Take a walk in Baudin Conservation Park: the Ironstone Hill Hike

Take a walk in Baudin Conservation Park: the Ironstone Hill Hike

Explore a new walk­ing trail each month in one of South Australia’s nation­al parks. Here’s one to try next.

On the out­skirts of Pen­neshaw, on the east end of South Australia’s Kan­ga­roo Island, lies a sleep­ing beau­ty – Baudin Con­ser­va­tion Park.

With­in the park, you’ll find the Iron­stone Hill Hike – a trail that show­cas­es spec­tac­u­lar views, wildlife, and fas­ci­nat­ing her­itage sto­ries, and cul­mi­nates at the his­toric Bates Cot­tage, over­look­ing the town of Penneshaw.

This hike is 4 km return, and will take about 1 hour and 30 min­utes to complete. 

Take a walk in Baudin Conservation Park: the Ironstone Hill Hike

As you walk, you’ll fol­low the cen­tu­ry-old trails orig­i­nal­ly used by the pio­neer­ing Bates fam­i­ly, and you’ll dis­cov­er fas­ci­nat­ing her­itage sto­ries from the inter­pre­tive sig­nage along the way.

There’s lots of wildlife to be spot­ted along the trail, includ­ing the Tam­mar wal­la­by, glossy black-cock­a­toos, Rosenberg’s goan­na and dol­phins.

If you’re vis­it­ing from mid-May to late Octo­ber, stop at the one of the many van­tage points along the trail and see if you can spot a south­ern right whale as it migrates from sub-Antarc­tic waters to the waters off the South Aus­tralian coast to calve and mate.

Once you’ve reached Bates Cot­tage, take your time to enjoy the stun­ning views across Back­stairs Pas­sage to the Fleurieu Penin­su­la. This is a great spot to sit back, relax and enjoy a packed lunch.

Top tip: To make the most out of wildlife encoun­ters, par­tic­u­lar­ly if you see glossy black-cock­a­toos, make sure you’re always keep­ing your dis­tance and being as qui­et as possible.

Get­ting there

Baudin Con­ser­va­tion Park is locat­ed 2 km south-east of Pen­neshaw on Kan­ga­roo Island.

Access the park via Frenchman’s Ter­race and park your car in the car park at the start of Bin­neys Track.

Things to pre­pare before you go

There aren’t any facil­i­ties in the park, so make sure you pack enough drink­ing water and food. It’s also a good idea to pack sun pro­tec­tion (a hat, sun­glass­es and sun­screen) and insect repellent.

It’s also essen­tial you wear suit­able cloth­ing for hik­ing, such as long pants.

Some sec­tions of the trail can be slip­pery or unsta­ble under­foot and mod­er­ate­ly steep, so be sure to wear stur­dy shoes.

There are no bins in nation­al parks, so you’ll also have to think about how you can take your rub­bish home. Find out more about how you can leave no trace.

Want to explore more of the parks of east­ern Kan­ga­roo Island? Ranger Matt Angrave has shared histop tips for vis­it­ing Cape Gantheaume Con­ser­va­tion Parkand has mapped out thebest way to spend a few days in the parks of the region.

This con­tent was pro­duced in part­ner­ship with  Good Living