5 treasures of Coffin Bay National Park

5 treasures of Coffin Bay National Park

Our Cof­fin Bay insid­ers share some of their hot tips for vis­it­ing this unique nation­al park

On the south­ern tip of Eyre Penin­su­la, 50 kilo­me­tres west of Port Lin­coln, Cof­fin Bay Nation­al Park is a per­fect mix of coastal land­scapes and rugged nation­al park.

Sur­round­ed by Thorny Pas­sage Marine Park, the area offers amaz­ing marine wildlife and habi­tats to explore.

The park’s Senior Ranger Sam Ever­ing­ham and Marine Parks Region­al Coor­di­na­tor Shel­ley Har­ri­son share five trea­sures to explore next time you vis­it this spec­tac­u­lar park.

Down­load the park map to get you start­ed, or take a vir­tu­al tour.

1. Gold­en Island Lookout

Peer out over the south­ern coastal edge of Cof­fin Bay Nation­al Park and you might just see a pod of dol­phins frol­ick­ing in the South­ern Ocean near Gold­en Island. It’s here that dol­phins and sharks, name­ly great whites and bronze whalers, have been spot­ted work­ing togeth­er to round up schools of salmon. From the look­out you’ll also get a great view of the two direc­tions of waves crash­ing togeth­er at right-angles over the rocky reef.

5 treasures of Coffin Bay National Park

2. Lagoon

Bring your snorkelling gear and head out to the lagoon, which is pro­tect­ed from the South­ern Ocean by a reef ledge (note – this isn’t acces­si­ble in win­ter). Take the board­walk down from the Gold­en Island carpark, walk along the beach and about 200 metres around the point. At low tide on your right (west­er­ly direc­tion) is the lagoon. It’s home to a num­ber of reef fish, includ­ing icon­ic blue grop­ers, which are green as juve­niles but turn blue as they become adults. Did you know these fish can actu­al­ly change sex? There is only one male in a group of blue grop­ers, but if the male dies, a female can take his place by con­vert­ing to a male.

5 treasures of Coffin Bay National Park

3. Wildlife and marine creatures

With the unique blend of bush and coastal set­tings at this park, keep your eyes peeled for all sorts of fur­ry and fishy friends. Whether it’s dol­phins, reef fish, pel­i­cans, goan­nas, kan­ga­roos and joeys, or emus, this tru­ly is an ani­mal-lovers par­adise. Don’t for­get your cam­era – the ani­mals cer­tain­ly aren’t cam­era shy over here.

5 treasures of Coffin Bay National Park

4. Yang­ie Bay walk­ing trails

Near the camp­ground at Yang­ie Bay, set off on one of three marked walk­ing trails. Choose between the two-kilo­me­tre loop for the Yang­ie Bay Hike, the more stren­u­ous five-kilo­me­tre Yang­ie Island loop between the veg­e­tat­ed sand dunes, or the 10-kilo­me­tre one-way Long Beach Hike.

The Yang­ie Island loop hike is the rangers pick. It’s great for tak­ing in views of Yang­ie Island and spot­ting bird life, so make sure you bring your binoc­u­lars. It has stun­ning bay views and gives you the oppor­tu­ni­ty to wan­der through large­ly untouched coastal mallee vegetation.

For the more seri­ous bush­walk­er, the 10km Long Beach Hike takes you through low-lying cut­ting grass, sam­phire flats, soft sand and low lime­stone ledges, with a great view of Yang­ie Island until you come out on the long, white, sandy coast at Long Beach.

5 treasures of Coffin Bay National Park

5. Yang­ie Bay Sanc­tu­ary Zone

Anoth­er handy spot close to the camp­grounds is Yang­ie Bay Sanc­tu­ary Zone. Part of the Thorny Pas­sage Marine Park, the zone acts as a nurs­ery area for a num­ber of fish species. It’s quite shel­tered and has slow­er water move­ment, mak­ing it ide­al for juve­nile fish. The salty water suits floun­der, mud cock­les and mul­let, and if you look close­ly you can spot tiny fish jump­ing out of the water. Bring a torch at night-time and see if you can spot an eel. Kayak­ers are wel­come here but leave your fish­ing gear at home, it’s a sanc­tu­ary zone so fish­ing isn’t allowed.

5 treasures of Coffin Bay National Park

(Main pho­to cour­tesy of Jason Tyn­dall, Nature Play SA)

This con­tent was pro­duced in part­ner­ship with  Good Living