Skip to main content Skip to footer site map
Menu

Find a hotel

Derek’s 4WD Tours Australia

Derek’s 4WD Tours Australia conducts full and half day tours of the Central Flinders Ranges, including the popular Gorges tour. Derek also conducts customised tours to your desired area – for example Arkaroola, Gammon Ranges and beyond travelling in a modern luxury Toyota four wheel drive vehicle carrying up to six passengers in comfort.

Touring Options

Half Day The Oaks Private Property Tour – DT01

‘The Oaks’ tour offers many different aspects of this area that the average tourist does not get to see. Visiting this private property is very personal and sentimental to me, being the property where I spent much of my childhood. The tour will include Jarvis Hill Lookout, superb views of Lake Torrens from the Yappala Range and the deserted railway town of Old Hookina.

. Heading east of Hawker our first stop is at the Jarvis Hill Lookout, which gives a view of the town.

. We then pass over a section of the Heysen Trail, which crosses through ‘The Oaks’ Station following along the old telephone line and fence lines. This area in the valley is very similar to being inside Wilpena Pound but without other visitors, making it a personal tour. Four wheel driving over the Yappala Range, elevation just over 700 metres above sea level, we will take time to stop and absorb the views of Lake Torrens – the longest and second largest salt lake in Australia – which is clearly visible from this vantage point. The view will also take in Wilpena Pound and the surrounding Ranges. We continue on along the back of the Yappala Range and onto more private property, passing homesteads from the past as well as the present. Some of these deserted homes are still left, as they were when the occupants had to walk off the land because of hardship.

. Further on we can see the remains of the township of Old Hookina, which the Ghan railway line missed by only eight 8 kilometres after Hawker was surveyed into the Adelaide to Alice Springs line. We will also pass by the Hookina Railway Siding where, in 1955, 250 millimetres of rain fell within six hours in the nearby ranges, causing a flood, which collapsed the Ghan Railway Bridge and resulted in a temporary line being built until such time as the line ceased to be used. Another noticeable relic from this time are the stumps of the massive River Red Gums, which have been washed out onto the flat. A section of the road between there and Hawker reflects the colours of Brachina Gorge as we pass through the mountains that directs us back to Hawker along the plains where again many signs of hardship from the past are left scattered in the fields. This tour is not big on kilometres but has many contrasts and a nice leisurely pace.

. Note: This tour will be in reverse when taken with another half day tour.

. Operates:
. Departs from Hawker daily on demand. Morning tour 0800 to 1200 or afternoon tour 1230 to 1630.

Half Day Bunyeroo and Brachina Gorges Tour – DT03

This tour will travel into the Flinders Ranges National Park through the magnificent Bunyeroo and Brachina Gorges featuring a stop at the renowned Razorback Lookout. Aspects of this area, which will be discovered, include plant life, geology, Aboriginal culture and plant usage. As this is a half day tour, we will be trying to see as much as possible therefore the pace will be swift but not rushed.

. We will depart bright and early or after midday and head towards the magnificent Wilpena Pound, passing the Elder Range and Chace Range, which is a great opportunity for photography. Travelling beneath the towering rugged cliffs of Wilpena Pound we enter the Flinders Ranges National Park and into natural pine forests. Shortly after leaving the sealed road passing through the ABC Range we head off towards Bunyeroo Valley where we see remains of early settlement, continuing through more native pine forests and bushland, opening out to beautiful views of the walls of Wilpena Pound and down into the Valley of Bunyeroo Gorge. A stop at one of my favourite lookouts, the Razorback Lookout, is the perfect place for the geology of the area to be explained and to get an appreciation of why the Aboriginal people find this such a special place.

. Continuing down into Bunyeroo Gorge we are presented with some quick photo opportunities and the possibility of spotting wildlife such as Wedge Tailed Eagles, Kangaroos, Emus, reptiles and other animals native and non-native to the area. Then we will travel between the Heysen and ABC Range, often referred to as ‘The Backbone of the Flinders Ranges’, through Bunyeroo Valley and into the large tree-lined creek beds of Brachina Gorge which has been named ‘The Corridor Through Time’ due to the sedimentary layering and uplifting from the period between 520 and 640 million years ago. The geology will include meteorite debris from 480 million years ago, stromatolites that are some of the earliest algae formed in the world, and fossiled plant and animal life from the Ediacaran Period. In Brachina Gorge, if we are lucky, we could spot a rare and endangered Yellow Footed Rock Wallaby. Once again as mentioned above in the summary this is a half day tour and we will be trying to see as much as possible therefore the pace will be swift but not rushed.

. Operates:
. Departs from Hawker daily on demand. Morning tour 0800 to 1200 or afternoon tour 1230 to 1630. Can also depart from Rawnsley Park Station or Wilpena Pound Resort by arrangement.

Half Day Arkapena Private Property Tour – DT02

On the private property tour of ‘Arkapena’ Station experience rugged four wheel driving over mountains that are still grazed by local station owners, the Gregory brothers. Highlights include Pugilist Hill Lookout and a tea break on top of the range.

. Travelling down the Martin’s Well road we begin the tour by driving up Pugilist Hill to gaze upon the area which we are about to travel through. Some of the highlights of the Arkapena Tour are the spectacular views of the Chace Range, Elder Range and the south-eastern corner of Wilpena Pound known as Rawnsley’s Bluff.

. This takes us into the grazing property of the Gregory Brothers, who own an area of land 57,500 acres (or 225 square kilometres) and run 5500-6000 sheep. The property has been in their family since World War One and originally started out at 2500 acres. There is a certain degree of challenging four wheel driving on this tour with some fantastic views of the surrounding area. At the right time of year there is a lovely array of wildflowers and the smell of white cypress pine in the air. The geology can be easily seen and explained from this vantage point. Wildlife native and non-native is also often active in this area due to the low traffic flow.

. Alternative options:

. This tour can be put in combination to make a full day tour, with options to go to Rawnsley Park Woolshed Restaurant for lunch or take a packed lunch. After completing this as a morning tour, and on completion of lunch your options are to do a Gorges Tour into the National Park or travel through the Moralana Scenic Drive. This drive takes you in between the Elder Range and the walls of Wilpena Pound through Arkaba and Merna Mora Stations including ‘Sunset Lookout’, arriving to the west and continuing through ‘The Oaks’ Station, my original and first Private Property Tour (refer Tour One).

. Operates:
. Departs from Hawker daily on demand. Morning tour 0800 to 1200 or afternoon tour 1230 to 1630. Can also depart from Rawnsley Park Station by arrangement.

Full Day Bunyeroo and Brachina Gorges Tour – DT04

This tour will travel into the Flinders Ranges National Park through the magnificent Bunyeroo and Brachina Gorges featuring a stop at the renowned Razorback Lookout and travelling down the Backbone of the Flinders Ranges. Aspects of this area, which will be discovered, include plant life, geology, Aboriginal culture and plant usage and remnants of early explorers and settlers.

. We will depart Hawker bright and early and head towards the magnificent Wilpena Pound, passing the Elder Range and Chace Range, which is a great opportunity for early morning photography. Travelling beneath the towering rugged cliffs of Wilpena Pound we enter the Flinders Ranges National Park and into natural pine forests. Shortly after leaving the sealed road passing through the ABC Range we head off towards Bunyeroo Valley where we see remains of early settlement, continuing through more native pine forests and bushland, opening out to beautiful views of the walls of Wilpena Pound and down into the Valley of Bunyeroo Gorge. A stop at one of my favourite lookouts, the Razorback Lookout, is the perfect place for the geology of the area to be explained and to get an appreciation of why the Aboriginal people find this such a special place.

. Continuing down into Bunyeroo Gorge we are presented with many more photo opportunities and the possibility of spotting wildlife such as Wedge Tailed Eagles, Kangaroos, Emus, reptiles and other animals native and non-native to the area. Then we will travel between the Heysen and ABC Range, often referred to as ‘The Backbone of the Flinders Ranges’, through Bunyeroo Valley and into the large tree-lined creek beds of Brachina Gorge which has been named ‘The Corridor Through Time’ due to the sedimentary layering and uplifting from the period between 520 and 640 million years ago. The geology will include meteorite debris from 480 million years ago, stromatolites that are some of the earliest algae formed in the world, and fossiled plant and animal life from the Ediacaran Period. In Brachina Gorge, if we are lucky, we could spot a rare and endangered Yellow Footed Rock Wallaby. We will leisurely return in the late afternoon via either Stokes Hill or Sunset Lookout, both of which will give us a 360-degree view of the mountains which often appear purple-blue due to the afternoon haze which is renowned in this area, making for great photo opportunities.

. Alternative Options: This tour can also be altered to incorporate Parachilna Gorge and Blinman but will lessen the time spent in the Flinders Ranges National Park and add more kilometres to the day. Occasionally lunch could be had at the Prairie Hotel in Parachilna or Blinman Hotel on request but will also minimise time in the outback.

. Operates:
. Departs from Hawker daily on demand at 0800 to 1500. Can also depart from Rawnsley Park Station or Wilpena Pound Resort by arrangement.

Activites and Experiences at Derek’s 4WD Tours Australia

  • Aussie Host
  • National Tourism Accreditation Program NATIONAL TOURISM ACCREDITATION PROGRAM
  • Passenger Transport Board of South Australia
  • Off Road Driving
  • Birdwatching
  • Bushwalking
  • Farm/Station activity
  • Photography
  • Scenic Flight
  • Sightseeing
  • Bush Tucker
  • Animal Viewing
  • Walking
  • Wholesale
  • Car park
  • Public phone
  • Public toilet
  • Waiting Area
  • Active
  • Adventure
  • Aussie Lifestyle
  • Rural/Country
  • Cultural
  • Eco Tourism
  • Educational
  • Environmental
  • Farm/Station
  • Flora and Fauna
  • Food and Wine
  • Historic/Heritage
  • Indulgence/Luxury
  • Mountain
  • National Park
  • Nature based
  • Off road
  • Outback
  • Relaxation
  • Remote
  • Soft Adventure
  • Wilderness
  • Wildflower
  • Wildlife
  • World Heritage
  • English
  • German
  • 18-35’s
  • Adult Getaway
  • Backpacking/Unstructured
  • Budget
  • Business/Trade/Corporate
  • Disabled
  • Empty Nesters
  • Family
  • Gay and Lesbian
  • Group
  • Luxury
  • Romantic
  • Senior
  • Single
  • Wedding
  • Cheques Bank
  • Cash
  • Electronic Funds Transfer at Point of Sale
  • Visa

More Tours In Hawker

Experience some of the other tour ideas around Hawker.

Map of Hawker

Where Are Australia's Best Islands?

Australia's Best Islands

Around the coast of Australia there are many amazing islands that are an unforgetable pleasure for all who visit. Naturally, the Great Barrier Reef dominates any list of great Australian islands, with pristine wonders like the Whitsundays, Dunk Island and Lizard Island. Further off the east coast is the spectacular Lord Howe Island and off the coast of South Australia is the unspoilt Kangaroo Island. See if you aggree with our selection of Australia's best island escapes.

Share with friends