6 parks perfect for beach-lovers

6 parks perfect for beach-lovers

Get the best of the beach and the bush on your next vis­it to one of South Australia’s nation­al parks. Here’s where.

Sum­mer is here and that means one thing: it’s time to hit the beach.

If you love your nation­al parks and your beach time, why not com­bine the two?

Here are some of our favourite parks for some sum­mer fun, whether you love swim­ming, walk­ing, fish­ing, snorkelling, div­ing, pad­dling, surf­ing or just soak­ing up the sea views.

1. Ade­laide metro: Hal­lett Cove Con­ser­va­tion Park

Just 40 min­utes from the Ade­laide CBD, Hal­lett Cove Con­ser­va­tion Park is best known for geo­log­i­cal for­ma­tions like the Sug­ar Loaf and Black Cliff, but it is also the ide­al spot for a roman­tic sun­set walk along the clifftop.

The trail that leads up to the top of the cliffs is pop­u­lar with walk­ers and jog­gers alike – for the stun­ning views as well as the car­dio – and is acces­si­ble for prams and assist­ed wheelchairs.

The beach offers a love­ly spot to cool off on a hot day, and with a café near the park entrance, you’re cov­ered for cof­fee, a cold drink or a meal.

Top tip: Hear from Park Ranger Jae Ellis on how to make the most out of your vis­it to Hal­lett Cove Con­ser­va­tion Park.

6 parks perfect for beach-lovers

2. Fleurieu Penin­su­la: Encounter Marine Park

While it’s not a land-based park, Encounter Marine Park is still a great option if you want to immerse your­self in nature and some of South Australia’s icon­ic species. The park takes in a vari­ety of coastal and marine habi­tats from Port Noar­lun­ga Reef and the Coorong on the main­land, out to North Cape and Cape Willough­by on Kan­ga­roo Island.

The Port Noar­lun­ga Reef Sanc­tu­ary Zone and the jet­ty is a fan­tas­tic spot to go snorkelling and look for reef fish like old wives, blue dev­ils, and har­le­quin fish. Noar­lun­ga Jet­ty is also a pop­u­lar place to wet a line, espe­cial­ly for salmon and tom­my ruffs.

South­ern beach­es like Mid­dle­ton and Car­rick­alin­ga are peren­ni­al favourites with surfers, while Rapid Bay’s caves, seals and sea lions make it an amaz­ing spot for kayak­ing. Sec­ond Val­ley is anoth­er acces­si­ble spot for snorkelling where you may see leafy sea drag­ons.

For fish­ing, why not try the Coorong, where you can often catch salmon, mul­loway, mul­let and bream. On the KI side of the park, the attrac­tions include the Sponge Gar­dens Sanc­tu­ary Zone, which is a par­adise for divers, where large grop­ers and wrasse can be found.

6 parks perfect for beach-lovers

3. Kan­ga­roo Island: Lash­mar Con­ser­va­tion Park

Antecham­ber Bay in Lash­mar Con­ser­va­tion Park is a pic­ture-post­card loca­tion, with turquoise waters, a 4 km long beach with soft, white sand, and a beau­ti­ful view across Back­stairs Pas­sage to the mainland.

It’s a gor­geous spot to swim or walk, but watch out for hood­ed plover nests in the sum­mer months – keep­ing below the high tide line will reduce your chances of step­ping on eggs or scar­ing chicks.

The Chap­man Riv­er winds through the south­ern part of the park before join­ing the sea, and offers great oppor­tu­ni­ties for kayak­ing and fish­ing for bream. There are also 2 camp­grounds along the river­bank, both with good shade from melaleu­ca trees.

6 parks perfect for beach-lovers

4. Yorke Penin­su­la: Dhil­ba Guu­ran­da-Innes Nation­al Park

Dhil­ba Guu­ran­da-Innes Nation­al Park is a par­adise for beach-lovers. Anglers will love to fish for salmon from the beach at Browns Beach, or try for mul­let, tom­my ruffs, squid or even snook and snap­per from Sten­house Bay jetty.

Yorke Penin­su­la is a mag­net for surfers, and Pon­dalowie Bay and Chi­na­mans are both pop­u­lar breaks in the park.

Pre­fer to take a walk and soak up some of the area’s mar­itime her­itage? Then Ethel Beach is the place for you, with the skele­ton-like remains of Ethel, which was wrecked in 1904, emerg­ing from the sand after rough weath­er. The park has accom­mo­da­tion for every taste, rang­ing from beach camp­grounds to the her­itage cot­tages at Inneston.

Top tip:Hear from Ranger in Charge Mark Davi­son to find out what you can expect at Innes.

6 parks perfect for beach-lovers

5. Eyre Penin­su­la: Lin­coln Nation­al Park

Lin­coln Nation­al Park is a great place for fish­ing, beach loung­ing, walk­ing and camp­ing. Spald­ing Cove at the north­ern end of the park is a shel­tered, shal­low bay with beau­ti­ful views. Its camp­ground is right on the beach, giv­ing you a mil­lion-dol­lar-view and a per­fect spot to swim. Sep­tem­ber Beach and Fisherman’s Rock are both great places to fish for salmon.

For a hid­den cove with glo­ri­ous views and peace­ful camp­ing spots, try the Mem­o­ry Cove Wilder­ness Pro­tec­tion Area. It was vot­ed as one of the top 10 beach­es in the world in 2015, but because it can only be accessed via a locked gate and only a lim­it­ed num­ber of peo­ple are allowed to vis­it every day, it has remained qui­et and pristine.

Top tip: Make the most of your stay by incor­po­rat­ing some of Park Ranger Elly Schultz’s must-do activ­i­ties.

6 parks perfect for beach-lovers

6. Lime­stone Coast: Canun­da Nation­al Park

Stretch­ing 40 km from Southend to Car­pen­ter Rocks, Canun­da Nation­al Park is a long, sandy park fea­tur­ing rocky cliffs and tall dunes. It’s loved by 4‑wheel-dri­vers, fish­ers and surfers.

Enjoy stun­ning views along the Cape Buf­fon Walk, snorkel in the Canun­da Sanc­tu­ary Zone in the north­ern sec­tion of the park, or try your hand at surf-fish­ing for salmon and mul­loway out­side the sanc­tu­ary zone.

There are 6 camp­grounds in the park, but remem­ber to book ear­ly if you want to camp next to the Cape Banks light­house dur­ing the hol­i­days, as it fills up quickly.

Top tip: Make your most of your next trip to the Lime­stone Coast with a vis­it to these nation­al parks.

6 parks perfect for beach-lovers

For all the details about SA’s stun­ning nation­al parks, includ­ing these, vis­it Nation­al Parks and Wildlife Ser­vice’s web­site. Look­ing for more coastal inspi­ra­tion? Check out 8 activ­i­ties to try in SA’s nation­al parks.

Main image: Antecham­ber Bay in Lash­mar Con­ser­va­tion Park (image cour­tesy of Quentin Chester)

This sto­ry was orig­i­nal­ly post­ed in Decem­ber 2017.

This con­tent was pro­duced in part­ner­ship with  Good Living