Operation Flinders Exercise dates are conducted during school term date, not during school holidays. The dates provided below are the full Exercise dates, when the program is officially functioning. Teams who participate on an Exercise will participate for 7 nights and 8 days during this time period.

If you are a school participating on an Exercise, please confirm with the Foundation the day your team arrives on your allocated Exercise.

  • 1 Exercise 1 | Monday May 13 - Friday May 24
  • 2 Exercise 2 | Monday June 17 - Friday June 28
  • 3 Exercise 3 | Monday August 5 - Friday August 16
  • 4 Exercise 4 | Monday September 9 - Friday September 20
  • 5 Exercise 5 | Monday October 21 - Friday November 1

Operation Flinders Exercises are accessed via schools who nominate to take place in the program or individually through our STEP OUT program. We are always welcoming more expressions of interest from schools and nominations from individuals interested in STEP OUT.


At the core of our program are the Operation Flinders Exercises. Equally integral to the program is Yankaninna Station, in the northern Flinders Ranges, providing the remote and ancient landscape upon which these Exercises are conducted. 

Exercises operate on average five times a year. On each Exercise, the program will host on average 100 young people. These young people are in their teams based on the school or agency they attend. In addition, they are accompanied by Support Staff from the school or agency and also experienced Operation Flinders Field Volunteers. Each team will trek over 100km over the eight days on the property. Participants are challenged both physically and emotionally in an isolated environment.

Activities undertaken during their time on Exercise include :

  • Daily cross country hikes between their night camp sites
  • Abseiling
  • Team building activities
  • Bush survival skills
  • Bush cooking
  • Navigation
  • Learning about the local Indigenous culture

The teams on Exercise are self-sufficient for 8 days, carrying packs on their backs including all sleeping, camping equipment and personal items. They move around the property according to a navigation plan that determines their night locations. 

All individuals in a team including adults carry packs on their backs which contain everything they will need for 8 days in the field.  At each night location, teams are provided with a tub of rations for meals and sufficient water for the following day.

Once the program commences, participants will be expected to complete it. There is no opportunity to ‘opt-out’, as they so often do when faced with challenges in their daily lives. Teams will generally go through an initial ‘storming’ phase, followed by acceptance or ‘norming’, then finally ‘performing’ when the team comes together and are working effectively.

Through participating in the program, participants are also able to gain credit towards their Year 11 and Year 12 South Australian Certificate of Education under the banner of Recognition of Community Learning.


Please note: Operation Flinders is not a crisis support service. We specialise in Adventure Based Therapy with our focus area being prevention.