Ranges to River

Our Murray River Walk and the Arkaba Walk, two Great Walks of Australia, come together to give you the opportunity to conquer both in one incredible South Australian journey.

Discover the dramatic scenery of the Flinders Ranges and walk the creek beds lined with River Red Gums while never losing sight of the rolling, craggy cypress pine ridged lines of these mountainous ranges. Leave the mountains behind at the floodplain wetlands of the Murray River and enjoy a gentle cruise up its meandering bends. Discover on foot the ever-changing scenery, the stunning red-ochre cliffs at sunset and the great Eucalypt forests that are a haven for small bird species.

While everyone loves to have a comfortable bed and great food, it is the time spent with guides on the ground that leaves a lasting impact. Our friendly and passionate guides will share their knowledge of the landscape and help you independently identify the common species of birds, wildlife and plants spotted on the journey, so you become familiar with these two iconic Australian environments.

Dates 22 June, 20 July and 17 August 2023
Duration 9 Days
Departure Point Arkaba Homestead, Flinders Ranges SA
Walking Distances 12 - 15km per day for 6 walking days
Grade Moderate
Itinerary Options Self Drive or Transfer ex Adelaide
From $5,375 per person twin share
Accommodation Arkaba's Camps, Arkaba Homestead, Renmark Hotel, Houseboat
The Arkaba Walk Logo
Ten days ago, I’d have struggled to identify a single flower, bird call or animal track, in either of these magnificent Australian landscapes. Now, thanks to this clever and considered pairing of walks, led by two sets of infectiously passionate and wonderfully knowledgeable guides, they feel like reassuringly familiar treasures.
Rob McFarland, June 2021

Ranges to River Itinerary

Day 1: Welcome to Arkaba


Meet and greet Adelaide airport or city located hotel before we hit the open road for our direct journey to the Flinders Ranges and your guided safari experience on arrival at Arkaba which will familiarise you with the area.


Make your way to Arkaba Homestead from 2pm for check-in to your Homestead Guestroom. There will be time to freshen up before your guided ‘Welcome to Arkaba’ safari experience.

Day 2: Arkaba Homestead to Black's Gap Camp
13km walking

Traverse the basin of Wilpena Pound before crossing onto Arkaba’s private wildlife conservancy and descend to Black’s Gap Signature Swag Camp. Glorious diversity meets big outback space and starry skies.

Day 3: Black's Gap to Elder Camp
15km walking

Today is arguably the most scenic, as we move out from Black’s Gap meandering riverbeds into the rolling hills more suited to the sheep farming activities previously carried out across the property. The first 2km will follow the famous Heysen Trail through Black’s Gap with the last leg of the day will heading slightly west into rolling hills culminating in a sharp 1km climb of about 100m in elevation to the summit of the Red Range where we’ll be rewarded with panoramic views of the Ikara-Flinders Ranges before moving on to the foot of Elder Range passing through beautiful stands of native Cypress trees.

Your luggage and swags will have been transported by vehicle to our new signature swag camp, the Elder Camp. You can expect to arrive around 5.30 pm in time for a hot bush shower with a view, a 3 course dinner and another beautiful night under the stars.

Day 4: Elder Camp to Arkaba Homestead
14-15km walking

Walk across varying terrain through Mallee and cypress forests before ascending the Red Range. Immerse yourself in our ancient Arkaba Creek line alive with glorious diversity enroute to Arkaba Homestead.

Day 5: Depart Arkaba for Renmark


Depart Arkaba Homestead after breakfast at 08:30 for a scenic transfer through gorgeous outback towns with wine tasting and lunch in the Clare Valley. After lunch continue onwards to the Hotel Renmark, your accommodation for the night, with dinner at the Nanya Bistro that evening.


Morning at leisure to relax fireside, take an optional scenic flight over the ancient ramparts of Wilpena Pound or perhaps retreat into nature from Arkaba’s wildlife viewing hide or historic woolshed. Check out by 11am and set off for Renmark via the Clare Valley wine country. Take your pick of wineries for a beautiful lunch. From the Clare Valley head east through Robertson and Cadell before arriving at the Hotel Renmark, your accommodation for the night, with dinner at the Nanya Bistro that evening.

Day 6: Renmark to Headings Cliffs
12km walking
12km cruising

Meet your guides and fellow walkers at 8:00 am at the Hotel Renmark for a pre-walk briefing before we board the pontoon “cruiser” boat for a 14 km cruise along the Murray River to the start of the walking route.

Discover the lagoons that are havens for waterbirds, learn about the site of a World War II Japanese internment camp and cross creeks that feed the red gum forests and box woodlands. A gentle climb through the cliffs reveals a magnificent view of the vast Murray River floodplain that will surround you over the next 3 days. A short transfer across the river in the cruiser and you have arrived at your destination.

You will be welcomed aboard the houseboat with time to settle in with a cool foot dip in the river or a hot spa followed by a 3-course dinner paired with local wines.

Day 7: Headings Cliffs to Chowilla Creek
14km walking
12km cruising

Rise before the sun and walk a gentle slope to the rim of the Murray River valley for a spectacular sunrise. See colours appear and marvel at the journey route below before returning to the houseboat for a cooked breakfast. Depart again for the daily walk discovering Aboriginal canoe trees, giant red gum forests and small islands along leafy Amazon Creek.

Arriving at your floating home you’ll enjoy a local tasting plate as you dip your feet in the cool waters of the Murray River.

Day 8: Chowilla Creek to Bunyip Reach Cliffs
10km walking
18km cruising

Awake to the mists on the water and enjoy a great coffee, local navel oranges and tasty breakfast followed by a briefing on the Murray Darling Basin and the management of its network of rivers which drain 14% of Australia. Today we cruise to the Chowilla Creek Environmental Regulator to learn about environmental watering and new stewardship for the river, before setting off on our walk.

You’ll walk along Chowilla Creek, restored wetlands and visit the proposed site of the 1960’s Chowilla Dam.

In the afternoon we celebrate completing our walking journey from Queens Bend Cliffs before cruising to the houseboat as the late afternoon sun illuminates the red cliffs.

Day 9: Bunyip Reach Cliffs to Renmark
Optional 2km walking
23km cruising

After breakfast take a self-guided 2 km walk along the river, before cruising in the pontoon boat through Lock 6. Experience a gentle drop in the water level of 3 metres.

Rejoining the houseboat downstream, you will cruise for 2 hours on the houseboat to the innovative Wilkadene Woolshed Brewery, set in a 100 year old shearing shed on the banks of the river.

Enjoy a tour with the head brewer before sitting down with your guides to a fine barbecue, prepared by your guides before saying your farewells.

You will depart for Renmark by bus and arrive at the Renmark Hotel at 2.00 pm.


Depart Renmark at 2.00pm for your transfer back to Adelaide airport or city located hotel. Estimated time of arrival in Adelaide is 5.00pm.


Make your way onto your next destination, considering an extra night in Renmark (at your own leisure) and dine out at one of the many great restaurants and visit the Riverland’s unique cellar doors the following day.

Iconic Accommodation

During your Ranges to River Experience, you'll sleep under the stars and in beds floating on the waters of the Murray River.

You can learn more about the accommodation provided below.

Arkaba Homestead

Your first and fourth evening is spent in the comfort of Arkaba’s restored homestead, member of Luxury Lodges of Australia, and an exclusive outback Australian expereince. As the layout of the original homestead has been retained, each of the five homestead guestrooms has a character of its own and has been named after early settlers, explorers or property owners. Each has a private bathroom and opens out on a shaded verandah with views of the surrounding ranges. The decor has been hand-fashioned by wildlife artist, Rosie Woodford-Granf. Bedheads are from recycled fence posts and fleeces, curtains tied back by gumnut tassles, lights are perched on explorers’ tripod theodolites. The Arkaba Homestead retains a real sense of history and place.

Arkaba Walk's Signature Camps

Each signature camp has five permanent swag decks. The low timber decks are slightly elevated, and each have a ½ metre corrugated iron screen around three sides, to give privacy – the fourth side is left open to the views over the countryside, while above you is the night sky and a canopy of stars. There is also a sheltered section of your swag deck, in the event of wind or rain. Your bed is a ‘swag’ – the bedding of choice for generations of Australian pioneers, a canvas envelope that is comfortable and waterproof, protecting you from the elements. Inside each swag will be an all season’s sleeping bag with liner. Each camp site has two waterless composting toilets – each in their own little ‘dunny’ shed and strategically located to enjoy the best of the views. Each camp has two bush showers – essentially buckets that are filled with water warmed on the fire, and equipped with taps to regulate the flow.

Murray River Houseboat

The houseboat is your lodge-based accommodation on the Murray River Walk. The scenery from your houseboat and your bedroom window is always spectacular. In the evenings, relax in the houseboat lounge and share stories with your fellow travellers, or venture up to the top deck where a hot spa provides a perfect end to the day’s activities.
Your houseboat sleeps up to 10 people in 5 rooms (each room sleeps 2 people, queen bed or 2 singles), and each boat has 2 bathrooms with hot showers, a spacious lounge and modern kitchen. The houseboat will be moored each day at your daily destination, you only need to unpack once as you keep the same room for the entire journey.

Ready to book?

Self Drive Itinerary $5,375 per person twin share
With Transfers from Adelaide $6,115 per person
Single supplement applies for non shared rooms
To book, please call 0417 533 063 or email info@murrayrivertrails.com.au

Frequently Asked Questions

Are your tours wheelchair accessible?

Please contact our Reservations Team to discuss your special needs.

The walking routes, houseboats and vehicles are not suitable for wheelchair access.

However, we can make accommodations for guests who can walk, but with low mobility. These guests can skip the walking route and remain on the houseboat while the group go out walking.

Do I need Travel Insurance?

At the time of booking a tour, consider an appropriate level of travel insurance that includes COVID-19 cover. Please read the PDS and check the policy is right for you before making a purchase. Murray River Trails will not be held liable for any additional costs involved or for a partial refund of the tour costs if the tour is aborted or stopped by circumstances outside of our control.

How can I book the Ranges to River Experience?

Bookings can only be made by calling or emailing our office during business hours. Please email info@murrayrivertrails.com.au or call 0417 533 063

What are the departure dates?

22nd June 2023 available

20th July 2023 available

17th August 2023 available

23rd June 2022- sold out

14th July 2022- sold out

28th July 2022- sold out

25th Aug 2022- sold out

What clothing should I pack?

We recommend packing warm clothing that can be layered and a windproof jacket along with a beanie, scarf and gloves for extra comfort. Also pack a sun hat.

Can you cater to special dietary requirements?

We cater for special dietary requirements — we just need to know in advance.

What is a ‘pontoon cruiser’ boat?

On Murray River Walk you will spend time cruising the Murray River in our ‘Cruiser’.

The cruiser is a comfortable 12 seater “open air” pontoon style boat like a mobile couch on water. It is a stable, secure and quiet craft, navigated expertly by your guide along the mighty Murray River. The pontoon boat transfers you between the daily walking route and the houseboat and is a great way to see wildlife on the river and in the creeks.

What type of shoes should I wear?

We recommend you wear lace-up hiking boots that have sturdy, treaded soles for daily activities and comfortable shoes for nightly wear. Do not bring sneakers for walking.

How many guides are there?

During the Arkaba Walk you will have two guides accompany you.

On Murray River Walk, three passionate guides will accompany you – they know about the landscape and its stories and they are fantastic cooks. Two of these knowledgeable guides accompany you each walking day while the third guide will remain on the houseboat, preparing meals for when you return in the evening.

Where do tours depart from?

The Ranges to River Experience departs from Arkaba Homestead in the Flinders Ranges South Australia.

If you opt for the itinerary that includes transfers, your tour will depart from Adelaide (Airport or your choice of hotel in the City).

Is the walking hard?

The Arkaba Walk is graded ‘moderate’ and The Murray River Walk ‘easy’. On The Arkaba Walk, you will cover between 10 to 15km per day over steep, hilly terrain with some mountain scrambling. The route follows some thick vegetation, up
hillsides and rocky surfaces. You can be walking up to 7 hours per day with plenty of ascents and descents and across uneven ground. Whilst you do not need previous trekking experience, a good level of fitness is required.

On Murray River Walk the landscape is flatter in the Murray River delta with gentle climbs through the cliffs. There are some short steep sections, but the view is worth it.

Do you supply walking poles?

Yes, on Murray River Walk up to two walking poles each are available to guests.

Murray River FOOTER Wave Transparent

Ranges to River Booking Enquiries

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