This amazing sanctuary has lots to offer from 4 x 4 Ridge Top Tours, to numerous mapped 4 x 4 self drive tours, numerous walking tracks of various lengths and walking abilities to astronomy, scenic plane flights or you can just sit around and enjoy the peace and quiet. There's also a great restaurant that serves a good variety of delicious meals.
We decided to do the Ridge Top Tour. Naturally you have to book for anything you want to do as there are a large number of people staying here at one time and that changes daily.
Our driver/guide Steve is an experienced 4 x 4 driver and has an extensive knowledge of the area, it's history, it animals, plants and minerals. He's one of a group of experienced tour guides here. So if you're a native plant lover, a native animal lover or a budding geologist, perhaps even an enthusiastic landscape photographer, this is a tour you will enjoy. Oh yeah, and if you want a look first hand at what it's like to do some serious 4 x 4 steep, rocky driving, then do this tour and take a peek. Steve loaded us (8 adults) into the back of the Toyota and instructed everyone to put on their seat belts with a mischievous grin. Little did we know what was coming!
Fun, laughter, rock and rolling, stunning landscapes, hair raising descents, and panoramic ridge top lookouts, with a cup of tea and a lamington! Our 4 1/2hr, 50klm trip was the best thing I've EVER done.......seriously!
First we all carefully kept our seat on the bench we were individually buckled to. Then we came to the locked gateway, were Steve announced through his headset to us, that only the tours can come this way. That's why it's locked! Closing it again behind us we were off! The road was very rocky, with some large boulders that Steve carefully navigated us either around or over. All the while he was chatting away to us and pointing out areas of interest, flora or fauna and pulling up, where possible for us to take photos. It wasn't long before we reached our first climb.....rocky, bumpy, rocking from side to side......we soon gave up the personal space idea and happily jostled and rocked around together, in shrieks of laughter and good natured bantering. What the heck, the views were indescribable, spectacular, and then yellow tailed wallibies, kangaroos, emus with chicks, flowering plants in yellow, white, cream, red, all were brought to our attention and where possible our camera lens by the ever pointing, narrating, amicable driver...Steve.
His knowledge was incredible. He answered all questions with honesty and a good knowledge and obvious love of this area.
We eventually reached the top of a majestic rocky cliff where Steve announced we would be stopping for morning tea. We all hopped out camera's in hand with panoramic views to snap away at, while Steve produced some thermoses, tea, coffee, and milo and then the best yet.........chocolate lamingtons!!! We spent some time consuming these and the view, enjoying the sunshine. Then Steve rounded us up for the trip back....down steep inclines, up steep slopes, over rocky creek beds, and back through the locked gates.....all still in one piece......though perhaps a little "shaken but not stirred."
Visit: www.arkaroola.com.au or click on the link above to go to the web site also.
|Arkaroola Village at Sunset|
|4 x 4 tour|
|Rocks ain't just rocks!|
|Fun and games. Yes please!|
|And to your left or was that to your right?|
|Rock and roll!|
|Male emu and chicks. Dad does the babysitting in this family.|
|Can you spot the person amongst the giant boulders?|
|Beautiful gum blossom.|
|Flowering among the rocks.|
|Beautiful butterflies mating in the spiny wattle. Living dangerously!|