Arkaroola camping

Hi all
We're heading into Arkaroola SA heading south from Innamicka.
Just after some advice on best places to camp. We intend staying 2 nights and intend doing some 4wd sight seeing.

Are there any free camping areas, or must we book before heading in there?

Thanks heaps
Mick
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Reply By: Nomadic Navara - Tuesday, May 17, 2022 at 23:55

Tuesday, May 17, 2022 at 23:55
There is a fee for all camping within The Arkaroola property. The campsites in the adjacent Gammon Ranges NP have fees as well. Get WikiCamps on your computer and the fees will be revealed.
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Follow Up By: Michael N11 - Wednesday, May 18, 2022 at 07:58

Wednesday, May 18, 2022 at 07:58
Many thanks for the advice.
It's very helpful.
I think I'll book a couple of spots in the village. I believe there's a pool which will be nice.
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Follow Up By: Member - Grinbot - Wednesday, May 18, 2022 at 15:01

Wednesday, May 18, 2022 at 15:01
The pool was empty when we there in October 2020... so worth checking. You must have a much stronger constitution than me if you are contemplating swimming this time of the year anyway :-).
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Reply By: Michael H9 - Tuesday, May 17, 2022 at 23:55

Tuesday, May 17, 2022 at 23:55
Not much free close to Arkaroola. The village campground isn't and all around it is NP paid campgrounds. It's a great place to visit with excellent scenery. The Echo Camp backtrack is a paid drive that is scenic and interesting. The loop around Grindels Hut is a good drive too. On your way south from Arkaroola I recommend the free camping at Chambers Gorge, it's scenic and quite remote with absolutely no facilities.
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Follow Up By: Michael N11 - Wednesday, May 18, 2022 at 07:59

Wednesday, May 18, 2022 at 07:59
Thanks heaps.
Can't wait for the drive. The views will be spectacular.??
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Reply By: Member - Duncan2H - Wednesday, May 18, 2022 at 09:48

Wednesday, May 18, 2022 at 09:48
The campground at Arkaroola was horrible a few years ago, a broken septic system was providing a charming faint stench of human waste. Vegetation growth seemed to indicate it had been in poor shape for quite some time.

Consider Weetootla Gorge Campground, about 30 klms south of Arkaroola. Supposedly fees are payable to the government.

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Reply By: Peter_n_Margaret - Wednesday, May 18, 2022 at 09:52

Wednesday, May 18, 2022 at 09:52
There are 2 camp areas at Arkaroola. Unless you are there in the school holidays it is unlikely that you will need to book I reckon.
If you need power, use the one in the village. We prefer the one in the creek a few hundred metres away.

If you are also exploring the Gammon Ranges, you can get to Arkaroola directly from the Gammons (or the other way around).
The track is missing from many maps.

And a 1 minute video in the northern Gammons from 2019, at the height of the drought.
https://youtu.be/-L5SX6fxmlc

Cheers,
Peter
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Follow Up By: Michael N11 - Wednesday, May 18, 2022 at 10:06

Wednesday, May 18, 2022 at 10:06
Hi Peter
Thanks for the info and maps.
Very helpful.
How did you find all the facilities?
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Follow Up By: Peter_n_Margaret - Wednesday, May 18, 2022 at 10:29

Wednesday, May 18, 2022 at 10:29
Michael, it is fair to say that Arkaroola is "tired".
It is a huge property and the cost of maintaining it would be massive and visitor numbers are not as high as they might be.
Despite that it is a "must visit" location. There is some fabulous country to see there.
During the height of the recent drought, they were hand feeding and watering the yellow footed rock wallabies at the village to ensure that enough survived to provide a breeding stock for recovery.

A brief history...
Arkaroola is a private sanctuary established by Doug and Griselda Sprigg. Doug was working for SANTOS as a geologist and recognised the area as very special and needing protection.
Doug and Griselda Sprigg (along with their 2 young children) were also the first people to drive a vehicle W-E across the Simpson. Griselda's book "DUNE is a Four Letter Word" describes the trip.
https://www.arkaroola.com.au/griselda-sprigg
Cheers,
Peter
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Follow Up By: Member - Wooly - Wednesday, May 18, 2022 at 22:22

Wednesday, May 18, 2022 at 22:22
I heard Doug Sprigg on the ABC a couple of weeks ago and he was saying that due to recent rainfall, vegetation and wildlife are booming right now and will be for a good few months to come.

Sounds like a good time to go for a look to me, even if the camping costs a couple of bucks.
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Follow Up By: Peter_n_Margaret - Wednesday, May 18, 2022 at 22:29

Wednesday, May 18, 2022 at 22:29
Correction to my previous post....
It was Reg and Griselda Sprigg that set up Arkaroola. Doug Sprigg is their son.
Cheers,
Peter
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Reply By: BenFraser747 - Saturday, May 21, 2022 at 15:21

Saturday, May 21, 2022 at 15:21
Arkaroola Village is one of the few places on our trip in June 2017 where our kettle froze when we left it out overnight. Keep each other warm!
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Reply By: Nifty1 - Saturday, May 21, 2022 at 18:33

Saturday, May 21, 2022 at 18:33
For a bit more information about Reg Sprigg, see if you can find a copy of his book “Geology is Fun”. It looks like a kids school book but is a riveting read, not so much for the writing but for an insight into what the man accomplished. From discovering SA’s oil and gas fields, to mapping the ancient bed of the Murray formed in the last ice age. His greatest discovery was probably the Ediacaran Fossil, the missing link between primitive life and more advanced forms. (He knocked a rock over while having lunch, but was perhaps just one of a handful of people who would have recognised it for what it was).
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Reply By: Cant wait - Tuesday, May 24, 2022 at 06:55

Tuesday, May 24, 2022 at 06:55
I'm currently staying at ARKAROOLA Village.
The place is old and run down but everything is operational and functions well
It hasn't changed much in 20 years but still good
Make sure that you do the ridgetop tour
Another must is the astronomy tour which is conducted by their new astronomer. It was amazing
Bring your winter woollies and forget the pool. It's very cold
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