Arkaroola or Arkaroola Station is a very small town loacted in the Northern Flinders Ranges about 130kms from Leigh Creek, in South Australia. It has a lot to offer the 4WD enthusiast and even boasts two stellar observatories.
Arkaroola is set in an incredible landscape of ranges laced with precious minerals, waterholes nestled inside tall gorges and places with songful names like Nooldoonooldoona and Bararranna. What's more, the Flinders Ranges are still alive, rumbling with up to 200 small earthquakes a year. It was a place that geologist Reg Sprigg found fascinating, and worth conserving. He purchased the Arkaroola property in 1968 and created a wildlife sanctuary for endangered species. Today a weather station, seismograph station and observatory (tours available) add to its significance and the spectacular four-wheel-drive tracks entice many visitors. The village has excellent facilities for such a remote outpost.
The area's first people are the Adnyamathanha. One of their dreamtime or creation stories says that Arkaroo, a mythical monster, drank Lake Frome dry. He then crawled up into the mountains. When he urinated he created the waterholes that are a feature of the area. His movement over the land created Arkaroola Creek.
Access is usually by car, while there is a helipad and an airstrip near by they are not usually used.
To get to Araroola requires travelling over 130kms of dirt road, the conditions of which vary considerably. A 4WD vehicle is highly recommended although it is possible to get there using a 2WD. Whatever type of vehicle you take you should ensure you have two (2) spare tyres! The road into Arkaroola is littered with blown tyres.
The road can be impassable after rain as there are many floodways that cross the road. Please note it is illegal to drive on roads that have been closed, fines do apply. You can travel from Adelaide to Arkaroola in one day. It should take around 7-9 hours and is approximatley 700kms.
Arkaroola is very small and as such everything is within a few hundred metres walking distance.
If you've brought your own 4WD you should have no problems getting around, although some tracks are classed as "Extreme 4WD Conditions" so you must have a sturdy and rugged 4WD, i.e. a Rav4 is not suitable!
Some tracks are classed as 2WD. However there are VERY few 2WD tracks to drive on and strictly speaking you would be much better off in a 4WD, mainly because 2WD vehicles do not have enough clearence between the wheels. While it is possible to take your 2WD along these tracks it is not a good idea.
Various levels of accomodation