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Published October 4th 2016
75 years old and getting better every day
Located just south of the tuna and shark capital of South Australia, the Lincoln National Park is a rugged peninsula combining spectacular ocean views, beautiful sandy beaches and dunes, heritage, and numerous sheltered picnic and camping sites. And best of all, it is only a short flight and drive from Adelaide.
The lower Eyre Peninsula, and in particular the Lincoln National Park, has been the home of the local Barngaria and Naua people for many years where the fertile lands and water access provided rich food sources and shelters. And it was that need for fresh water that saw the crew from Captain Matthew Flinders' 1802 voyage exit their boat, climb Stamford Hill and get some fantastic views of Boston Bay and surrounds.
Since that time, the Lincoln National Park has seen various industries come and go including woodcutting, grazing, guana mining and cropping before being declared a national park in the 1940's. Environmental protection and conservation was the sole objective for many years, but since the turn of the century the Park has been slowly become a tourist destination with the installation of information boards, walking trails, picnic shelters and designated camping sites.
The Park is home to the Investigator Trail, a 93km trek that combines a number of smaller walking trails into one long figure-8 circumnavigation of the Park. Starting from the Park's entrance near Tulka, the Trail passes through the natural and unscathed environment which is occasionally interrupted by aesthetically pleasing campgrounds and picnic shelters which are ideal for both short and long distance walkers.
It is at many of those picnic shelters where a number of the shorter walks of the Park commence with information boards providing a basic outline of the walks in the area. Walk distances vary from 1 to 10km and all are classified as easy to moderate, with some slightly longer walks achieving the classification of hard or challenging.
Access throughout the Park has been greatly extended in recent years with the main bitumen road taking visitors into the majority of the Park. 2wd gravel roads enable access to the northern part of the Park including Cape Donington and September Beach, while 4wd tracks are available through the remainder of the Park including past the huge sand dunes near Sleaford Mere.
National Parks are often home to some of the best flora and fauna in the local area, and the Lincoln National Park is no exception. During Spring when the wildflowers put on a great show for everyone, including the local fauna and birdlife who seem to thrive on the colour. Meanwhile offshore the dolphins put on an occasional display often preceding the arrival of the Southern Right Whales who pass the Park on their annual pilgrimage to warmer waters.
The Lincoln National Park is 9km south of Port Lincoln, and access is available all year round except for fire ban days. Further details on the Park are available online or from the Visitor Information Centre in Port Lincoln.