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Innes National Park is famous for its spectacular coastal landscapes, rugged cliffs and sandy beaches. There are shipwrecks, lighthouses and ruins to discover, and beaches and wildlife to enjoy.

Islands-off-PondalowieLocated on the south-western tip of Yorke Peninsula, it's a favourite place for camping, fishing and surfing. Bushwalking is a great way to discover the park, with trails ranging from 30-minute strolls to four-hour treks. You'll spot an abundance of birds and animals while you catch some of the best coastal views in South Australia. Most of the park is accessible by 2WD, so it's perfect for day visits and a paradise for beach lovers.

Visit one of the lighthouses and the shipwreck of the Ethel to learn about the tumultuous maritime history of South Australia. Explore historic Inneston, an abandoned township surrounded by bushland.

Take a stroll from your campsite down to the beach for a spot of fishing, or base yourself in one of the restored heritage cottages dotted throughout Inneston. Southern Spencer Gulf Marine Park borders Innes National Park. 

When to visit

Summer is warm and dry, great for camping and perfect for the beach. Autumn is cooler and best suited to bushwalking and sightseeing. In spring you'll be rewarded with a park in magnificent colour as the wildflowers bloom. Winter transforms the park into a fresh green landscape, with wild seas and large surf.  Innes National Park is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  The park may be closed on days of extreme fire danger. 

Fees

Fees apply to enter and camp in Innes National Park.  Booking and payments for entry, camping and accommodation can be made via Yorke Peninsula Visitor Centre, either by phone with credit card, or in person. The visitor centre also accepts payments in cash. Annual or holiday passes for South Australian National Parks are also available through the Visitor Centre.

Traditional owners

The Nharangga people have lived on Yorke Peninsula for many thousands of years and they know the land intimately – its physical features, animal and plant life and water resources. The Nharangga nation was made up of four clans: the Kurnara in the north of the peninsula; Windera in the east; Wari in the west; and Dilpa in the south. Today, the Nharangga people continue to maintain strong cultural links to the region.

Things to see and do

CapeSpencer BrettLawrieInnes National Park preserves part of the largest portion of remnant natural vegetation on the Yorke Peninsula. Enjoy the pristine coastal environment and the landscape of weathered cliffs, offshore islands and sandy beaches. Explore historic shipwrecks, functioning lighthouses and heritage buildings. Try your hand at beach fishing for Australian Salmon at famous Browns Beach.

Enjoy a walk through rugged bushland, or leave footprints on a deserted white sandy beach.

Rangers recommend

• quietly looking for rare Tammar wallabies; re-introduced to the park after becoming extinct in South Australia

• exploring the ruins of the once-thriving mining township of Inneston (try to find the old bakery)

• watching ospreys diving into the surf as they hunt for their dinner

• taking a picnic to the West Cape picnic area, where the spectacular coastline will take your breath away

Wildlife

TammarWallabyInnes National Park is a haven for birdlife. The hooded plover, a threatened species in South Australia, nests on beaches across the park and the population of Mallee fowl, another endangered species, is on the rise. White bellied sea eagles breed on the cliffs and can be seen along the whole of the coast as they hunt.

Once widespread across the Yorke Peninsula, the Tammar Wallaby became extinct on the Australian mainland by the 1920s. They were reintroduced to Australia, and to Innes National Park, in 2004. The park now boasts a growing population of healthy Tammar Wallabies. In winter months, you might catch a glimpse of southern right whales from the cliff tops at Stenhouse Bay or Cape Spencer. Dolphins frequent the coastal waters and seals and sea-lions occasionally haul up on the beaches.

Fishing

Go surf fishing on the beach or cast your line from the Stenhouse Bay Jetty. Browns Beach is one of South Australia's best salmon fishing areas, while elsewhere in the park you may catch squid, mullet, tommy ruffs, garfish, sweep, mulloway and whiting.

The bays and coastline around Innes National Park form part of the Southern Spencer Gulf Marine Park. The Chinaman's Hat Sanctuary Zone protects a section of spectacular coastline and rich marine habitat between Stenhouse Bay and Cable Bay. Fishing is not allowed in the sanctuary zone, with the exception of a shore based recreational line fishing exemption on Chinaman's beach (136° 54.918' E to 136° 55.289' E).

Visit the marine parks website to find out more about local marine parks such as where fishing is allowed.

Surfing

Surfing is a popular activity at Innes National Park. The Yorkes Classic, one of South Australia's most prestigious surfing events, is held in the park every October long weekend. Pondalowie Bay offers long and consistent waves, while Chinaman's Beach has a powerful left hand break with a larger swell suited to experienced surfers only.

Scuba diving

Twenty two ships have been wrecked along the coast between Edithburgh and Innes National Park, with six ships meeting their fate near Althorpe Island. Today, you can scuba dive to explore the remnants of some of these underwater time capsules in the Southern Spencer Gulf Marine Park.

Camping and accommodation

Camping Pondowie-Bay InnesNationalParkThere are two large campgrounds in Innes National Park, at Stenhouse Bay and Pondalowie. Both are suitable for caravans, camper trailers and tent camping. Innes also boasts 5 smaller campgrounds in idyllic surrounds, either next to a beach or nestled among native vegetation.

You can also enjoy the park from the comfort of self-contained accommodation ranging from a single-roomed hut at Shell Beach to a large hall at Stenhouse Bay. Dotted among the mallee and stone ruins of the Inneston historic township are several restored and renovated buildings where you can wake up to wildlife on your doorstep!

Bookings can be made through Yorke Peninsula Visitor Centre, in person, by phone with credit card, or click here.

Every national park is different. Each has its own challenging environment and it is important to understand how to stay safe, while enjoying all the park has to offer.

BrownsBeach NationalParksSAPlease:

• leave your pets at home

• leave the park as you found it and take your rubbish with you

• observe fire restrictions

• respect heritage sites

• camp only in designated areas

• walk and drive only on designated tracks or trails

• do not feed or disturb animals, or remove native plants

• be considerate of other park users

Fire safety

This park may be closed on days of heightened fire danger. Listen to your local radio station for broadcasts, or call the CFS Hotline on 1300 362 361 for current fire information.

• wood fires and solid fuel fires are prohibited from November to April

• on days of total fire ban all solid, liquid and gas appliances are prohibited

• gas fires and stoves are permitted (except on days of total fire ban)

• BYO firewood, gathering firewood in the park is prohibited

• never leave your fire unattended

Bushwalking safety

• keep to defined vehicle tracks and walking trails at all times – don't try to take short cuts or wander off the trails

• pay attention to the weather – be extra careful in extreme weather conditions

• wear sturdy shoes, a hat and sunscreen; make sure you have appropriate wet weather clothing

• carry enough food and drinking water to be self-sufficient; the hotter the conditions, the more water you will need

• choose a trail appropriate to your level of fitness and always leave yourself plenty of time

• do not rely on tanks in the park for drinking water

• carry a map of the park and the walks at all times

Water safety

Strong currents and rips can make swimming dangerous.

Do not climb on, or fish from, slippery rocks.

Mobile phone coverage

Mobile phone coverage can be patchy and unreliable in the park. To get a signal, you may have to walk or drive to one of the higher areas in the park. 

                                

 

 

 

 

Visitor Information Centre

ASK THE LOCAL EXPERTS
Yorke Peninsula Information Centre
29 Main Street Minlaton South Australia
T: 1800 202 445
E: info@visityorkepeninsula.com.au

DIRECTIONS & MAP

29 Main Street Minalton South Australia

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