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Innes National Park, Yorke Peninsula

Home > South Australia > Adventure | National Parks | Outdoor | Parks | Walks
by Annie Waddington-Feather (subscribe)
Born in Yorkshire, raised in Shropshire, travelled the world. Lived in Adelaide and currently in UK. Love travel, ancient history, horses, cello playing, the unusual and obscure, and pottering in my own back yard. Visit my website
Published January 7th 2014
Escape from it all in Innes NP
innes national park, yorke peninsula, inneston, coast
Rugged coastline awaits you in Innes NP

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.

innes national park, yorke peninsula, inneston, gypsum, lakes
Remains of gypsum works, Inneston historic town

innes national park, yorke peninsula, inneston, cricket ground
Inneston Cricket Ground!
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.

innes national park, yorke peninsula, ship wreck, ethel beach
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.

innes national park, yorke peninsula, inneston, kangaroos, casuarina camp ground
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.

innes national park, yorke peninsula, inneston, rugged coastline
Spectacular coastal views in Innes NP

Day and camping permits can be bought at the visitors centre or at the self-registration station; it's just $10 for the day, and $10/night to camp (with a one off $10 charge for the car).

For further information visit here.

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.
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When: All year round
Where: Marion Bay Rd, Inneston SA 5577
Cost: $10 per car, Camping $10/night plus one off car entry fee
Your Comment
Great story and lovely imagery Annie.
by Dave Walsh (score: 4|11309) 3430 days ago
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