Heading to Lincoln National Park? Here are our top tips for visiting this scenic Eyre Peninsula Park.
Surrounded by some of the most attractive coastline in South Australia, Lincoln National Park boasts breathtaking views and pristine beaches that need to be seen to be believed.
Learn about the park’s rich history, take a hike, watch for wildlife or cast your rod – there truly is something here for everyone.
If you want a superb view of Wedding Cake Island, aptly named after its cake-like shape, this is the place. Head to Wanna Cliffs for great views over Sleaford Bay Sanctuary Zone, in the Thorny Passage Marine Park. Birdwatchers should bring their binoculars. There are great opportunities to see ospreys, white-bellied sea eagles, mutton birds and fairy turns. Have your camera at the ready as you may also see colourful rock parrots along the cliff top. Keep an eye on the water below for long-nosed fur seals, Australian sea lions and large schools of salmon with the occasional shark following closely behind.
2. Stamford Hill Hike
Not for the faint-hearted, the trek up Stamford Hill is short but steep. It’s about 2.7 kilometres and should take you roughly one and a half hours to get there and back. If you need to catch your breath, stop at the interpretive signs along the trail and learn about the area’s history. Reward yourself once you reach the top with a picnic lunch and panoramic views of Proper and Boston Bay, Port Lincoln and Lincoln National Park. Don’t forget to check out the historic Flinders Monument while you’re there – it was erected in memory of Matthew Flinders who surveyed the Eyre Peninsula coastline in 1802.
3. Cape Donington
This headland located on the north-eastern tip of the park is home to Cape Donington Lighthouse, a 32-metre tall structure built in 1905. The area surrounding the lighthouse is a great spot to see western grey kangaroos, emus and goannas. Head to the rocks overlooking Donington Island and you might just see some long-nosed fur seals and Australian sea lions as well.
Take the track to the left before the lighthouse and you’ll arrive at a small beach and informal campsite, perfect for a beach picnic or watching the southern hemisphere’s largest fishing fleet pass by.
4. MacLaren Point
This secluded rocky headland, situated in the north-eastern area of the park, is accessible only by four-wheel drive. Follow the main sealed road when you enter the park and head north-east, turning off at the MacLaren’s Point sign onto the unsealed track. The campground at the end of the 4-kilometre track is the perfect spot to pitch your tent for a true bush camping experience. You can expect the beach here to be small but pristine. Don’t forget to bring your fishing rod as tommy ruffs, mullet and small salmon can be caught from the beach and squid from the headlands thanks to the deep water. Endangered hooded plovers can be spotted on the beaches nearby, along with the occasional white-bellied sea eagle, dolphins and sharks swimming past. This side of the coast has some of the prettiest coastal bushwalking trails, especially in spring when the wildflowers are out.
5. Memory Cove Wilderness Protection Area
A magnificent and secluded bay with a pure white sandy beach, Memory Cove Wilderness Protection Area is cradled between densely vegetated headlands. Sleepy memory cove beach was thrown into the limelight in 2015 when it was voted as one of the top 10 beaches in the world by the Guardian newspaper. But don’t be dismayed, it still has all of its wilderness charm.
Accessible only by a gate key from the Port Lincoln Visitor Centre, this area is limited to 15 vehicles a day and provides a unique camping or day-visit experience in the wilderness. Take the 1-hour self-guided drive to take in magnificent views of the area and learn more about its vegetation and history. If you’re visiting during winter, pay special attention to stop three on this map – the cliff top is the perfect southern right whale watching platform.
Throughout the month of April Lincoln National Park is being celebrated as the Park of Month – an initiative between Nature Play South Australia and DEW.
Stay tuned this month for more stories about Lincoln National Park.
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