Project Description

ON THE TRAIL OF THE AKURRA

DATE: 02 – 11 September 2021
LAND ONLY TWIN SHARE: AUD $4,750 per person
SINGLE SUPPLEMENT: AUD $620 per person

An Adnyamathanha cultural tour of the spectacular Ikara-Flinders Ranges of South Australia.

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ON THE TRAIL OF THE AKURRA

This fully-guided, immersive tour for a maximum of ten people will take you through beautiful blue ranges, past jagged sawtooth ridges, into deep red gorges and along rocky creek beds lined with towering redgums. You will see some of the most breathtaking ancient art sites in Australia and sit around the campfire under star-lit skies to hear the ancient stories of the creation of Ikara by the giant serpents, the Akurra, as they carved their way from north to south.

As we follow the trail of the Akurra, we will be warmly hosted and guided by the Adnyamathanha – the ‘people of the rocks’ – at their own tourism facilities. The Adnyamathanha speak their own language and enjoy a rich cultural life, kept alive through an active strategy of sharing it with the world.

Our three day stay at Iga Warta gives us an opportunity to be immersed in contemporary Adnyamathanha life, not only in formal cultural tour activities, but also in a relaxed way, with our guides, on the big balcony, around the campfire and over meals.

We will learn about the environment of the ranges – the geology, the Ediacaran fossils, the fauna and flora – from both Adnyamathanha and European perspectives. We will enjoy the beautiful Arid Lands Botanic Garden. Depending on the timing of rainfall, we might see Sturt Desert Peas and carpets of wildflowers.

This tour brings together the most spectacular landscapes in the Ikara-Flinders Ranges, 800 million years of geological history and the oldest culture on earth, in one dramatic narrative.

YOUR TOUR LEADER: The tour will be led by South Australian novelist Ann Clancy, whose forbears settled in the Southern Flinders. She has visited the area many, many times from childhood through her adult life, hiked extensively through the region in her younger years, knows the Adnyamathanha and their culture and has written a highly successful popular fiction novel about the first contact history of the Flinders.

Adnyamathanha Guides:
Cliff Coulthard will be our Adnyamathanha guide over several days, through Ikara and beyond.
He is a senior cultural custodian and law-man, is involved with ceremonial access to the most important ochre deposit in Australia; has been a cultural advisor for 40 years; recently discovered the Warratyi site, with
art, human artefacts and megafauna (giant wombat) bones dated to 49,000 years; and has starred in lots of films, docos and radio programs. He addresses local flora and fauna, geology, palaeontology, astronomy and history – and how they connect with Adnyamathanha culture. His brothers Terry and Clarrie, and sister-in-law Josie, are also expert cultural leaders and guides, and will provide their own perspectives on culture, history, women’s lives, music and language during our daily tours at Iga Warta. Vince Coulthard, also Cliff’s brother, a highly-respected and much-awarded leader of his people, will join us for dinner in Port Augusta.
Pauline McKenzie, Adnyamathanha elder and cultural interpreter will join us for lunch at Hawker.

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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.

DETAILED ITINERARY

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 SEPTEMBER – 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)

ACCOMMODATION
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.

PLEASE NOTE:
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.

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GENERAL INFORMATION AND SPECIAL BOOKING CONDITIONS

TOUR PRICE:
Land Only per person, twin-share A$4,750
Single Supplement A$620
Scenic flight over Ikara-Wilpena pp A$188.10

LAND ONLY TOUR PRICE INCLUDES:

  • Twin share accommodation at Iga Warta
  • Single or twin share accommodation at other hotels and resorts
  • Use of Adnyamathantha-owned accommodation at Ikara-Wilpena and at Iga Warta
  • Transport in a comfortable 18 seater air-conditioned coach
  • All touring and entry fees (not including the scenic flight over Ikara-Wilpena) as indicated in the itinerary
  • Meals as indicated in the itinerary
  • Service of a Tour Leader throughout the itinerary
  • Adnyamathantha cultural interpreters as indicated in the itinerary
  • Tour booklet

LAND ONLY TOUR PRICE DOES NOT INCLUDE:

  • Air travel to Adelaide
  • Meals not listed in itinerary
  • Airport to hotel transfers
  • Travel Insurance
  • Items of personal nature (phone, laundry)

AIRFARES:
Please contact Tony for the best fares available at the time of booking.

I’M INTERESTED…HOW DO I BOOK?
Fill in the online Booking Form, read and agree with our Terms & Conditions, select your payment option for your deposit of $450.00 per person to Alumni Travel and Submit. Upon receipt of your Booking Form and deposit, you will receive a confirmation of your place in writing.

DEPOSIT AND FINAL PAYMENT:
The deposit is accepted as a first installment of the tour cost and will be fully refunded if the arrangements can not be confirmed or the tour is cancelled by Alumni Travel. Final payment for the tour needs to be received at least 60 days prior to tour departure. An invoice will be sent to you about a fortnight before the final payment becomes due.

CANCELLATION AND REFUNDS:
Any cancellation from the tour needs to be done in writing. The cancellation date will be taken from the day your written cancellation is received by Alumni Travel. Because of the tour cancellation charges imposed by our various suppliers, the following cancellation charges apply, per person:

Over 60 days $100.00 – Administration Fee
59 – 40 days 25% of tour cost
39 – 10 days 50% of tour cost
Within 10 days 100% of tour cost

If a difference occurs between these cancellation conditions and those imposed by our suppliers, then the conditions of the supplier shall apply.

There is no refund before or after travel has commenced or for any unused portion of the tour, either in regard to the standard group arrangements or separate independent arrangements.

CREDIT CARD PAYMENTS:
Any payments by credit card will be subject to a 2% non-refundable Merchant Administration Fee.

TRAVEL INSURANCE:
It is standard policy with our company that all our international travellers have some type of international travel insurance, so that you are covered for any unforeseen circumstances that may arise. A comprehensive Insurance brochure is available from Alumni Travel. The insurance brochure contains the terms and conditions under which insurance cover will be offered to you.

ADDITIONAL TRAVEL ARRANGEMENTS:
If you would like Alumni Travel to assist you with any additional arrangements pre or post tour, please contact our office for assistance at time of booking. All arrangements need to be finalised at least 30 days prior to your departure.

AMENDMENTS:
An administration fee of $30.00 per amendment will be charged for any changes made to any reservation within 30 days prior to your departure. Any additional charges imposed by our suppliers will also be payable.

FORCED CANCELLATION:
In the event that passenger numbers do not reach the minimum number of tour participants required for the tour, it may be necessary to either surcharge or cancel the tour. If such an event does occur, you will be notified at least 60 days prior to the tour departure.

TOUR PRICES:
This tour price has been calculated on the basis of exchange rates and tariffs at time of print and is subject to change up until final payment has been received. At the time of final invoicing (approximately two months prior to the tour departure date), Alumni Travel reserves the right to re-cost the tour based on actual exchange rates. This could mean an increase or decrease to the above listed prices. Should you decide to cancel your arrangements on the basis of a change in the tour price, normal cancellation charges will apply.

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