Take a walk in Lincoln National Park: the Donington Loop Hike

Take a walk in Lincoln National Park: the Donington Loop Hike

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

The Don­ing­ton Loop Hike is a great way to explore the Don­ing­ton Penin­su­la in Lin­coln Nation­al Park, which is locat­ed on the south-east­ern tip of the Eyre Penin­su­la, an 8‑hour, 680 km dri­ve from Adelaide.

This loop is classed as a mod­er­ate hike and takes in 6.2 km of mag­i­cal scenery as well as an abun­dance of wildlife – you’ll come across a sur­prise around every turn.

The hike is best start­ed from Sep­tem­ber Beach camp­ground, where you will find ample space to park the car and grab your drink bot­tle, binoc­u­lars, hat and sun­screen before you start your journey.

From here, play­ful dol­phins can often be seen swim­ming in the crys­tal clear waters just off the Sep­tem­ber Beach shore­line. They’ll often jump out of the water just to let you know they are there.

On the hike you’ll make your way to the Cape Don­ing­ton Light­house where you will have mag­nif­i­cent views over Sep­tem­ber Beach, Don­ing­ton Island and across the water to Port Lincoln.

This is an oppor­tune time to see a tuna boat or the shark cage div­ing boats as they make their jour­ney fur­ther out to sea. You may also see seals frol­ick­ing through these waters look­ing to catch a feed.

The trail then leads you past the his­toric Don­ing­ton Cot­tage. The cot­tage was built in 1899 and is now used as hol­i­day accom­mo­da­tion. You can book your next Don­ing­ton Cot­tage stay through local busi­ness Kata & Belle or through the Port Lin­coln Vis­i­tor Infor­ma­tion Cen­tre.

End your walk with a pic­nic lunch at one of the shel­ters where there are also toi­let facil­i­ties. This is the per­fect time to sit down and reflect on all of the won­der­ful things you’ve seen on your journey.

Get­ting there

Entry to Lin­coln Nation­al Park is 13 km south-west of Port Lin­coln via Prop­er Bay Road, and Sep­tem­ber Beach camp­ground (the start­ing point for this hike) is approx­i­mate­ly 29 km from the park entrance along Don­ing­ton Road (approx­i­mate­ly 11 km is unsealed).

Before you go, down­load the park map via the Nation­al Parks and Wildlife Ser­vice SA web­site or down­load it on the Aven­za Map App. This app uses your phone’s in-built GPS to place your loca­tion direct­ly onto the map.

Read our sto­ry to learn how it works.

What else can you do in Lin­coln Nation­al Park?

There are so many things to see and do in Lin­coln Nation­al Park:


There are three camp­grounds locat­ed near or along the Don­ing­ton Loop hike. They all have easy access to beach­es, bays and walk­ing trails, mak­ing them an ide­al base to explore the parks’ nat­ur­al features.

Sep­tem­ber Beach camp­ground has 10 sites with fire pits at each site (which can be used out­side of the fire ban sea­son) and toi­let facilities.

Engine Point and Richard­sons Shack camp­grounds are both unal­lo­cat­ed camp­grounds and do not have toi­let facilities.

A fur­ther 11 camp­grounds are locat­ed with­in the park.


There are excel­lent fish­ing spots all over the park. Try beach fish­ing for Aus­tralian salmon at Millers Hole or Salmon Hole along the Sleaford-Wan­na Track (4WD only).

Alter­na­tive­ly, cast your fish­ing line from any one of the shel­tered bays and coves scat­tered through­out the park.

If you plan to go off­shore, you can launch your boat from the beach at Tay­lor’s Land­ing or from one of the boat ramps in Port Lincoln.

Four-wheel dri­ving

The Sleaford-Wan­na track offers some of the best sand dune dri­ving expe­ri­ences on the Eyre Peninsula.

Fol­low the red mark­er posts and be reward­ed with scenery of mas­sive wind-sculpt­ed sand dunes, pound­ing surf and rugged lime­stone cliffs along the South­ern Ocean.

For more inspi­ra­tion on what to see and do at Lin­coln Nation­al Park, check outpark ranger Elly Schultz’s top tipsor our one-day itinerary.

This con­tent was pro­duced in part­ner­ship with  Good Living