Inala Outback South Australia Tour

Yellow-Footed Rock Wallaby  - Alastair Stevenson - Inala Nature Tours
Yellow-Footed Rock Wallaby - Alastair Stevenson - Inala Nature Tours
Duration: 
10 days
Price: 
2018 Price AU $7,150.00 per person sharing based on a minimum of 6 participants. Single supplement: 2018 Price AU $765
Highlights: 
3 x species of grasswren, Chiming Wedgebill, Cinnamon Quail-thrush, Inland Dotterel, the amazing underground town of Coober Pedy, exclusive access to remarkable geological sites.
Overview: 

PLEASE ENQUIRE FOR FUTURE TOURS
Join us on this thrilling 10-day adventure where we will enjoy the birding riches, fascinating mammals, and extraordinary geological relics, of the fabled Australian outback. This tour takes advantage of the sunny yet mild weather in the austral spring, so you can enjoy this remarkable region in relative comfort.  Joining this tour is Ben McHenry from the South Australian Museum who will provide commentary on the rare geological wonders of the outback, and give us behind-the-scenes access to an internationally significant fossil site.

 

Start Location: 
Adelaide SA
Australia
Finish location: 
Adelaide SA
Australia

PLEASE ENQUIRE FOR FUTURE TOURS

Inala Outback Birding Tour. 20-29 July 2018

ITINERARY OUTLINE:  
Day 1. Fri 20 July 2018. Arrive Adelaide. Private Museum tour fossils and opals.
Day 2. Sat 21 July 2018. Adelaide-Port Augusta-Kimba
Day 3. Sun 22 July 2018. Lake Gillies Conservation Park – Gawler Ranges
Day 4. Mon 23 July 2018. Mount Ive Station to Coober Pedy
Day 5. Tue 24 July 2018. Coober Pedy
Day 6. Wed 25 July 2018. Coober Pedy to Maree
Day 7. Thu 26 July 2018. Lake Eyre to Flinders Ranges
Day 8. Fri 27 July 2018. Flinders Ranges
Day 9. Sat 28 July 2018. Flinders Ranges to Adelaide
Day 10. Sun 29 July 2018. Depart Adelaide airport. 
 
DETAILED ITINERARY: 
B- breakfast; L- lunch; D-dinner. 
Day 1. Friday 20 July 2018. Arrive Adelaide.

Today we meet at the Grosvenor Hotel in Adelaide at 13.30. Please note this tour has been designed to link with Inala’s Top End tour: for those of you connecting from that tour the best flight option from Darwin to Adelaide (based on current schedules) is a Virgin airlines flight arriving at 11:35.  After meeting up and storing our luggage there will be an opportunity to meet with Ben McHenry, a geologist/palaeontologist at the South Australian Museum, who will take us on a behind-the-scenes tour. Ben will also meet us in Coober Pedy and will accompany us on tour from then providing expert interpretation on geology and palaeontology. Ben is also an avid birder!
Accommodation: Grosvenor Hotel in Adelaide (en-suite rooms). Meals: D.  

Day 2. Saturday 21 July 2018. Adelaide-Port Augusta-Kimba.
We’ll depart Adelaide after an early breakfast. Just outside the city we’ll visit the Greenfields wetlands with good chances of Australian Spotted and Baillon’s Crake, as well as a wide variety of waterfowl including ducks, waders and Royal Spoonbill. We then follow the coast north, where we look for the rosinae race of Slender-billed Thornbill and the rosina race of White-browed Scrubwren. We’ll explore the western slopes of the Remarkable Ranges, with chances of birds such as Elegant Parrot, Chestnut-rumped Heathwren and Redthroat. At Port Augusta we visit the beautiful Arid Lands Botanical Gardens, where an array of native flowers and shrubs attract such species as Chirruping Wedgebill, White-winged Fairy-wren and numerous honeyeaters. A nearby coastal lake usually has Banded Stilt. At the end of the day we arrive at the township of Kimba on the eastern edge of the Eyre Peninsula.
Accommodation: Kimba Hotel-Motel (en-suite rooms). Meals included: B, L, D.  
 
Day 3. Sunday 22 July 2018. Lake Gillies Conservation Park – Gawler Ranges.

Today we’ll explore Lake Gilles Conservation Park, a mixture of ‘mallee’ eucalypt scrub, open woodland and salt lakes which contains Australia’s eastern-most populations of Western Yellow Robin and Rufous Treecreeper. Other great species we’re likely to encounter here are Hooded Robin, Mulga Parrot, Purplecrowned Lorikeet, Purple-gaped and White-fronted Honeyeater. Later in the day we visit the rugged Gawler Ranges, a spectacular contrast to the coast and home to Short-tailed Grasswren. The park also includes other good birds such as Major Mitchell’s Cockatoo, Black-eared Cuckoo, Crested Bellbird, White-browed and Rufous Treecreeper and Splendid (turquoise race) Fairy-wren. Exploring the various habitats of the park we may encounter Western Grasswren (formerly myall race of Thick-billed Grasswren) in the bluebush-covered plains, while Short-tailed Grasswren (formerly merrotsyi race of Striated Grasswren) inhabit spinifex habitat. Our final destination for the day is Mt Ive Station, a working sheep station where we overnight in comfortable quarters on the property. As this is the only accommodation for hundreds of miles we will need to share bathrooms tonight, a small price to pay for the wonderful birds and scenery!
Accommodation: Mt Ive Station (rooms with shared bathrooms). Meals included: B, L, D.  

Day 4. Monday 23 July 2018. Mount Ive Station to Coober Pedy.
An ancient landscape of spectacular scenery, historical land marks and solitude awaits us as we explore littleused bush tracks along the edge of the stunning Lake Gairdner. One of South Australia’s vast outback salt lakes, and usually dry, this area has long been regarded as the jewel in the crown of Australia's scenic sights. The stark beauty of the landscape – expanses of salt, red sand dunes, gnarly old trees and seemingly endless plains - is full of contrasts and offers great photographic opportunities. For the interested observer, there are signs of Aboriginal and European history throughout these ranges. Explorer’s campsites, indigenous gravesites, ruins and homesteads are but a few of the reminders of bygone days. If good winter rain has fallen, there will be a profusion of flowering outback plants (including the rare Sturt’s Desert Pea), birds such as Crimson and Orange Chat, Banded Whiteface, Inland Dotterel and a chance of the rare Bourke’s Parrot, and wildlife including plenty of Red, Western Grey and Euro Kangaroos, and with luck the beautiful and endangered Yellow-footed Rock-wallaby. At the end of the day we finally emerge from this area onto the Stuart Highway, which cuts through the centre of Australia, linking the south coast (Adelaide) with the north coast (Darwin). Tonight we overnight in the opal-mining town of Coober Pedy where the summers are so hot that residents have taken to living in underground dwellings; no matter how harsh the climate, the underground rooms maintain a comfortable, even temperature ranging from 23ºC to 25ºC day and night throughout the year. Here, a unique experience awaits us as we spend the night in an underground hotel, the world's first 4-star luxury property of its type, carved out of opalbearing rock and complete with mining display and opal gallery. Above ground rooms are also available for those who don’t fancy sleeping “underground” (just let us know at the time of booking).
Accommodation: Desert Cave Hotel, Coober Pedy (en-suite rooms). Meals included: B, L, D.  
 

Day 5. Tuesday 24 July 2018. Coober Pedy.
An entire day is spent around Coober Pedy and we will reunite with Ben from the South Australian Museum who will accompany us for the remainder of the trip. This morning we will search for the endemic and elusive Chestnut-breasted Whiteface, as well as Thick-billed Grasswren before we make for the Breakaways Reserve 32km north of Coober Pedy. In this lovely reserve of colourful hills that have separated from the adjacent range, hence “The Breakaways”, we will stop at two lookout points that highlight the open spaces and colourful environment, leaving an impression of the long gone inland sea that our early explorers dreamt of. As the day progresses the passing of the sun changes the desert colours, creating surreal photogenic scenes. Interestingly, we will also pass the Dingo Fence, a 2m high and 5,300km long wire barrier that stretches across three states to protect sheep farms to the south from our native dog, the Dingo. The desert-like moonscape along the fence, with its fossilised shells, grey, soft clay dirt and cracks that appear to be bottomless, has been nicknamed the “moon plain”.  Around 110 million years ago, when dinosaurs roamed the Earth, Coober Pedy and most of northern South Australia was covered by ocean. Later tectonic movements saw the seas recede to the north and the sediments previously deposited were exposed to the air and subjected to deep acidic weathering. Silica, dissolved from these sediments and deposited in cracks and cavities, solidified over time into Australia’s’ multi-coloured national gemstone – the opal. Those interested in learning more about this precious gem may join Ben for an onsite Opal mine tour.
Accommodation: Coober Pedy (en-suite rooms) as for last night. Meals included: B, L, D.  

Day 6. Wednesday 25 July 2018. Coober Pedy to Maree.
Today we’ll travel to William Creek and then down one of Australia’s famous outback tracks, the Oodnadatta Track. It follows an ancient trail used by Aborigines for ochre trading for thousands of years. Artesian mound springs supply water in this arid region. Aborigines relied on this water source, so too did the European explorers who used the route to build the Overland Telegraph and the Old Ghan railway lines in the late 19th century. The track takes us through true Outback country: gibber (winderoded stones) plains, rocky hills, and wildflowers after good rain. We will visit one of the famous mound springs along the Track where we will learn of the source of life-giving groundwater in this 
Inland Dotterel by Bernie o Keefe area – the Great Artesian Basin. This area is also home to Inland Dotterel and Gibberbird, while we also stand a chance of coming across a rare Grey Falcon…! Other birds of note for today include Cinnamon Quail-thrush, Chiming Wedgebill and Rufous Fieldwren. At the end of the day we arrive in sleepy Marree where we spend the night in a beautiful historic outback hotel.
Accommodation: Marree Hotel (en-suite rooms). Meals included: B, L, D.  

Day 7.  Thursday 26 July 2018. Lake Eyre to Flinders Ranges.
In the morning there is an optional scenic flight over Lake Eyre (own cost). The rest of the group will enjoy birdwatching at the access track to Lake Eyre with a good chance of Black-breasted Buzzard. Mid-morning we’ll depart and head south calling in at the ghost town ruins of Farina, followed by a brief visit to the impressive indigenous ochre pits near Lyndhurst. This afternoon we will visit the Ediacara Conservation Park where in 1946, geologist Reginald Sprigg discovered fossil imprints in rocks in the Flinders Ranges at the old Ediacara minefield. This discovery was the first time the fossilised remains of an entire community of softbodied creatures had been found in such abundance anywhere in the world. This discovery was so significant that fossils were named after him and the Ediacaran Period was named after the location where the fossils were found.  The fossils preserved in the 560 million year old sea-floor sediments throughout the area record the first known multicellular animal life on Earth that predates the Cambrian. This diverse and exquisitely preserved community of ancient organisms represents a significant snapshot of our geological heritage.  We then visit the township of Parachilna overlooking the Flinders Ranges, an impressive range of steep hills and soaring rock formations on the edge of Australia’s outback.
Accommodation: Wilpena Pound Resort, Flinders Ranges. Meals included: B, L, D.  
 
Day 8. Friday 27 July 2018. Flinders Ranges.

Today we spend a full day today exploring the Flinders Ranges. With rugged mountain scenery, peaceful gorges and a huge array of wildlife and flora, the Flinders Ranges National Park is recognized as one of the finest landscapes in Australia. The centerpiece, Wilpena Pound, is a magnificent natural amphitheatre of mountains. Nearby, spinifexgrass covered hills are home to the elusive and highly localized Short-tailed Grasswren and the diminutive Elegant Parrot. Wedge-tailed Eagle often soar over the grassy slopes. Rocky gorges which traverse the ranges are inhabited by Elegant Parrot and Grey-fronted Honeyeater. From west to east, our route leads us back through time along the Brachina Geological Trail which follows the gorge cut deeply through the ancient geological layers of the Ranges by the Brachina Creek. Highlights will include an early Cambrian archaeocyatha (ancient sponge) reef, a chance to literally straddle the PreCambrian/Cambrian boundary plus a further chance to see Ediacaran fossils in situ. Deeper through the gorge we will see the remains of 640 million year old glaciers and a visit to the Golden Spike – the place where the Ediacaran geological period was formally declared. We’ll also take time to visit a 645 million year old stromatolite reef (produced by the activity of ancient cyanobacteria). With luck we’ll also observe and photograph a colony of the endangered, beautiful Yellowfooted Rock-wallaby. We will also drive through the magnificent Bunyeroo Gorge and stop at the site of a 600 million year old meteor impact. We’ll have ample opportunity to observe and photograph the landscape and its inhabitants, in particular, the local 3 species of Kangaroo.
Accommodation: Wilpena Pound Resort in the Flinders Ranges. (en-suite rooms). Meals included: B, L, D.   

Day 9. Saturday 28 July 2018. Flinders Ranges to Adelaide.
This morning we visit the indigenous cave paintings at Arkaroo Rock.  This is a significant cultural site for the Adnyamathanha people of the Flinders Ranges and the walk takes us to a rock shelter with paintings featuring ochre and charcoal images that depict the Yura Muda (Dreaming, or creation story) of Ikara (Wilpena Pound). There is also some great birding in the area. From here, we leave the Flinders Ranges and head south once more towards Adelaide. We travel through the scenic Clare Valley, a well-known wine region where, at this time of the year, the lush green pastures and flowering wattles make for a very scenic landscape. We stand a good chance of seeing Adelaide Rosella, Brown and Rufous Songlarks and a variety of raptors.  We return to Adelaide late afternoon where we will settle into our hotel and have a final dinner together.
Accommodation: Grosvenor Hotel in Adelaide (en-suite rooms). Meals included: B, L, D.  

Day 10. Sunday 29 July 2018. Depart Adelaide.
No activities have been scheduled for today. Breakfast (included) this morning can be taken at your leisure after which you can spend the day exploring the city and nearby River Torrens and/or Botanical Gardens, re-visit the Natural History museum to reconnect with the things we’ve learnt, or simply go to the airport to head home.
Accommodation: none. Meals included: B.  

PRICING AND ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: 
Group size: Minimum 6 participants, 2 specialist guides and a geologist. 
2018 Tour Price: AU$7,150.00 per person sharing. 
2018 Single supplement: AU$765 

 

Price includes: 9 nights’ accommodation, specialist guide and transport, meals, entrance fees and activities as mentioned in the itinerary. 
Price does not include: International and domestic airfares, alcoholic beverages, snacks, internet, laundry or other items of a personal nature.  
Please note:    
• Meals and drinks:
Breakfast generally consists of a continental style breakfast with cereal, fruit and yoghurt and tea/coffee.  Full cooked breakfast is not generally offered at most locations.  Lunch will generally consist of a packed lunch style meal eaten in the field, with sandwich/filled roll, fruit, and a drink.  Dinner usually consists of several options for main with the choice of either an appetiser or dessert. Drinks (soft and alcoholic) are generally not included but at lunches and breakfasts juice may be made available.  
 
• The itinerary:
Whilst we aim to follow the itinerary as planned, please note that the itinerary provided should only be used as a guideline.  Depending on individual trip circumstances, weather, and local information, the exact itinerary may not be strictly adhered to.  The guides reserve the right to make changes to the itinerary as they see fit.

Inala and Bellbird’s Outback South Australia Tour
20-29 July 2018

ITINERARY OUTLINE:

Day 1. Fri 20 July 2018. Arrive Adelaide. Private Museum tour fossils and opals.
Day 2. Sat 21 July 2018. Adelaide-Port Augusta-Kimba
Day 3. Sun 22 July 2018. Lake Gillies Conservation Park – Gawler Ranges
Day 4. Mon 23 July 2018. Mount Ive Station to Coober Pedy
Day 5. Tue 24 July 2018. Coober Pedy
Day 6. Wed 25 July Ca2018. Coober Pedy to Marree with Lake Eyre flight
Day 7. Thu 26 July 2018. Marree to Flinders Ranges
Day 8. Fri 27 July 2018. Flinders Ranges
Day 9. Sat 28 July 2018. Flinders Ranges to Adelaide
Day 10. Sun 29 July 2018. Depart Adelaide airport.

DAILY REPORT:

Day 1. Friday 20 July 2018. Arrive Adelaide and private tour of the South Australian Museum.
After meeting up at the hotel at 2pm, we walked down Adelaide’s boulevard: North Terrace, to the South Australian Museum to meet with geologist/palaeontologist Ben McHenry. Ben took us on a guided tour of the museum, which included a visit to the mineral and Ediacaran collections and a behind-the-scenes tour of the geology collection. We were able to see one of the most pure opal specimens ever found: The ‘’Virgin Rainbow’ an opalised belemnite (internal structural rod of an extinct squid-like marine animal) which has been valued at $1 million. We were also lucky enough to view and hold a meteorite which was cone shaped by its entry into the earth’s atmosphere, and a rock that was as old as the earth itself: 4.5 billion years! We were also able to hold some meteorites that have been identified as originating on Mars. A fascinating and informative afternoon. We then returned to the hotel for  our welcome dinner.
 

Day 2. Saturday 21 July 2018. Adelaide-Port Augusta-Kimba.
After departing Adelaide, we visited the Adelaide International Bird Sanctuary at two locations: St Kilda and Port Gawler. Here we observed a wide variety of shorebirds and waterfowl including Banded Stilts, Black-tailed Native-hens, Royal Spoonbill. Following the coast north, we had good views of a dozen or more Slender-billed Thornbills, a Fairy Tern and a small flock of overwintering White-fronted Terns. At Port Augusta we had a scrumptious lunch at the beautiful Arid Lands Botanical Gardens, where an array of native flowers and shrubs were host to a variety of Honeyeaters, White-winged Fairy-wren and White-browed Babblers. At the end of the day we explored the Bluebush plains where we had good views of Redthroat, Southern Whiteface, White-fronted Chats before we arrived at the township of Kimba on the eastern edge of the Eyre Peninsula.
 

Day 3. Sunday 22 July 2018. Lake Gilles Conservation Park – Gawler Ranges.
This morning we explored Lake Gilles Conservation Park, a mixture of ‘mallee’ eucalypt scrub and open woodland where we saw Western Yellow Robin and Rufous Treecreeper, both of which reach their eastern-most distribution here. Later in the day we visited the amazing Pildappa Rock, a worthy competitor to WA’s wave rock, before entering the rugged Gawler Ranges. The scenic park provided us with good birds such as Crested Bellbird, Shy Heathwren and White-eared Honeyeater while at the unique “organ pipes” we were lucky enough to obtain great vies of a rare Yellow-footed Rock-wallaby. Exploring the various habitats of the park, we counted over 300 West Grey Kangaroos, as well as a few Red Kangaroos and Euros, while a highlight was no doubt a Southern Hairy-nosed Wombat. Our final destination for the day was Mt Ive Station, a working sheep station where we saw a small flock of Elegant Parrots before enjoying a delicious home-cooked dinner.

Day 4. Monday 23 July 2018. Mount Ive Station to Coober Pedy.
This morning we explored the habitats around Mt Ive, where we saw Redthroats, 3 Horsfield’s Bronze-cuckoos and both Splendid and White-winged Fairy-wrens. We then set off on a journey across the outback through an ancient landscape of spectacular scenery, exploring little-used bush tracks along the edge of the stunning Lake Gairdner. As dark clouds started rolling in, we were treated to spectacular vistas of South Australia’s vast outback salt lakes, complete with a rainbow, and then the rain came down heavily. The stark beauty of the landscape – expanses of salt lakes, white sand dunes, gnarly old trees, and seemingly endless gibber plains was full of contrasts and offered great photographic opportunities. We photographed the Pondanna ruins and homesteads part of which was constructed in 1880, fields of native yellow daisies (Senecio sp), and Red Kangaroos, while birds we saw included Southern Whiteface, Cinnamon Quail-thrush, Hooded and Red-capped Robins. At the end of the day we finally emerged from this remote area onto the Stuart Highway, which cuts through the centre of Australia, linking the south coast (Adelaide) with the north coast (Darwin) to reach our destination for the night in the opal-mining town of Coober Pedy.

Day 5. Tuesday 24 July 2018. Coober Pedy.
The morning hours were spent search for the endemic and elusive Chestnut-breasted Whiteface, of which we were lucky enough to see at least 10, providing great photographic opportunities. We then made for the Moon Plain, the desert-like moonscape with its fossilised shells, grey, soft clay dirt and cracks that appear to be bottomless, where a very obliging Gibberbird showed well. This was followed by Breakaways Reserve just north of Coober Pedy, a lovely reserve of colourful hills that have separated from the adjacent range, hence “The Breakaways”. We stopped at two lookout points that highlighted the open spaces and colourful environment, leaving an impression of the long gone inland sea that our early explorers dreamt of. We also passed the Dingo Fence, a 2m high and 5,300km long wire barrier that stretches across three states to protect sheep farms to the south from our native dog, the Dingo. After lunch at a scenic lookout overlooking the “Two Dogs” we then visited a local opal miner and tried our hand at fossicking for the elusive gemstone. An Orange Chat turned up to observe the proceedings. We then visited his underground house which had been hewn out of the surrounding rock. After shaking the dust from our shoes at the hotel, we then headed out again to a local opal dealer to purchase some treasures.

Day 6. Wednesday 25 July 2018. Coober Pedy to Marree with Lake Eyre flight.
Today we had an early morning departure to travel to William Creek for our scenic flight over Lake Eyre, Australia’s largest salt-lake at an altitude of -15 m. The one-hour flight provided a different, humbling and amazing perspective of the vastness of the outback landscape. Lake Eyre was about 40% full of water from rain that fell many months ago as far away as outback Queensland. From William Creek we travelled down one of Australia’s famous outback tracks, the Oodnadatta Track. It follows an ancient trail used by Aborigines for ochre trading for thousands of years. Artesian mound springs supply water in this arid region. Aborigines relied on this water source, so too did the European explorers who used the route to build the Overland Telegraph and the Old Ghan railway lines in the late 19th century. The track took us through true Outback country: gibber (wind-eroded stones) plains, rocky hills, and mound springs. Birds we saw included flocks of Zebra Finches, a beautifully posing Spotted Harrier, White-necked Herons and Red-necked Avocets at one of the rare waterholes in the area. We visited one of the famous mound springs along the Track: the Bubbler, where we learned about the source of life-giving groundwater in this area – the Great Artesian Basin.  We saw some wild camels as well as a travelling camel train on the Oodnadatta track. At the end of the day we arrived in sleepy Marree where we spent the night in a beautiful historic outback hotel.

Day 7.  Thursday 26 July 2018. Marree to Flinders Ranges.
First thing in the morning we birded the bluebush – gibber plains near Farina, where we marvelled over several trapdoor spiders’ holes, some occupied and some abandoned with their little doors lying ajar. After checking out the ghost town ruins of Farina, we marvelled at the impressive indigenous ochre pits near Lyndhurst. The afternoon was spent exploring the Ediacara Conservation Park where we had exclusive access on a private tour with our geologist Ben and National Parks ranger Alan. Here we saw many fossil imprints in rocks at the old Ediacara minefield, of soft-bodied creatures preserved in the 560 million year old sea-floor sediments.  These creatures were the first known multicellular animal life on Earth that predates the Cambrian. This diverse and exquisitely preserved community of ancient organisms kept us enthralled for quite some time, while the impressive surrounding landscape provided distant views of Lake Torrens.  We then visited the township of Parachilna overlooking the Flinders Ranges, an impressive range of steep hills and soaring rock formations on the edge of Australia’s outback, where we reminisced on a great day over dinner in Wilpena.

Day 8. Friday 27 July 2018. Flinders Ranges.
Today we spent a full day today exploring the Flinders Ranges. With rugged mountain scenery, peaceful gorges and a huge array of wildlife and flora, the Flinders Ranges National Park is recognized as one of the finest landscapes in Australia. The centerpiece, Wilpena Pound, is a magnificent natural amphitheatre of mountains. We saw dozens of macropods grazing the natural Callitris pine-lined grasslands including Euros, Red and Grey Roos, while Wedge-tailed Eagle soared over the grassy slopes. We explored the rocky Brachina and Bunyeroo gorges which traverse the ranges. The Brachina Geological Trail was of particular interest as it follows the gorge cut deeply through the ancient geological layers of the Ranges by the Brachina Creek. Geological highlights included an early Cambrian archaeocyatha (ancient sponge) reef; while we literally straddled the PreCambrian/Cambrian boundary and found further Ediacaran fossils in situ, including beautiful specimens of Dickinsonia, one of the more striking of the species present. Deeper inside the gorge we will saw remains of 640 million-year old glaciers and visited the Golden Spike – the place where the Ediacaran geological period was formally declared (the type locality of that geological event and the only one in the Southern Hemisphere. We also saw a 645 million-year old stromatolite reef (produced by the activity of ancient cyanobacteria) and observed the site where debris from a 580 million-year old Acraman meteor impact 280kms away near the Gawler Ranges became embedded in the sea-floor mud of the Bunyeroo Formation siltstones which are now exposed in this locality. We were also lucky enough to observe and photograph a colony of the endangered, beautiful Yellow-footed Rock-wallaby, while birds we encountered today included Grey-fronted Honeyeater, Australian Ringneck Parrot and Redthroat. At the end of the day we saw a Short-beaked Echidna before returning to our comfortable lodgings at Wilpena Pound Resort in the Flinders Ranges.

Day 9. Saturday 28 July 2018. Flinders Ranges to Adelaide.
A very early morning observation of a total lunar eclipse (blood moon) was followed by breakfast and departure to explore the area around Arkaroo Rock. The indigenous cave paintings here are a significant cultural site for the Adnyamathanha people of the Flinders Ranges and the walk took us to a rock shelter with paintings featuring ochre and charcoal images that depict the Yura Muda (Dreaming, or creation story) of Ikara (Wilpena Pound). There was also some great birding in the area, with 3 species of Honeyeater, a very obliging Southern Scrubrobin, Redthroats, Inland Thornbills and robins. From here, we left the Flinders Ranges and headed south through the scenic Clare Valley, a well-known wine region where, at this time of the year, the lush green pastures and flowering wattles made for a very scenic landscape. We had lunch at a scenically located historic homestead with some of Tonia’s friends from past Outback travel days and then returned to Adelaide for a final meal and reminisced on what a great tour it had been!