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Ranger tips: Lincoln National Park

Get insider tips on the best places to visit and ‘must do' activities from park ranger Kyle Watters.

Located on the Eyre Peninsula, just 13km south-west of Port Lincoln, Lincoln National Park overlooks Boston Bay, the largest natural harbour in Australia.

With granite headlands, sheltered bays, scenic off-shore islands and massive wind-sculpted sand dunes, this park truly is awe-inspiring.

Boating, fishing, beachcombing, swimming, birdwatching, whale watching and nature walks are all popular activities in this park, and there’s 15 designated campgrounds in the park that offer easy access to the beaches, bays and walking trails. Lincoln National Park is also the gateway to the stunning Memory Cove Wilderness Protection Area.

Want to see it for yourself? We’ve asked ranger Kyle Watters (above, right) for some tips for your next visit. Here’s what he had to say:

Which campground is your favourite and why?

My favourite campground in the park is Donington Beach. It’s located just metres from the beach and you can often spot seals and dolphins in the water just offshore.

The best thing about the campground is it only has one campsite, so you have this great spot all to yourself.

You do need to come prepared though as there are no facilities onsite and it’s a little exposed to the wind, so it is a good idea to keep an eye on the weather forecast.

Top tip: If Donington Beach Campground is booked out try Surfleet Cove Campground instead – it’s also located near a beautiful beach and the campsites are a little more sheltered from the elements.

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Donington Beach campground 

What’s Lincoln National Park’s best kept secret?

There are many hidden beaches in Lincoln National Park that can only be reached by going for a walk or coming in by boat.

My favourite hidden beach is Taylors Beach, which can be accessed by the Investigator walking trail. Park your car at Taylors Landing and the walk will take about 15 minutes.

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

I love to fish, and Lincoln National Park provides so many great places to wet a line. My favourite fishing spot is Cape Donington, where you can catch silver whiting in the sand holes.

Top tip: Try using cockles and a light sinker to target whiting. The best time to head out to try and increase your catch is at dawn or dusk.

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Fishing at September Beach (image courtesy of @postcards_by_gigi) 

Which beach is best for swimming?

September Beach with its pristine white sand is simply stunning. The beach is unpatrolled and depending on the direction of the wind it can be a little choppy, so make sure children are well supervised.

It’s also a great spot for a beach holiday as the September Beach Campground is located within 100 metres of the beach.

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September Beach

Where’s the best view in Lincoln National Park?

Hike up Stamford Hill for spectacular panoramic views of Lincoln National Park, and Proper and Boston Bays, as well as numerous offshore islands.

The short but steep trail up to Stamford Hill is not for the faint-hearted. It’s about 2.7 kilometres and should take you roughly one and a half hours to get there and back. If you need to catch your breath, stop at the interpretive signs along the trail and learn about the area’s history.

At the top of the hill you will find the historic Flinders Monument that was erected in memory of Captain Matthew Flinders who surveyed the Eyre Peninsula coastline in 1802.

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View from Stamford Hill lookout

What kind of animals can be spotted in the park?

Lincoln National Park has abundant native wildlife. It’s likely you’ll spot western grey kangaroos and emus, and in the warmer months you might see Rosenberg goannas and other reptiles. Dolphins, seals and sea lions can often be spotted just off the coast.

There’s plenty of birdlife too – if you’re lucky you might see a white-bellied sea eagle soaring above or a beach-nesting hooded plover or the elusive malleefowl.

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What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever seen washed up on the beach?

I once found a southern right whale bone washed up on the beach when I was on duty in the park. The South Australian Museum collected the bone in order to learn more about the species.

The beaches of Lincoln National Park are great for beachcombing, you never know what you’ll find!

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Washed up whale bone

Throughout December, Lincoln National Park is being celebrated as National Parks South Australia’s Park of the Month. Join a ranger guided beach bingo event or explore the spectacular beaches, campgrounds and walking trails in your own time. Check the website for all the details.

Prefer to explore at your own pace? Check out 5 treasures in Lincoln National Park or 10 things to see and do at Lincoln National Park for more insider tips to plan your next visit.

Main image: Lincoln National Park rangers Elly Schultz and Kyle Watters 

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