Tour Highlights . . . . “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, given that it’s 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 700m 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 8kms after Hawker was surveyed into the Adelaide to Alice Springs line. We will also pass by the Hookina Railway Siding where, in 1955, 250mm of rain fell within 6 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 is 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 has relatively few kilometres but has many scenic contrasts at a nice leisurely pace.
NOTE: This tour will be in reverse when taken with another half day tour.
Price: $160.00 p/person (GST Incl)
Price includes: Morning or Afternoon Tea (Tea/Coffee, Biscuits & Cake), Track fees
Duration: Approximately 4 hours