Deep Creek Conservation Park; brilliant and underrated

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.

Deep Creek Conservation Park
Deep Creek Conservation Park has stunning coastline
Deep Creek Conservation Park has some great 4WD tracks
There’s even a few 4WD tracks to do

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.

Deep Creek Map
A map showing everything in Deep Creek Conservation Park

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.

Deep Creek camping options
One of many camp sites at Trig Campground
Camp site number 25
Our camp site was massive, and sloping badly
Tent camping at Trig
A typical tent site at Trig campground

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.

Stringybark camping
Stringybark is a really picturesque campground
Hot showers at Stringybark
There’s even hot showers!

From there, you can camp at Tapanappa, Cobbler Hill and Eagle Waterhole (which is hike in only)

Deep Creek camping options
Cobbler Hill camping

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.

4WD Track only
There’s only a couple of places you need a 4WD

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.

Blowhole Beach portrait
How could you not fall in love with this?

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.

Amazing views on the hikes
The hikes all have great views too

See more on Youtube

Keen to see more? We’ve got a vlog from our visit to the beautiful Deep Creek Conservation Park:

YouTube video

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.

Blowhole beach

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.

Blowholes Beach 4WD Track
Heading down to Blowholes Beach on the 4WD Track

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).

Blowholes Beach from the other side
The views heading down, and at the beach are fantastic

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.

Boat Harbor 4WD track
The start of the 4WD Track to Boat Harbor

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.

At the bottom of Boat Harbor
At the end of the 4WD track, which was nothing but a really steep gravel road

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.

Waterfall walk

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!

Steep climb down to the Waterfall
The hike to the Waterfall is really picturesque, but steep as at the end

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!

Deep Creek Waterfall
There was a lot of water still flowing
Great views to the waterfall
We loved the coastal views too

Cove hike

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!

Walking to the cove
The cove hike was fun, but tight and tiring
The Cove in Deep Creek National Park
The Cove was super rough and windy, but really spectacular

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.

Boat Harbor Beach Walk
The sign welcoming you to Boat Harbor

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.

Walking to Boat Harbor Beach
Walking down the steep hill to the beach
Boat Harbor Beach views
The track gets much steeper

Kids package

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.

Kids package at Deep Creek
We got given a pack for the kids that had heaps of goodies in it

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!).

Deep creek views
There were quite a few moments were I was surprised at the beauty at Deep Creek

Overall, we’d certainly come here again, and I reckon we might stay at Stringybark camp ground for something different.

Blowholes Beach in summer
Imagine these hills bright green in spring or winter

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