Outback S.A. – An Air Safari (2022-23)

This unforgettable journey by private charter plane into outback South Australia reveals the raw landscapes of the Flinders Ranges, from the air and at ground level, and a wealth of extraordinary natural wonders all the way to the Eyre Peninsula.

Journey Overview

This unforgettable journey by private charter plane into outback South Australia reveals the raw landscapes of the Flinders Ranges, from the air and at ground level, and a wealth of extraordinary natural wonders all the way to the Eyre Peninsula. You’ll get a unique insight to the state’s rich pastoral heritage visiting outback stations and meeting the characters who reside there. And by night, call atmospheric pubs and hotels home. Delight in the myriad tastes of South Australia from ‘feral fare’ and home brew at the Prairie Hotel to world’s finest seafood at Port Lincoln. This adventure is sure to remain with you long after you’ve toasted your final outback sunset.

Journey Highlights

  • Contrast vast, red desert landscapes and shimmering salt lakes with pristine beaches and sparkling seas
  • Meet local characters in atmospheric towns and hear their colourful tales
  • See extraordinary Wilpena Pound from the air and on foot
  • Marvel at ancient fossils and extraordinary geological formations
  • Appreciate the changing colours of Lake Eyre, from the air
  • Sleep underground in Coober Pedy and see South Australia’s most remote town
  • Participate in a seafood masterclass with leading Port Lincoln chef
  • Travel in an intimate group of no more than 7 guests in your own private plane

Please click here for information on an alternative version of this itinerary running in 2022.

Itinerary

Journey Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive Adelaide, South Australia

Welcome to Adelaide, where you are met on arrival and transferred by private vehicle to your accommodation, the magnificent Mayfair Hotel, housed in the heritage-listed, beautifully renovated Colonial Mutual Life building in the heart of the city. This afternoon, if time permits, enjoy a leisurely stroll through the city centre, surrounded by parklands, historic buildings, cafés and restaurants.

A special welcome dinner is planned tonight where you will meet your fellow travellers and pilot/guide.

Mayfair Hotel | Meals: D

Day 2: Adelaide – Rawnsley Park Station | Wilpena Pound & Flinders Ranges

After breakfast, transfer to the airport and depart Adelaide aboard your private aircraft flying north to the magnificent Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park. Prior to landing, your pilot will dip down to give you a breathtaking view over awe-inspiring Wilpena Pound, a mountainous natural amphitheatre in the heart of the Flinders Ranges.

Arrive at Rawnsley Park Station in time for morning tea followed by a short drive to old Wilpena Pound Station, one of the earliest pastoral runs in the area and one of the most picturesque. Take a guided walk along Wilpena Creek and learn about the cultural and natural significance of the place. If time permits, visit the Cazneaux tree, famously photographed by Harold Cazneaux in 1937 before returning to Rawnsley Park Station for lunch.

This afternoon is a chance to relax by the pool or rest up in your eco-villa before toasting a brilliant Flinders Ranges sunset overlooking the rugged Chace Range, glass in hand.

Tonight, enjoy a sumptuous dinner at the Woolshed Restaurant.

Rawnsley Park Station | Meals: BLD

Day 3: Rawnsley Park Station – Parachilna | Feral Fare and Fossils

After a leisurely breakfast, head out by 4WD with an expert local guide to discover more of the spectacular scenery, wildlife and geological attractions of the Ikara Flinders Ranges National Park, once an ancient seabed. Admire the rugged rock formations of Bunyeroo Gorge and keep an eye out for the elusive yellow-footed rock wallaby at Brachina Gorge. Brachina Gorge also provides a window through 130 million years of the earth’s history and offers insight into past climates, the formation of the ranges and the evolution of early life forms.

Continue on to Parachilna, famous as ‘the Ediacara Capital of the World’ thanks to its proximity to the celebrated Ediacaran fossil fields, as well as the historic Prairie Hotel, owned by the Fargher family, which has become an icon of the Flinders Ranges and is your base for the night. Sit down to a lunch of the Prairie’s famous 'Flinders Feral' food which focuses on local produce and bush tucker.

This afternoon, travel out west to Nilpena Station, the Fargher family’s working cattle station and location of the famous Ediacara fossil fields, featured in Sir David Attenborough’s Life on Earth, which demonstrate the extraordinary geological value of the region. The fossils show evidence of large, complex marine organisms which once existed in the Flinders Ranges, an area submerged 555 million years ago by shallow tropical seas. After exploring the fossil fields, see why the property has been so popular with filmmakers with its striking desert landscapes and outbuildings. You may recognise scenes from Rabbit-Proof Fence. Return to Parachilna and toast the sunset over a Fargher Lager (the Prairie’s home brew) before a gourmet experience like no other as you savour native cuisine at a private “Tastes of the Outback” dinner in the Gallery restaurant.

Prairie Hotel | Meals: BLD

Day 4: Parachilna – William Creek | Characters and Stations of the Outback

Wake up to a ‘cooked to order’ Prairie breakfast before transferring to the Leigh Creek Airport. Rejoin your pilot and plane for the onward flight north to William Creek, Australia's smallest town with a population of less than 16. Upon arrival meet Trevor Wright, a quintessential outback character dubbed ‘Minister of Most Things Worth Knowing’. Trevor has lived in the area for over 30 years and will share his colourful stories of life in this remote outpost. After lunch at the William Creek Hotel, take to the air again for a bird’s-eye view of the Anna Creek Painted Hills, an extraordinary rocky outcrop, before landing for a guided walk through this fragile environment. Look for fossils, evidence of the inland sea, and admire the contrasting colours and characteristics created by the oxidised minerals within.

A short flight on is Mount Eba Station, renowned as the geographical centre of South Australia. Once a stopover for fuel and provisions on the Old Stuart Highway, the station was established in 1874 and at one time stocked 30,000 sheep and cattle. There’s time for a wander to admire the old homestead and visit the shearing shed before returning to William Creek. Browse memorabilia from The Old Ghan Railway line, the Woomera Rocket Range and other historic artefacts in the William Creek “Museum” located across the road from the pub and then step into the front bar to admire the mementos and memorabilia from the many travellers who have passed through.

William Creek Hotel | Meals: BLD

Day 5: William Creek – Coober Pedy | Lake Eyre from Above

As dawn breaks over Lake Eyre, Australia’s largest salt lake, a vast ecosystem springs to life and the light glistens off the salt resembling a shimmering diamond. Take to the air and watch the colours change to an array of deep pink and purple as the sunlight intensifies. Then it’s a short hop to Coober Pedy – Australia’s opal capital. This quirky town, known for underground living, opals and spectacular sunsets, is unlike anywhere else. After settling into your cave hotel, join your local guide on a private walking tour around the historic Coober Pedy cemetery which tells a story of the colourful and often eccentric residents who have shaped the town of today. Another breathtaking sunset in store when you journey to the Kanku-Breakaways Conservation Park, a site significant for the Antakirinja Matuntjara Yankunytjatjara People, whose name for the area is Umoona, meaning "long life”. Enjoy sundowners as the sun slowly sets on the horizon.

Desert Cave Hotel | Meals: BD

Day 6: Coober Pedy – Mt. Ive Station – Gawler Ranges National Park | Glistening Lake Gairdner

Heading south today, fly to Mt. Ive Station and explore Lake Gairdner’s glistening white salt pan set amidst hills of brilliant red sand with your expert local guide. Step onto the surface of the lake and look north to see the endless white plain and the striking red surrounds and islands which yield many animal tracks, flowers in spring, interesting vegetation and birds. Photo opportunities are endless.

This afternoon drive through a changing landscape on the lookout for emus and red, western grey and euro kangaroos en route to Kangaluna Camp in the Gawler Ranges, your base for the next two nights. Tonight, toast a salt lake sunset over Sturt’s Lake followed by dinner.

Kangaluna Camp | Meals: BLD

Room type may differ for Single guests. Please contact A&K for details.

Day 7: Gawler Ranges National Park | Organ Pipes Amphitheatre

Begin the day with a leisurely walk over the coloured rocks of the Corrobinnie Valley floor. Then a short drive along a sandy track through the Mallee bush to Yandinga Valley where 1600-million-year-old cigar-shaped volcanic rock formations make up the magnificent Organ Pipes Amphitheatre. There’s wildlife aplenty here too, including the yellow-footed rock wallaby.

Return to camp this afternoon pausing at Pildappa Rock, a granite formation to rival W.A.’s Wave Rock, and Sturts Lake.

Kangaluna Camp | Meals: BLD

Day 8: Wudinna – Port Lincoln | Coffin Bay Oysters and Marine Wildlife

An early morning flight south to Coffin Bay, an area of outstanding beauty, world famous oysters and home to important species of flora and fauna. Join Coffin Bay oyster farmer Chris Hank as he takes you on his educational oyster cruise. Learn about the Pacific and the native Angasi oysters and sample these jewels fresh from the bay. During the cruise, keep an eye out for seabirds, seals and the bottlenose and common dolphins which are common in the area.

Later, venture out to the Coffin Bay National Park where pristine untouched beaches await. Head off on a 4WD adventure through rolling sand-dunes and down winding tracks admiring some of South Australia’s most spectacular coastal scenery along the way. Ancient granite, limestone and sandstone cliffs give way to long beaches bordered by glistening white sand dunes and wildlife is plentiful throughout the 31,000-hectare national park. Look out for mobs of western grey kangaroo, emus, goannas and other reptiles as well dolphins cavorting in the crystal-clear waters. There are plenty of photographic opportunities and time to breathe in the fresh salty sea air and stretch out on one of the Eyre Peninsula’s most picture-perfect, golden sandy beaches.

Lunch today will be a beach style picnic.

Continue on to Port Lincoln, seafood capital of Australia, passing through beautiful countryside and farmland on the way. Stop in at Boston Bay Winery to refresh, refuel and savour the local drop. Learn about the varieties grown here almost on the water’s edge and look out for passing whales and dolphins as you taste signature estate grown wines. Before arriving into Port Lincoln, get a superb photo opportunity at Winter Hill where Port Lincoln, Boston Island, Boston Bay and the Port Lincoln National Park all spread out before you.

Tonight, meet renowned chef Kris Bunders in his home on the Lincoln Marina for a seafood masterclass and dinner. Begin the evening with a twilight tour on board the Tesla, a unique electric canal cruiser, discovering the rich local history, Australia’s largest commercial fishing fleet and the city’s sought-after waterfront homes before being welcomed into the Bunder’s residence for an unforgettable evening of locally caught seafood and Eyre Peninsula produce.

Port Lincoln Hotel | Meals: BLD

Day 9: Port Lincoln – Depart Adelaide

Start the day with coffee on a private behind the scenes tour at the Boston Bean Coffee Bar, South Australia's only specialty coffee roastery. Owners Richard and Sue share their passion for coffee whilst you sample and experience some of their favourite blends.

Suitably fuelled up, you’ll continue to Port Lincoln’s Fresh Fish Place for an ocean to plate experience. Meet local fisherman as they drop off their catch from all over the Eyre Peninsula, visit the factory and hear about the local fishing and aquaculture industries and observe how the seafood is packed and stored. Then it’s time to taste with a tantalising selection of in-house smoked fish and pickled seafood. Locally grown condiments are promoted here too and co-owner Sandy Harder is an amazing local artist whose work adorns the walls.

A farewell lunch from the Fresh Fish Place is a highlight. Choose your own piece of fish and have it cooked to your liking before your flight back to Adelaide.

Meals: BL

Journey Details

Internal air included: Private charter flights

The 02 August 2022 departure will operate on an amended itinerary for Days 2-3. Please contact A&K for details.

Inclusions

All accommodation as detailed on a double/ twin share basis with private facilities; Travel in a private aircraft from as specified in the itinerary; Meals as specified; Bottled water during transfers and touring; Wine and beer with all included dinners; Airport welcome; Assistance with luggage and group transportation by private air-conditioned vehicle; Services of a Pilot/Guide and Local Guide(s) in select locations; All entrance fees, planning, handling, operational and communication charges.

Please Note: In some outback locations hotels may not meet normal A&K standards, however they are comfortable, well located, and we have selected the best available in each destination.
On Days 6 & 7 at Kangaluna Camp single guests may be accommodated in a different room type. Please contact A&K for details.

Note: Proof of COVID-19 full vaccination is required for this program.

Tailor-Made Travel with A&K

If scheduled departure dates don’t work for you, or you would prefer to travel privately, please talk to one of our expert Journey Designers or your travel agent about creating the perfect bespoke tailor-made journey for you, or your own small group with family or friends.

Show Full Itinerary
Preferred Accommodation

Preferred Accommodation

This journey features the following Preferred Accommodations:

Mayfair Hotel Adelaide

Outback S.A. – An Air Safari (2022-23)

Located on the corner of King William and Hindley Street, the chic and intriguing Mayfair Hotel offers glamour in the heart of Adelaide's... Read more

Rawnsley Park Station, Flinders Ranges

Outback S.A. – An Air Safari (2022-23)

Overlooking the southern side of Wilpena Pound, Rawnsley Park Station provides the perfect base for exploring South Australia's beautiful... Read more

William Creek Hotel, William Creek

Outback S.A. – An Air Safari (2022-23)

The William Creek Hotel is one of the world’s most remote pubs. It started in the late 1880s as a boarding house then became a store and ... Read more

Desert Cave Hotel, Cooper Pedy

Outback S.A. – An Air Safari (2022-23)

Experience accommodation Coober Pedy style - underground in the naturally cool sandstone subterranean surrounds. This oasis in the desert... Read more

Kangaluna Camp

Outback S.A. – An Air Safari (2022-23)

For many, luxury is about getting off the grid. Kangaluna Camp, in the remote Gawler Ranges of South Australia, is about as far off grid ... Read more

Port Lincoln Hotel

Outback S.A. – An Air Safari (2022-23)

With an outstanding location in the heart of Port Lincoln, the Port Lincoln Hotel offers impressive views of Boston Bay and the township ... Read more

Dates & Prices

Journey Dates & Prices

Prices are per person, based on double occupancy

Aug 2, 2022 - Aug 10, 2022
Price AU$17,500pp Single Supplement AU$865 Internal Air (From) AU$0 Availability Available Book
Mar 7, 2023 - Mar 15, 2023
Price AU$17,500pp Single Supplement AU$865 Internal Air (From) AU$0 Availability Available Book
Apr 11, 2023 - Apr 19, 2023
Price AU$17,500pp Single Supplement AU$865 Internal Air (From) AU$0 Availability Available Book
Notes:

Availability shown here is updated weekly and indicative only. Availability on any product or journey shown here is not specific to a category of travel and may not denote availability at the cheapest ‘From’ price. For real time availability, talk to your travel agent or call Abercrombie & Kent on 1300 851 800.

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