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Barking Gecko – MTB Tours

Barking Gecko-MTB Tours, are the leading cycle tour company in South Australia’s Flinders Ranges. They are locally based and draw inspiration from the region you will come to visit and vow to return to one day as it can’t be all seen, experienced or tasted in one go. If you crave exhilarating scenic rides combined with experienced local guides who are passionate to share their knowledge with you, then book a tour with us. Our equipment is tested for durability and reliability. Some of it you can buy at discounted rates. We aren’t your average tour company. All you need to do is book a tour, bring some clothing, camera and friendly nature and we’ll do the rest. We don’t hide anything or create extra hassle. We supply bikes, helmets, tips on riding mountain bikes on unsealed terrain, and transfers while on tour. Our pricing includes quality meals, amazing locations, great company and accommodation from the famous Australian swag, shearer’s quarters or hotel style facilities.

Touring Options

Awesome Mawson Five Day Tour – BG03

Mountain bike riding to the max! Five days of fantastic cycling on some of the best trails in the central Flinders Ranges. The Mawson Trail, South Australia’s longest bike trail takes the rider from urban scapes to valleys of vines and outback ranges. Famed geologist, Douglas Mawson’s curiosity drew him to the beginning of time; find out why with this tour. Make sure you pack your camera!

. Day One – Adelaide to Melrose (lunch and dinner). The Mawson Revealed. In the essence of the man it is named after the Mawson trail is awesome! An explorer, an academic and a survivor Sir Douglas Mawson taught us something about the strength of the human spirit and how to live life to the fullest. With a 60 kilometre mountain bike ride as your introduction to the Mawson trail you can begin to understand why this man was so captivated by the geology and stunning spirit of this amazing region.

. Day Two – Melrose to Wilpena (breakfast, lunch and dinner). Today offers the chance to explore local tracks and historic sites before reconnecting to the Mawson trail and a 45 kilometre cycle that meanders its way towards the Richmond gap, followed by the rush of a descent into the historic town of Quorn. With the bikes back on the trailer, the journey north diverts away from the main highways to explore the back roads of lonely graves and deserted towns.

. Day Three – Wilpena (breakfast, lunch and dinner). We start the morning with a quick trip into Bulls Gap for an exhilarating 50 kilometre ride on one of the best sections that the Mawson has to offer. Surrounded by breathtaking scenery we enjoy the serenity of relative isolation amongst undisturbed bush as we head toward the Old Wilpena Homestead. A range of optional tours swallows up the afternoon before spending the evening enjoying good company and a fantastic meal in the historic Woolshed restaurant.

. Day Four – Wilpena to Clare (breakfast, lunch and dinner). Activities today highlight the incredible contrast of landscapes and colours that characterizes the beauty of South Australia. A relaxed three kilometre walk to an Aboriginal painting site, a 45 kilometre ride on hard-packed single track and fire access trails, a picnic lunch in the oldest plantation forest in Australia and a selection of fine wine and produce from the magnificent Clare Valley put your senses into overload and help you understand why South Australia is the country’s premier tourist destination.

. Day Five – Clare to Adelaide (breakfast and lunch). Catering effectively for the historian, the romantic, food and wine lovers and the adventurer our final day has something for everyone as we journey through a region that has a lifetime of stories and secrets for the visitor to unravel. Enjoy the pleasure of a genuine soft adventure with a 27 kilometre ride on a well-formed trail that is more about the scenery and the detours than the ride itself, a great way to celebrate the thrills, the feasting and the humour associated with spending five days on the trail. Returning to Adelaide, we arrive in the city around 1700 in the evening.

. Operates:
. 21 May 2006, 21 June 2006, 08 August 2006, 2 September 2006, 21 February 2007, 21 March 2007.

Ruts and Ruins Three Day Tour – BG02

Cycling on private pastoral tracks this is an adventure where you get to know the locals. With plenty of mountain bike action, experience the exhilaration, freedom and isolation of cycling through a region that remains untamed by thousands of years of habitation and one hundred and sixty years of European settlement. A famous painter, Hans Heysen rewrote the rules for painting Australian landscapes after being mesmerised by the subtlety of the light and the pure brutality of this harsh environment. Join Barking Gecko MTB Tours for an exclusive journey into this magnificent wilderness.

. Day One – Adelaide to Gum Creek (lunch and dinner). Today is what everyday should be about – great food, fantastic scenery, superb company and cycling 50 kilometres of the best mtb trails in the state. Tour through the heartland of the Southern Flinders Ranges, enjoy a meal at the historic Austral Hotel and explore the back roads of lonely graves and deserted towns. With no gear to carry indulge yourself in one of the best sections of the Mawson trail traversing hard packed, flowing single track surrounded by the beauty of the Flinders Ranges National Park and St Mary’s Peak.

. Day Two – Gum Creek to Artimore Ruins (breakfast, lunch and dinner). Land of the Oratunga. Day two is a full day cycling adventure, 65 kilometre of private pastoral trails and access routes that were made for mountain biking. Riding through this country gives you an insight into the vision and dreams of the pastoralists, geologists and painters who have spent their careers mesmerised by the secrets and rugged beauty of the Flinders Ranges. Hard packed trails of dips, ruts and undulating momentum give the bikes a great advantage over the support vehicle as you become immersed in the freedom and exhilaration that is associated with cycling in an area of isolated beauty.

. Day Three – Gum Creek to Adelaide (breakfast and lunch). Trees and Vines, today offers a change in landscape with a 45 kilometre ride incorporating a mixture of fire tracks and access trails that weave their way across the countryside to the pine plantations and eucalypts of Bundaleer Forest. After a well-deserved lunch in the serenity of the Bundaleer picnic ground we catch a ride with Sherman and head directly to the Clare Valley for a leisurely afternoons 27 kilometre cycle on the Riesling Trail. With the bikes back on the trailer we make the return trek to Adelaide, arriving in the city around 1900 in the evening.

. Operates:
. 9 April 2006, 7 June 2006, 9 September 2006, 18 October 2006, 6 November 2006, 28 February 2007.

Cycle Safari Seven Day Tour – BG05

This seven-day tour characterizes the essence of what it is to be Australian. On a journey that connects you to the strong spiritual links that the Aboriginal people have to the land, and provides an insight to the courage and tenacity of the early pioneers and pastoralists this experience is your opportunity to cycle through history. From the beautiful Clare Valley, you move northward via the Flinders Ranges to the stunning wilderness sanctuary of Arkaroola. Immersed in this unique cultural and geologically significant environment, and with the time to explore, the Cycle Safari indulges you in a range of exciting adventure options and experiences that will stimulate the essence of your soul.

. Day One – Adelaide to Melrose (lunch and dinner). In gear on the legendary Mawson trail today is a 60 kilometre off-road ride following the tree-lined tracks that lead to the Wirrabara Forest. Experience real Australian comfort and character with a night at the North Star Inn, the first licensed hotel in the Flinders Ranges.

. Day Two – Melrose to Leigh Creek (breakfast, lunch and dinner). Heading north we take the clay roads that flank the Mount Brown Conservation Park. A 45 kilometre ride we face our first real climb on the Flinders section of the Mawson trail, an effort greatly rewarded by the exhilarating descent into the Richmond Valley.

. Day Three – Leigh Creek to Iga Warta (breakfast, lunch and dinner). Walk It, Ride It, Paddle It! A two-hour hike, outback paddling on the Aroona Dam and 50 kilometres of cycling on hard packed privately run pastoral trails. Spend the evening learning about the Adnyamathanha culture with the people from Iga Warta who share with you the knowledge of their heritage and the yarta (land) through story telling and a traditional campfire.

. Day Four – Iga Warta to Arkaroola (breakfast, lunch and dinner). Building the anticipation of exposure to the ancient landscapes of the Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary we take a 50 kilometre detour of undulating hills, stunning lookouts and thrilling descents through the spectacular Gammon Ranges. Staying on site at the Arkaroola village we are introduced to the dreams and vision of the Spriggs family who had the foresight to protect and develop this amazing wilderness for the benefit of future generations.

. Day Five – Arkaroola (breakfast, lunch and dinner). Building on the essence of action and adventure Arkaroola offers a range of ‘must do’ tour options. Highly recommended are the Ridgetop tour and scenic flights. After the evening meal we take the opportunity to stretch our legs with the Bats and Boobooks tour – a guided nocturnal walk that captures the imagination of even the bravest soul.

. Day Six – Arkaroola to Wilpena Pound (breakfast, lunch and dinner). Using the vehicle to swallow up the kilometres on the bitumen we head south to ride 50 kilometres of the most spectacular section of the Mawson trail. Staying at the multi-award winning Rawnsley Park Station we share a meal immersed in the ambience of the Woolshed restaurant, an experience that simply serves to further emphasise the beauty and mystique of the Flinders Ranges.

. Day Seven – Wilpena Pound to Adelaide (breakfast and lunch). Returning to Adelaide we connect to one of Australia’s most popular and accessible rail trails, The Riesling Trail. Meandering its way through the beautiful Clare Valley this is a relaxing 27 kilometre cycle interspersed with stunning vistas, delightful townships and the occasional detour to one of the many fabulous wineries. After a week of fresh air, revitalizing exercise, stunning scenery, great food and excellent company we arrive back in Adelaide at around 1700.

. Operates:
. 2 May 2006, 11 July 2006, 19 September 2006, 09 October 2006.

Outback Action Five Day Tour – BG04

A package tour for the all round adventurer. We’ve combined mountain biking, walking and kayaking to make this an action packed journey. Travel to the end of the sealed roads and camp out under a thousand stars to experience the true essence of what makes the Australian Outback unique. See wildlife in its natural habitat and discover the amazing plants that have adapted to life in this striking arid environment. Sample feral food at the famous Prairie Hotel and experience the serenity of a sunset paddle on the magnificent Aroona Dam.

. Day One – Adelaide to Melrose (lunch and dinner). With 60 kilometres of riding today offers our first taste of the famed Mawson Trail. Captured by the scenery, the undulating tracks offer little resistance as we make our way northwards towards Melrose, a historic regional town that is rapidly gaining a reputation for its single-track mountain bike trails. Offering unique accommodation Melrose is a good introduction to the nature of the Australian character.

. Day Two – Melrose to Rawnsley (breakfast, lunch and dinner). Cycling on the clay roads that run along the eastern side of Mount Brown, todays 45 kilometre trek has us tackling our first real climb as we make our way through Richman Gap before the exhilarating rush of descending into Quorn. Travelling north we visit a number of significant historical and cultural sites including the acclaimed 30-metre Wilpena Pound Panorama at Hawker. Staying at the multi award winning Rawnsley Park Station, we spend a relaxed evening in the ambience of the Woolshed Restaurant.

. Day Three – Rawnsley to Leigh Creek (breakfast, lunch and dinner). Day three starts with an exhilarating 24 kilometre ride. Cycling on the hard packed, flowing surface of the Wilcolo Creek fire-access track we wind our way through cypress pine to emerge into the heart of Brachina Gorge. Lunch at the famed Prairie Hotel, a visit to Talc Alf and the unique experience of a sunset paddle on the magnificent Aroona Dam complete the day. For those who have never slept out under the stars or enjoyed the flavours of a camp oven meal, tonight is a succession of surprises and delights.

. Day Four – Leigh Creek to Clare (breakfast, lunch and dinner). Not quite the Mawson, but a good open ride on an unsealed country road, day four offers a 50 kilometre stretch that takes us through a number of small farming communities that most visitors never even realise exist. Each with their own character and claim to fame, we take our time to appreciate the efforts of the early pastoralists before heading south to the regional centre of Clare. A popular destination for gourmet weekends, Clare is the perfect spot for our final night together and sets the scene for a fantastic conclusion to this popular tour.

. Day Five – Clare to Adelaide (breakfast). Day five is about relaxation, sightseeing and meandering our way along the Riesling trail. With 27 kilometres of easy riding the afternoon passes quickly as we make the most of the stunning vistas, detours to cellar doors, surrounding villages and other points of historic interest. Another great day nearly over, we secure the bikes on the trailer and take the scenic route back to Adelaide, arriving in the city around 1800 in the evening.

. Operates:
. 2 April 2006, 13 June 2006, 26 July 2006, 22 August 2006, 25 October 2006, 7 March 2007.

Pedal the Pound Three Day Tour – BG01

This tour is an excellent introduction to inland South Australia. In just three days you’ll discover local spots, taste premium wine, view significant Aboriginal cultural sites, and cycle on some of the best hard packed, flowing single track the region has to offer. Staying at the multi award winning Rawnsley Park Station, ‘Pedal the Pound’ takes you on a journey that helps you understand why generations of geologists, artists, environmentalists and campers have been captivated by the Flinders Ranges.

. Day One – Adelaide to Rawnsley (lunch and dinner). Connecting with the Mawson trailhead in Laura, day one traverses the heartland of the Southern Flinders Ranges and there is no better way to appreciate the sensory beauty of this region than with a 60 kilometre cycle through the tree-lined tracks of Wirrabara Forest. Relaxing in the vehicle for the remainder of the afternoon, we continue our journey northward taking the time to check out significant historic and cultural sites before arriving at the multi award winning Rawnsley Park Station, our destination for the next two evenings.

. Day Two – Rawnsley to Wilpena (breakfast, lunch and dinner). Today is awesome, a 50 kilometre off-road mountain bike ride on one of the most spectacular sections of the Mawson trail. Cycling on a hard packed, flowing single track we wind our way through the Flinders Ranges National Park to find ourselves in the centre of the famed Wilpena Pound Resort. The afternoon has no set itinerary, providing the perfect opportunity to experience the magnificence of this region from a different perspective by participating in one of the exciting optional tours on offer.

. Day Three – Rawnsley to Adelaide (breakfast and lunch). Returning south we spend today cycling sections of the Mawson trail that have captured the imagination and souls of artists, photographers and lovers of fine wine and produce. Starting with a 45 kilometre ride the first section incorporates a mixture of fire tracks and single track weaving their way across the countryside to the pine plantations of Bundaleer Forest. The second is the increasingly popular Riesling Trail, a gentle sloping, well-constructed track that runs for 27 kilometres along the former rail corridor between Clare and Auburn. Passing through the heart of this picturesque valley you begin to appreciate its reputation as one of Australia’s premium wine growing regions. Returning to Adelaide, we arrive in the city around 1900 in the evening.

. Operates:
. 12 May 2006, 15 May 2006, 3 June 2006, 29 August 2006, 1 November 2006, 28 March 2007.



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Popular Activities

  • Mountain Biking
  • Bird Watching
  • Bush Walking
  • Canoeing
  • Cycling
  • Adventure
  • National Park
  • Off Road Driving
  • Outback
  • Wilderness
  • Wildlife

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