Innes National Park

Explore spectacular Innes National Park where you can see emus, kangaroos and tammar wallabies in the wild.

You may even see some dolphins, seals or whales swimming by!  Visit a real ghost town, explore one of the many walking trails, get up close to a lighthouse or see the Ethel Shipwreck.

Visit the ghost town of Inneston, an old township within Innes National Park that was once home to 200 people. In its heyday it was completely self-sufficient, with its own school, post office, bakery, general store, and tennis court. You can even rent one of the renovated heritage cottages and stay the night.

  • Follow the old wooden railway line on the Thomson/Pfitzner Plaster Trail Hike starting from Inneston or Stenhouse Bay. There are signs along the way that tell the history of the trail

  • Step back in time and learn about the historic Inneston Village and the gypsum mining era on the Inneston Historic Walk

  • Head to the Inneston Lake in the heart of Innes National Park. This is one of the very few places in the world where stromatelites grow! They are very rare marine growths, similar to coral, that are built by algae and sediment

  • Get a bird’s eye view at the West Cape lookout which boasts a 360 degree view of the national park. On a clear day you can even see Kangaroo Island. This is  a great spot for a picnic, complete with sheltered picnic tables with views across to Pondalowie Bay

  • See the ruins of the Ethel shipwreck on Ethel Beach that was wrecked in 1904

  • Catch a wave and go body boarding at Pondalowie Bay

  • Visit West Cape or Cape Spencer lighthouse, or hit the trail on one of the many walks within the park

  • Camp under millions of stars at one of Innes National Parks campgrounds

Book your vehicle entry to Innes National Park before you go, or use the self-registration bay when you arrive. 


Walking trails 

  • Cape Spencer Lighthouse Walk
    Distance: 600m (15 minutes return)
    Starts: at the Cape Spencer Lighthouse car park

    One of the shortest trails within Innes National Park, walkers will be rewarded with fantastic coastal views of Althorpe Island and Kangaroo Island from the lookout.  On a clear day, the Althorpe Island Lighthouse is visible along with the lighthouse keeper's cottage, which were inhabited from 1879 until 1991. 
  • Gym Beach Hike
    Distance: 11km (4 hours return)
    Starts: from the campgrounds at Gym Beach & Browns Beach

    This trail offers a diverse hike with unique flora to discover including native orchids, a wide range of birdlife varieties, mallee vegetation and high sand dunes.  Walkers can begin this hike from either Gym Beach or Browns Beach.
  • Inneston Historic Walk
    Distance: 2km (1 hour return loop)
    Starts: from the gate at the Inneston car park

    A popular and easy walk, the Inneston Historic Walk meanders through the old gypsum mining township which dates back to the late 1800's.  The trail is well-marked with interpretive signs covering the history of the Inneston community. 
  • Royston Head Hike
    Distance: 4km (2 hours return)
    Starts: from the Royston Head Hike car park, along the road to Dolphin Beach

    Walkers will experience amazing views of the rugged coastline as they follow the trail to Royston Head, with the clifftop lookout well worth the walk.
  • Stenhouse Bay Lookout Walk
    Distance: 2km (1 hour return loop)
    Starts: from the Stenhouse Bay jetty car park

    Follow the trail along the cliff tops through low closed coastal heath with spectacular views across Investigator Strait and overlooking the national park's offshore islands.
  • Thomson-Pfitzner Plaster Trail Hike
    Distance: 7.6km (3 hours return)
    Starts: from the horse stable ruins in the Inneston township; or from Stenhouse Bay

    Walkers have the choice of beginning this hike from Inneston or Stenhouse Bay, following the old wooden railway line that runs between the 2 locations.  There are 16 interpretive signs along the Thomson-Pfitzner Plaster Trail Hike providing information on the local history and environment. 
  • West Cape Headland Hike
    Distance: 1km (30 minutes loop)
    Starts: at the West Cape car park

    Offering stunning coastal views over the park's offshore islands which form part of the Southern Spencer Gulf Marine Park, this looped trail follows the rugged cliff top of the West Cape headland.  The trail winds it's way through coastal vegetation before arriving at West Cape Lighthouse where walkers have uninterrupted views of Wedge Island, Althorpe Island & Pondalowie Bay. 


Althorpe Island Lighthouse
At a height of 15 metres, and 91 metres above sea level, the Althorpe Island Lighthouse has been in operation since 1879.

Powered by a diesel generator with a tungsten halogen lamp for 112 years, it was upgraded with new technology in 1991 and continues to light the way for those on the ocean, operating on automatic solar power.

The island was declared a conservation park in 1996, and is maintained by the Friends of Althorpe Island group who help to conserve the lighthouse, lighthouse keeper's cottages and native vegetation.

Cape Spencer Lighthouse
With a light range of 23 nautical miles, Cape Spencer Lighthouse has been operating since 1950 using an automated beacon, guiding boats around the southern coastline of Yorke Peninsula.

Located within the national park and easily accessible from the car park by a walking trail, the lighthouse offers excellent views over Althorpe Island and right across to Kangaroo Island on a clear day. 

West Cape Lighthouse
With spectacular views across Pondalowie Bay, West Cape Lighthouse stands 67 metres above sea level, projecting a light range of 22 nautical miles.

This impressive stainless steel lighthouse is one of the most recent, built in 1980, and is fully automated.


Innes National Park - welcome to my backyard!

Ranger Mark Davison shares his favourite parts of Innes National Park, and why you should visit this spectacular part of the region:

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