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Friday, September 22, 2023

Innes National Park: 6 Things to do

The Dhilba Guuranda Innes National Park can be called the perfect refuge for nature lovers, campers, and surfers from across the country.

The national park found on the southernmost tip of the Yorke Peninsula in South Australia has some of the most stunning scenery, pristine white beaches, and different varieties of flora and fauna.  South Australia is a wonderful place with many lovely activities to do and enjoy

Innes National Park boasts of rich history as it features historical buildings and stromatolites that are 3000 years old.

Additionally, there are 100 campsites and six bushwalks. Swimming and surfing are great activities at any of the twelve accessible beaches.

Furthermore, the breathtaking views from the different picnic spots must not be missed.

Dhilba Guuranda – Innes National Park – a Natural Wonder of South Australia

As one of the most beautiful areas known for camping, fishing, and surfing, the Innes National Park is South Australia’s natural wonder.

Also, as an essential ecosystem for many species and coastal habitats, the lovely Innes Park boasts pristine white beaches, breathtaking cliffs, and fantastic islands.

You can also come across diverse flora, kangaroos, and emus. So, you must understand that Innes National Park is an unmissable destination for all those wishing to explore shipwrecks, and ancient stromatolites, walk around the lovely bushwalks, or Walk the Yorke trail.

Innes National Park: 6 Unmissable Experiences

Let us explore the must-visit destination for nature lovers, the Innes National Park. It is a place where adventure and wildlife meet to bring together a coalescence of history and beauty.

Here are 5 Unmissable Experiences that will enchant and mesmerize you to no end:

1. Breathtaking Scenery at Innes National Park

The Dhilba Guuranda-Innes National Park offers breathtaking scenery.

The coastal and inland have lovely walking trails and beach access paths. The stunning views from there will leave you breathless.

Innes National Park
Courtesy: southaustralia.com

Here are some of the views that should not be missed:

1.1. Majestic Views of the Coastal Side

The jaw-dropping views of the coastal sides along the Innes National Park coastline offer a stunning glimpse of the striking Spencer Gulf. Furthermore, you will see hosts of offshore islands that would seem to disappear into the horizon.

The impressive turquoise ocean waters will look magnificent against the rugged terrain. To behold the wholesome beauty of the park, one has to stop at the many lookouts.

1.2. Enchanting Views of the Inland Vistas

If you think the coastal views are spectacular, the views of the inland vistas are no less. Take a look at the amazing rolling hills, native flora, and the splendid inneston lake.

The lush green landscape comes alive at night with magnificent stars. So many millions of stars and the dazzling Milkyway can be viewed in a clear night sky. So unwind, breathe fresh air, and reconnect with nature.

Innes National Park
Courtesy: southaustralia.com

2. Pristine White Beautiful Beaches at Innes National Park

The gorgeous beaches of Innes National Park transit between the tall cliff edge along the Yorke Peninsula, and you will find charming beaches that are unique and awe-inspiring.

Visitors would love to explore the rock pools or even see friendly dolphins swimming in the crystal waters of the Spencer Gulf. Most beaches stretch along secluded pathways.

Moreover, the beaches offer lovely surfing areas that beach lovers would thoroughly enjoy and here are some of the top beaches that you can find in Innes National Park

2.1. Dolphin Beach

Dolphin Beach in Innes National Park is the perfect relaxing spot to swim and enjoy the sun.

Regarded as the spectacular white sandy beach in South Australia, it stretches 800 meters long. Furthermore, it is a fantastic swimming location and an excellent place for lounging.

With easy access to the car park, the beach is fabulous for spotting dolphins swimming nearby.

The waters found nearer to the wooden stairs are great for swimming. The tranquil atmosphere at the beach will make it worthwhile.

Innes National Park
Courtesy: southaustralia.com

2.2. Shell Beach

Another beach found in Innes National Park is the serene Shell Beach. It is also known for fabulous swimming and a great location to explore the Yorke Peninsula.

The beach near 250 meters long with soft sand, crystal waters, and an enchanting hidden rock pool at the park’s far eastern end.

It is often seen that visitors to Shell Beach love to clamber over the rocks to dive into the beautiful pool.

Still, others enjoy wading through the shallow protected spots; a short walk from the dune, Shell Beach is a wonderful destination for the beach lover in you.

2.3. Pondalowie Bay

The stunning Pondalowie Bay is a 5-kilometer-long beach found at the western end of the Innes National Park. With clear turquoise waters and impressive high and vegetated dunes, Pondalowie Bay is great for morning walks.

As you stroll on the pristine coastline, do have a lookout for dolphins swimming in the ocean.

If it is an adventure you crave, you can admire the colorful and gratified hull of the beached OU Dog shipwreck—an ideal place to unwind among the breathtaking view of the sunset and immerse yourself in nature.

Innes National Park

2.4. Ethel Beach

Ethel Beach, found at the western edge of the Innes National Park, is a 450-meter stretch of golden sand. Furthermore, it has towering cliffs on either side. Swimming is not ideal in this location.

It is also home to the famous Ethel Shipwreck that seems to jut out of the sand, similar to a whale’s ribcage. The lookout at the clifftop will make the beach seem smaller and descend in a zigzag staircase.

Do brave a visit to the dangerous part of the beach and witness the shipwreck remains that reveal the shifting of the sand.

2.5. Browns Beach

Brown Beach may be a less visited beach as compared to others, but it is a lovely secluded spot to relax and go fishing.

It stretched around the coast, and salmon fishing areas are quite famous among fishermen in the area. The campsites nearby also is a very peaceful spot for a getaway.

3. Variety of Wildlife to Witness

Innes National Park is a haven for incredible wildlife. The park is not only a sanctuary for kangaroos, emus, dolphins, and whales, but it is home to over 100 species of birds and nearly ten mammals.

The park teems of wildlife all around. Furthermore, since it borders the Southern Spencer Gulf Marine Park, visitors can experience a rich marine habitat.

3.1. Kangaroo Island

Kangaroos are symbolic of Australia and commonly sighted along the trails in Innes National Park.

Moreover, the animals are used to seeing campers in the area, but visitors must not leave anything harmful behind.

Innes National Park
Courtesy: southaustralia.com

Some of the iconic walking trails you can spot a kangaroo are as follows:

  • Inneston Historic Walk

  • West cape headland hike

  • Casuarina Campground

3.2. Bird Watching

The Innes national park is a birdwatcher’s paradise as a home to over 100 bird species, including emus, endangered hooded plover, and mallee fowl.

In addition, visitors can view the Ospreys, seagulls, and pelicans all over the park area.

3.3. Marine Life

Marine life is found in abundance in the waters of Spencer Gulf. Watch out for southern right whales, humpbacks, and orcas in winter.

However, Australian sea lions and dolphins are spotted throughout the year.

4. Eerie Ghost Town of Inneston 

Visitors to a National Park may not wish to see a ghost town, but an Inneston historic township can be sighted at Dhilba Guuranda Innes National Park.

It was once a town teeming with life, but it is now an incredible trail for hikes and a spectacular place for visitors to explore historic Inneston.

4.1. History of the Ghost Town at Innes National Park

This history of the historic ghost town tells a story of an early 20th-century gypsum mining complex.

Moreover, it was once a thriving company town but has transformed into a fantastic 2km walking trail through ruins.

Visitors can rent restored heritage cottages dotted for short-term stays and explore the old post office, bakery, and tennis court. It is an extraordinary place for history buffs and nature lovers.

5. Mysterious Shipwrecks 

The ocean waters of Innes National Park have over forty mysterious shipwrecks. Each shipwreck has its own unique story.

Also, some lie on the ocean floor, but some of them can be seen from the shore.

Still, others are seen resting on the beaches. The Investigator Strait Shipwreck Trail is a memorable hike where visitors can take a trip down memory lane to learn all about the wrecks and tragic stories that come with it.

Innes National Park
Courtesy: environment.sa.gov.au

Here are some of the famous Shipwrecks found in Innes National Park:

5.1. Ethel Wreck

One of the most renowned shipwrecks of all time found in Innes National Park is of a ship named ” The Ethel.”

The unfortunate ship met her end during the storm in January 1904. However, passengers and crew survived except for a single crew member who drowned while swimming ashore.

Most of the ship could be seen above the low tide mark for many years but collapsed entirely in the 1980s. Visitors can view the rusted pieces of the boat on the sand.

5.2. SS Ferret Wreck

The SS Ferret met her end in the 1920s when a thick fog engulfed it and ran aground.

Moreover, the ship docked just 200 meters away from the Ethel wreck. At present, only a buried boiler can be seen, reminding visitors of the tragic event.

5.3. O U Dog Wreck

O U Dog Wreck is a mysterious shipwreck that has become a unique icon of Pondalowie Bay Beach.

No one knows this end, but it washed ashore in 2006. The wreckage is now a rusted hull but is a vibrant canvas for graffiti artists..

6. Epic Camping Adventures at Innes National Park

Innes National Park has many scenic campsites that South Australia National Park Service manages.

However, booking at least twelve months in advance is advised. Camping costs $16 per night, and park entrance fees must be Innes National Park Walks.

Innes National Park
Courtesy: southaustralia.com

Some of the favorite campgrounds in Innes National Park are as follows:

6.1. Stenhouse Bay Campground

Stenhouse Bay Jetty is a short walking distance from the campground. Camper trailers are available for rent.

In addition, you can choose from 25 large campsites beside the beach with toilet facilities.

6.2. Pondalowie Campground

There are two campgrounds—Caravans and camper trailers can occupy one, and tent campers can make use of the other. There are toilets available at all sites. However, fires are not permitted on site.

If you are keen to know all about the history of Innes National Park, the spectacular coastline, and wildlife, you must take a walk around the park. You will experience the very best the park has to offer.

Enjoy a quiet walk in Innes National Park and immerse yourself in South Australia’s natural beauty. Here are some of the iconic walks at the Innes National Park:

  • Stenhouse Bay Lookout Walk – The walking trail offers seven viewing points. The highlight of the walk would be the historic Stenhouse Bay Jetty, a rusty old wooden railway line and fascinating rubbish site of the early 1900s.

  • Cape Spencer Lighthouse Walk- A short walk offering breathtaking views and stunning Althorpe Island.

  • West Cape Lighthouse Walk – Offers breathtaking views of Southern Spencer Gulf Marine Park and the offshore islands. You can view the rugged cliffs from the lighthouse.

Innes National Park
Courtesy: environment.sa.gov.au


Here are some of the frequently asked questions about the park:

1. How to get to Innes National Park?

Innes National Park is a lovely picturesque park situated on the Yorke Peninsula and also it is a three-hour drive from Adelaide.

2. Can we take breaks on the way to Innes National Park

Yes, you can take pit stops on the way. You can fill gas at Port Wakefield, have something to eat at Ardrossan’s bakery, enjoy a brew at Watsacowie in Minlaton, have a bite of fish and chips at Port Vincent, and do fill up again at Marion Bay before arriving at your destination.

3. What are the opening and closing hours of Innes National Park?

It’s open every day but closed on Fire Danger days. The operational hours are 10 am to 3 pm.

innes national park
Image by Siggy Nowak from Pixabay

4. Do we have to pay entry fees?

There is a park entrance fee of $11, and concession vehicles will be charged $9. Also, all campers will be asked to pay only the entrance fee for the entire stay.

5. Does Innes National Park have restaurants?

No, restaurants are not available at the Park, but plenty of picnic shelters are available. Taking all the rubbish with you would be best as no bins are provided.

6. What about the mobile network at the Innes National Park?

The park is remote, so the network could be better.

Takeaway: Innes National Park

With stunning coastal views of the Yorke Peninsula in South Australia, Innes National Park is a must-visit destination for all outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers.

Moreover, the park is known for its rich history as it is filled with remnants of the area’s mining and tumultuous maritime history all around the landscape. You will not be disappointed to look at the unique scenery and attractions as it is truly a natural wonderland.

Hi, I am Angeline, and I love to write about anything that matters to me. My desire to write began way back as a teenager. With a Master's in Business Administration under my belt, writing about finance and marketing has always thrilled me. I love to travel and through my articles, my readers will get to know about the delightful places to visit in Australia and its vibrant economy

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