Photos & text by Karin Barnhoorn
You never get a second chance to make a first impression. Well, Australia you did just that to the max. Our incredible 5 week journey through this huge country is still on my mind almost every day. And if asked what made the most impression during our recent trip, my answer is The Outback. Our stay at Arkaba Conservatory, literally in the middle of nowhere, was magical. Totally different from anything else we’ve seen around the globe.
Road to nowhere…
Arkaba is located about a five-hour drive from Adelaide, a country road where we seldom see another car and the views are indefinite. The emptiness of the landscape and tiny villages – just as quick in as out – along the way, simply scream movie scene decor. This is Australian Outback reality. Our coffee stop at the General Store in Georgetown (10 houses) is one to remember. Nothing has changed for over 80 years. including the Coca cola bottles on the shelf.
We had an overnight stay At the North Star hotel in Melrose. What shall I say? Twin Peaks. That’ll do it.
Arkaba, home for a few days
Suddenly the sign is there: Arkaba to the left! This former sheep farm is one of the luxury lodges of Australia and has only 5 rooms. Luxury Arkaba style lies in the location, the genuine enthusiastic staff and fantastic fine-dining food prepared by chef Luke.
This immense area, called Flinders Rangers, is all ours. Like in Afrika, the daily routine exists of an early safari, extended breakfast at the community table and another safari around sunset. Either it be walking or with the open jeep. Kangaroos, emu’s and birds but also the impressive trees like ‘Red Gums’. Eucalyptus trees of which some reach the respectable age of 600 years.|
There are only five rooms, so max. 10 international guests and that’s the perfect number. You can either hang out together and discuss world politics from different cultural perspective or settle with a book in a secluded corner of the farm. In a rocket chair, of course.