Brooke Saward

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Highlights
Everything you must see and do in the Flinders Ranges, South Australia

My visit to the Flinders Ranges was in the month of April, the perfect time to experience the region as the weather begins to cool off (summer is too hot) and before the winter settles in with chilly nights. By far the most surreal experience of my time in the Flinders Ranges was to board a helicopter flight and land on a secluded ridge where a swag and camp set-up awaited me for a night of complete seclusion. This eco friendly tent is located inside a private reserve, whereby your host will send you on your way with a loaded eski full of treats and dinner for the evening, which you can enjoy in the privacy of your luxe tent (complete with a bathroom, bbq and private fire spot for the evening! ) On this walk I learned about the history of the Flinders Ranges, all about the wildlife we encountered and many out of the ordinary facts I’m sure I’ll never remember!

The Jeep Journey to Fairy Meadows in Northern Pakistan

If I were to compile a list of scariest, hair-raising moments in my travel history, this jeep journey to Fairy Meadows in Northern Pakistan would have to be in the top three (probably alongside mountain bike riding down death road in Bolivia and jumping from the highest bunny jump in the world in Macao). I began to relax in to my seat and enjoy the views, right when we turned a bend and entered a much more narrow, steep, and gut-wrenching section of the road that we later learned would take us almost the entire (one hour) journey up to the base for the hike to Fairy Meadows. The driver asks us not to film the village out of respect for the local people who very likely welcome many guests to their corner of the world daily, as the road to Fairy Meadows has become a bucket list destination for travellers to Northern Pakistan (though in the scheme of things tourism in the country is still very low). Arriving at Fairy Meadows feels like somewhat of a mirage after running our of drinking water before the hike had even commenced – but within minutes of arriving the local hosts are rushing to provide chai tea and water provisions.

Hiking the Arkaba Walk in the Flinders Ranges

Having myself fallen victim to the popular stops such as endless wineries in the Barossa Valley and the endless wildlife viewing on offer on Kangaroo Island, it was not until my second visit to South Australia that I began to think outside the box and look elsewhere for my adventures. After a few days exploring the region by car, I made my way to Arkaba Conservancy to experience the four-day adventure known as the Arkaba Walk, whereby walkers can enjoy a guided hike in Wilpena Pound and the Elders Ranges. Walking through 600-million years of geological history, the walk is coupled with an endless educational experience, stopping to learn about the earth and its geological history, Australian wildlife and a general overview of the flora and fauna in the area. The walk takes place over four days and three nights with the first two nights camping in the bush and the final night being more luxurious inside the homestead, complete with a three-course meal and matching wines.

Is this your next escape? Heli Swag Camping in the Flinders Ranges

Spending a night out in the bush surrounded by Australian wildlife, nothing but the sounds of nature and the crispy night air sounded like the perfect introduction to the Flinders Ranges, and so it was settled: I would spend my first night here in the bush on the heli-swag experience. Driving North from Adelaide, it was under an hour out of the city that I began to experience and embrace the country lifestyle South Australia is renowned for and before I knew it, in just two hours I was in the Clare Valley. When I reached Rawnsley Park Station I quickly re-packed my bags and took just an overnight bag on board the helicopter which was filled with all my supplies for the night: a swag, cooking equipment, an eski full of food to cook on the stove and a head torch I had brought with me out of practicality (which, as it turns out, was the most useful item I could have brought on the journey! ) The short 10 minute helicopter ride over the Flinders Ranges in the late afternoon was as magical as it sounds: soft daylight, a light breeze and the surprisingly warm autumn air were all characteristic of my journey to the top of a small peak on the Chase Ranges.

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