Leaving Arkaroola

Today, I had some good news. I spent a good amount of time on the phone trying to sort out how to get a new tyre for my car. I was told by the kind people at Arkaroola that if they ordered one, it would not arrive for another four days. After lots of phone calls I found the my BMW Roadside Assist policy would get me a free tow to the nearest tyre supplier. That was in Copely, 130 kilometers away. I called Dave at Outback Motors there and he told me that he could have a new tyre delivered by tomorrow morning so we organized transport for the car and tonight we are in a cabin in the caravan park at Copely and by 9.30 tomorrow, we should be on our way again.

Here’s the final indignation – being carried on a car trailer to the repair shop. I’m very grateful to the staff at Arkaroola for their help and hospitality.

The first inhabitants of Arkaroola were the Adnyamathanha people. Their dreamtime or creation stories say that Arkaroo, a mythical monster, drank nearby Lake Frome dry. He then crawled up into the mountains. When he urinated he created the waterholes that are a feature of the area. His movement over the land created Arkaroola Creek.

The first Anglo-European to visit the area was explorer Edward Eyre in 1840 and the surveyor George Goyder in 1857. There was a small failed settlement nearby, at the Yudnamutana copper mine from 1860 to 1863. 

The land was always marginal and projects failed quickly. Uranium exploration persisted sporadically and led to the development of good roads by optimistic companies.  The current facility, the Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary was established by geologist Reg Sprigg in 1968 after he purchased the pastoral lease. He had been involved in surveys in the area before that. He purchased the 610 square kilometres pastoral lease (part of which is now held as freehold) and began the conversion to a wildlife sanctuary and tourist centre. 

Our visit to Arkaroola has, for me, been the highlight of our trip.

Just outside the village are a number of large boulders that show the different type of rocks in the area. Many of the lookouts have cairns that are also comprised of many variety of rocks.

Our drive to Copely was fairly uneventful. We leapfrogged Eric who was towing our car by traveling with Rob and Fiona in their car. We arrived in town just before he did. 

We stopped to take a photo of an eagle that was dining on one of the dozens of kangaroo carcasses on the road. He flew away when we stopped but landed in a near by tree.

The country side was very similar to that which we passed through a few days ago and I am glad that we are now on a bitumen road.

We have also found that the pub in Copely has gone broke too and won’t reopen for another few weeks. Luckily, we still have some of the food we brought with us for dinner.

My computer seems to have packed it in as well, so I have resorted to writing my blog posts on my phone. It was not complete when my phone decided to upload it to the server. Apologies for any extra typos and mistakes.


Bruce is a keen traveller and photographer. This web site describes his travel and family interests

2 thoughts on “Leaving Arkaroola

  1. Hi Bruce
    So pleased that the tyre has been sorted out. Its always so disruptive when tgravelling to have that kind of hassle. we once had a tyre issue at Roxby and had to travel to Coober Pedy before we could get a replacement. Did you notice the closed Leigh Ck coal mine and by now probably an almost closed Leigh Ck township
    Best wishes for the rest of the trip

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