Innes National Park; Yorke Peninsula paradise

Looking for more pristine South Australian Coastline? Enter Innes National Park on the Yorke Peninsula.

Australia has some truly world class National Parks, and we’re always super excited to enter a new one, and see what its all about. We’ve been working our way across the coast of South Australia, and next on the list was Innes National Park, on the Yorke Peninsula.

Amazing water in the Innes National Park
The Innes National Park is one of the most spectacular parts of the Yorke Peninsula

Where is the Innes National Park?

This National Park is right at the bottom of the Yorke Peninsula, in the boot shape. It covers a fair chunk of land, and can only be accessed from the Marion Bay side (with exception to Gym Beach, which is the only place right at the top).

To get to the Innes National Park from Adelaide, you are looking at about 3 hours drive.

Map of the Innes National Park
You’ll find this National Park at the bottom of the Yorke Peninsula

What does it cost to enter?

You need a National Parks pass to enter the Innes National Park, and this has to be purchased online. At a pinch, you can do it at the visitors centre (even after hours as they have a PC outside), but its best if you get one prior to arriving.

You can get a day pass for $12.50 per vehicle.

Innes National Park Sign
You have to pay to enter, and camp here

What are the attractions in Innes National Park?

All of the coastal national parks in South Australia have magic coastline, pristine beaches and amazing scenery, and the Innes National Park is no exception to this. There’s a fair bit of history thrown into the mix as well, with some beaches that would comfortably rival the top 100 anywhere in Australia.

If you are into fishing there’s plenty of option for that too, and some of the camp sites are in a pretty good location. There’s lots of walks and hikes that you can do, great scenery and plenty of information to read on the signs around the place.

Gypsum history in the Innes National Park
The Gypsum mining history is truly fascinating
Shell Beach reviews
The beaches here are as good as they get in South Australia

Innes National Park Hikes

If you are into walking and hiking, the Innes National Park has a substantial number of options. Starting at the entry station, you can walk around Stenhouse Bay. Then, you’ve got Royston Head, West Cape, the Inneston Historic walk (around the old gypsum mining and town), Thompson Pfitzner plaster trail, Cape Spencer, Gym Beach and Marion Bay.

We also really enjoyed walking from Pondalowie Campground to the boardwalk where they watch the surfing.

Pondalowie Bay beach is stunning
The walk from Pondalowie Bay around the beach is beautiful

Do you need a 4WD?

Around 70% of the Innes National Park is bitumen, with the rest being very good condition gravel roads. You absolutely do not need a 4WD, and you don’t even need a 2WD with much clearance; virtually every vehicle is fine.

Good roads in the Innes National Park
This National Park is really well developed, and most of the roads are bitumen

Can you camp in the Innes National Park?

There’s 7 places within the Innes National Park where you can camp. Only a couple of those are suitable for caravans though, so look carefully, and make a booking online. There is decent reception around Stenhouse Bay, and some patchy reception around Pondalowie Bay that might be OK to put a booking through.

We’d recommend you drive through the camp sites, or do some thorough research before you book anything as some of the tent sites are the smallest that I’ve ever seen in my travels. We have a dedicated Innes National Park Camping post that covers more in detail, if you want to continue reading.

Camped at Pondalowie Bay
We camped at Pondalowie Bay, and really enjoyed it

Ticks in the Innes National Park

If you are going to visit the Innes National Park, you need to know that there are ticks around, and that there’s a decent chance you’ll end up with one or more on you, and biting you. According to the signs around the camp grounds these are harmless to humans and you should just carefully remove them. I’m not sure I fully agree with that, and would avoid getting bitten by them as much as possible.

We stayed 3 nights at Pondalowie Campground and saw about 10, with none of us getting bitten, which was great!

Ticks in Hopetoun
You’ll likely see ticks in the Innes National Park, and it pays to check yourself regularly

Did we enjoy our stay?

I really enjoyed Gym Beach. We spent two nights there, at the top of the Innes National Park and really rated camp site number 5, but also the coastline. From there, we headed through the rest of the park and spent 3 nights at Pondalowie. Browns Beach, Shell Beach and Dolphin Bay are truly beautiful beaches, and you won’t go wrong seeing them.

Gym Beach views
Gym Beach is a hidden gem of the Innes National Park

We quite enjoyed the history at Stenhouse Bay and Jetty, and Inneston, along with the walks to the lighthouses, and Pondalowie Bay Beach is unreal.

It did take a day or two for me to warm up to the main part of Innes National Park, but I eventually fell in love with it. We had some pretty shoddy weather to start with, but its still an incredible part of the world and if you visited when it was warm and calm it would be truly beautiful.

West Cape Lighthouse
The Innes National Park is a pretty incredible place

I’d absolutely go back to the Innes National Park.

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