I’m not going to lie, after driving along the coast for a few weeks now I was a little tired of camping at the beach. When you’re in a camper trailer and the wind doesn’t stop and there’s not much shelter it can get a little tiring. I mean the boys don’t mind, as long as there’s water to swim in and sand to play in and Carlo can launch the tinny they’re happy. And trust me, I love the beach, always have and always will, it’s just that when you can retreat inside a house without the wind constantly shaking the canvas walls of your camper, its a little more enjoyable. So when we left Tumby Bay and even though it was an awesome campsite I had expected Port Lincoln to be be much like the rest of the coastal towns on the Eyre Peninsula and for the national park to be, well the same as well. And to be honest I wasn’t too fussed if we just drove through, had a look and left.
How wrong I was! As we drove into Port Lincoln it totally blew me away, the size of the town, the location, the bay’s and islands and the town being situated on a hillside. So now that I had seen what Port Lincoln was like I definitely wanted to see what Lincoln National Park had to offer.
This national park , rich in history and diverse in scenery, with many sheltered bays has so much to offer for those looking for a relaxing place to explore and unwind and hopefully it will surprise you as well.
When Mathew Flinders first sailed into the bay looking for fresh water to replenish his supplies for his crew he named the area Port Lincoln in honour of his birthplace, Lincoln. The treacherous story behind their desperate search for water can be unearthed throughout the park on the information boards scattered throughout. Visiting the park on a hot February day just as Flinders and his crew had done, we gained quite an appreciation and understanding of the elements they would have been faced with.
Driving into the park you are greeted with low level salt bush and small vegetation (entry fee is needed book online HERE), much like many other coastal locations, driving further in and the trees are taller the road begins to wind through the changing scenery and every now and then you catch a glimpse of the most picturesque turquoise water that you’ve ever seen. The bay’s themselves are something spectacular. So sheltered and still with white pure sand they look as if they have been cut from a magazine and placed in front of your eyes. Head over to the southern side of the park and the wild coast line with its jaggered cliffs, monster sand dunes and turbulent sea provide a completely different array of scenery.
A national park isn’t complete without its fair share of walking trails and Lincoln National Park definitely has some beauties. We completed the quite easy 2km return walk up to Mathew Flinders monument at Stamford Hill. The trail traces the steps taken by Flinders back on a hot Febutay day in 1802 whilst he was in search for fresh water.
The trail follows information boards retracing the steps of the treacherous journey he made with his crew and pin points where he found water, some 14km to the west. The view from the top is spectacular as you look over to Port Lincoln, Boston Bay ( the largest natural harbour in Australia) and the park itself. The monument was erected in 1844 in tribute to Flinders achievements. The other walks on offer at Lincoln NP can be found HERE.
Camping at Lincoln NP is certainly the way to truely appreciate the beauty of this diverse park. There is a mixture of camp sites available, some have drop hole toilets available and the sites are level and marked out, whilst others are 4wd access only and have no facilties. We chose to camp at Spalding Cove, one of the 4wd only bush camps and it was just magical. Of the 4 nights we were there we had three of them to ourselves. We set up camp in the secluded bushland which provided shelter from the hot summer sun. The beach was beautiful, white sand and crystal clear water and we definitely made use of the tinny. What I enjoyed even more was the fact that the bay was sheltered from the wind, yay!!!
Sleaford-Wanna 4wd track!
This track offers some of the best sand dune driving on the Eyre Peninsula and rewards you with some spectacular scenery along the way.
Starting from the western side of this amazing track we just had to take the opportunity to get a photo of the car on top of the incredible sand dune. We also made time to have fun sliding down the dunes as well! From there it was follow the wooden posts with red markers as we made our way in and out of the sand dunes, dense vegetation, rocky outcrops with constant views over the raging ocean and limestone cliffs.
As I mentioned earlier, if Carlo can get the tinny out to do some fishing, he’s happy and from our camp at Spalding Cove we were able to do just that. Although we didn’t catch anything big enough to eat we still spent quite a few hours catching an array of smaller fish. Beach fishing at Millers Hole or Salmon Hole along the 4wd track are also a great spot to try and catch some salmon.
Memory Cove Wilderness Area
Whilst we didn’t get a chance to visit Memory Cove ourselves, it’s a place we certainly wished we had and that’s why we are putting it on our list. We actually didn’t know it existed until we were leaving and began reading through the information pamphlet. This pristine bay is so secluded and is limited to only 15 vehicles per day with a gate key required for entry. The cove was named by Flinders in memory of his crew who lost their lives in search for water near the cove. The wilderness protection area also provides refuge for rare flora and fauna and is the main reason for monitoring the amount of visitors. I’ve also read that it is listed to be one of THE best beach camps in the country, so it will be going on our list for next time we are down that way!
So there you have it, quite a few good reasons to check out this amazing national park for yourself, it’s raw beauty and incredible history are just waiting to be discovered. Woops a few more things. Goannas are quite regularly spotted in the park and are quite awesome to see. We spotted three in the few days we were there! And if you like your lighthouses, Cape Donington Lighthouse holds a prime position at Cape Donington with views to be quite envious of! And last but not least, come the right season, the wildflowers within the park are just spectacular!
At A Glance:
Where: Lincoln National Park is located on the Jussieu Peninsula on the south-eastern tip of the Eyre Peninsula, 9.5 km south of Port Lincoln
More Info: Lincoln National Park
Book camping online: HERE