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Baudin Conservation Park

  • Walking Trails

About

Baudin Conservation Park was 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 and whales swimming in Backstairs Passage adjoining the park.

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 - 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.

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 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

  • Important: Collection of firewood within National Parks is prohibited. Dead wood plays a vital role in providing shelter for animals and adding nutrients to the soil.

Plants and animals

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

Traditional owners

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

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

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.

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. 

Whale watching

Between mid-May and late October whales migrate from sub-Antarctic water to the comparatively warmer waters off the South Australian coast to calve and mate.  While our whale visitors are mostly southern right whales, we also have sightings of sperm whales, humpbacks, blue whales and the occasional orca. 

The Ironstone Hill Hike within Baudin Conservation Park offers ideal vantage points to see these majestic creatures, so if you are visiting during whale season, keep an extra keen eye on the ocean.

Stay in the park

Camping is not permitted within this park.

  • Use Find a Park to discover which parks you can camp in.

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

Wildlife

Kangaroo Island is home to an abundance of wildlife.  Go for a walk among Kangaroo Island’s many parks to observe wildlife in its natural habitat. 

Here are some of the animals you may encounter on Kangaroo Island:

Kangaroo Island kangaroo
This kangaroo is smaller, darker and longer furred than its closest mainland relative. During the day they often rest under vegetation, coming out to graze in the early morning and late afternoon. Spot one in this park or at these alternative locations:

  • At Black Swamp at Flinders Chase National Park
  • At Grassdale in Kelly Hill Conservation Park. Park at the gate on the South Coast Road and follow the 2 km track to an open area near an old cottage.
  • Lathami Conservation Park and surrounding paddocks. Enter the park through the double gates around 3 km south east of the Stokes Bay Café along the North Coast Road.
  • On the Hog Bay Road from Prospect Hill to Baudin Beach. Take care when parking. Ensure your car is completely off the road when parked.

Tammar wallaby
These wallabies are nocturnal and are best seen at dawn and dusk. During the day Tammar wallabies rest in dense, low vegetation. They move through tunnels in the vegetation from their daytime shelters to grassed areas to feed in the evening. Spot one in this park or at these alternative locations:

  • At Grassdale in Flinders Chase National Park. Park at the gate on the South Coast Road and follow the 2 km track to an open area near an old cottage.
  • Around the campsites and down towards the jetty at Vivonne Bay.
  • Along the D’Estrees Bay Road up to Wheatons Beach in Cape Gantheaume Conservation Park.
  • In the township at Nepean Bay, via Western Cove Road.
  • In Baudin Conservation Park. Access to the carpark is along Frenchmans Terrace and south along Binneys Track.

Short-beaked echidna
Echidnas are found across Kangaroo Island in all types of habitat.  Short-beaked echidnas are generally solitary, but during the breeding season from May–September male echidnas form trains behind females. Echidnas can be seen throughout Kangaroo Island, across all types of habitat.

Australian sea-lion
The Australian sea-lion is one of the rarest seals in the world. Seal Bay Conservation Park is home to the world’s third largest breeding colony. 
Spot one in this park or at these alternative locations: Seal Bay Conservation Park on a guided tour.

Long-nosed fur seals
Long-nosed fur seals live along rocky shores around Kangaroo Island where they rest and breed in colonies. 
Spot one in this park or at these alternative locations: Admirals Arch in Flinders Chase National Park.

Glossy black-cockatoo
Glossy black-cockatoos feed during the day returning to their nests at dusk. Spot one in this park or at these alternative locations:

Koala
Koalas were not on Kangaroo Island at the time of European settlement. In the 1920s conservationists released 18 koalas in Flinders Chase National Park to save their declining mainland population.  The population quickly established and their numbers rapidly increased and koalas moved across the island.  Koalas spends most of the day resting in a tree fork, usually climbing into the canopy around dusk to feed. Look for their ball-shape high in the canopy, or as they move between branches. Spot one in this park or at these alternative locations:

  • Grassdale in Kelly Hill Conservation Park. Park at the gate on the South Coast Road and follow the 2 km track to an open area near an old cottage.
  • The Heritage Walk that starts at the Flinders Chase National Park Visitor Centre.
  • The scenic walking trail along Cygnet River at Duck Lagoon, accessed via Kookaburra Road.

Heath goanna
Heath goannas are active during the day and are often seen basking in the sun. Spot one here or at these alternative locations

Cape Barren goose
Cape Barren geese can be seen on Kangaroo Island from autumn through to early spring. Spot one in this park or at these alternative locations:

  • The grassy areas near the entrance of Flinders Chase National Park, where they breed.

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.

Southern right whale
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. 

Volunteering

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.

Safety

Fire

Can I have a fire or barbecue?

  • Wood fires and solid fuel fires are prohibited throughout the year.
  • Gas fires and liquid fuel fires are permitted, other than on days of total fire ban.
  • 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.

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. Dead wood plays a vital role in providing shelter for animals and adding nutrients to the soil.

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?

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

Fauna

Follow these tips to optimise the experience for yourself and our precious wildlife.

Observe don’t interact

  • Always put the animals’ welfare first.
  • Move slowly and quietly and keep at least 20 m away.
  • Turn off your mobile phone.
  • Use binoculars for that close-up view.
  • Observe the animals without interacting; do not try to touch them, play with them or pursue them.
  • If the animal’ change their behaviour while you are watching them you are probably too close; retreat slowly and give them more space.
  • When photographing wildlife turn your flash off and use natural light instead to protect their eyes.

Drive safely
Wildlife is active at night. Animals are blinded by bright lights, so slow down, dip your lights and take time to observe the wildlife. During the day watch out for goannas and snakes basking on warm roads and birds and echidnas foraging along road edges.

Keep wildlife wild
Human foods can cause illness and death to wildlife so please do not feed them. Feeding wildlife also interrupts their natural patterns of behaviour, which are essential for their survival in the bush.

Snake safety
Snakes live all over South Australia and many of the world's most venomous snakes are found in Australia.  If you see a snake in the wild, always assume it is venomous and leave it alone. Snakes are not likely to chase you, so it’s best to leave them be.  When walking in national parks and reserves, stick to the trails and make a bit of noise when you walk.  For more information, visit our blog ‘What to do if you see a snake in the wild’.

Injured wildlife
To report injured wildlife phone Natural Resources Kangaroo Island on (08) 8553 4444 or notify parks staff.

Maps

Fees

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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