the country, or a private safari lodge rather than a typical luxury hotel.
Early safari drive to Stokes Hill on the lookout for the elusive and endemic Short- tailed Grasswren and not forgetting smaller colourful species such as the White- winged Fairy-wrens before we venture into the spectacular Brachina Gorge in the Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park.
Home to fossils of the unique Ediacaran fauna and once used as a pass through which bullock teams pulled their loads, the scree slope on the western side of the gorge provides the perfect opportunity to see the beautifully decorated near-threatened Yellow-footed Rock-wallaby endemic to the region.
We will look for rocky desert species such as Australian Pipits and Yellow Chats and the Wood Duck Dam on return is home to Grebe and other water species. Exceptional opportunities include Black-fronted Dotterel, Short-tailed Grasswren, Orange and Crimson Chat.