Explore South Australia’s finest wildlife locations while staying at two luxurious properties: Southern Ocean Lodge and Arkaba Station, both situated in scenic settings.
The trip begins on Kangaroo Island – a haven for Australia’s endemic wildlife – where a range of bespoke guided excursions showcase nature at its best. Combining signature wildlife experiences, where kangaroo, koala, sealion and an abundance of birds can easily be observed, with the island’s geological attractions, such as Remarkable Rocks and Admirals Arch, provide excellent photographic opportunities.
The second half of the trip is based in the Flinders Ranges, South Australia’s largest mountain range, where you can enjoy a combination of four-wheel-drive safaris and guided bush walks to give an incredible insight into the geology, natural history and pastoral heritage of the Flinders Ranges. Red and western grey kangaroo and the common wallaroo (euro) all thrive amongst the region’s waterholes, while in Brachina Gorge there is an important population of yellow-footed rock wallaby, a species once on the verge of extinction.
Read travel consultant Chris Smith's blog on his visit to Kangaroo Island.
Day1: Depart UK
Day2: Arrive Adelaide
On arrival in Adelaide, Australia's capital, you transfer to a boutique hotel in the city centre to rest after the long journey. Many restaurants and bars are all within easy walking distance of the hotel.
Accommodation: Hotel in Adelaide, 1-night
Day3: Fly to Kangaroo Island
Take a morning flight from Adelaide to Kingscote, on Kangaroo Island. Upon arrival you transfer to Southern Ocean Lodge for a three night stay. Having settled into your luxe island ‘basecamp’, enjoy lunch in the restaurant. A signature itinerary of guided island excursions is designed and included daily, allowing you to personalise your experience and discover the island’s unique attractions. The following four day itinerary is a sample of the activities available, but can be tailored to your requirements. The itinerary commences this afternoon, where you can join a guided coastal clifftop walk atop the limestone cliffs of Hanson Bay to enjoy outstanding views of the open ocean, and learn about the local flora, fauna and coastal ecosystem.
Returning to the lodge late afternoon, a resident naturalist staff member provides an insight into the island’s discovery and natural history through a visual presentation; ‘Discover Island Heritage’. You are then welcome to enjoy pre-dinner drinks and canapés in the Great Room with its open bar, fireplace and lounge area, before dining at your leisure. During your stay you will be able to enjoy the region’s finest produce, served with South Australian wines.
This morning, you can opt for a half-day signature experience, introducing the spectacular wildlife of Kangaroo Island, journeying into Flinders Chase National Park and visiting natural icons such as the Remarkable Rocks and Admirals Arch, home to a fur seal colony. Following lunch overlooking the stunning Hanson Bay, the afternoon is at your leisure.
You may wish to book a bespoke activity such as a quad biking safari, kayaking adventure, beach fishing, adventure hiking or a special interest tour. Alternatively you may prefer to make use of the Southern Spa, or relax in the beautiful surroundings of the lodge itself.
In the early evening, you can opt for ‘Kangas & Kanapés’- signature sunset drinks at Grassdale, a historic island property, where you can enjoy South Australian beverages, canapés and kangaroos! For those interested, there are optional nocturnal tours visiting the Hanson Bay Sanctuary in search of koalas, kangaroos and wallabies, which are most active during the night (seasonal).
Day5: Kangaroo Island
Today, take a guided walk on the beach at Seal Bay amongst South Australia’s largest colony of sealions, led by one of the lodge’s naturalist guides. Learn about their unique breeding habits and the ongoing research programmes and conservation efforts implemented on site.
Day6: Kangaroo Island, fly to Adelaide
Your final day at Southern Ocean Lodge is at your leisure and you may wish to explore the surrounding pristine wilderness on a range of easy to medium grade treks, looking for wildlife such as the Kangaroo Island kangaroo or - if you are lucky - you may even spot the elusive echidna.
For the more adventurous, daily scheduled hikes operate each morning from the lodge. Depending on the time of your flight to Adelaide, you may have lunch at the lodge, or fly back to Adelaide to explore the city or nearby attractions such as the International Bird Sanctuary.
Accommodation: Hotel in Adelaide, 1-night
Day7: Fly Adelaide to Port Augusta, transfer to Arkaba
Today, take a flight to Port Augusta, and transfer to Arkaba Station in the Flinders Ranges. Depending on the flight timings, there may be an opportunity to take an afternoon guided bush walk.
During your stay at Arkaba, enjoy a unique experience with full access across the property, with chef-prepared meals and beverages, and daily guided wilderness safaris. The expert guides take you on a combination of four-wheel-drive safaris and guided bush walks providing an incredible insight into the geology, natural history and pastoral heritage of the Flinders Ranges, while taking in the sights and sounds of the bush. You can expect around seven hours of guided safaris each day.
In the 60,000 acre private conservancy, the surrounding outback wilderness is a haven for wildlife, with nearly 300 bird species recorded including ten new species; stubble quail, spotted nightjar and Horsfields bronze cuckoo. Three of Australia’s largest macropods; red kangaroo, western grey kangaroo and common wallaroo, are all regularly seen in Arkaba, while the near-threatened yellow-footed rock wallaby has recently returned to the range following successful conservation efforts in the area.
Day11: Depart Arkaba
After breakfast, you will be transferred back to Port Augusta airport for a flight back to Adelaide, to connect with your return flight the UK
Day12: Arrive UK
Our trip ideas are offered to inspire you and can be tailored to suit your requirements.
Duration and price including flights from/to UK: 12 daysfrom £7,095 pp
Duration and price excluding international flights: 10 daysfrom £5,745 pp
Surrounded by the Southern Ocean, Kangaroo Island is a haven for Australia’s endemic wildlife – more than 60 percent of the island comprises national parks and reserves. Here is nature at its best; amongst sheltered beaches, rugged cliffs and bushland, kangaroo, koala, birds and sealions abound.
Where: Southwestern Australia
Ideal for viewing: tammar wallaby, Australian sealion, short-beaked echidna, glossy black cockatoo, Kangaroo Island kangaroo
Excellent for: Penguin watching, Birdwatching
Flinders Ranges is South Australia’s largest mountain range and one of the region’s two ‘National Landscapes’ – famous for dramatic rock formations, national parks, aboriginal rock art, wildlife which includes yellow-footed rock wallabies, and flora specially adapted to the semi-arid environment.
Where: South Australia
Ideal for viewing: yellow-footed rock wallaby, wedge-tailed eagle, Lake Eyre dragon, emu, common wallaroo
The gateway to one of Australia’s finest wine regions, Adelaide boasts colonial buildings, lively markets, art galleries and an array of festivals. Just a short drive away you can find beautiful beaches and the Adelaide Hills, home to some of Australia’s best known national parks.
Where: South Australia
Excellent for: City stopover
Suggested accommodation options are shown below.
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Amidst the ancient landscape of the Flinders Range lies Arkaba Station, home to Australia’s largest macropods: red kangaroo, western grey kangaroo and common wallaroo. The homestead has five luxury en suite rooms which have been carefully restored to showcase the property’s pioneering history.
Australia’s first true luxury lodge, Southern Ocean Lodge stretches along a secluded cliff on a rugged part of Kangaroo Island’s coast. Designed to impact as lightly as possible on its environment, the lodge is a sophisticated and welcoming base from which to explore the island's natural sites.