I hope you had a wonderful week. We made the (not as bad as we thought) drive out to Arkaroola. The roads were all good after the floods and even the unsealed road from Copley to Arkaroola (about 2ish hours) had been freshly graded so we were very lucky. Of course the area was looking much greener than usual due to the rains but we had dry weather and it even cooled down for us!
We stayed at the Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary in a motel room - it was very basic but did the job. They also having camping and self-contained cottages. I have to give a huge shout out to the chef who was able to cater for my annoying dietary requirements of vegetarian, wheat free, dairy free, garlic allergy with 3 delicious dinners. Hubby was also very happy with his lamb rack, kangaroo and salmon meals - I'm not sure how she does it with limited deliveries of food.
We explored Arkaroola in three very different ways while we were there and I'd recommend them all:
A guided bush walk with Sharpy. Sharpy was born on Arkaroola land, so has the knowledge of his people and his country embedded deep in his bones. On top of that he has studied environmental and land management from a western perspective. He brings both worlds together in a guided bush walk showing the native fruits, seeds and insect repellants as well as sharing the history of how Arkaroola came to be. Scroll down to the bottom (past the photos) for a final message from Sharpy.
4WD Ridgetop Tour. After being on the ground in amongst the bush it was amazing to then travel up to the top of the ranges and view the vastness of the land. You can see all the way to Lake Frome! The tracks were more than a little bumpy as the roads hadn't been graded for a while but the driver was amazing and could somehow talk about the history of Arkaroola and traverse daunting inclines at the same time. Tip: it was best not to look at the road ahead much of the time - just enjoy the scenery!
Astronomy - Explore the Cosmos. Every evening at 8:45pm, PK or Doug will take you up close and personal with the amazing night sky. The lack of light pollution in Arkaroola makes it a well known spot for astronomy. Starting outside PK guided us through the observable constellations and gave us some foundation knowledge about astronomy (all very new to me as I knew nothing!). There are 3 telescope domes on Arkaroola and one is fitted with a video camera which enables live streaming from the telescope to a large screen which we then watched from indoors. This allows PK to show us certain stars and parts of the milky way in much more detail - but it's all live - just amazing! He also explains some of the numbers (e.g. trillions of stars or tens of thousands of light years) which either blew my mind or flew right over the top of my head but his passion and sense of humour are equal to his knowledge so it's a very enjoyable session. I will never look at the night sky the same again.
Left & right - following Sharpy through the bush he knows so well.
Centre - a native pear or Myakka, you can eat the green seeds inside, they taste like freshly shelled peas.
Just one of the views from the Ridgetop Tour.
Carina Nebula NGC 3372 or in Carla speak - a teeny tiny part of the main band of the milky way. Hydrogen atoms glow pink when agitated by stars - who knew?! This is a still image of the live video feed we were watching - the clarity is incredible!
Source: PK https://www.facebook.com/pkimaging
Sharpy left us with a simple yet powerful message passed down from his ancestors C - S - R standing for Care - Share - Respect. Those three words are the laws by which his ancestors lived. Care, Share & Respect for ourselves, each other and the environment. In what areas could your life benefit from more Care, Share or Respect?
Happy caring, sharing and respecting,