Born in Yorkshire, raised in Shropshire, travelled the world, and now living Adelaide. Love travel, ancient history, horses, cello playing, the unusual and obscure, and pottering in my own back yard. Visit my website www.wadders.co.uk
From historic townships and cruel ship wrecks to great fishing and surf, spectacular scenery and diverse wildlife, Innes National Park has it all. Situated at the southern tip of the Yorke Peninsula, (approximately 300km from Adelaide), it consists of over 9400 hectares of wild vegetation and a chain of salt lakes, all surrounded by a rugged coastline. The Park's geology is also quite unique; the salt lakes are home to rare rock-like formations known as stromatolites. These are dome-shaped structures and there are only three places in the world where they are known to currently exist in their present form.
The Park takes its name from William Innes who discovered gypsum in the area in the early 1900s. He founded Inneston, a mining township in 1913 and it grew to be a reasonable size, with some 200 residents. Gypsum was produced here until 1930, and then the town was abandoned; it's worth taking the interesting short 2km walk round the remains of the town. The light houses dotted along the coastline are also reminders of the rich maritime history of the area, and there were some 40 or so wrecks in the area, some of which can still be seen today.
Remains of the ship wreck at Ethal Beach, Innes NP
This park is a nature lover's paradise. It is home to 140 species of birds, and over 300 native plants have been recorded here; 115 of which are of conservation significance. There are also kangaroos and emus, as well as a variety of reptiles, and southern right whales pass along the coast from May to September
The main road meanders through the Park, and the major points of interest are clearly sign posted. In addition to the walk round Inneston, there are several other walking trails to explore, or you may prefer to simply stroll along one of the beautiful beaches. If walking isn't your thing, my husband suitably informs me there is some very good surf to be had at Pondalowie, and other friends have enjoyed fishing off the coast.
Kangaroos were regular visitors to our camp ground
We spent a very relaxing three nights in the Park, enjoying the fresh air, walks, lookout points and beaches, and generally lazing around in the Casuarina campground. This quiet site (just seven camp sites) is within walking distance to Pondalowie Bay (through dunes) and we went to sleep each night listening to the distant pounding of waves. Kangaroos were regular visitors and we even saw a number of emus as well as a variety of bird life. I will also add that the night skies were amazing and we saw several shooting stars. (It also led to us trying to remember how many songs had got 'star' in the title - we came up seven!)
There are other camp grounds in the Park of varying sizes and some accommodate caravan and camper trailers. Camp sites are basic, consisting of just a drop toilet and a rainwater tank, so bring your own water. Camp fires are permitted in some camp grounds, but you'll need to bring your own firewood as the collection of firewood in the park is prohibited. Camp fires are not permitted in the Fire Danger Season and On Total Fire Ban days, all solid, liquid and gas appliances are prohibited.
If you'd prefer not to rough it, some of the miner's cottages in Inneston have been converted into holiday lets, or you can stay at Marion Bay Caravan Park which has all facilities and is just a five minute drive away from the Park entrance.