Almerta is a working sheep station offering bush camping and shearers quarters accommodation. Visitors have access across the station via the network of station tracks. On arrival your hosts, owners Patrick and Shane, will provide you with an excellent interpretive map showing a variety of 4WD, bike and hiking trails. These trails highlight various natural and historic features on this property.
We chose to bring our own accommodation, hooked up to our 4WD. There are a bunch of designated campsites to choose from so discuss your preferences with your hosts so they can suggest the best spot to suit your needs. Alternatively comfortable shearers quarter accommodation is also on offer at the homestead.
We camped at Lena's Camp, just a couple of kilometres from the homestead, situated in a classic Flinders red gum creek. This spot was just magic with the broad creek lined by huge red gums flanked by pearl bluebush slopes. The large trees provide a home for abundant birdlife and we were often visited by grey kangaroos and euros (the kind that hop not the ones you spend in Europe).
Whilst we were camped only a few kms from the main road to Hawker it really felt like we we more remote. This is the great thing about Almerta, a 350km drive from Adelaide rewards you with an outback camping experience.
The Station only allows one group per camp area so you will always have your spot to yourself. Each camp has a drop pit dunny and firewood is provided for you. Nice. By providing firewood the potential impacts of campers foraging for their own wood is minimised. Campers also have access to showers up at the homestead.
There is plenty to see and do around the property. It also works well as a base to explore this part of the Flinders. The hiking and biking colour-coded trail map provided by the owners is an excellent resource to guide your activities during your stay.
The Historic Trail loop takes in a variety of landscapes including pearl bluebush undulating rises and red gum creeks, and passes by Yanyarrie Bore, an active sheep watering point. Near Yanyarrie Bore are the ruins of the Yanyarrie Post Office, opened in 1877.
Also along the route is the aptly named, Internet Hill. Once you have ascended this very steep hill by foot, vehicle or, for those with strong legs and low gears, bike, one is rewarded with a panoramic view and Telstra coverage. As a side note, there is patchy Telstra coverage around parts of the property.
A key feature of Almerta is a set of natural springs. The springs provide a nice contrast to their semi-arid surroundings and are home for a number of wetland bird species. The springs can be accessed by walking, 4WD or bike.