Australia's National Parks: South Australia

23 February 2017

Plenty of travellers sing the praises of South Australia thanks to the likes of big hitters like capital city Adelaide and the Barossa, but there's much more to discover in this southernmost state. It happens to be home to an abundance of natural beauty, which is on full display across its 127 national parks. While any one of them is worthy of exploration, we've picked out the top 10 to get you started.

 

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Mount Remarkable National Park

Ideally positioned a mere three hours from Adelaide, this national park calls to outdoor enthusiasts with a range of bushwalking trails, diverse wildlife and campgrounds with good facilities. The piece de resistance has to be the 960-metre summit of Mount Remarkable with its views over the Willochra Plain and Spencer Gulf.

Murray River National Park

Not only visually stunning, this national park happens to be home to some of the country's most environmentally important areas. It is divided up into three areas: Katarapko, Lyrup Flats andBulyong Island, with separate entrances to access each. Canoeing adventures, walking trails, bird and native wildlife watching and camping are all available.  

Nullarbor National Park

This national park combines desert flats that give way to dramatic coastline cliffs. When you're not enjoying the stunning views of the Great Australian Bite (including spotting whales in May and September), there are numerous caverns to (carefully) explore revealed by large sinkholes.

 

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Innes National Park

Perhaps one of South Australia's most well-known national parks, Innes calls to visitors from around the world thanks to its sandy coastal stretches and famed lighthouses.  Explore the ruins of the mining township of Inneston, walk the interpretive maritime trail along the coast to learn about The Ethel shipwreck and admire the Cape Spencer and West Cape lighthouses.

 

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Flinders Chase National Park

Encompassing a portion of beautiful Kangaroo Island off the coast of South Australia, this national park delights with such iconic landmarks as the world famous Remarkable Rocks and Admirals Arch. It also happens to be home to a diverse range of wildlife, which can be viewed on the Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail. There are four secluded campgrounds available or book a night at the historic light keeper's cottage.

Naracoorte Caves National Park

A bit different from other parks on this list, this national park consists of a portion of 800,000-year-old Naracoorte East Range. They are World Heritage-listed and are counted as one of the world's most important fossil sites. Guests can tour the caves, viewing reconstructions of fossils found here along with incredible stalactites and stalagmites.

Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park

Another one of South Australia's most popular national parks, this area encompasses the stunning Flinders Ranges. Punctuated by rugged mountains, dramatic gorges and meandering creeks, the park is best enjoyed on one of its many walking trails. It also happens to be home to a number of significant Aboriginal rock art sites,  cultural heritage and fossils.

Witjira National park

Sitting on the edge of the Simpson Desert, this national park is known for its natural springs. In fact there are 120 scattered around the park, including the warm waters of Dalhousie Springs. There are a handful of bushwalks that require a moderate level of skill to complete as well as a few campsites that put you in prime position to see the likes of dingos and red kangaroo in their natural habitat.  

 

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Onkaparinga River National Park

Just 42 minutes from the heart of Adelaide, this national park is a perfect day trip next time you're in the city. There are countless walking trails through the park suitable for all fitness levels, including such highlights as the Echidna Trail and Wetlands Loop Trail. Just make sure you have time to stop off at the Sundews Lookout for spectacular views over the Onkaparinga Gorge.

Coffin Bay National Park

Holding up a spot on the Eyre peninsula, this national park is all about crystal blue waters and white sandy beaches. The park is ideal for boating, fishing, sailing and scuba diving, or get away from the water to explore the cliffs and huge sand dunes. Templetonia Lookout is well worth a stop as is sightseeing on Golden Island.