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An unforgettable adventure awaits just three hours north of Rawnsley Park in the Flinders Ranges.

The Arkaroola Ridgetop Sleepout Tour stands out as one of the best things I’ve ever done in all my years of travelling around South Australia. In fact, I’ve never experienced anything quite like it!

This one-of-a-kind guided expedition takes you deep into the Ranges, from the comfort of an open-air, custom-built four-wheel drive. It’s jumpy, it’s wild and you’ll literally be on the edge of your seat for at least 90 minutes. Along the way, your lovable guide will show you some of the spectacular geological formations, ancient granite peaks, and plenty of breathtaking views with opportunities to stop and photograph.

Your campsite, perched at the top of the ridge, has 360-degree panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. You’ll feel so tiny and insignificant — like you’re the only ones on earth!

The evening unfolds with a delightful outback dinner cooked over an open fire. “How do you like your steak? Medium? Rare? Or well done?,” is the only tough decision you’ll have to make all night. And no need to worry if you don’t eat red meat. They cover all dietary requirements — the barramundi is sensational!

As the sun goes down, the night sky comes alive and you’ll quickly realise why the region has recently been certified as the only Dark Sky Sanctuary in SA (and only one of two in all of Australia!) Under a gazillion stars, you can examine the constellations through a telescope or simply just take it all in by the campfire while you enjoy a cuppa or a glass of wine. The best part happens next…

An opportunity to sleep under the stars! In a luxurious swag complete with Egyptian cotton sheets, a mattress and a toastiewarm doona to top it off, you’ll fall asleep while looking up at that majestic night sky. This was my favourite part and I’m not even a camper! It was quite profound.

At 5.45am the horn sounds and you whack on a jacket, some shoes and meet your guide, who’ll offer you a coffee in one hand and a banana in the other. Still in darkness, you climb aboard the fourwheel drive and head 15 minutes up the mountain to watch the sun rise over what looks like an oil painting.

Your guide will enlighten you with the history of Arkaroola’s delicate balance of flora and fauna, showing a deep appreciation for the need to protect and conserve these environments for future generations.

The only thing left in the tour is brekky — and of course another coffee before packing up your bags and heading back down the rugged mountain range to where it all began.

If you’re up for anything and really want to immerse yourself in the great Australian outback, or maybe like me you have some sort of gravitational pull towards the incredible Flinders Ranges, this tour is an absolute must!

I never expected to feel so deeply moved and so connected to the universe as I did during this experience. Our guide Macca, sleeping under the stars in a swag, the Arkaroola sunrise — these moments will stay with me, not because they’re iconic experiences, but because I was completely surprised by them.

The only thing I regret was not bringing my husband Jimmy — this place is too good not to share.


South Australia Tourism Commission 


Hayley Pearson

Hayley Pearson

Co-Creator and Writer for Adelady, she still gets goosebumps that she’s combined her creative passion with sharing the best of her stunning home state.

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