Newland Head Conservation Park
Newland Head Conservation Park, just west of Victor Harbor on the Fleurieu Peninsula, protects Waitpinga and Parsons beaches, Newland Headland, the Waitpinga Cliffs coastal reserve and a number of important social and cultural sites belonging to the Ramindjeri, one of the 18 clans making up the Ngarrindjeri Nation. The water is too treacherous for swimming and best left to expert surfers, but it can offer up treasures for beachcombers. Gutters formed by huge surf on Waitpinga and Parsons beaches create excellent fishing, with mullet, mulloway and salmon the target fish. The rocky headlands at the ends of both beaches are prone to wild surf and freak waves so rock fishing is extremely dangerous.
Along with common native fauna such as kangaroos, the mouse-sized southern pygmy-possum lives in the park, feeding on bugs and nectar it finds in banksia flowers. Fur-seals, whales and little penguins are sometimes spotted in the water. Vegetation includes mallee heath and coastal dune flora, and around the Waitpinga Creek estuary are samphire and wetland species.
Activities in the park include leisurely beach strolls or bushwalks that offer some magnificent views of Encounter Bay, the Pages in Backstairs Passage and across to Kangaroo Island. Keen walkers can take the challenging Newland Head Nature Hike (15 km) that follows a section of the Heysen Trail along the cliff tops. Care should be taken on this walk but the views are fantastic, with the chance to encounter native flowers, birds and animals along the way. The walks begin at the campground behind Waitpinga Beach, which has most facilities including toilets, picnic tables, free gas barbecues and a shelter hut.
Waitpinga Beach; fees apply
Location and access
96 km south of Adelaide; 15 km west of Victor Harbor
- Parks SA (08) 8204 1910
- Parks SA Victor Harbor (08) 8552 3677
Victor Harbor (08) 8551 0777