Bon Bon Station, SA (Aug 22-25)

Author image Katrina Blake
Last updated: Thursday 12 May, 2016

Mon. 22 to Thur. 25 August 2016

Volunteers Nicky Rolls and Saraan Finney enjoy a break with Mike Chuk and Julia Harris on Bon Bon. Photo Nicky Rolls.
Volunteers Nicky Rolls and Saraan Finney enjoy a break with Mike Chuk and Julia Harris on Bon Bon. Photo Nicky Rolls.
Join our Reserve Managers Mike Chuk and Julia Harris for a guided tour of Bon Bon Station Reserve in the arid rangelands of South Australia.

Mike and Julia have a long history living and working in the outback and enjoy sharing their knowledge and experiences. Mike's also a keen bird watcher with a good understanding of arid-zone ecology and botany.

Wildflowers on Bon Bon. Photo Annette Ruzicka.
Wildflowers on Bon Bon. Photo Annette Ruzicka.
This 217,000 hectare (530,000 acre) property is a former sheep station that we bought in 2008. It has a wonderful diversity of landscapes to explore, including the buck shot plains, mulga and myall woodlands, salt bush shrub lands, ephemeral salt lakes and sand dunes.

Bon Bon has a number of spectacular arid-zone flowering plants including: eremophilas, swainsonas, various sand dune daisies and sennas. The reserve is home to the rare Chesnut-breasted Whiteface and the northern most population of Southern Hairy-nosed Wombats (though we can't guarantee you'll see them!)

Location

Bon Bon is around 700km north-west of Adelaide on the Stuart Highway. The closest regional towns are Port Augusta (381km south) and Coober Pedy (188km north). The closest service centre is Glendambo (97km south) which has two road-houses, a hotel/motel and caravan park.

Note: this is a remote part of outback South Australia. Service providers, medical and emergency services aren't close at hand.

Cost

Price: $330 (inc GST) per person. Children under 18yrs free. Add an extra $100 per room if choosing accommodation option instead of camping.

The price of the trip is based on covering our costs to plan, prepare and run the visit. This ensures donations towards conservation don't subsidise tours.

Does this trip suit you? You'll need:

  • a suitable vehicle and relevant driving experience (see details below)
  • to enjoy staying in a remote location
  • to enjoy travelling in a small guided group at a gentle pace
  • to have an interest in the natural environment
  • a flexible attitude should conditions change
  • to be in good health.

Sturt's Desert Pea on Bon Bon. Photo Steve Heggie.
Sturt's Desert Pea on Bon Bon. Photo Steve Heggie.
Camping/accommodation arrangments 

You'll spend the three nights based at the homestead area and make day trips out each day.

Camping option: There's plenty of space for camping around the homestead area and you'll have access to showers, toilets and gas BBQ. You're welcome to bring caravan or camper trailers, although we can't offer powered sites. Access to limited power may be available at specific times for charging batteries/fridges.

Accommodation option: For a limited number of people we can offer accommodation on site, which will include private bedrooms, but with shared facilities – bathroom, kitchen and living space.

Vehicle requirements:

A Bearded Dragon relaxes on a gate. Photo TBC Glen Norris.
A Bearded Dragon relaxes on a gate. Photo TBC Glen Norris.
A 4WD (high clearance) vehicle in excellent working condition and equipped for remote outback travel (including one spare tyre, preferably two, or a tyre repair kit) is essential.

Caravan/camper trailers: If you're prepared to bring a caravan along a dirt road you're welcome to bring one. Off road trailers/vans should have no trouble but for vans with lower clearance we can't guarantee the condition of the road.

After leaving the Stuart Hwy (sealed) it's 15.5km of graded dirt road to reach the homestead. The condition of the dirt road can vary greatly with corrugations, pot holes and deep wheel ruts depending on when the track was last graded or the last rains fell.

Driving experience: While you don't need to be an expert at four-wheel driving, you do need to be confident driving on unsealed roads. On leaving the Stuart Hwy all roads to and around the property are unsealed and vary in condition. Once on the reserve you'll be travelling in convoy and guided by reserve staff.

What to bring:

  • all your own camping equipment (or bedding if saying in one of the rooms)
  • food and drinks for the duration of the trip
  • first aid kit and personal medical supplies
  • UHF radio – this will be the main form of communication between vehicles. Bush Heritage may have some handsets available for use.

Fuel: Fuel is not available on the reserve. You need to bring adequate supplies for the trip. We anticipate once on the reserve you'll cover about 200km. On top of this you'll need to allow for travelling in and out of the reserve. The closest fuel stops are Glendambo (97km south) and Coober Pedy (190 km north).

Bush Heritage supplies: Knowledgeable and experienced staff to guide you safely around the property, emergency communication equipment, access to basic facilities, limited accommodation, drinking and washing water.

Itinerary

We plan to keep a flexible itinerary in order to maximise the best opportunities at the time of visiting.

Day 1: Arrive at Bon Bon Station Reserve homestead between 2pm and 4pm. Set up camp or settle into accommodation. Staff will join you for a BBQ dinner (BYO food and drink).

Days 2 & 3: Day trips exploring the reserve. We'll keep a flexible itinerary. We'll visit the varied landscapes of Bon Bon, from the stony buckshot plains of the north to the salt lakes in the south. We'll look at flora, fauna and some of the historical sites, along with aspects of our conservation management.

Day 4: Pack up, chance for morning activity before departing by late morning.

Bookings

This tour has now closed and completed. Contact Katrina Blake on (03) 8610 9124 or kblake@bushheritage.org.au to enquire about future tours.

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