Ranger tips: Dhilba Guuranda-Innes National Park

Ranger tips: Dhilba Guuranda-Innes National Park



Get insid­er tips on the best places to vis­it and must-do activ­i­ties from park ranger Mark Davison.


Locat­ed on the Yorke Penin­su­la, about 3 hours’ dri­ve from Ade­laide, is the ever-pop­u­lar Dhil­ba Guu­ran­da-Innes Nation­al Park.

It’s an ide­al park for camp­ing, fish­ing, surf­ing and bush­walk­ing. You’ll spot an abun­dance of birds and ani­mals while you catch some of the best coastal views in South Australia. 

There real­ly is some­thing for every­one here. You can vis­it one of the light­hous­es and the Ethel ship­wreck to learn about the tumul­tuous mar­itime his­to­ry of SA, you can base your­self in one of the restored her­itage cot­tages dot­ted through­out his­toric Inneston, an aban­doned town­ship sur­round­ed by bush­land, or you can take a stroll from your camp­site to the beach for a spot of fishing. 

And because all of the park is acces­si­ble by 2‑wheel-dri­ve, it’s easy to get around.

Want some point­ers about what to do on your next vis­it? We’ve asked park ranger Mark Davi­son for some insid­er tips. Here’s what he had to say:

Which camp­ground is your favourite and why?

We have mul­ti­ple camp­grounds through­out the park but I would list Casua­r­i­na Camp­ground as my favourite. With just 10 sites, the camp­ground is set amongst a beau­ti­ful nat­ur­al bush set­ting and caters for camper trail­ers and tent-based camping.

It’s also just a short 10-minute walk through the dunes to the beau­ti­ful Pon­dalowie Bay beach, where you will find great fish­ing and surfing.

Top tip: Sum­mer is a great time of the year to go camp­ing in Dhil­ba Guu­ran­da-Innes Nation­al Park as the cool­ing sum­mer sea breezes reg­u­lar­ly pro­vide relief from the heat. 

Ranger tips: Dhilba Guuranda-Innes National Park

What’s Dhil­ba Guu­ran­da-Innes Nation­al Park’s best kept secret?

While it’s grow­ing in pop­u­lar­i­ty, the Blue Pool locat­ed at the north end of Shell beach is a stun­ning place for a swim. You can see why it fre­quent­ly appears on Insta­gram!

Ranger tips: Dhilba Guuranda-Innes National Park

What’s your favourite activ­i­ty to enjoy in the park?

I am a surfer and I fish – need I say more!

Top tips: If you’re into surf fish­ing, Browns Beach is famous for big Aus­tralian salmon. You could also try your luck at any of the beach­es for mul­let, tom­my ruffs, garfish, sweep, mul­loway and whit­ing. The Sten­house Bay jet­ty is a great spot for catch­ing squid.

Dhil­ba Guu­ran­da-Innes Nation­al Park is home to some of SA’s best surf breaks and hosts the Yorke’s Clas­sic Surf­ing Com­pe­ti­tion. Pon­dalowie Bay has long and con­sis­tent waves, while Chinaman’s Beach has a pow­er­ful left-hand break and big swell, but this break is only for expe­ri­enced surfers.

Ranger tips: Dhilba Guuranda-Innes National Park

Which beach is best for swimming?

Boast­ing a stretch of soft white sand and clear turquoise water, the rea­son­ably pro­tect­ed Dol­phin Bay is one of the most pic­turesque and safest beach­es to take a dip. Remem­ber to take care when enter­ing the water and be aware of rips and large swells at all of the beach­es through­out the park.

Ranger tips: Dhilba Guuranda-Innes National Park

Where’s the best view in Dhil­ba Guu­ran­da-Innes Nation­al Park?

One of the most stun­ning views is from the top of Chinaman’s Hill, which over­looks Inves­ti­ga­tor Strait and the Althor­pe Island group, and has views of Kan­ga­roo Island in the distance.

Anoth­er great view is from the 360-degree look­out at West Cape, which offers a stun­ning visu­al of the South­ern Ocean and back across the entire park.

Ranger tips: Dhilba Guuranda-Innes National Park

What kind of ani­mals can be spot­ted in the park?

You will see kan­ga­roos and emus, some still with young fam­i­ly groups, and if you’re qui­et around dusk you might also see Tam­mar wal­la­bies. You might also catch a glimpse of the elu­sive Mallee fowl in the evenings.

On the coast you could see ospreys and white-bel­lied sea eagles soar­ing, as well as pods of dol­phins play­ing in the surf at loca­tions such as Ethel Beach, West Cape and Pon­dalowie Bay. When you’re dri­ving in the park, please pay atten­tion on the roads as kan­ga­roos and emus feed on veg­e­ta­tion adja­cent to the road verges.

Ranger tips: Dhilba Guuranda-Innes National Park

Park of the Month

Through­out Jan­u­ary, Dhil­ba Guu­ran­da-Innes Nation­al Park is being cel­e­brat­ed as Nation­al Parks and Wildlife Service’s Park of the Month. Join a ranger-guid­ed Reef Ram­ble event or a night Tam­mar wal­la­by walk, or take part in an inter­ac­tive Narung­ga art work­shop. Check the web­site for all the details.

Won­der­ing which oth­er nation­al parks to vis­it in SA? Get inspired with our list of most Insta­gram­ma­ble nation­al parks or breath-tak­ing nat­ur­al won­ders.

This sto­ry was orig­i­nal­ly post­ed in Decem­ber 2018.


This con­tent was pro­duced in part­ner­ship with  Good Living