5 treasures in Canunda National Park

5 treasures in Canunda National Park

Next time you vis­it this rugged, sea­side gem, take on board some of these ideas from our park insider.

Fea­tur­ing diverse coastal habi­tats, Canun­da Nation­al Park offers great oppor­tu­ni­ties to enjoy bush­walk­ing, camp­ing and bird­watch­ing, as well as surf the waves or snorkel among the fish.

This park is rugged coastal scenery at its best, with sandy surf beach­es, large dunes, rocky head­lands, steep cliffs, reef plat­forms and rock pools – it real­ly does have it all. It also has inter­est­ing her­itage, includ­ing his­toric Abo­rig­i­nal sites of the Boandik Peo­ple who reg­u­lar­ly camped along the coast.

Locat­ed approx­i­mate­ly 4 hours south-east of Ade­laide, you can access Canun­da Nation­al Park via Mil­li­cent, Southend or Car­pen­ter Rocks. Two-wheel dri­ve access is pos­si­ble in the north­ern and cen­tral sec­tions of the park and Cape Banks camp­site in the south­ern section.

Senior Ranger and self-pro­claimed crusty old surfer’ Glenn Jack­way is lucky enough to have Canun­da Nation­al Park as his back­yard. Here are his insid­er tips to look out for on your next visit.

1. Khy­ber Pass

The Khy­ber Pass is a series of dunes cov­ered in lay­ered sand­stone, sed­i­men­ta­ry rock and areas of cal­ci­fied roots. Grab your cam­era and try to cap­ture the inter­est­ing light refrac­tions from the ridge tops.

Locat­ed approx­i­mate­ly 3 kilo­me­tres south of Southend and 1.5 km from camp­sites, you can get with­in 500 metres of site in a 2WD and from here you can jump out and walk the rest of the way. 

5 treasures in Canunda National Park

2. Seav­iew Hike

This 12 km cliff top and dune walk­ing trail is locat­ed in north­ern sec­tion of the park. Pack your lunch and water bot­tle and take your time to enjoy stun­ning scenic views of the coastal environment.

Expect to see coastal fea­tures such as spec­tac­u­lar rock for­ma­tions, sandy beach­es, seabirds and a myr­i­ad of coastal plants. Keep your eyes peeled as there is a good chance you will encounter marine mam­mals, swamp wal­la­bies, wom­bats, echid­nas and rep­tiles along the way.

5 treasures in Canunda National Park

3. Canun­da Marine Park Sanc­tu­ary Zone

You can access the Canun­da Marine Park Sanc­tu­ary Zone, in the Low­er South East marine park, from the north­ern bound­ary of the park which starts approx­i­mate­ly 5 kilo­me­tres south of Southend. The sanc­tu­ary zone com­pris­es of approx­i­mate­ly 25 square km of inshore and off­shore reef plat­forms, bull kelp, sandy beach­es and lime­stone cliffs. The sanc­tu­ary pro­tects migra­to­ry and seden­tary shore­birds habitats.

If the sea con­di­tions are favourable, bring your bathers and a snorkel to explore the under­wa­ter world of the sanc­tu­ary. There are sea caves to explore – with cau­tion – and near­by mobile sand dunes.

5 treasures in Canunda National Park

4. Coola Out­sta­tion His­tor­i­cal Hike

Read the inter­pre­ta­tive signs and explore the old farm machin­ery as you dis­cov­er the sto­ry of ear­ly Euro­pean set­tle­ment. The trail pass­es Coola Out­sta­tion which was part of the Benara sheep sta­tion, which was occu­pied until the mid-1950s. The shel­tered loca­tion of the hike makes it a great spot to vis­it in win­ter, spring or when the coast is cold and windy.

The hike is locat­ed 20 km south-west of Mil­li­cent and is 2WD acces­si­ble. The trail starts at Manin Carpark and fol­lows an 8.5 km loop through trees, shrubs, wet­land tus­socks and grass­es pass­ing across a few tim­ber boardwalks.

5 treasures in Canunda National Park

5. Num­ber 2 Rocks

This beau­ti­ful and remote area in the south­ern sec­tion of Canun­da is only acces­si­ble by 4WD. Two main lime­stone head­lands are sep­a­rat­ed by an often tran­quil lagoon and short sandy beach. The calm lagoon is a great spot to let the kids take a dip. To the north and south are soft sandy beach­es with pound­ing surf, stroll along and dis­cov­er the inter­est­ing beach flot­sam’ and jet­sam’ which wash­es up here.

If you are look­ing to stay the night, a wind-pro­tect­ed bush camp­site can be found approx­i­mate­ly 200m back from the beach.

5 treasures in Canunda National Park

Through­out the month of Decem­ber, Canun­da Nation­al Park is being cel­e­brat­ed as Park of Month – an ini­tia­tive between Nature Play SA and the Depart­ment of Envi­ron­ment, Water and Nat­ur­al Resources.

Don’t for­get to sharepic­tures of your next vis­it on Insta­gram and tag #nation­al­parkssa or share your expe­ri­ence with us in the com­ments sec­tion below.

To hear more from Senior Ranger Glenn Jack­way, be sure to check out our Insid­er Guide – Canun­da Nation­al Park.

This con­tent was pro­duced in part­ner­ship with  Good Living