Adelaide to Arkaroola

Submitted: Monday, Mar 17, 2008 at 21:08
ThreadID: 55646 Views:6051 Replies:9 FollowUps:8
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Hi. We are heading up to Arkaroola over Easter and have noticed that there are quite a few routes to get there. We were wondering what is the quickest way there - via Leigh Creek, Wilpena etc? Also if anyone knows a nice half way stop point to camp - either bush or caravan park? Anyone braved the heat and been up there recently (although just about anywhere is cooler than Adelaide at the moment!!). Lots of flies?
Thanks - abchelle
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Reply By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Monday, Mar 17, 2008 at 21:33

Monday, Mar 17, 2008 at 21:33
Quickest way is usually via Yunta. The dirt road north of Yunta is well maintained.

If you were coming up via Wilpena or Parachilna, then Chambers Gorge is good for an overnight stop.
AnswerID: 293226

Follow Up By: Member No 1- Tuesday, Mar 18, 2008 at 10:16

Tuesday, Mar 18, 2008 at 10:16
your probably right Phil
cant agree with others below saying its via leigh creek copley tho

best way i've found is spalding, jamestown, craddock (beaut steak sandwiches at the pub) hawker, wilpena, wirrealpa and then up thru balcanoona....lot faster than leigh creek way

could stay overnight at wilpena then
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Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Tuesday, Mar 18, 2008 at 12:38

Tuesday, Mar 18, 2008 at 12:38
MN1,

You and I are right, and everyone else is wrong :-))))

I reckon the others may not have travelled to Arkaroola via Yunta. I always thought it was 30-60 minutes shorter than any other way, and I'm sure a phone call to the good people at Arkaroola will confirm it. The Arkaroola to Yunta road is very fast, well maintained gravel.

Heres some numbers off Travelmate, to back up my claim:
Adl to Arkaroola via Yunta: 615.3km 8hrs 21 mins
Adl to Arkaroola via Leigh Creek: 709.43k 9hrs 23 mins
Adl to Arkaroola via Wilpena: 666.99k 8hrs 56mins

So Leigh creek is the longest and slowest route, and at Easter, will travel the most traffic, especially between Adelaide and Hawker.

Cheers
Phil
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Reply By: Member - Kim M (VIC) - Monday, Mar 17, 2008 at 21:34

Monday, Mar 17, 2008 at 21:34
Abchelle

The quickest way is via Leigh Creek. Plenty of places to camp off road after you turn off.

Unless things change in the next week, It'll be stinking hot and I suspect you'll have a bit of a problem with Flies in April.

Regards

Kim
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Reply By: Member - Barnesy - Tuesday, Mar 18, 2008 at 00:36

Tuesday, Mar 18, 2008 at 00:36
The quickest way is via Leigh Creek. Bitumen the whole way, easy cruising on 110 with only 100km or so of good dirt road.

There are numerous places to camp, it depends on how far you want to go on that first day. I would recommend camping in brachina gorge (easy 20km or so detour off the highway) and camping in the national park there. Beautiful spot. If you don't make it that far then Mt Remarkable NP is only 3-4 km off highway and is nice.

Or if you didn't want detours then just stay in Pt Augusta, leigh creek, lyndhurst or parachilna caravan park (lots of flies there).

Please be careful driving on the Adelaide -Pt Augusta road. It's busy and dangerous at the best of times but over Easter it's literally a nightmare. Be prepared for bumper to bumper all the way to Pt Wakefield.

Barnesy
AnswerID: 293260

Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Tuesday, Mar 18, 2008 at 12:41

Tuesday, Mar 18, 2008 at 12:41
Barnsey, when did they seal the 147k between Copley and Arkaroola? Have you ever travelled the Yunta road?
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FollowupID: 558967

Follow Up By: Member - Barnesy - Tuesday, Mar 18, 2008 at 16:03

Tuesday, Mar 18, 2008 at 16:03
The road from Copley to Arkaroola isn't sealed (at least not last time I was there 2 years ago). I went to Arkaroola via Yunta then home via Leigh Creek.

By your measurements via LC is only 80km longer but takes over 1 hour longer in time? It is possible to drive over 80km/h on the bitumen. Can you do 110kmh on the 260km or so of gravel you have to drive via Yunta?

The best bet is still bitumen despite any extra km you have to do.
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Follow Up By: Member - Barnesy - Tuesday, Mar 18, 2008 at 16:17

Tuesday, Mar 18, 2008 at 16:17
Sorry you did say 95km longer not 80. Doesn't change anything though.
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Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Tuesday, Mar 18, 2008 at 17:04

Tuesday, Mar 18, 2008 at 17:04
Gday Barnsey,
Sorry, I did misread your post when you said "bitumen all the way".

The Yunta Road is 300k of dirt (vs 147k of dirt via Copley), but is 95k shorter and lot less traffic and less towns, which is why many of us travel via Yunta. Not as scenic though.

With the travel time differences, maybe Travelmate factor in the number of Bakeries, Parachilna Pub etc etc :-))

I'm no speedster, but I'd sit on 90kph on the road north of Yunta. Theres a few dips but apart from that its a pretty straight run. A friend once left Arkaroola about 30 minutes after me, and we caught up at Yunta - he'd been doing 120kph in a Prado, but thats way too fast on any dirt road IMO.

Cheers
phil
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FollowupID: 559016

Reply By: Member - Barnesy - Tuesday, Mar 18, 2008 at 00:38

Tuesday, Mar 18, 2008 at 00:38
The quickest way is via Leigh Creek. Bitumen the whole way, easy cruising on 110 with only 100km or so of good dirt road.

There are numerous places to camp, it depends on how far you want to go on that first day. I would recommend camping in brachina gorge (easy 20km or so detour off the highway) and camping in the national park there. Beautiful spot. If you don't make it that far then Mt Remarkable NP is only 3-4 km off highway and is nice.

Or if you didn't want detours then just stay in Pt Augusta, leigh creek, lyndhurst or parachilna caravan park (lots of flies there).

Please be careful driving on the Adelaide -Pt Augusta road. It's busy and dangerous at the best of times but over Easter it's literally a nightmare. Be prepared for bumper to bumper all the way to Pt Wakefield.

Barnesy
AnswerID: 293261

Reply By: Sand Man (SA) - Tuesday, Mar 18, 2008 at 09:40

Tuesday, Mar 18, 2008 at 09:40
I would suggest you drive up the bitumen through Leigh Creek and turn off at Copley. The track will take you via the Gammon Ranges to Arkaroola Village.

Quorn or Hawker provide good rural settings but you may be lucky to find a spot in any of the caravan parks without a booking.

Bill


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AnswerID: 293293

Reply By: Smudger - Tuesday, Mar 18, 2008 at 10:25

Tuesday, Mar 18, 2008 at 10:25
Leigh Creek is probably quicker, coz you can go flat out on the black stuff. Yunta is more interesting, I prefer dirt roads. Wilpena Pound will be like a small city over Easter. Brachina Gorge is full of beautiful camp spots. It will be a busy track too I imagine. Nevertheless, I know where I'd prefer to over Easter (and it ain't here in Sydney) You'll need to totally self sufficient, take plenty of water, and matches for the toilet paper.
Arkarula is a wonderful spot. Have a safe and fun trip.
Free Tip .. buy fly nets for everyone at the $2Dollar Shop before you go, the little buggers WILL drive you insane and up there you'll pay $10 for flynets.
AnswerID: 293300

Reply By: Member -Signman - Tuesday, Mar 18, 2008 at 12:30

Tuesday, Mar 18, 2008 at 12:30
Overnight at Copley...nice place with friendly 'patron'..
Dave can give you the low down on Arkaroola and stories on retrieving Tom Kruse's truck from the desert....
However, don't start talking Jaguar cars to him !!!!!


AnswerID: 293327

Reply By: Steve63 - Tuesday, Mar 18, 2008 at 17:42

Tuesday, Mar 18, 2008 at 17:42
Quickest is not always best. Each has its pro's and con's.Warren Gorge is a nice spot. Never been there over easter but expect it will be busy like most other areas up there. Chambers Gorge is ok as well but can be hot. There a a few nice cafe's on the way if you are into that sort of thing. Qundong Cafe (in Leigh Creek I think, sure others will correct me) used to be good. Take care on the bit from Adelaide to Pt Augusta going both ways. Have had several close calls with people in a hurry on that strech.

Have a good trip.

Steve
AnswerID: 293384

Follow Up By: Member - Barnesy - Tuesday, Mar 18, 2008 at 18:59

Tuesday, Mar 18, 2008 at 18:59
Yeh, the quandong cafe is (last time i was there) in Copley and every time i go through there i stop off and get a home made pasty and anzac biscuit. great little home-made bakery.

Also agree about the adelaide-pt augusta rd, they should make it two lanes each way; the whole distance from adel-Pt aug. realy bad stretch of road.
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Follow Up By: Dion - Thursday, Mar 20, 2008 at 22:01

Thursday, Mar 20, 2008 at 22:01
There are two Quandong Cafe's, both are Tullochs, one in Quorn and the other in Copley.

Cheers,
Dion.

(try and stop at just one QD Pie!!)
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Reply By: Biglinz - Tuesday, Mar 18, 2008 at 20:56

Tuesday, Mar 18, 2008 at 20:56
Whichever way you go you will find Arkaroola a good place to visit though a bit pricey. Forget camping in the powered site area and go down the bottom section to the unpowered area and if you continue on past the little toilet block there you will find some nicercamp sites, though you have to drive up to the showers etc. An excellent drive is out the back past the kilns and when you go out the back gate (about an hours drive) turn right and go to Mt Freeling station where there is a large old mining area with lots of ruins.
AnswerID: 293446

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