8 national parks to visit on South Australia’s Limestone Coast

8 national parks to visit on South Australia’s Limestone Coast

Head­ing to the Lime­stone Coast? Make a stop in one of these nation­al parks while you’re there.

The Lime­stone Coast may have tak­en 26 mil­lion years to be cre­at­ed, but as they say, all good things are worth wait­ing for.

Locat­ed in the south east of South Aus­tralia, the region is home to a num­ber of spec­tac­u­lar fea­tures, from its impres­sive moun­tain lakes and vol­canic craters to its pic­turesque coastal towns and Her­itage-list­ed buildings.

Here are our pick of parks for you to explore on your next vis­it to the region:

1. Nara­coorte Caves Nation­al Park

Locat­ed 10km from Nara­coorte, Nara­coorte Caves Nation­al Park is a World Her­itage-list­ed site and is one of the world’s most impor­tant fos­sil sites.

There are 28 caves in the park, four of which are open to the pub­lic, with the remain­der being closed for sci­en­tif­ic research or to pro­tect the caves and their contents.

Head on a guid­ed tour of Alexan­dra Cave to see its beau­ti­ful sta­lac­tites and sta­lag­mites or learn about the megafau­na that used to roam the land on a tour of Vic­to­ria Fos­sil Cave.

Feel­ing adven­tur­ous? Book in to one of the adven­ture cav­ing expe­ri­ences where you’ll walk, crawl and squeeze your­self through a cave while learn­ing about the fas­ci­nat­ing under­ground environment.

8 national parks to visit on South Australia’s Limestone Coast

2. Coorong Nation­al Park

Sit­u­at­ed 23 kilo­me­tres from Meningie, there’s some­thing for the whole fam­i­ly in Coorong Nation­al Park.

The park fea­tures more than 150km of lagoon and coast­line that can be explored by boat, kayak or canoe. Launch from one of the many boat ramps and keep an eye out for water­birds, birds of prey and long-nosed fur seals while you’re out on the water.

Take your four-wheel-dri­ve (4WD) to Nine­ty Mile Beach or your boat or kayak to Godfrey’s land­ing to see the spots where the 2019 film Storm Boy was filmed. Make a stop at Jack Point, home to a large breed­ing colony of Aus­tralian pel­i­cans, and find your very own Mr Percival.

Give your legs a stretch and learn about the local his­to­ry at the same time on the Ngrugie Ngop­pun Walk. Along your way, you’ll be treat­ed to an abun­dance of birdlife and panoram­ic views of the south­ern Coorong lagoon and sand dunes of the Younghus­band Peninsula.

8 national parks to visit on South Australia’s Limestone Coast

3. Mount Mon­ster Con­ser­va­tion Park

Mount Mon­ster Con­ser­va­tion Park is locat­ed 12km south of Kei­th and is most well-known for its unique gran­ite out­crops, which can only be found in one oth­er loca­tion in SA.

Take the short, 600m return, Mount Mon­ster sum­mit hike for spec­tac­u­lar views of the out­crop and its nat­ur­al surroundings.

If you’re look­ing for some­where to set­tle in for the night, set up camp in one of the des­ig­nat­ed areas and enjoy the peace­ful nightlife of the park. Camp­ing is free in the park and you won’t need to make a booking.

8 national parks to visit on South Australia’s Limestone Coast

4. Pic­canin­nie Ponds Con­ser­va­tion Park

If you like the idea of star­ing into the deep blue abyss then Pic­canin­nie Ponds Con­ser­va­tion Park, locat­ed 32km south of Mount Gam­bier, is the per­fect place for you.

The nat­ur­al fil­ter­ing of the water through the lime­stone rocks makes it crys­tal clear and gives you clear vision of the under­wa­ter gar­den and aquat­ic life that call the ponds home.

Swim on and see the earth drop away from under­neath you as you swim over The Chasm’ – a sink­hole that goes down 120m.

You’ll need a snorkelling and div­ing per­mit to enter the ponds, so be sure to pur­chase those online before you go.

8 national parks to visit on South Australia’s Limestone Coast

5. Ewens Ponds Con­ser­va­tion Park

A lit­tle fur­ther on, 36km from Mount Gam­bier, you’ll find Ewens Ponds Con­ser­va­tion Park.

There are three ponds, all rough­ly 10m deep, which are con­nect­ed by shal­low chan­nels. Snorkel through the chan­nels or put on your scu­ba gear and go down into one of the ponds to see the thriv­ing plant life.

Like Pic­canin­nie Ponds, the water of Ewens Ponds is crys­tal clear and it’s this clar­i­ty that allows plants to grow 6m under the water’s surface!

Before you head of to the ponds, be sure to book your snorkelling and div­ing per­mit online.

8 national parks to visit on South Australia’s Limestone Coast

6. Lit­tle Dip Con­ser­va­tion Park

Just 2km out of the town­ship of Robe, Lit­tle Dip Con­ser­va­tion Park fea­tures coastal sand dunes and a rugged­ly beau­ti­ful coastline.

Take your 4WD along the coast for a chance to see lagoons and inland lakes, and make a stop along the beach for a bit of surf fish­ing, but if you’re going to cast a line make sure you’re fol­low­ing the rules.

If you’re more inter­est­ed in the calmer side of life, take a qui­et stroll through a canopy of coastal mallee on the Fresh Water Lake Walk and keep an eye out for small bush birds and water­birds such as black ducks, swans, musk ducks and white-faced herons.

8 national parks to visit on South Australia’s Limestone Coast

7. Bool Lagoon Game Reserve and Hacks Lagoon Con­ser­va­tion Park

Bool Lagoon Game Reserve and Hacks Lagoon Con­ser­va­tion Park is locat­ed just under 30km from Naracoorte.

Bool Lagoon is one of the largest and most diverse fresh­wa­ter lagoon sys­tems in south­ern Aus­tralia and is home to a wide range of wildlife.

Take a stroll along the Tea-Tree Board­walk and feel like you’re walk­ing on water as you dis­cov­er the dif­fer­ent bird species who nest in the area.

Escape the hus­tle and bus­tle of life and set up for the night in the camp­ing area, locat­ed between the main basin of Bool Lagoon and Hacks Lagoon. Wake up to the unique sounds of a wet­land at dawn and be wit­ness to the aston­ish­ing birdlife.

8 national parks to visit on South Australia’s Limestone Coast

8. Canun­da Nation­al Park

Locat­ed 18km out of Mil­li­cent, Canun­da Nation­al Park has some­thing for everyone.

Pick a spot along the 40km of coast­line to cast your line out. Depend­ing on the sea­son and ocean con­di­tions you might be lucky to catch mul­loway or salmon or get a bite from sharks and rays.

If you’re not get­ting any bites from the fish, head out on the Seav­iew Walk for breath­tak­ing views of the coastal envi­ron­ment, com­plete with spec­tac­u­lar rock for­ma­tions, sandy beach­es and a myr­i­ad of plants and seabirds.

Head into the Canun­da Marine Park Sanc­tu­ary Zone, in the Low­er South East Marine Park, to see sandy beach­es and lime­stone cliffs. If the weath­er is right, gear up with your bathers and snorkel and explore the sea caves.

8 national parks to visit on South Australia’s Limestone Coast

Before you head into any of these parks, be sure to check theNation­al Parks and Wildlife Ser­vice South Aus­tralia web­sitefor any entry or camp­ing fees, alerts or park clo­sures and oth­er impor­tant infor­ma­tion for your visit.

Keen to explore more of region­al South Aus­tralia? Check out these parks to vis­it in theRiver­landand theBarossa.

Main image: Bool Lagoon Game Reserve

This con­tent was pro­duced in part­ner­ship with  Good Living