Coffin Bay National Park

Coffin Bay National Park, Matt Nettheim / South Australian Tourism Commission
Bike riding Campfire Caravan Diving Fishing Park entry fee Swimming Toilets Watersports Camping area Four-wheel drive touring Information Lookout Picnic area Ranger Walking

Introduction

This scenic coastal park covers a rugged spur of land jutting west from the tip of Eyre Peninsula into the Southern Ocean. On two sides wild surf beaches, massive mobile dunes and eroded limestone cliffs are for the adventurous, while the park’s northern coastline with its lovely sheltered bays and inlets offers perfect places for picnics or camping holidays.

Fact file

Access

From Adelaide via Port Augusta then Lincoln Hwy to Port Lincoln; from Ceduna via Flinders Hwy, or Eyre then Tod hwys

Best season

Spring and summer

Location

700 km west of Adelaide; 360 km south-west of Port Augusta; 21 km west of Port Lincoln; 415 km south-east of Ceduna

Park information

  • Coffin Bay ranger (08) 8685 4047
  • Parks SA Port Lincoln (08) 8688 3111

Permits

Park Day Pass required per vehicle for day visitors; camping permit required per vehicle per day for campers

Size

31 000 ha

Visitor information

Coffin Bay (08) 8685 4057

www.tep.com.au

Featured Activities in the National Park

  • Paddle your canoe in Yangie Bay

    Enjoy secluded beaches at Point Sir Isaac

    Surf-fish from the white sands of Gunyah Beach

    Walk to Sudden Jerk Lookout for stunning views

See Also

A look at the past

Matthew Flinders named the bay after his friend Sir Isaac Coffin in 1802. Whalers and sealers followed soon after and pastoral leases were issued as early as 1847, then for 140 years the peninsula was farmed. Ruins of early huts, wells and stockyards can still be seen. Coffin Bay National Park was created in 1982.

Aboriginal culture

This area is the home of the Nauo-Barngarla people and, in 2000, the park was accepted as part of the Nauo-Barngarla Native Title lands, protecting the many Aboriginal cultural sites including fish traps and campgrounds.

Natural features

The peninsula is formed from massive dunes, some so ancient that they have hardened into the limestone of the park’s wind-sculpted cliffs. More recent dunes are still accumulating at Avoid Bay, Misery Bay and Gunyah Beach. Point Sir Isaac is composed of gneiss, a rock that has been hardened by volcanic heat and pressure deep within the earth’s crust. At the south-west end of the peninsula is the magnificent Point Whidbey Wilderness Zone, comprising dense coastal heathland and mallee.

Native plants

This park protects the rare dryland tea-tree, growing up to 10 metres tall in sheltered spots, with displays of creamy flowers in spring and summer. A dwarfed form is found at Point Avoid, where constant winds have pruned it into contorted shapes. In the sandy soils there is open scrub of coastal white mallee. The dune vegetation is mainly coast daisy bush and coastal bearded heath, and on the cliff tops there is cushion bush, sea box, sea heath and the gorgeous salmon correa. The park’s wetlands support fringing groves of swamp paperbarks and where soils are boggy there is samphire and smooth cutting-grass.

Wildlife

The park has sizeable populations of western grey kangaroos, bush rats and western pygmy-possums. Of 150 bird species, Latham’s snipe, diamond firetails, white-winged choughs, weebills, southern emu-wrens and western whipbirds are classified as rare. The park’s beaches provide nesting sites for pied oystercatchers, and hooded and red-capped plovers during summer.

Introduction

Day-visit areas accessible by 2WD are at Point Avoid, Long Beach, Almonta Beach and Little Yangie Bay. Much of the national park is accessible to 4WD only (40-kph speed limit applies). Check tide times for 4WD beach tracks, and avoid driving above the high water mark. The enclosed sheltered waters of Little Yangie Bay are the perfect spot for paddling a canoe or a kayak.

Beach and bushwalking

At Yangie a gentle walk with interpretive signs, Kallara Trail (2 km loop), passes a range of plant communities. Yangie Island Trail (5 km return) leads to views of Yangie Island, while the Yangie Bay to Long Beach Trail (10 km) heads out between the vegetated dunes to Long Beach. Boarding House Bay Walk (23 km, 8 hours) from Sensation Beach is a day trek through pretty coastal heath, samphire flats and mallee woodland to exposed west-facing cliffs, offshore reefs and ocean beaches. Black Rocks Trail (6 km, 2 hours), with views over Lake Damascus, leads south from near the Black Springs turn-off through dune vegetation to the wild coast of Avoid Bay.

Fishing

Exciting fishing locations include wave-washed rock platforms and exposed ocean beaches and sheltered bays. Head south to Gunyah, Almonta and Sensation beaches, or Mullalong Beach on the north coast. More sheltered waters are found at Seven Mile and in Yangie Bay. There is rock-fishing at Flat Rock, Reef Point and Point Sir Isaac.

Scenic views

Templetonia Lookout, 10 kilometres west of the park entrance, has panoramic views while from Point Avoid there are spectacular coastal vistas. On the park’s western extremity Reef Point Lookout offers exhilarating scenery. From Sensation Beach a 2-kilometre walk leads to Sudden Jerk Lookout with views to Sudden Jerk Island. Yangie Lookout is a 20-minute climb for views over Yangie Bay and Marble Range.

Swimming and surfing

The southern beaches are hazardous in places but the north coast has sheltered bays suitable for swimming. Long Beach is popular and easily accessible, while Phantom Cove, The Pool and Point Burgess are protected coastal areas reached by 4WD. Southern Ocean swells provide experienced surfers with renowned breaks at Mullalong Beach in the west and Flat Rock and Almonta Beach in the south.

Campsites

Big Yangie camping area

These scalloped shorelines and beaches offer a feeling of sanctuary but with a little more remoteness and seclusion than Yangie Bay. This is a great camping hideout for coastal rambles, fishing, swimming and canoeing,... Find out more


Black Springs camping area

This is a well-protected headland site with a private shell beach below. Swim, fish off the rocks, take the walking trail to Black Springs Well or make the longer trek across the peninsula for views of the rugged south... Find out more


Morgans Landing camping area

With absolute-waterfront camping towards the western end of Seven Mile Beach, this marvellous stretch of golden sand and placid water is perfect for swimming, boating and fishing. The beach is the main 4WD track heading... Find out more


The Pool camping area

Nestled in the lee of distant Point Sir Isaac, this site for self-sufficient campers has a real ‘out there’ feeling. Being the northern side of the peninsula, the bay here is a protected haven for swimming,... Find out more


Sensation Beach camping area

Named after a tuna boat that ran aground here, this is a wonderfully isolated arc of crashing waves and dazzling sand. A popular base for beach fishing, these dune sites for self-sufficient campers are also on the... Find out more


Yangie Bay camping area

The most accessible and sheltered campsite on the peninsula, this is a tranquil bushland setting overlooking the bay. Walking trails are nearby and the wild surf shores of Almonta Beach and Point Avoid are within easy... Find out more


See Also

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