Baudin Conservation Park

  • Walking Trails
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Photo by The South Australian Tourism Commission
Photo by Bridgette Doudy
Photo by Bridgette Doudy
Photo by Bridgette Doudy
Photo by Bridgette Doudy
Baudin SA map

Follow the original bullock track through what was the Bates family farm at Baudin Conservation Park and take in the spectacular views across Backstairs Passage. You may also see little penguins, tammar wallabies and endangered glossy black cockatoos.


Baudin Conservation Park was originally a family farm from 1861 to 2001, and comprises of she-oak woodland and rolling hills, with spectacular views across Backstairs Passage to the Fleurieu Peninsula.

Interpretation along the Ironstone Hill Hike follows part of the original bullock track to Cape Willoughby and provides an insight into how the Bates family lived and worked in this area. The hike leads to Ironstone Hill where the ruins of the Bates' cottage and a stone threshing floor remain.

While walking through the park you may encounter tammar wallabies, and see wedge-tailed eagles. The rare glossy black cockatoos may also be seen feeding in the she-oak forest.

You may even catch a glimpse of dolphins swimming in Backstairs Passage adjoining the park.

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

Natural Resource Centre - Kingscote

Phone: (+61 8) 8553 4444

Getting there

Baudin Conservation Park is located 2km south east of Penneshaw, on Kangaroo Island. Access is via Frenchman's Terrace. Car parking is available at the start of Binneys Track.

You can get to Kangaroo Island from mainland South Australia on the SeaLink ferry. This vehicle and passenger ferry operates daily (except Christmas Day) between Cape Jervis (two hours south of Adelaide) and Penneshaw, Kangaroo Island. The journey takes 45 minutes for the 16km crossing.

Visit the SeaLink website for more information and bookings.

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. 


There are no facilities in the park. Please ensure you carry sufficient water, food and supplies for your entire visit. It is also a good idea to let a responsible person know of your intended movements and when you expect to return.

Useful information

Traditional owners

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.


Captain Matthew Flinders first charted the island's north coast and named it Kangaroo Island on his voyage of discovery in 1802.

From 1801 to 1803 French explorer, Nicholas Baudin, also undertook an expedition of Terra Australis and landed in Hog Bay (Penneshaw) in early 1803. During this expedition Baudin named many sites on the south coast of Kangaroo Island.

Later that year near Victor Harbor, at a location now known as Encounter Bay, Flinders met up with Baudin and they exchanged charts and continued on their separate voyages.

Ephraim Bates and his family came to Australia aboard the Melbourne on 6 December 1858. The family moved to Cygnet River for 12 months where they cut sleepers for the Gawler Railway. The family then tried their luck in the goldfields of Victoria but were unsuccessful. In 1861, Ephraim purchased part of the property, which is now Baudin Conservation Park, and moved his family to Penneshaw.

Joseph (Harry) Bates, the son of Ephraim, was awarded a mail contract in 1870 to bring mail from Cape Jervis to Cygnet River. He used Ironstone Creek Cove as a landing place on Kangaroo Island.

When pastoral leases were cancelled on the property, Harry applied for an area of land near the coast in 1876 near to his boat landing place. Harry could also gauge the weather conditions from this point. The area was taken up on credit agreement but Harry did not own the lease until 1904. Today, this parcel of land is part of Baudin Conservation Park.

Barley was grown on the property in the early 1900s. The soil was relatively fertile, with reports of about six bags of barley per acre being harvested annually from the property. During this period the threshing floors were built and used extensively.

In later years, potatoes and cabbages were grown at Ironstone Hill. Turkeys were also raised on the property, but the principal produce was sheep, barley, oats and wheat. The cereal crops were mostly grown for fodder, not grain.

Vincent Bates owned the property that made up the park up until his death in 1995. The land remained in the Bates family until the Penneshaw community successfully lobbied National Parks and Wildlife SA to purchase the property which occurred in 2000.

Baudin Conservation Park was officially dedicated on 3 April 2002.  Since then extensive revegetation has been undertaken with the assistance of local volunteers providing important habitat for the rare glossy black cockatoo.

See and do


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.

Moderate hikes

  • Ironstone Hill Hike (1 hr 30 mins return, 4km return)

    This hike follows the coast east of Penneshaw along a section of the original bullock track to Cape Willoughby and provides spectacular views across Backstairs Passage to the Fleurieu Peninsula. After climbing through regenerating sheoak vegetation, the hike leads to the ruins of Harry Bates’ cottage and a stone threshing floor on Ironstone Hill. The farming heritage of the area is interpreted on signs along the hike.

    Access: follow Frenchmans Terrace along the foreshore at Penneshawto the car park at the start of Binneys Track.

    More information and maps can be found in the Parks of Kangaroo Island guide.

Mountain biking

Mountain biking is currently not permitted in this park. 

Stay in the park

Camping is not permitted within this park.

Have a look through the Parks of Kangaroo Island guide for options on camping and heritage accommodation options in other parks on Kangaroo Island.



Want to help?

To find out how you can help in this park or nearby, please visit Natural Resources Kangaroo Island – Volunteering.

Want to join others and become a Park Friend?

To find out more about Friends of Parks groups please visit Friends of Parks South Australia.

You could join others to help look after a park. You can take part in working bees, training and other events.



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
  • be aware of weather conditions and avoid walking during the hottest part of the day
  • 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?


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. 

Fire restrictions

  • Wood fires and solid fuel fires are prohibited throughout the year.
  • 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.

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.



Entry fees

Come and enjoy this park for free. 

Park pass

This park is not included in the park pass system. 

Camping and accommodation

There is no camping or accommodation available within this park. 

Other fees and permits

There are no other fees or permits associated with this park. 

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