Your guide to camping at Deep Creek National Park

Your guide to camping at Deep Creek National Park



Treat your­self to a bush camp­ing expe­ri­ence only 90 min­utes from Ade­laide. Here’s what you need to know.


Sit­u­at­ed on the south­ern coast of the Fleurieu Penin­su­la, not far from Cape Jervis, Deep Creek Nation­al Park is famous for its spec­tac­u­lar coast­line with rugged cliffs, pro­tect­ed coves and sweep­ing views of the South­ern Ocean and Kan­ga­roo Island.

The park pro­tects the largest por­tion of remain­ing nat­ur­al veg­e­ta­tion on the Fleurieu Penin­su­la and is a great spot for walk­ing and camping.

Deep Creek Nation­al Park is a favourite for peo­ple look­ing for a week­end camp­ing get­away with­out a long dri­ve from the city. Before you pack the car, read these use­ful tips so you’re pre­pared for a great week­end away.

Where to stay

There are five camp­grounds dot­ted around the park, each offer­ing var­i­ous lev­els of facil­i­ties and near­by activities:

1. Stringy­bark Campground

Stringy­bark Camp­ground is the most well-known of the five camp­grounds – and for good rea­son. Set amid a tall stringy­bark for­est, the camp­sites have plen­ty of pro­tec­tion from the wind and sun.

Facil­i­ties at the camp­ground include flush­ing toi­lets and hot show­ers. The camp­sites also have fire pits so you can break out the marsh­mal­lows on chilly nights (note: sea­son­al restric­tions apply). This camp­ground also has an acces­si­ble toi­let and acces­si­ble campsite.

Explore this camp­ground with Google Street View.

Your guide to camping at Deep Creek National Park

2. Trig Campground

You’ll like­ly share your camp­site with the many kan­ga­roos that hang around Trig Camp­ground. The camp­sites are spa­cious with plen­ty of trees to pro­vide pro­tec­tion from the elements.

Facil­i­ties include toi­lets and large pic­nic shel­ter. Each camp­site also has its own fire pit (note: sea­son­al restric­tions apply).

Explore this camp­ground with Google Street View.

Your guide to camping at Deep Creek National Park

3. Tap­panap­pa Campground

Tap­panap­pa Camp­ground is locat­ed only a short stroll to walk­ing trails that pro­vide spec­tac­u­lar views of the coast­line and South­ern Ocean, so it’s great for those want­i­ng to explore the park on foot.

The low coastal veg­e­ta­tion pro­vides some wind pro­tec­tion, and onsite facil­i­ties include toi­lets, pic­nic shel­ter and fire pits (note: sea­son­al use only).

Your guide to camping at Deep Creek National Park

4. Cob­bler Hill Campground

If you want to avoid camp­ing with too many neigh­bours Cob­bler Hill Camp­ground is great, as there’s only six campsites.

Locat­ed near the stun­ning Blow­hole Beach, there are also a num­ber of walk­ing trails nearby.

The road down to the beach isn’t suit­able for con­ven­tion­al vehi­cles, so unless you have a 4WD, you’ll need to be pre­pared to put in a big effort to walk down and back up the hill.

The camp­ground has toi­let facil­i­ties and fire pits (note: sea­son­al use only).

Explore this camp­ground with Google Street View.

Your guide to camping at Deep Creek National Park

5. Eagle Water­hole Campground

Strap on your back­pack, pack your swag and put your boots on as Eagle Water­hole Camp­ground is only acces­si­ble on foot.

Locat­ed along the Aaron Creek Cir­cuit Hike and the world famous Hey­sen Trail, this camp­ground is for hik­ers only.

You’ll need to be well pre­pared as the only facil­i­ty onsite is a shelter.

Top tip: As part of the project work for the Wild South Coast Way, this camp­ground is being upgrad­ed, with con­struc­tion work expect­ed to begin in April and be com­plet­ed in mid-2022. While con­struc­tion is hap­pen­ing, a tem­po­rary camp­ground will be set up 300 m up the hill from the Eagle Water­hole Campground.

Explore this camp­ground with Google Street View.

Your guide to camping at Deep Creek National Park

Top tip: If camp­ing isn’t your thing, you won’t be left out with the fab­u­lous South­ern Ocean Retreats offer­ing cot­tages, eco-retreats and a home­stead in the park.

What to see and do

There’s so much to see and do in the park and Ranger Simon Oster knows it like the back of his hand. Check out his tips and plan your day out with our one-day itin­er­ary. Or try these ideas:

1. Bush­walk­ing

There are plen­ty of bush­walk­ing options with a vast net­work of trails locat­ed in the park for walk­ers and hik­ers of all abilities.

If you’re look­ing an easy stroll, try the For­est Cir­cuit Walk or the Spring Wild­flower Walk. These trails leave from the Stringy­bark Camp­ground area and are great for families.

If you’re look­ing for more of a chal­lenge, the Aaron Creek Cir­cuit Hike is one of the park’s hid­den gems.

This hard but reward­ing hike takes you down to Aaron Creek through tall gums and wat­tles. Win­ter is a great time to walk the trail, as it pass­es by a cas­cad­ing water­fall (in season).

Be pre­pared for some mod­er­ate inclines and rock scram­bling. The trail also pass­es by Eagle Water­hole Camp­ground so you can take your time and split the walk over two days if you’re keen to stay the night.

For the real­ly adven­tur­ous, the Deep Creek Cir­cuit Hike takes in the best the park has to offer. You’ll vis­it the stun­ning Deep Creek Cove and water­fall as well as take in spec­tac­u­lar views of the ocean and bush.

This trail is the most chal­leng­ing trail in the park and can be start­ed at Trig Campground/​Picnic area or the Tap­panap­pa Lookout.

Peo­ple with lim­it­ed mobil­i­ty can explore the park’s trails by hir­ing a Trail­Rid­er wheel­chair (it’s free for up to three days) from the Dis­trict Coun­cil of Yankalilla.

The one-wheeled chair is a cross between a wheel­bar­row and sedan chair. The Trail­Rid­er requires a min­i­mum of two rea­son­ably fit peo­ple – one at each end of the chair. Con­tact Fleurieu Coast Vis­i­tor Infor­ma­tion Cen­tre to book.

Top tip: You can explore a num­ber of the park’s walk­ing trails before you leave home using Google Street View.

Your guide to camping at Deep Creek National Park

2. Blow­hole Beach

This stun­ning beach is def­i­nite­ly worth the effort. The pro­tect­ed cove with its small sandy pris­tine beach is a park favourite for surfers and fish­ers. Swim­ming at the beach is strong­ly dis­cour­aged because of strong cur­rents and rips in the area.

The head­lands are good loca­tions to try to whale watch­ing as they pass along the coast dur­ing winter.

Top tip: The track down to the beach has a steep descent, is rocky and is des­ig­nat­ed for 4WD vehi­cles only.

Your guide to camping at Deep Creek National Park

3. Fish­ing

Fish­ing is pop­u­lar at Blow­hole Hole Beach from the beach or rocks. If you’re look­ing for oth­er local options that are safer for the fam­i­ly, Rapid Bay and Cape Jervis jet­ties are about a 20-minute dri­ve from the park.

Know before you go

Book online

Camp­ing and vehi­cle entry fees need to be booked before arriv­ing in the park. You can book online or in per­son at one of our sales agents.

Book­ings can be made up to a year in advance, so you can be sure your camp­site is ready and wait­ing for your arrival at the park.

Check for clo­sures and alerts

Before head­ing out, check the Nation­al Parks and Wildlife Ser­vice South Aus­tralia web­site for any clo­sures and alerts in the park.

Maps

South Aus­tralian park maps are avail­able to use in the Aven­za Maps app on your smartphone.

The maps are geo­ref­er­enced and work with the GPS on your phone to pin­point your loca­tion direct­ly onto the map, even if you are out of phone range.

You’ll just need to down­load the app and maps while you have mobile data or WIFI connection.

You can also down­load Nation­al Parks and Wildlife Ser­vice South Aus­tralia maps and print them at home.

Top tip: If you’re look­ing for more detailed map­ping infor­ma­tion for the park, the Deep Creek Nation­al Park Bush­walk­ing Map is avail­able for pur­chase from Map­land. It is also avail­able for pur­chase and down­load through the Aven­za Maps app.

Mobile phone coverage

Mobile phone cov­er­age in the park is patchy and unre­li­able and will also depend on your ser­vice provider. If you require phone cov­er­age, it is best to check your provider’s cov­er­age maps.

Leave no trace

There are no bins in nation­al parks, so don’t for­get to take rub­bish bags with you so you can take your rub­bish home with you when you leave.

Camp­fires

Fire restric­tions apply in all South Aus­tralian nation­al parks. At Deep Creek, gas fires are per­mit­ted through­out the year, oth­er than on days of total fire ban.

Wood fires and sol­id fuel fires are only per­mit­ted out­side of the fire ban sea­son in des­ig­nat­ed camp­fire pits.

Fire ban sea­son usu­al­ly starts on 1 Novem­ber and runs through to 31 April, how­ev­er, dates are sub­ject to change based on sea­son­al con­di­tions. Always check the SA Coun­try Fire Ser­vice web­site to keep up-to-date about fire bans.

You must bring your own fire­wood if you plan to have a wood fire, as it is pro­hib­it­ed to col­lect fire­wood with­in nation­al parks.

Vehi­cle and car­a­van access

All of the park’s camp­sites are acces­si­ble by 2WD, and many of them are acces­si­ble to camper trail­ers and caravans.

No dogs allowed

Leave your pooch at home – Deep Creek Con­ser­va­tion is a dog-free zone.

Local shops and services

There’s noth­ing worse than arriv­ing at your camp­site, only to realise you’ve left some­thing home you can’t do without.

The Delamere Gen­er­al Store is locat­ed about 10km west of the park and has a wide range of prod­ucts avail­able, includ­ing gro­ceries, ice, fuel, fish­ing tack­le and bait.

COVID-19

Dur­ing the COVID-19 pan­dem­ic, it has nev­er been more impor­tant to take hygiene seriously.

Make sure you pack some soap or hand sani­tis­er and wash your hands reg­u­lar­ly with soap and run­ning water, for at least 20 sec­onds. Dry them with paper tow­el. Alter­na­tive­ly use alco­hol based hand sanitisers.

Anti-bac­te­r­i­al wipes are also a good idea to wipe down sur­faces before you use them. Just remem­ber to dis­pose of the wipes in your rub­bish that you take with you when you leave the park.

Please remem­ber to keep social dis­tance of 1.5m from oth­er vis­i­tors at all times and don’t vis­it if you are sick or required to self-isolate.

If you’re camp­ing in a nation­al park, check out our blogEvery­thing you need to know for your first camp­ing trip in a nation­al park.

This sto­ry was orig­i­nal­ly post­ed in June 2020


This con­tent was pro­duced in part­ner­ship with  Good Living