After exploring the Eyre and Yorke Peninsula, we were keen to see what the rest of South Australia had to offer, and next on the list was Deep Creek Conservation Park. We made a booking for just after new years about a month in advance, knowing full well that in the middle of school holidays, and the biggest break of the year it would get busy and we’d miss out if we didn’t jump in.
Fortunately for us, we were able to spend 9 great days camped on the front lawn of our relatives, and a short drive later we arrived at Trig Camp in Deep Creek Conservation Park.
It didn’t take too long for us to realise this is another really special part of South Australia, and we had an amazing 3 nights exploring the park.
Where is Deep Creek Conservation Park?
You’ll find this place roughly 40km from Victor Harbor, or around 55 minutes drive. It’s also not too far from Rapid Bay, which is another hugely popular camping destination.
Do you need a parks pass to enter?
Yes, or you can pay on arrival to enter the park. It’s $12.50 for the day, or $10 if you are a concession.
Deep Creek Camping
There’s a number of camp grounds in the Deep Creek Conservation Park, with some being quite small, and close together, and others being more spread apart.
Trig Campground is where we spent our 3 nights, with it being located close to a number of walks, and sort of in the middle of the park, which made it good for exploring.
Stringybark campground is absolutely stunning, and probably even nicer than Trig, and it reminded us of Jarrahdene Campground back in the Margaret River region of WA.
From there, you can camp at Tapanappa, Cobbler Hill and Eagle Waterhole (which is hike in only)
Do you need a 4WD?
You can get a 2WD vehicle into Deep Creek without too much of an issue. The last road in is gravel, but it was in reasonable condition when we visited, and you can take it slowly if you need to. A 4WD only gives you access to a couple of 4WD tracks, and makes it a bit more comfortable and safer on the gravel roads.
What’s at Deep Creek?
We’d heard great things about Deep Creek before arriving, and as a result had some high expectations. That said, we’re loving the fact that being from WA we really don’t know what to expect anywhere, and often we are pleasantly surprised.
Things had started to brown and yellow off by the time we got there (2nd of January), but I was hugely impressed with the amazing scenery throughout the national park. It’s nothing like what you see at the Innes National Park, or Coffin Bay National Park, and unlike some national parks it didn’t take very long at all to fall in love with Deep Creek.
In essence, there’s a heap of camp sites, hikes, 4WD tracks and fantastic scenery, all amongst a well maintained part of the world where people can come and enjoy a bit of nature.
4WD Tracks at Deep Creek
We’re always keen to explore anything that requires a 4WD to access it, and quickly found out where you could take a 4WD, and headed off.
We’ve done a lot of 4WD tracks over the years, and the ones we enjoy most have everything; a fun track, a scenic drive and a brilliant end destination, and Blowhole Beach has it all. The track is fairly short, but really steep, with plenty of rocks.
You’d have no issues getting a stock 4WD in, but you need to know how to use your gears in low range to keep the vehicle at a slow speed going down (and avoiding your brakes as much as possible).
There were a few sections where you’d do damage on a low clearance 4WD if you picked a bad line, but for the most part its a fairly easy 4WD track. You might have to pull off to let others past as necessary (generally the person going up has right of way), but its a fun, short track to an amazing beach.
Boat Harbor Beach
Upon arriving at the gates for Boat Harbor Beach, I was full of anticipation for a great 4WD track, stretching the Dmax springs and hopefully having a few challenges thrown in.
I was left somewhat disappointed in terms of the difficulty of the track, which was essentially a gravel road with a few little rocks on it, that gets really steep at the end. Honestly, when we did it, you could probably have driven a Corolla to the bottom. You’d struggle for traction, but there was no clearance required and we did see a Mitsubishi Outlander drive in and out without too many issues.
Of course, I’m not suggesting you take anything but a 4WD in as the track conditions can change and you need good traction, but it is barely a 4WD track.
Nonetheless, the drive in is pretty stunning, and if you take some time to walk around once you get there its even more beautiful. We walked down to the beach full of rocks, and thoroughly enjoyed watching a huge pod of dolphins swimming around.
Hiking at Deep Creek Conservation Park
There’s quite a few walks and hikes at Deep Creek Conservation Park, and we made a point of doing what we could with two young kids.
This starts from Trig Campground, and is rated grade 4, with significant obstacles. We did it on the day of arrival, with it being is 3.5km return. The last 500 metres or so is really steep with big steps. There’s a few actual steps and some handrails in place, but you will have sore legs by the time you return; I guarantee it!
Our two boys made it, although I did carry our nearly 4 year old at the end for a bit as he was getting very tired. We were all quite surprised to see the waterfall still flowing fairly well, with a decent amount of water in early January. The walk itself was easy with exception of the steep downhill, and uphill part at the middle of the trek, which was pretty brutal on your legs!
This hike takes you from the end of the Trig campground through the bush, and along the coastline down to a small cove. It was wild weather when we visited, with huge waves rolling in and a heap of wind. This track is fairly gradual in its descent for the first part, and then gets quite a bit steeper. It’s 6.5km return, and really overgrown with plenty of bushes brushing along you for a heap of the track.
We enjoyed it, and the views at the cove are pretty spectacular, but found it tiring and our kids were pretty knackered by the end of it!
Boat Harbor Beach Walk
If you have a 4WD, you can do a quick, short and steep track down to a small parking area, and walk from there. You can either go to the right and do the Boat Harbor Circuit walk (which we didn’t do), or head down the grassy slope, where it gets even steeper and takes you right down onto the beach.
You want to be careful doing this as its a bit slippery and quite uneven, but its a short walk and the beach is pretty incredible to walk around on.
Not long after setting camp up, we had an awesome camp host wander over with a bag for the kids. I wasn’t really sure what to expect, but was thoroughly impressed with what they put in the bag. It was full of colouring in options, information on the park and animals, activities for the kids to do and heaps more, and they hand them out to each family which I though was really awesome.
Is it Deep Creek worth a visit?
I mentioned above that it didn’t take too long for us to really fall in love with Deep Creek Conservation Park. Its incredibly scenic, with big, majestic trees and some really spectacular coastline. Blowholes Beach is one of the nicest beaches we’ve been to, and if you went in late Spring, you’d see amazing, green rolling hills heading down to the ocean (and have far less crowds than we did at New Years!).
Overall, we’d certainly come here again, and I reckon we might stay at Stringybark camp ground for something different.