Arkaroola, South Australia

Arkaroola, South Australia

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Arkaroola, South Australia

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Arkaroola Village is the settlement and resort at the hub of a wilderness sanctuary in the Northern Flinders Ranges in South Australia, adjacent to Gammon Ranges National Park and the Mawson Plateau.

The Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary is located 700 km north of Adelaide in South Australia. The most common way to get there is by car, but a plane can be chartered from Parafield Airport in northern Adelaide.


The area's first people are the Adnyamathanha. One of their dreamtime or creation stories says that Arkaroo, a mythical monster, drank 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-Europeans to visit the area was explorer Edward Eyre in 1840 and the surveyorGeorge Goyder in 1857. There was a small failed settlement nearby, at the Yudnamutana copper mine, from 1860 to 1863. The drought of 1863 drove the miners away. Settlement didn't occur again until 1903, when rubies and sapphires were discovered. By 1910 a copper smelter was built at Yudnamutana and uranium was also discovered nearby by Douglas Mawson, famous Antarctic explorer.

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 Arkaroola property was fenced by 1935 and a process of eradication of pests started. The land was covered with...
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