The rolling hills, beach coves, and waterfalls make every first-timer wonder why they haven’t visited sooner. South Australia’s Deep Creek Conservation Park is the perfect spot to escape for the weekend. Peg in the tent, light the campfire and take on a couple of hikes.
- Sitting around the campfire
- Epic views of rolling hills down to the coast
- A tonne of wildlife
- Hikes suitable for everyone
Beaches, Waterfalls and Rolling Hills
Blowhole Beach, known as Tjurbuk by the local Ngarrindjeri People, is the highlight of the park. Along with the Kaurna People these are the two Aboriginal language groups of the southern Fleurieu Peninsula.
Its winding access track is one of the best drives in the state. The stunning rolling hills drop to the coast with a small nook of sand flanked by rugged cliffs but Kangaroo Island straight-ahead makes only the rare swell surfable. Instead, you’ll often find fisherman casting their lines off the rocks.
The 4WD track to the beach is steep, but an easy drive when it’s dry. If you’re in a 2WD, there’s a car park at the top of the hill which is the beginning of a trail down to the beach.
Kangaroos, Whales and Dolphins
If an international tourist was disappointed by the fact that we don’t ride kangaroos down under, I’d lift their spirits by bringing them here. There’s bound to be a mob grazing the hills to Blowhole Beach.
If you’re visiting in spring, there’ll be joeys bounding around too. With the epic ocean vista in the background, it makes the perfect tourist happy snap.
It’s worth keeping the binoculars handy when you’ve got an ocean view. From mid-May to late October, the whales migrate along the coast to calve. Plus the local ranger claims the best-kept secret is the dolphins at Boat Harbour Beach.
Bushwalking and Hiking
There’s bound to be a hike or bushwalk that tickles your fancy, with 15 hikes mapped out throughout the park. They range from a flat, 30-minute stroll to a 7-hour hike with creek crossings.
To check out the waterfall, you can hike down the Deep Creek Waterfall track from Tent Rock Road. This narrow track is around 3.5km long and leads you down into the valley before trekking back up the steep stairs. It should take around 2 hours.
If you’re hearing the call of the beach but don’t have a 4WD, the Blowhole Beach track will get you down there. Starting at Cobbler Hill Picnic Area on Blowhole Creek Road, this open track winds down the hill, with views of the ocean the whole way. It may only be 3 km, but let’s just say going down is a lot easier than coming up.
After more of a challenge? The Deep Creek Circuit Hike takes you around the entire park starting by the Trig Picnic Area. It’s around 11km and will take you around 7 hours return.
Base Camp? Take your pick
There are five different campgrounds nestled amongst the gumtrees of Deep Creek, with over 60 sites to choose from. Most have nooks with fire pits and you’ll definitely manage to find a site that suits a tent, campervan or caravan.
Cobbler Hill Campground is closest to the beach, but it’s a steep descent to get down there. If you’ve got a 4WD you can drive but if you’re on foot you’ll be stopping to admire the view (read: catch your breath) a few times on the way up.
We pulled up the van at Trig Campground. Shaded in a little nook, with a furry brown local who’d hop around with her joey each night. It had a long-drop, was the starting point of a couple of hikes and a short drive to the beach.
If you’re more of a ‘Where’s my hot shower?’ type of camper, Stringybark Campground has you sorted. If you’re the opposite and want to ditch the car, hike into Eagle Waterhole Campground. There’s a small hut shelter tucked at the bottom of a valley and the campsite is available to 16 hikers at a time.
Why not book in for this weekend?
- Tent/Swag or anything for a comfortable night’s sleep
- Firewood (if visiting between May and October)
- Sturdy shoes
- Binoculars for whale watching
How To Get There
It’s a 1.5 hour drive from Adelaide CBD by jumping on the Southern Expressway. Allow a little extra time for an essential stop at the Yankalilla Bakery.
- Whale watching
- Yarning by the campfire
Vehicle Day Pass: $11
Camping: $16-29 per night.