Alumni Travel acknowledges and respects the Adnyamathanha people, the traditional owners of the Ikara-Flinders and Vulkathunha-Gammon regions. We pay our respects to their Elders past and present. All Adnyamathanha cultural references, including references to Ikara, Yurlu and the Akurra, are the property of the Adnyamathanha.
THURSDAY 02 SEPTEMBER – ARRIVE ADELAIDE
Meet Ann Clancy, your tour leader, at Tarndanyangga – Adelaide. Look at life in its most ancient form, found in the Ikara-Flinders Ranges, at the Ediacara Gallery in the SA Museum. Visit the largest Aboriginal cultures collection in the world. Welcome dinner featuring South Australian produce. Optional accommodation and breakfast for interstate guests. (D)
FRIDAY 03 SEPTEMBER – ADELAIDE – PORT AUGUSTA
Travel north to Port Augusta.
Picnic lunch and a walk at verdant Mambray Creek. Hear about Nganyarra Ngaldyanha – Mt Remarkable. Dinner with Adnyamathanha elder, Vince Coulthard, who has been awarded many honours for leadership of his people in native title, social justice and economic enterprise. Talk with Vince about the determination of the Adnyamathanha community to survive, thrive and share their culture in contemporary Australia. (D)
SATURDAY 04 SEPTEMBER – PORT AUGUSTA – IKARA-WILPENA
Guided tour of the beautiful Arid Lands Botanic Garden. Stroll along the estuary, watch from the bird hide, enjoy a coffee at the Café or shop for top quality gifts. Scenic drive through Pichi Richi Pass into the central Flinders Ranges.
After lunch with elder Pauline McKenzie at the stylish Flinders Food Company at Hawker, enjoy the winding road and the southern walls of the pound along the Moralana Scenic Drive to Ikara-Wilpena. Adnyamathanha welcome to Ikara, the ‘meeting place’, where indigenous groups have come since time immemorial, from right across Australia, for the very best ceremonial ochre. Dinner at the iconic Woolshed Restaurant, Rawnsley Park Station. Glamp in luxury at Ikara Safari Camp and enjoy the views from your private deck. (B,D)
SUNDAY 05 SEPTEMBER – IKARA-WILPENA
30 minute scenic flight over Ikara to see the extraordinary formation of Ikara-Wilpena Pound. View the path taken by the Akurra as they carved their way through the landscape – Brachina Gorge, Edeowie Gorge, Akurra Adnya – Arkaroo Rock and Ngarrimudlanha – St Mary’s Peak. Meet our expert guide, Adnyamathanha elder and senior law-man, Cliff Coulthard, who will guide us along the trail of the Akurra. See the breathtaking ancient art site at Akurra Adnya. Walk deep into the Pound and be taken back to the beginning of time, when the people met here and waited for Yurlu, the kingfisher man, to start the initiation ceremony, only to discover that the giant serpents, the Akurra, had surrounded them. (B,D)
MONDAY 06 SEPTEMBER – IKARA-WILPENA
Tour Bunyeroo and Brachina Gorges, stopping to see the magnificent lookouts. Hear how the Akurra came through Brachina Gorge and were seen here by Yurlu, the kingfisher man, on his way south. Learn about the geology of the area in the Corridors through Time geological trail.
Understand how the Cambrian explosion, the formation of the Flinders Ranges, the creation of the Adnyamathanha and their culture, the initiations, the sacred ochre, the moieties, the flora and fauna and the Milky Way all come together here in one glorious majesty. Look for the rare Yellow-Footed Rock Wallabies grazing on the hillsides. Travel by 4WD to a local lookout for the Sunset Spectacular, photograph the changing moods and colours of the ranges and enjoy canapes and drinks. (B,L,D)
TUESDAY 07 SEPTEMBER – IKARA-WILPENA – IGA WARTA
Relax as we head to the Northern Flinders via the Outback Highway. Visit the old mining town at Warru Awi – Blinman, the Wadna Yura craft shop and the Parachilna Gorge. Hear about the Pukartu mine and the ancient ochre trade routes still used today. Stretch your legs at Arrunha Awi – the present day Aroona Dam – where the Akurra first emerged.
Hear about Karkalpunha – Mt Termination – where Yurlu started his journey, and the Leigh Creek Mine, in the area where Yurlu lit the fires that not only created the coal, but alerted the Akurra to his journey to Ikara. Walk into the magnificent Red Gorge to see the extensive ancient petroglyphs on two galleries along the high rock-walls.
Arrive at Iga Warta, the place of the Native Orange, a tourism facility and cultural centre built by hand more than 20 years ago by the Coulthard family to achieve their dream of sharing their culture. Welcome to country with elder, musician and linguistics expert, Terry Coulthard. (B,L,D)
WEDNESDAY 08 SEPTEMBER – IGA WARTA
Tour of Malkii – a 25,000 year old painted art rock enclosure, with elder Clarrie Coulthard. Hear about the initiation ceremonies held here, understand the significance of Yurlu and the Akurra in relation to initiation and to this landscape.
Look at the traditional campsite, flints and native plants, and hear about the impact of the pastoral industry. Visit Nguthunanga Mai Ambatanha (Damper Hill) women’s site with elder Josie Coulthard and enjoy the story of the Lost Children. Hear about women in traditional and contemporary Adnyamathanha culture, including the moiety system. Relax around the campfire at night, talk with local people and enjoy Adnyamathanha songs. (B,L,D)
THURSDAY 09 SEPTEMBER – IGA WARTA
Hear about the early days of European contact and its impact on the Adnyamathanha. See where the Adnyamathanha taught RM Williams their methods of leatherworking at Italowie Gorge and the RM Williams business was born. Return to the contemporary world of the Adnyamathanha with a visit to the Adnyamathanha community of Nepabunna.
Talk to Terry about the quest to save the Ngawarla – the language – and the plans for the old Mt Serle Station -Artoowarapana. Take a stroll to see the nearby Iga tree, view the ethnographic museum, or climb the hills behind Iga Warta. Damper, bush foods and kangaroo cooked on the campfire for dinner (subject to seasonal availability). (B,L,D)
FRIDAY 10 SEPTEBER – IGA WARTA – PRAIRIE HOTEL, PARACHILNA
Travel to Nilpena Station to view the recently-established Ediacara Conservation Park, with the world’s oldest finds of fossilised animals from 600 million years ago. Enjoy the sunset and a beer with the locals on the veranda of the Prairie Hotel. Feral Feast tour farewell dinner at the iconic Prairie Hotel. (B,L,D)
SATURDAY 11 SEPTEMBER – PARACHILNA – ADELAIDE
Relax as we head south to Adelaide. Reflect on the trail of Yurlu and the Akurra as we now travel in the direction they took, past the walls of Ikara and the entrance to Edeowie Gorge. Enjoy the lovely winding RM Williams Way through the beautiful landscapes of the Southern Flinders Ranges.
Enjoy a bakery lunch by the Pekina Creek Waterhole at Orroroo and hear about Ann’s family who purchased land at Pekina, the site of the first station in the Flinders Ranges. Understand the importance of the Goyder Line and their struggle to survive without the knowledge of the Ngadjuri and the Adnyamathanha and their connection to the land.
Arrive into Adelaide in the late afternoon/early evening – end of tour. You may wish to book further accommodation through Alumni Travel. (B)
Our accommodation is often in very remote locations where infrastructure, construction and maintenance can be challenging. Camping is not included. We will enjoy luxury glamping with proper beds, rough-hewn cabins and an iconic, upmarket outback pub. Iga Warta is hand-built, and as Terry Coulthard says, ‘It’s not the Hilton’. However, basic accommodation, generous hospitality and comfy beds are provided. Singles may be asked to twin share at Iga Warta for 3 nights.
LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY
Moderate fitness is required. Hiking poles are recommended for steadiness over rocky paths. The maximum length of the guided walks will be 8 kms return through rocky creek beds at a slow-medium pace. Maximum uphill walking will be 45 minutes on a loosely-formed path, including rock-steps, on a moderate incline, at a slow-medium pace. You will need to manage your own luggage over unsealed surfaces. More strenuous walks can be taken independently during leisure periods.
The itinerary is subject to confirmation at the time of the tour in response to local conditions.
In September the days are usually warm and sunny, occasionally hot, and the clear nights can be very cold. Rain is rare, but when heavy, causes swollen creeks, washed-out roads and changes to itineraries. The region is remote. Emergency medical services are available at hospitals in Port Augusta, Hawker and Orroroo. The Royal Flying Doctor Service can land at Angepena Station near Iga Warta.