5 perfect national parks for a winter escape in South Australia

5 perfect national parks for a winter escape in South Australia

Win­ter shouldn’t mean putting a lid on your sense of adven­ture. At these SA parks, it’s a great time to visit.

This win­tery weath­er isn’t going any­where, any­time soon. But that doesn’t mean we have to sit indoors feel­ing sor­ry for ourselves.

Maybe it’s about embrac­ing those spe­cial places that are even more enjoy­able when the tem­per­a­tures dip – like some of South Australia’s nation­al parks.

Here are five nation­al parks where win­ter is the per­fect time to visit:

1. Witji­ra Nation­al Park

Described as a true oasis in the desert, Witji­ra Nation­al Park is the per­fect win­ter escape.

Locat­ed almost 900 km north-west of Port Augus­ta on the west­ern edge of the Simp­son Desert, Witji­ra offers a win­ter won­der­land like no other.

The milder months between May and Sep­tem­ber are the ide­al time to kick back and unwind in this desert beau­ty, tak­ing in the stun­ning sun­sets and bask­ing in the warm waters of the her­itage-list­ed Dal­housie Springs.

The well-estab­lished camp­grounds have all the facil­i­ties you need for a relax­ing stay, and plen­ty of shady spots to choose from.

But remem­ber, the days might be warm but the nights are chilly. So check out the rel­e­vant fire infor­ma­tion before you go.

5 perfect national parks for a winter escape in South Australia

2. Ikara-Flinders Ranges Nation­al Park

Bush­walk­ing is bet­ter in cool­er weath­er, so why not make the most of the cold­er months and get active.

It can be way too hot to hit the walk­ing trails of Ikara-Flinders Ranges Nation­al Park in the peak of sum­mer, and some are closed when it’s a day of extreme fire dan­ger, so April to Octo­ber are your best bet for a com­fort­able bush walk.

The park is about 450 km north of Ade­laide in the cen­tral Ikara-Flinders Ranges, and fea­tures four walk­ing trails and 14 hik­ing paths, cater­ing for dif­fer­ent inter­ests and abil­i­ties. It’s also home to a sec­tion of the famous long-dis­tance Hey­sen Trail.

Ikara-Flinders Ranges Nation­al Park is where you’ll see ancient Abo­rig­i­nal rock engrav­ings, his­toric pas­toral set­tle­ments and ruins of an old cop­per min­ing town.

And there’s a bunch of great camp­ing spots to choose from with scenic moun­tain views or shady wood­land sites, and ameni­ties includ­ing fire pits with cook­ing grills.

While you might sweat up a storm bush­walk­ing dur­ing the day, remem­ber to pack a jack­et for night time.

5 perfect national parks for a winter escape in South Australia

3. Dhil­ba Guu­ran­da-Innes Nation­al Park

So maybe rug­ging up and stay­ing indoors is your thing – and why not when it could be some­where like this?

Many nation­al parks have accom­mo­da­tion avail­able to book, includ­ing Dhil­ba Guu­ran­da-Innes Nation­al Park on the Yorke Penin­su­la. One option there is Shepherd’s Hut, a sin­gle-roomed stone cot­tage with a wood-fired stove. Sounds per­fect for curl­ing up with a good book and a deli­cious hot choco­late or a glass of red wine.

And if you do feel up to brav­ing the cool­er weath­er, there’s Shell Beach metres away and a bank of oth­er activ­i­ties to keep you busy and warm you up in no time.

Think bush walk­ing, bird watch­ing, wildlife spot­ting, pho­tog­ra­phy and fishing.

5 perfect national parks for a winter escape in South Australia

4. Mount Remark­able Nation­al Park

Thriv­ing veg­e­ta­tion and wildlife between autumn and spring make this the right time to vis­it Mount Remark­able Nation­al Park.

Whether it’s the west­ern grey kan­ga­roos and emus roam­ing freely through the park, the pro­tect­ed yel­low-foot­ed rock-wal­la­bies or the echid­nas that start pop­ping up in spring, here’s a park that makes you feel glad that you didn’t wait for sum­mer to come around before you took to the great outdoors.

For bird­watch­ers, the 117 native bird species are sure to fill your quo­ta. There’s Aus­tralian ring­neck par­rots, wedge-tailed eagles and bright­ly coloured var­ie­gat­ed wrens in the mix.

This is anoth­er park with great walk­ing trails, and the diverse habi­tats are a won­der to see – from the red quartzite gorges, to the water­cours­es lined with riv­er red gums. Pack a pic­nic and a ther­mos and enjoy the fresh, crisp air.

Just 45 km north of Port Pirie, this park also has a num­ber of camp­ing and accom­mo­da­tion options that you might enjoy.

5 perfect national parks for a winter escape in South Australia

5. Munga-Thirri-Simp­son Desert Nation­al Park

Locat­ed in the dri­est region of the coun­try, Munga-Thirri-Simp­son Desert Nation­al Park is a treat for the explorer.

Sit­ting among hun­dreds of kilo­me­tres of sand dunes, it’s a four-wheel driver’s par­adise. The end­less land­scapes will take you through the red dunes, salt-crust­ed lakes, stretch­es of grass­lands and dense scrubland.

After the rains, wild­flow­ers bloom across the sand dunes – make sure you’ve got your cam­era handy.

While it’s a great option for the avid camper in the milder win­ter months, don’t despair if you can’t drop every­thing and pack up the car in an instant, spring­time is also an excep­tion­al time to visit.

Don’t for­get that you’ll need a Desert Parks Pass if you’re trav­el­ling through this park.

5 perfect national parks for a winter escape in South Australia

With all of our parks, remem­ber to check out the lat­est infor­ma­tion on the nation­al parks web­site before you head off, includ­ing details about fees, safe­ty, fire infor­ma­tion and facil­i­ties. For all of these parks we’ve fea­tured, plus many oth­ers, you’ll need to book your vehi­cle entry, camp­ing and accom­mo­da­tion online before you leave home.

Look­ing for more ideas about how to expe­ri­ence SA’s great out­doors this win­ter? Check out our sto­ry: Your guide to enjoy­ing South Australia’s nation­al parks in the cool­er months.

This sto­ry was orig­i­nal­ly post­ed in July 2015.

This con­tent was pro­duced in part­ner­ship with  Good Living