Originally a sheep station, Arkaba is a 60,000-acre wildlife conservancy located northwest of Hawker that retains much the same boundaries as set by the pioneering Browne brothers in 1851. Constructed in 1856, the property homestead’s original layout has been carefully preserved, and the five tastefully furnished guest bedrooms are named after early settlers, explorers or landowners linked to the property’s past. The décor pays tribute to Arkaba’s pastoral origins, with rustic stacked stone walls in bathrooms and beds crafted from recycled fence timbers and sheepskins. Rooms are air-conditioned, but there is no television, telephone or minibar in order to encourage guests to spend their time outside discovering the bush.
There are so many things to do here: walk through rugged canyons and uncover millions of years of geological history, track endangered species such as Yellow-footed Rock-wallabies with a knowledgeable field guide or sip a sundowner drink in the shadow of Wilpena Pound, a natural amphitheatre formed by mountains. Arkaba staff can arrange guided visits to off-the-beaten-track Aboriginal rock art sites as well as multi-day overland walks (seasonal), where guests have the opportunity to sleep beneath the stars. A scenic flight over the Flinders Ranges is highly recommended.
Dining takes places outdoors on the homestead terrace, with meals presented on an old wool-sorting table. Hosting a maximum of just ten guests, the atmosphere at Arkaba is always intimate. The menu and cellar both showcase the best of South Australian produce, and the fire pit provides an appealing setting to roast marshmallows and sample the Barossa’s finest drops.
Much of the proceeds at Arkaba go towards wildlife conservation and improving future guests’ wilderness experience. Every aspect of the property – from waste management to water use – is carefully managed to ensure minimal impact on the fragile ecosystem. Rest assured that when you stay here, you’ll not only create memories to last a lifetime but be contributing to a noble cause.