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Find a Park > Eyre Peninsula

Lincoln National Park

  • Accomm
  • Picnic Areas
  • Campfires Permitted
  • Caravan Sites
  • Toilets
  • Camping
  • 4WD
  • Swimming
  • Scuba / Snorkelling
  • Canoeing
  • Fishing
  • Walking Trails
  • Bird Watching
  • Boating

About

Boating, fishing, beachcombing, swimming, bird watching, whale watching and nature walks are all popular activities in this park. A variety of designated campgrounds in the park offer easy access to the beaches, bays and walking trails.

Lincoln National Park overlooks Boston Bay, the largest natural harbour in Australia, with granite headlands, sheltered bays and scenic offshore islands. On the southern side of the park are the massive, wind-sculpted sand dunes of the Sleaford-Wanna dune system and the pounding surf of the Southern Ocean.

Memory Cove Wilderness Protection Area

Memory Cove Wilderness Protection Area , located within Lincoln National Park, is a magnificent and secluded bay with a pure white sandy beach, cradled between densely vegetated headlands. Memory Cove provides a very special camping or day-visit wilderness experience. Vehicle entry and camping needs to be booked and a key collected to enter Memory Cove Wilderness Protection Area.

Thorny Passage Marine Park borders Lincoln National Park and Memory Cove Wilderness Protection Area.

Opening hours

Open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Closures and safety

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

You can determine the current fire danger rating by checking the Fire Ban District map on the CFS website.

Check the CFS website or call the CFS Bushfire Information Hotline 1800 362 361 for:

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

Contact details

Natural Resource Centre - Port Lincoln

Phone: (+61 8) 8688 3111

or

Port Lincoln Visitor Information Centre

Phone: (+61 8) 8683 3544 or 1300 788 378

For online bookings enquiries please email:

DEWEPOnlineBookings@sa.gov.au

When to visit

Summer in Lincoln National Park is perfect, the weather is warm to hot and usually dry. It’s great for camping and ideal for beach lovers. 

Each year between May and October, you may spot southern right whales swimming off the Sleaford Bay coastline in the Thorny Passage Marine Park.

If you visit during late winter and spring – the best time for walking – you're likely to see the park teeming with native flora and birdlife.

Getting there

Entry to Lincoln National Park is 13km south west of Port Lincoln via Proper Bay Rd. The park is on the south-eastern tip of the Eyre Peninsula and is an 8 hour, 680km drive from Adelaide.

The trip can be shortened by taking the ferry from Wallaroo to Cowell, when it is operating.

Memory Cove Wilderness Protection Area is accessed via Lincoln National Park and a key is required to get in.

Assistance dogs

Assistance dogs are permitted in most public places and are therefore welcome in South Australia’s parks and reserves. Assistance dogs must be appropriately restrained on a lead and remain under your effective control at all times while in a park or reserve.

As per the dogs in parks and reserves policy, if the dog is not an accredited assistance dog, they must be trained to assist a person with a disability to alleviate that disability and meet standards of hygiene and behaviour appropriate for a dog in a public place. However, refusal may be given if the person with the disability is unable to produce evidence the dog is an assistance dog with the appropriate training.

Before taking your assistance dog into a park that does not normally allow dogs, it is highly recommended that you contact us so we can provide you with the latest information on any potential hazards within specific parks that may affect your dog. Please contact the park via the contact details provided under the contact tab or call the information line on (+61 8) 8204 1910.

Dogs not allowed

Dogs are not permitted in this park.

Discover which parks you can walk your dog in on our find a park tool or read 12 dog-friendly walks in Adelaide Parks by Good Living for inspiration.

Facilities

There are a variety of facilities available in the park, including: toilets, accommodation, picnic areas, boat ramp, campfire areas, caravan sites and campsites.

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.

Take a virtual tour

Take a virtual tour of this park. Get a taste for this coastal parks various beaches, coves and lookouts.

Plants and animals

Plants

A large proportion of Lincoln National Park is covered with a mixture of mallee eucalypts, some species of which are restricted to southern Eyre Peninsula and Kangaroo Island (Coffin Bay mallee, eucalyptus albopurpurea), and the Port Lincoln mallee eucalyptus conglobata conglobata subspecies occurs on the southern tip of Eyre Peninsula.

The coastal dunes which mainly occur along the southern coast are characterised by a closed heath dominated by coastal beared heath (Leucopogon parviflorus), wattle species and a variety of other low coastal shrubs.

The other main vegetation type that represents a distinctive community in its own right, but which has been extensively modified by grazing and farming land uses, is the drooping sheoak woodlands. This community occurs primarily inland and is comprised of a diverse variety of understorey shrubs and grasses. The shoeak woodlands are the focus of habitat restoration activity by volunteers and rangers. 

Animals

Lincoln National Park and Memory Cove Wilderness Protection Area protect the coastal vegetation of the lower Eyre Peninsula and provide a safe refuge for rare wildlife including Rosenberg's goanna, echidna, western whipbird, malleefowl and hooded plover. More than 130 species of birds are known to visit the area making it ideal for birdwatching.

The brush-tailed bettong, a small member of the kangaroo family was once common in this area. The clearing of habitat and preditation by foxes and cats forced this rabbit sized animal into extinction in South Australia. With the help of volunteers, park management has brought the parks fox and cat population back in check and brush-tailed bettong has now been reintroduced into the area.

You can see the Australian sea lions and long-nosed fur seals that haul up on the coast to rest after lengthy fishing trips at sea, and the bottle-nose and common dolphins are frequently seen close to the shore. The once rare Rosenberg's goanna population is recovering in Lincoln National Park thanks to the Rangers intensive fox baiting program.

The Friends of Southern Eyre Peninsula Parks have produced a brochure listing all the birds known to occur within the Lincoln National Park, this brochures are available for a small fee from the Port Lincoln Visitor Information Centre and the Port Lincoln Natural Resource Centre

Have you seen a goanna on the Eyre Peninsula? 

Visitors can record their goanna sightings and photographs to help understand the recovery of goannas in this region. 

Have you seen a goanna?

Whales

There has been 29 different types of whales recorded in South Australia. The most common are the southern right whale, humpback whale, sperm whale, blue whale and orca whale (killer whale).  Of these you are most likely to spot a southern right whale along the South Australian coast.

Every year, between May to October, southern right whales gather along the southern coastline of Australia to mate and calve, before returning to sub-Antarctic waters to feed.

The southern right whale is a large whale which can grow up to 17.5 metres and weigh over 80 tons.  The vast majority of southern right whales are black in colour with distinctive white patterns on their heads that are calluses formed by small crustaceans known as 'whale lice'.  The patterns are visible at birth and are unique to each whale allowing researchers to identify individual whales. 

Flora and fauna species lists

To download flora (plants) and fauna (animals) species lists for this park, use the 'Create Simple Species List' tab under 'Flora Tools' or 'Fauna Tools'  in NatureMaps

Pests and diseases

Visitors should be aware that introduced European honey bees may be present within this park. Take extra care in the warmer months, from spring through to autumn, when the bees swarm and are attracted to water sources.

You can help reduce the risk of bee stings by carefully managing attractants, such as food, drinking containers and other sources of moisture, such as dishwater and wet clothing.

Long clothing, enclosed foot wear and insect repellents can also help to protect from bee stings. If you have any allergies to bee stings, ensure you carry appropriate medication.

Traditional owners

The Barngarla and Nauo people used the rich food resources of the lower Eyre Peninsula coast long before the arrival of Matthew Flinders. Their local knowledge and bush skills were greater than Flinders' as they had mastered the art of harvesting freshwater from underground and coastal springs. They also made use of a wide variety of fish, inland mammals, reptiles and plants. Fish traps made from stone arrangements, stone working sites and middens are still present in the park.

Aboriginal peoples have occupied, enjoyed and managed the lands and waters of this State for thousands of generations. For Aboriginal first nations, 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. 

There are many places across the State that have great spiritual significance to Aboriginal first nations.  At some of these places Aboriginal cultural protocols, such as restricted access, are promoted and visitors are asked to respect the wishes of Traditional Owners.

In places where protocols are not promoted visitors are asked to show respect by not touching or removing anything, and make sure you take all your rubbish with you when you leave.

Aboriginal peoples continue to play an active role in caring for their Country, including in parks across South Australia. 

European history

Colonial history in the Port Lincoln area is first recorded in Matthew Flinders' voyage of discovery aboard the Investigator in 1802. He surveyed and mapped much of the coastline of the lower Eyre Peninsula, naming many sites in and around Lincoln National Park and Memory Cove Wilderness Protection Area. Flinders erected a plaque at a site he named Memory Cove, in memory of the crew he tragically lost after their cutter was upset by rough seas in Thorny Passage near Memory Cove. Eight of the islands in the Thorny Passage were named by Flinders in their memory. 

Prior to becoming a park, the area was farmed and grazed from the mid 1800s until the mid 1900s. Sealing occurred for a few decades in the early 1800s, but seal numbers were depleted so quickly that interest turned to whaling. A whaling station operated in Spalding Cove from 1828 to about 1832. By the late 1840s, whale numbers had declined to a point where whaling had become unviable. 

Lincoln National Park is one of the state's oldest reserves. The first section of park was established as a Flora and Fauna Reserve in 1941. The reserve was reproclaimed as a national park in 1972, since then further additions have been made so that, along with Memory Cove Wilderness Protection Area approximately 31,500 hectares are protected.

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.

  • Hiking up Stamford Hill for the spectacular views of Boston Bay, Port Lincoln and Lincoln National Park.
  • Visiting the glorious Memory Cove to relax and explore, and to learn about the area’s sad history.
  • Exploring the Sleaford-Wanna dune system in your 4WD, stopping for a picnic lunch and to admire the vast expanses of sand and the turbulent sea.
  • Waking in your campsite right next to the beach and wandering down for an early morning swim. 
  • Look for whales swimming in Sleaford Bay from the Wanna and Lone Pine lookouts between May and October.
  • Check out Nature Play SA's 40 things to do in Lincoln National Park.
  • Check out 10 things to see and do at Lincoln National Park on Good Living.

Bushwalking

There is an extensive network of walking trails in Lincoln National Park that will take you through native scrub and woodland, over beaches, and along cliff tops where you may be lucky enough to spot a sea-eagle or a dolphin.

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.

Easy walks

  • Stamford Hill to Surfleet Cove (1 hour, 2.7km)

    An ideal coastal walk for you and your family. An easy coastal walk along Stamford Beach, past scenic granite headlands framed by the sea, with Boston Island in the distance. A short detour from checkpoint 9 to Surfleet Point offers rewarding views.

    Access: begins from the car park at the base of Stamford Hill (checkpoint 7) or Surfleet Cove campground (checkpoint 10).

  • Surfleet Cove to Spalding Cove (1 hour, 2.4km)

    A sheltered walk with views of beautiful Spalding Cove. An easy, sheltered walk adjacent to the coast with glimpses of beautiful Spalding Cove. An ideal family walk.

    Access: this walk begins from Surfleet Cove campground (checkpoint 10) or Spalding Cove, 4WD access (checkpoint 11).

Moderate hikes

  • Cape Donington to September Beach (30 mins, 1km)

    Good family hike along rocky coastline. A short, easy hike through coastal heath. Enjoy the refreshing sea views and rocky coastline.

    Access: this hike begins from Cape Donington lighthouse (checkpoint 15) or September Beach campground (checkpoint 16).

  • Carcase Rock to MacLaren Point (1 hr 30 mins, 4.5km)

    Unspoilt beaches and coastal mallee. Sheltered behind the fordunes, the trail weaves through coastal mallee to an unspoilt beach.

    Access: this hike begins from Carcase Rock (between checkpoints 18 and 19) or MacLaren Point. 4WD access to both start points.

  • Donington Loop Hike (2 hrs, 6.2km)

    Explore Donnington Peninsula. Admire offshore islands, granite outcrops and sandy beaches as you explore Donington Peninsula. Populations of Australia sea-lions and long nosed fur-seals inhabit Donington Island near the lighthouse.

    Access: the hike begins from Cape Donington lighthouse (checkpoint 15) or September Beach campground (checkpoint 16).

  • Fisherman Point to Cape Donington (1 hr 45 mins, 4.9km)

    Views to Boston Bay. Enjoy the rich granite hues and sandy beaches of the northern tip of Lincoln National Park. The trail offers panoramic views of Port Lincoln, Boston Bay and offshore island. Donington Cottage, overlooking Spalding Cove, was built around 1899 by farmer and lighthouse keeper, William Argent.

    Access: this hike begins from Fisherman Point campground 9checkpoint 13) or Cape Donington lighthouse (checkpoint 15).

  • MacLaren Point to Taylor's Landing (3 hrs, 8.5km)

    Spectacular coastal views and long, secluded beaches. The trail offers spectacular coastal views from cliff tops and follows a long to a secluded beach near Taylor's Landing.

    Access: this hike begins from MacLaren Point (4WD access) to Taylor's Landing campground (checkpoint 20).

  • Park entrance to Pillie Lake (2 hrs 30 mins, 7.8km)

    Secluded walk through diverse vegetation. Skirt the coast on this secluded trail with its varied vegetation and refreshing views of Proper Bay. Superb wildflowers can be seen in spring.

    Access: this hike begins from the park entrance (checkpoint 1) or the northern end of Pillie Lake (checkpoint 2).

  • Pillie Lake to Stamford Hill (4 hrs, 11.6km)

    Diverse habitats and views of Proper Bay. Discover a variety of habitats as the trail passes through inland mallee woodland and near low coastal limestone cliffs. Pleasant sea views from sections of the trail.

    Access: this hike begins from the northern end of Pillie Lake (checkpoint 1), woodcutters Beach (checkpoint 4) or Stamford Hill (checkpoint 7).

  • September Beach to Carcase Rock (1 hr 45 mins, 4.5km)

    Secluded beaches and scenic granite coastline. Scenic granite coastline with some of the most beautiful, secluded beached in Lincoln National Park.

    Access: this hike begins from September Beach (checkpoint 16) or from Carcase Rock (between checkpoints 18 and 19).

  • Sleaford Mere to Park entrance (3 hrs, 8.9km)

    Explore the unique shores of Sleaford Mere.

  • Surfleet Cove Loop Hike (1 hr 30 mins, 4.8km)

    Eucalypt and tea-tree woodland. A scenic walk along the shores of Proper Bay and Surfleet Cove, returning through eucalypt and tea-tree woodland.

    Access: begins from Surfleet Cove campground (checkpoint 10).

  • Taylor's Landing to Pillie Lake (4 hrs, 12km)

    Inland mallee woodland with diverse bird life. Hike through open shrubland and mallee woodland. The diverse flora provides excellent habitat for many native bird species, including the elusive western whipbird.

    Access: this hike begins from Taylor's Landing (checkpoint 20) or Pillie Lake car park (checkpoint 2).

Hard Hikes

  • Stamford Hill Hike (45 mins return, 1.6km)

    One of 40 Great Australian Short Walks, hike up Stamford Hill for magnificent views of Boston Bay, Port Lincoln and Lincoln National Park. Return the way you came. This hike offers spectacular panoramic views of Lincoln National Park, Boston Bay and numerous offshore islands from the historic Flinders Monument at the top of Stamford Hill. Interpretive signs on the trail provide information about the area's natural history. A reasonable challenge, this trail has some moderate inclines but has a good trail surface.

    Access: this hike begins from the car park at the bas of Stamford Hill (near checkpoint 7).

  • Stamford Hill Loop Hike (2 hr loop, 5.7km)

    Hike up Stamford Hill for magnificent views of Boston Bay, Port Lincoln and Lincoln National Park. Continue down Stamford Hill to return to the car park via the Investigator Trail. Excellent views, tranquil surrounds and interesting history are features of this hike. Take in the magnificent panorama of Lincoln National Park, Boston Bay and offshore island from the historic Flinders Monument at the top of Stamford Hill. Discover historic ruins left by the woodcutters (near checkpoint 6).

    Access: this hike begins from the car park at the base of Stamford Hill (near checkpoint 7).

  • Wanna Dunes to Sleaford Mere (5 hrs, 14.3km)

    Low mallee woodland leads to a vantage point providing a panorama overlooking the park. An excellent camp shelter for bushwalkers, the Brian Clarke Hut, is found at checkpoint 23. Massive wind-sculptured sand dunes are a feature of the Sleaford Bay coastline. The exposed Southern Ocean beaches and limestone cliffs provide an invigorating experience.

    Access: This hike begins from the car park, just south of checkpoint 22.

Treks

  • Investigator Trail - Cape Donington to Pillie Lake, Taylor's Landing (10 hrs, 30.7km)

    Secluded coastal and inland experience. Follow checkpoints 15-20, 3, 2. See the Lincoln National Park bushwalking brochure for information on which shorter walks this trek combines.

  • Investigator Trail - Lincoln National Park entrance to Cape Donington (12 hrs, 36km)

    Sheltered bays and sandy beaches. Follow checkpoints 1-15. See the Lincoln National Park bushwalking brochure for information on which shorter walks this trek combines.

  • Investigator Trail - Pillie Lake to main park entrance via Sleaford Mere (9 hrs, 26.3km)

    Massive sand dunes , wind-swept cliffs and unique Sleaford Mere. Follow checkpoints 2, 3, 21-24,1. See the Lincoln National Park bushwalking brochure for information on which shorter walks this trek combines.

  • The Investigator Trail

    A long-distance walking trail made up of sections which can be individually walked or hiked - or trekked as a whole. The trail is clearly defined and marked with checkpoints at strategic locations to orientate yourself. The trail continues to the north outside the park for another 31 km via Tulka and Port Lincoln to North Shields. The section through Port Lincoln is called the Parnkalla Trail.

Camping

The campgrounds in Lincoln National Park have easy access to beaches, bays and walking trails, making them an ideal base to explore the parks’ natural features. There is a campground for all campers - from relatively well developed campsites, with pit toilets, that can be accessed by sealed roads to more secluded, undeveloped sites requiring a 4WD vehicle to access. 

Campsites need to be booked prior to arrival. Book online to reserve your campsite up to 12 months in advance.

Carcase Rock Campground (4WD)

Suitable for: off-road camper trailers and tents

Facilities: none

Only accessible with a 4WD vehicle, this campground had two unallocated camping areas for two vehicles.

Donington Beach Campground

Suitable for: off-road camper trailers and tents

Facilities: none

Located a short walk from Donington Beach, this campground has an unallocated camping area for one vehicle.

Engine Point Campground (4WD)

Suitable for: off-road camper trailers and tents

Facilities: none

Only accessible with a 4WD vehicle, this campground has an unallocated camping area for seven vehicles.

Fisherman Point Campground

Suitable for: off-road caravans, off-road camper trailers and tents

Facilities: toilets

Open campground with some shade on the sheltered waters of Spalding Cove. This campground has unallocated camping areas for up to 12 vehicles.

Horse Rock Campground

Suitable for: camper trailers and tents

Facilities: none

Located on the beach front of Port Lincoln Proper Bay, this campground has six campsites.

Horse Rock East Campground (4WD)

Suitable for: off-road camper trailers and tents

Facilities: none

Only accessible with a 4WD vehicle , this campground is located on the shore of Port Lincoln Proper Bay and has an unallocated camping area for two vehicles.

Lincoln Track Campground (4WD)

Suitable for: off-road camper trailers and tents

Facilities: none

Only accessible with a 4WD vehicle, this campground is located on the shore of Port Lincoln Proper Bay and has an unallocated camping area for four vehicles.

MacLaren Point North Campground (4WD)

Suitable for: off-road camper trailers and tents

Facilities: none

Only accessible with a 4WD vehicle, this campground is located on the eastern coast of the Jussieu Peninsula and has two allocated campsites.

MacLaren Point Campground (4WD)

Suitable for: off-road camper trailers and tents

Facilities: none

Only accessible with a 4WD vehicle, this campground is located on the eastern coast of the Jussieu Peninsula and has an unallocated camping area for four vehicles.

Richardsons Shack Campground (4WD)

Suitable for: off-road caravans, off-road camper trailers and tents

Facilities: none

Only accessible with a 4WD vehicle, this campground is located on the sheltered waters of Spalding Cove.  This campground has unallocated camping areas for up to five vehicles.

September Beach Campground

Suitable for: caravans, camper vans, camper trailers and tents

Facilities: toilets, water (non-potable), picnic facilities, fire pits

Located only a short walk from pristine September Beach, this campground has 12 campsites.

Spalding Cove Campground (4WD)

Suitable for: off-road camper trailers and tents

Facilities: none

Only accessible with a 4WD vehicle, this campground is located on the sheltered waters of Spalding Cove. This campground has unallocated camping areas for up to five vehicles.

Surfleet Campground

Suitable for: caravans, camper vans, camper trailers and tents

Facilities: toilets and water (non-potable)

Located at Surfleet cove and overlooking the protected waters of Boston Bay, this sheltered campground has 19 campsites.
* Please note that camp fires are not permitted in this campground.

Taylors Landing Campground

Suitable for: caravans, camper vans, camper trailers and tents

Facilities: toilets, water (non-potable), picnic facilities and boat ramp

Located on the eastern coast of the Jussieu Peninsula, this campground has five allocated campsites.

Wisemans Shack Campground (4WD)

Suitable for: off-road camper trailers and tents

Facilities: none

Only accessible with a 4WD vehicle, this campground is located on the shore of Port Lincoln Proper Bay and has an unallocated camping area for three vehicles.

Woodcutters Beach Campground (4WD)

Suitable for: off-road camper trailers and tents

Facilities: none

Only accessible with a 4WD vehicle, this campground is located on the shore of Port Lincoln Proper Bay and has an unallocated camping area for two vehicles.

 

*Generator use is permitted in all campgrounds (9am - 9pm)

*Wood fires and solid fuel fires are prohibited during fire danger season (usually 1 November - 15 April). Wood fires and solid fuel are prohibited at all times at the Surfleet campground.

Accommodation

Donington Cottage (sleeps six)

This cottage is nestled in the park's natural landscape and overlooks the waters of Spalding Cove. This restored lodgings offers a great secluded seaside escape where you can relax on the pergola and enjoy the sea views.

The cottage is self-contained and can sleep up to six people. It has two bedrooms, a lounge room, kitchen, bathroom and outdoor toilet. Electric barbecue facilities are also available.

Minimum stay: two nights

Bookings are essential and can be made through the Port Lincoln Visitor Information Centre.

Memory Cove

Memory Cove Wilderness Protection Area , located within Lincoln National Park, is a magnificent and secluded bay with a pure white sandy beach, cradled between densely vegetated headlands.

Memory Cove provides a very special camping or day-visit wilderness experience.

Vehicle entry and camping needs to be booked and a key collected to enter Memory Cove Wilderness Protection Area.

Mountain biking

You can ride your bike on public roads and vehicle tracks within the park. The use of bikes on walking trails is not permitted.

4WD

The Sleaford-Wanna track offers some of the best sand dune driving experiences on the Eyre Peninsula. Follow the red marker posts and be rewarded with scenery of massive wind-sculpted sand dunes, pounding surf and rugged limestone cliffs along the Southern Ocean.

Fishing

There are excellent fishing spots all over Lincoln National Park. Try beach fishing for Australian salmon at Millers Hole or Salmon Hole along the Sleaford-Wanna Track (4WD only). Alternatively, cast your fishing line from any one of the sheltered bays and coves scattered throughout the park.

Take care when fishing, make sure you know the tides and do not fish from slippery rocks. Many cliffs are undercut and crumbling. Be careful when walking, fishing or driving near any coastal area. 

If you plan to go offshore, you can launch your boat from the beach at Taylor's Landing or from one of the boat ramps in Port Lincoln.

There are several marine parks with sanctuary zones where fishing is not allowed in the vicinity of Lincoln National Park. The Sleaford Bay Sanctuary Zone is in the Thorny Passage Marine Park, which runs along the southern coastline of Lincoln National Park. The sanctuary zone lies between Wreck Beach and Wanna Lookout. Shore-based recreational fishing is allowed, but all other fishing is prohibited.

Fishing is actively managed in South Australia by the Department of Primary Industries and Resources SA.
Check out these useful links before embarking on your fishing adventure:

 

Whale watching

Each year between May and October, you may spot southern right whales swimming off the Sleaford Bay coastline in the Thorny Passage Marine Park. The whales travel from sub-Antarctic waters to the sheltered and warmer seas of southern Australia where they gather at special "nursery" beaches to give birth and nurse their young, and mate before migrating back to Antarctic waters in spring.

The most accessible whale spotting is from the Wanna and Lone Pine lookouts.

Volunteering

Want to help?

To find out how you can help in this park or nearby, please visit Natural Resources Eyre Peninsula – 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.

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. 

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
  • 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?

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.

Whale watching

Maintaining the legal distance from marine mammals such as whales, dolphins and seals is important, both for our safety and that of the animals.

The animals may be seriously injured if they are struck by a vessel or frightened young may become separated from their mothers. Even if there is no contact, coming too close can disrupt feeding, breeding and migratory behaviours.

Regular water users should make themselves familiar with all the rules for interacting with marine mammals by viewing the National Parks and Wildlife (Protected Animals – Marine Mammals) Regulations 2010.

In the Water

  • Prescribed vessels (high-powered craft such as jet-skis, hydrofoils and boats used for water skiing or paragliding): Never closer than 300m.
  • Other vessels (for example, cabin cruisers, yachts, ‘tinnies’, inflatables, kayaks, wind surfers and kite surfers): No closer than 100m.
  • Other vessels within 300m of a whale: No anchoring; maximum speed 4 knots; maximum time 60 minutes.
  • Swimmers (including surfers and boogie boarders): No closer than 30m.

On Land

  • No closer than 30m (or 50m if the whale is distressed, stranded or entangled)

In the air

  • Planes and remotely piloted aircrafts (drones) must be at least 300m from any whale or other marine mammal (additional Civil Aviation Safety Authority restrictions apply).
  • Helicopters and gyrocopters must be at least 500m from any whale or other marine mammal.

 Special rules exist for:

  • whale calves: all vessels and swimmers – no closer than 300m
  • distressed, stranded or entangled whales: all vessels and swimmers – no closer than 300m

Fire

Can I have a fire or barbecue?

  • Wood fires and solid fuel fires are prohibited between 1 November 2018 to 15 April 2019.
  • You must bring your own firewood, as the collection of firewood within National Parks is prohibited.
  • Gas fires and liquid fuel fires are permitted through the year, other than on days of total fire ban.
  • Wood fires and solid fuel fires are permitted between high water mark and low water mark, other than on days of total fire ban except between Surfleet Point and Spalding Cove at the Surfleet Cove Campground where wood fires and solid fuel fires are prohibited throughout the year.
  • Fires of any kind and generators are not permitted in Memory Cove
  • Ensure you are familiar with the fire restrictions for this park.

Closures and safety

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

You can determine the current fire danger rating by checking the Fire Ban District map on the CFS website.

Check the CFS website or call the CFS Bushfire Information Hotline 1800 362 361 for:

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

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 and on the beach, 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.
  • Check tide times before driving on beaches and avoid driving on beaches at high tide.
  • Expect varying road conditions along beaches, with sandy, boggy and rocky patches.
  • Getting bogged in sand is common. 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.

  • Be aware, there are feral bees in the park that are attracted to water sources in summer.
  • Many cliffs are undercut and crumbling. Please take extreme care when walking, fishing or driving near any coastal area.

Maps

Park maps

Maps on your mobile

If you have a smartphone or tablet you can download the free Avenza PDF Map app and have interactive national park maps on hand when you need them.

The app uses your device's built-in GPS to plot your real-time location within the park onto a map. The app can be used without a network connection and without roaming charges. You can also measure area and distance, plot photos and drop placemark pins. 

How to get it working on your device:

1. Download the Avenza PDF maps app from the app store whilst you are still in range (its free!).
2. Open up the app and click the shopping cart icon.
3. Click ‘Find’ and type the name of the national park or reserve you are looking for.
4. Click on the map you are after and install it (all our maps are free).
5. You will now find a list of your installed maps on the home page of the Avenza app.
6. Use our maps through the Avenza PDF map app while in the park and never take a wrong turn again.

Fees

Entry fees

Vehicle entry needs to be paid prior to arrival.

Click through to the online booking page for vehicle entry fees.

Book Online

Book online to buy day entry for your vehicle.

FAQs about booking online

Book and pay in person

If you are unable to book and pay online you can do so, in person, at these booking agents across the state.

For online bookings enquiries please email:

DEWEPOnlineBookings@sa.gov.au

Camping and accommodation

Camping

Campsites need to be booked prior to arrival.

Click through to the online booking page for more details about individual campgrounds and fees.

Book online

Book online to reserve your campsite up to 12 months in advance.

FAQs about booking online

Book and pay in person

If you are unable to book and pay online you can do so, in person, at these booking agents across the state.

For online bookings enquiries please email:

DEWEPOnlineBookings@sa.gov.au

Accommodation

Donington Cottage (sleeps 6)

This cottage has two bedrooms, a lounge room, kitchen, fridge, hot shower and flush toilet. Electric barbecue facilities and a pergola are also available.

$104 per night
Minimum stay: 2 nights

For bookings and further information contact the Port Lincoln Visitor Information Centre.
Phone: (+61 8) 8683 3544 or 1300 788 378.

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 for this park for 12 months. 

There are 12 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 not just for this park, but up to an additional 10 parks as well!

Other fees and permits

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

PDF Park Brochure