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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Frequently Asked Questions
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0417 533 063
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.
Ranges to River Booking Enquiries
If you would like to know more about this experience or would like to make a booking, please fill out the form below and we will be in touch soon.