Deep Creek Conservation Park

  • Information Office
  • Showers
  • Accomm
  • Picnic Areas
  • Campfires Permitted
  • Caravan Sites
  • Toilets
  • Camping
  • Fishing
  • Walking Trails
  • Bird Watching
PDF Park Brochure
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Deep Creek Conservation Park park locator map

Come and experience a wide range of activities such as bushwalking on an extensive network of trails, camping in five campgrounds and viewing the spectacular scenery of Backstairs Passage, Kangaroo Island and the rugged Deep Creek valley.

Tag your Instagram pics with #deepcreekconservationpark to see them displayed on this page.

Deep Creek Conservation Park park locator map

Come and experience a wide range of activities such as bushwalking on an extensive network of trails, camping in five campgrounds and viewing the spectacular scenery of Backstairs Passage, Kangaroo Island and the rugged Deep Creek valley.

Tag your Instagram pics with #deepcreekconservationpark to see them displayed on this page.

About

Deep Creek Conservation Park is the largest portion of remaining natural vegetation on the Fleurieu Peninsula and is home to an array of native wildlife such as western grey kangaroos, short beaked echidnas and 100 species of birds that can be heard and seen while walking in the park.

Deep Creek is the only national park within 100km of Adelaide that offers bush camping. Four campgrounds are accessible by 2WD and one is 'hike-in' only and situated on the Heysen trail, making it an ideal environment for a family adventure.

The 15 walking trails in the park provide spectacular scenery of Backstairs Passage, Kangaroo Island and the rugged Deep Creek Valley. The walks range from easy to very difficult so accommodating for all ages and abilities.  The walking trail network in Deep Creek Conservation Park includes sections of the famous Heysen Trail.

Explore nearby Talisker Conservation Park and discover the heritage-listed ruins of a silver and lead mine from 1860s or visit Encounter Marine Park which offers some of Australia's best-preserved ocean wilderness.

Opening hours

Open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

This park is closed on days of Catastrophic Fire Danger and may be closed on days of Extreme Fire Danger.

Listen to the local area radio station for the latest updates and information on fire safety. 

Contact details

Deep Creek Conservation Park Headquarters
Phone: (+61 8) 8598 0263
Email: DEWNR.CustomerServiceCentre@sa.gov.au

For booking enquiries: DEWNR.FleurieuOnlineBookings@sa.gov.au

When to visit

Late autumn and early spring are the best times to experience the park, go camping and observe the array of wildlife and native flora in full bloom. Temperatures during this time of year make it comfortable to hike the network of walking trails within the park.  

Summers are dry and hot with temperatures ranging between 30 to 35 degrees making it more challenging for walking. A responsible approach to bushwalking is a must during summer months and in winter months when track conditions can be slippery.

Getting there

The park is located 108km south of Adelaide. Access is via Main South Road from Adelaide or Range Road from Victor Harbor.

Pets in parks

Pets are not permitted within this park. There are however, a number of South Australian National Parks where you can take your dog on a lead. 

Facilities

Campground facilities

There are a variety of facilities available at the campgrounds within the park. Look at the facilities table below and pick the site which suits you best.

  Stringybark Trig Tapanappa Cobbler Hill Eagle Waterhole
Number of camp sites  16 25 17 6 -
Camp in designated sites  Y Y Y Y N
Book online Y Y Y Y Y
Access 2WD 2WD 2WD 2WD Hike
Caravan & trailer access Y Y N N N
Toilets  Y Y Y Y N
Hot showers Y N N N N
Seasonal campfires (in fire pits only)*
Y Y Y Y N
Bring own firewood Y Y Y Y N
Remove own rubbish Y Y Y Y Y
Bring own drinking water Y Y Y Y Y
Pets allowed N N N N N

*Restrictions apply. See fire safety.

Useful information

  • Mobile phone coverage can be patchy and unreliable in this park, especially if you are in low-lying areas.

  • Important: Collection of firewood within National Parks is prohibited.

Pests and diseases

Phytophthora (fy-TOFF-thora), otherwise known as root-rot fungus, is killing our native plants and threatens the survival of animals depending on plants for food and shelter.

This introduced fungus can be found in plant roots, soil and water. Help stop the spread by using hygiene stations, staying on tracks and trails and by complying with all Phytophthora management signs.

Traditional owners

The Aboriginal people of the southern Fleurieu Peninsula fall into two language groups, the Kaurna and Ngarrindjeri. Dreaming stories from both groups illustrate a deep spiritual connection to the land.

The creation of land formations on the Fleurieu Peninsula are illustrated through dreaming stories. The Kaurna dreaming story of Tjirbuk highlights the creation of the western side of the Fleurieu Peninsula.

The Ngarrindjeri focus on Ngurunderi, who, while on his journey, created many landforms which we can now see along the River Murray and the south coast. These landforms were made while he was travelling along the river and coastline in search of his two wives, who had run away from him.

Aboriginal South Australians are the first peoples of our State and have occupied, enjoyed and managed these lands and waters since the creation. For SA's First Peoples, creation ancestors laid down the laws of the Country and bestowed a range of customary rights and obligations to the many Aboriginal Nations across our state. 

Aboriginal peoples' oral histories and creation stories traverse the length and breadth of Australia’s lands and waters, including South Australian Parks. These stories interconnect land and waters with complex meaning and values and hold great cultural significance. We recognise and respect Aboriginal people's ownership of their stories and that they hold rights and obligations to care for Country. It is through these rights and cultural obligations and a shared goal to protect the environment for generations to come that DEWNR is committed to meaningful collaboration and involvement with Aboriginal peoples in the management of our shared parks.

See and do

Rangers recommend

We have picked the brains of our park rangers to find out what they would recommend you see and do whilst visiting this park.

  • Taking in the views of Kangaroo Island from the Cobbler Hill Picnic Area.
  • Spending an afternoon walking the Deep Creek Waterfall Hike from Tapanappa Lookout.
  • Fishing at Blowhole Beach.
  • Seeing kangaroos feed at dusk at Tapanappa Ridge or along the Aaron Creek hiking trail.
  • Lunching at Stringybark Walk or Aaron Creek picnic area.
  • Camping under the stars at one of the bush campgrounds.
  • Watching for whales as they migrate east during the winter months.
  • Challenging yourself on the difficult Aaron Creek Hike and being rewarded by stunning views.
  • Have a go at the 20 fun things to do in and around Deep Creek.

Bushwalking

Bushwalking is a fantastic way to connect with nature, keep fit and spend time with family and friends. 

South Australia's national parks feature a range of trails that let you experience a diversity of landscapes. Our trails cater for all levels of fitness and adventure and our classification system makes it easy to select an experience suitable for you.

Easy walks

  • Stringybark Loop Walk (30 min loop, 1.5 km)

    A short, relatively flat walk through old growth stringybark forest. There is a lot of wildlife in this area of the park. Close to the popular Stringybark campsite, this walk is ideal for families. The walk starts at the picnic ground near park headquarters on Tapanappa Road.

  • Forest Circuit Walk (1 hr return, 2.6 km)

    This is a fairly flat and easy stroll through tall stringybark forest. This is a lovely morning or late afternoon walk. In autumn you may see fog settle among the trees. In late winter and early spring you will see a profusion of wildflowers. The trail starts from Stringybark Campground, opposite site 10.

  • Goondooloo Ridge Walk (2 hrs return, 4 km)

    This trail along Goondooloo Ridge offers spectacular views of Backstairs Passage. Along the way you can often view large mobs of kangaroos grazing in the open fields, or resting under eucalypts. This walk begins at the Aaron Creek picnic area located on Blowhole Road, 15 metres from Goondooloo Cottage.

  • Spring Wildflower Walk (2.5 hrs return, 5 km)

    A perfect nature walk. You'll see native wildflowers during late winter and early spring in this regenerating sclerophyll forest. The walk follows roads and fire trails so it is fairly flat and good for families. The trail starts at Stringybark Campground, opposite site nine.

Moderate hikes

  • Deep Creek Waterfall Hike from Tent Rock Road (2 hrs return, 3.5 km)

    Incorporating part of the famous Heysen Trail, this hike takes you down to a year-round waterfall nestled in the heart of the park. Along the way you can see spectacular views of densely wooded hills. Although short, certain parts of this hike can be quite steep. The trail starts from the car parking area on Tent Rock Road.

  • Deep Creek Cove Hike from Trig Picnic Area (2.5 hrs, 6.4 km)

    On this popular trail you'll have great views of the Southern Ocean as you wind your way down to the secluded cove where Deep Creek finishes its journey to the ocean. Be prepared to scramble over rocks to get down to the cove. The trail starts at the Trig Picnic Area. Follow Tent Rock Road past Trig Campground to the picnic area.

  • Aaron Creek Circuit Hike (3 hrs return, 5.5 km)

    One of the park's hidden gems. This hard but rewarding hike takes you down to Aaron Creek through tall gums and scented wattles. In winter (the best time for this hike) you will pass a cascading waterfall. Be prepared for moderate inclines and some rock scrambling. The trail starts at the car park, 15m from Goondooloo Cottage, on Blowhole Creek Road.

  • Talisker Silver Lead Mine Hike (2.5 hrs return, 6.4 km)

    This interpretive hike, in Talisker Conservation Park, guides you through a nineteenth century mining and ore processing operation. Learn about the ingenuity of the Cornish miners and their families as you walk through naturally regenerating bushland teeming with wildflowers and wildlife. The trail starts in Talisker Conservation Park, 9km west of Deep Creek.

Hard hikes

  • Deep Creek Cove Hike from Tapanappa Lookout (2.5 hrs return, 3.4 km)

    A rugged coastal hike through steep terrain and dense vegetation with spectacular views of Deep Creek. Suited to experienced and fit bushwalkers. Be prepared to scramble over steep rocks on your way down to the cove. The trail starts at the Tapanappa Lookout. It can also be started from Tapanappa Campground (add 3km return).

  • Blowhole Beach Hike (2.5 hrs return, 3 km)

    This trail winds down a steep hill to beautiful Blowhole Beach, a popular local fishing and surfing spot. From the picnic area at Cobbler Hill you'll have extensive views of Backstairs Passage and Kangaroo Island. This hike may seem easy on the way down, but on the return climb the incline is steep. The trail starts from Cobbler Hill Picnic Area, on Blowhole Creek Road.

  • Blowhole Beach - Cobbler Hill Marrano Creek Hike (3.5 hrs return, 6.7 km)

    See excellent views of Kangaroo Island and The Pages Islands on this loop, which follows the Blowhole Beach Hike down to the beach, joins the famous Heysen Trail and follows it up to Cobbler Hill Campground and Marrano Creek. Take the main road to finish back at the Cobbler Hill Picnic Area. The trail starts from Cobbler Hill Picnic Area or Cobbler Hill Campground.

  • Deep Creek Waterfall Hike from Tapanappa Lookout (3.5 hrs return, 7 km)

    See excellent views of Deep Creek amid the park's renowned thick vegetation and rugged terrain on this hike for experienced and fit walkers to the waterfall. The trail begins at the Tapanappa Lookout. Alternatively you can start from Tapanappa Campground (add an extra 3km return).

  • Boat Harbor Circuit Hike (4 hrs, 7.3 km)

    Taking in part of the Heysen Trail, this unique hike has breathtaking views of Kangaroo Island, The Pages Islands and Tunkalilla Beach. Those prepared for a steep trail and rock scramble can take a small diversion off the circuit trail to Boat Harbor Beach, a rocky cove where Boat Harbor Creek enters the Southern Ocean. The trail begins on Tapanappa Ridge. Follow the road towards Tapanappa Campground and turn to the ridge on your left before reaching the campground. This hike does not start at Tapanappa Lookout.

  • Aaron Creek Hike (6 hrs return, 11 km)

    The first section of this magnificent trail follows the Aaron Creek Circuit Hike, then into natural bushland. After a steep climb you'll look out to Kangaroo Island before descending into a small rocky cove. This hike is challenging but rewarding with steep sections and a rock scramble at the ocean end. Give yourself plenty of time. The trail starts at the car park on Blowhole Rd, 15m from the Goondooloo Cottage turn-off.

  • Deep Creek Circuit Hike (7 hrs return, 10.9 km)

    This hike offers some of the best ocean and bush views in the park. It takes you to the waterfall and down into Deep Creek Cove. In wet weather it can be difficult to cross Deep Creek, do not try to cross when flooded. Best taken in a clockwise direction, this is the most challenging trail in the park. Suited to experienced, fit walkers. The trail can be started from Trig Picnic Area or from Tapanappa Lookout.

Mountain biking

Mountain biking is not permitted on walking tracks and trails within Deep Creek Conservation Park. However, bikes are permitted on vehicle roads and public roads within the park.

Stay in the park

Camping

All campgrounds are accessible by 2WD (except Eagle Waterhole which is hike-in only). Stringybark and Trig Campgrounds can also accommodate caravans. Camping in Deep Creek is only permitted in designated sites in campgrounds.

Fees apply and you must book in advance.

Campground facilities

There are a variety of facilities available at the campgrounds within the park. Look at the facilities table below and pick the site which suits you best.

  Stringybark Trig Tapanappa Cobbler Hill Eagle Waterhole
Number of camp sites  16 25 17 6 -
Camp in designated sites  Y Y Y Y N
Book online Y Y Y Y Y
Access 2WD 2WD 2WD 2WD Hike
Caravan & trailer access Y Y N N N
Toilets  Y Y Y Y N
Hot showers Y N N N N
Seasonal campfires (in fire pits only)*
Y Y Y Y N
Bring own firewood Y Y Y Y N
Remove own rubbish Y Y Y Y Y
Bring own drinking water Y Y Y Y Y
Pets allowed N N N N N

*Restrictions apply. See fire safety.

Accommodation

You can stay in self-contained accommodation ranging from rustic cottages to architecturally designed eco-retreats. The accommodation is managed by Southern Ocean Retreats.

Southern Ocean Retreats
Phone: (+61 8) 8598 4169
Southern Ocean Retreats website

4WD

Two 4WD tracks are available in this park. Jump in your 4WD and be rewarded with stunning coastal views across the eastern and western sections of the park. 

The Boat Harbour track 

This track winds  through stringybark forest with steep descents ending at a small carpark where visitors exit their vehicle and  walk to Boat Harbour Beach.  

The Blowhole Beach track 

This track has steep descent and rocky track providing access to a sandy beach  and distant views of Kangaroo Island.  

  • 2WDs are not permitted access on 4WD tracks and fines apply.
  • Expect varying road conditions on dirt roads especially as we go from dry to wet conditions.
  • 4WD safety

Flora

Deep Creek Conservation Park preserves the largest portion of remnant natural vegetation on the Fleurieu Peninsula. Even the easiest of walks will surprise you with views  and native vegetation that will take your breath away.

Fauna

Look out for kangaroos, echidnas or some of the 100 bird species that can easily be heard or spotted in the park.

Volunteering

Become a Campground Host

Combine your love of camping with doing a good deed by becoming a volunteer campground host in this park.

A campground host is a volunteer who stays at the park either for a specific peak period, like the Easter break or a long weekend, or an extended period of time (up to a few months) to support park rangers. 

If you are passionate about the environment, a keen camper, like to meet people from all around the world, and are a happy to help, then hosting could be right up your alley. 

Friends of Deep Creek Conservation Park 

A community-based group of volunteers who work to protect and develop the natural and cultural heritage in the park.

If you think you might be interested in volunteering opportunities within this park please contact our Volunteer Support Unit.

Videos

Take a virtual tour of the rugged coast, steep cliffs, campgrounds and sweeping panoramic views of Deep Creek Conservation Park.

Safety

Bushwalking

The international Trail Users Code of Conduct is to show respect and courtesy towards other trail users at all times.

Ensure that you:

  • when hiking, wear sturdy shoes, a hat and sunscreen
  • make sure you have appropriate weather proof clothing
  • carry enough water to be self-sufficient
  • please be respectful of other users at all times
  • stay on the designated trails and connector tracks for your own safety, and prevent the spread of declared weeds to other areas in the park
  • ensure someone knows your approximate location and expected time of return
  • take appropriate maps.
  • Walk, hike or trek - what's the difference?

Camping

When camping in a National Park, it's important to remember the following:

  • Always let someone responsible know your travel plans, especially when travelling in remote areas. It's a good idea to let them know when you expect to return.
  • Check the weather forecast before you leave, including overnight temperatures on the Bureau of Meteorology. Even during very mild weather, the nights can get very cold. 
  • The quality and quantity of water cannot be guaranteed within parks. Please bring plenty of water and food to be self-sufficient.
  • Always camp in designated sites (where applicable) - do not camp beneath trees with overhanging branches, as they can drop without warning. It's also a good idea to check that there no insect nests nearby.
  • Check to make sure you're not camping in a natural waterway, flash floods can happen anytime.
  • If camp fires are permitted, you must bring your own firewood, as the collection of firewood within National Parks is prohibited. Extinguish your camp fire with water (not sand or dirt) until the hissing sound stops.
  • Ensure that you are familiar with the fire restrictions for this park.

Fire

This park is closed on days of Catastrophic Fire Danger and may be closed on days of Extreme Fire Danger.

Listen to the local area radio station for the latest updates and information on fire safety. 

  • Small cooking fires are permitted at designated campsites from May to October. 

Fire restrictions

  • Wood fires and solid fuel fires are permitted outside the annual Fire Danger Season.
  • You must bring your own firewood, as the collection of firewood within National Parks is prohibited.
  • Gas fires are permitted through the year, other than on days of Total Fire Ban.
  • Ensure you are familiar with the fire restrictions for this park.

Water

Strong currents and rips can make swimming dangerous in this area.

Do not climb on, or fish from slippery rocks. 

4WD

When 4WDriving in the park, it is important to be aware of the following:

  • Standard road rules apply when driving anywhere in the park, including the laws for speed limits, drink driving, vehicle registration and seat belts.
  • Take extreme care when driving in the park – be aware of blind corners, crests and narrow two-way tracks.
  • Observe all track and safety signs, especially 'No public access' signs.
  • Do not take your vehicle off the designated tracks. Wildlife can be threatened and precious habitat and indigenous sites can be damaged by off track driving.
  • Make sure you know what to do in the event of getting bogged and always carry a shovel.
  • When driving on sand, deflate your tyres as appropriate for your vehicle. Don’t forget to reinflate your tyres to the manufacturer’s recommended pressure before leaving the park. Take care when lowering tyre pressure as there is risk you could roll the tyre off its rim. Also, remember that lower tyre pressure can mean a change in how the vehicle handles.

Know before you go

Every national park is different, each has its own unique environment, it is important to be responsible while enjoying all the park has to offer.

Please ensure that you:

  • leave your pets at home
  • do not feed birds or other animals, it promotes aggressive behaviour and an unbalanced ecology
  • do not bring generators (except where permitted), chainsaws or firearms into the park
  • leave the park as you found it - place rubbish in the bins provided or take it with you
  • abide by the road rules (maintain the speed limit)
  • respect geological and heritage sites
  • do not remove native plants
  • are considerate of other park users.

  • Important: Collection of firewood within National Parks is prohibited.

Fees

Entry fees

Fees apply to enter and camp in this park. It is mandatory to pay for vehicle entry and camping prior to arrival as self registration stations are no longer available in this park.

Vehicle entry fees

Vehicle entry: $10.00
Vehicle entry (concession): $8.00

Fees collected are used for conservation and to maintain and improve park facilities.

Alternative booking and payment options

Cash payments for this park can be made at:

Delamere

Delamere General Store
Address: Main South Rd, Delamere SA 5204
Phone: (+61 8) 8598 0200

Yankalilla

Yankalilla Bay Visitor Information Centre
Address: 163 Main South Road Yankalilla SA 5203
Phone: 1300 965 842

Park pass

If you intend to visit often, you may like to purchase one of the below park passes.

Single Park Pass

Is this your favourite park? If you visit this park a lot, it's more economical to purchase a Single Park Pass giving you vehicle entry (and optional camping) for this park for 12 months. 

There are 13 parks that are part of the Single Park Pass system.  

Holiday Park Pass and Multi Park Pass

Want to explore SA’s parks all year round? Purchase a Multi Park Pass (12 months), or a Holiday Park Pass (for 2 months) which entitles you to vehicle entry and optional camping not just for this park, but up to an additional 58 parks as well!

Camping and accommodation

Camping

Fees apply to camp in this park. It is mandatory to pay for vehicle entry and camping prior to arrival as self registration stations are no longer available in this park.

The fees for camping vary from campground to campground, check the online booking page for more details about individual campgrounds and fees.

Alternative booking and payment options

Cash payments for this park can be made at:

Delamere

Delamere General Store
Address: Main South Rd, Delamere SA 5204
Phone: (+61 8) 8598 0200

Yankalilla

Yankalilla Bay Visitor Information Centre
Address: 163 Main South Road Yankalilla SA 5203
Phone: 1300 965 842

 

Accommodation

You can stay in self-contained accommodation ranging from rustic cottages to architecturally designed eco-retreats. The accommodation is managed by Southern Ocean Retreats.

Southern Ocean Retreats
Phone: (+61 8) 8598 4169
Southern Ocean Retreats website

Other fees and permits

School groups

School groups planning to camp in the park must book online to reserve a site by using the school booking form. 

Please note the school booking form is a request to book form and campsites are subject to availability. There are also limits on group size and site availability.