Cape Gantheaume Conservation Park
Cape Gantheaume Conservation Park and Wilderness Protection Area covers the wild windswept Cape Gantheaume Peninsula on the southernmost point of Kangaroo Island, from D’Estrees Bay to Seal Bay Conservation Park, and inland to Murray Lagoon. At peaceful and unspoiled D’Estrees Bay the day can be spent beachcombing for nautilus shells, or exploring Wreckers Beach and Osmanli Reef with its 1853 shipwreck. In the 1840s one of Kangaroo Island’s three whaling stations operated from D’Estrees Bay as the sheltered inlet was a perfect calving area for southern right whales in winter.
The southern half of the park is a haven for bushwalkers, with cliff-top hikes through undisturbed coastal vegetation offering magnificent views of the Southern Ocean and occasional sightings of whales, seals, ospreys and sea-eagles (intending bushwalkers must lodge a trip intentions form). Kangaroos, pygmy-possums and bandicoots inhabit the sheltered mallee-covered dunes behind the limestone cliffs. Access to the wild coast is on foot only and walkers taking the Cape Gantheaume Coastal Trek (36 km, hard) from D’Estrees Bay to Bales Bay must be prepared for rugged conditions and extremes of climate during any season. An expanding colony of New Zealand fur-seals lives just above the ocean swells on the rocky platforms and ledges of the cape.
The Murray Lagoon wetland in the north of the park is a more serene environment. This is Kangaroo Island’s biggest lagoon and attracts a wide variety of waterbirds. A dawn or dusk stroll along Timber Creek Walk (1.5 km, easy) will reveal waterfowl, waders, raptors and shy bush birds of the lagoon habitat.
Basic sites at Murray Lagoon and D'Estrees Bay; fees apply
180 km from Adelaide on south coast of Kangaroo Island; unsealed Elsegood Rd and Seagers Rd lead to Murray Lagoon and D’Estrees Bay
- Parks SA (08) 8204 1910
- Parks SA Kingscote (08) 8553 4444
29 000 ha
Tourism KI 1800 811 080
- Cape Gantheaume Coastal Trek - Kangaroo Island, Hiking and walking, Hiking and walking
- Cape Gantheaume Conservation Park, Eco-friendly activity
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