We love national parks. Australia has some truly mind blowing places, and we were pretty excited to visit the Lincoln National Park, and see what it had to offer. In true fashion, we had all kinds of weather from warm, sunny portions of the day through to thunderstorms and horrendous wind, but loved our 9 nights in the Lincoln National Park.
Where is the Lincoln National Park?
This beautiful national park is located just south of Port Lincoln, and heads out from the coast a considerable distance. From Port Lincoln, it takes about 20 minutes to get to the entry of the National Park, and then the camp sites and attractions start fairly quickly from there.
Can you get there with a 2WD?
Yep, fairly easily. The entrance to the national park is bitumen, and continues almost all the way to Fisherman Point before turning to gravel. The gravel is in decent condition and would suit all but very lowered 2WD vehicles, all the way to Donington lighthouse and September Beach where there’s a day use area and more camping.
Spalding Cove is a great 2WD accessible camp ground, as is Fisherman Point and September Beach. Some of the other camp sites are 2WD accessible as well, but Woodcutters, Horse Rock, Carcase Rock, Mclaren Point, Taylors Landing and Memory Cove are not suitable unless you have a 4WD.
Camp sites in Lincoln National Park
We didn’t actually call in here, so I can’t give you an accurate comment. It certainly didn’t appear to be one of the better camp sites in the Lincoln National Park though.
This is a tight 4WD track that meanders through the bush, with several camp sites near the coast. It isn’t exactly super picturesque, and the beach/rock access isn’t as good as some of the other camps.
You drive right past Horse Rock heading through the Lincoln National Park, with site number 6 literally 5 metres off the main road. This camp site is well known for the Razor fish, and has 6 decent camp sites. 3 and 4 are together and are probably the pick of the bunch, with 5 being nice and private and good too. 6 is massive and the day use area in that particular location, and we didn’t call into 1 and 2.
We did OK getting small razor fish here, and enjoyed walking up and down the beach.
Spalding Cove might actually be the largest camp ground in the Lincoln National Park. It’s bitumen all the way in, and has a couple of sites close to the beach, with other sites set back up the hill. You’ll see plenty of Emu’s here, and the sites are drive through, which is unique and pretty smart.
We didn’t stay here, but it was a nice looking spot and it would be a good base.
Our first camp site was Fisherman Point, which is well known and has been recently upgraded. You book an exact site online, and they are pretty well set up. 13 is probably the best camp site, with 12, 14, 15 and 16 being good too. The others are all very similar, with less beach or ocean views.
The beach here is great, although it’s a little walk down. We did OK fishing and wading at night here, and it’s a really picturesque place with decent protection from the winds at times.
Just further north of Fisherman Point lies Engine Point, which is a fantastic camp ground. There are no toilets here, and the bookings are unallocated (as in first in, best dressed with a booking). We spent a night at Engine Point South, and rated it as one of the better camp grounds in the national park with easy access to the water, a great beach nearby and a really picturesque bay.
If you can jag good weather and winds, you are onto a huge winner here. It’s also only $13.50 per night, which is a lot cheaper than other places.
One of the older, and more well used camp sites in the National Park is September Beach. We spent two nights here trying to shelter from a storm and some nasty Westerly winds, on camp site number 7. You can walk to the beach fairly easily, and this is another stunning beach when the winds are right, and sun is out.
You can walk a fair distance in either direction around the rocks, with the lighthouse being not too far away. The camp sites here are more private than at Fisherman Beach, but the views are not as good. This is also where they run the glamping tents, which were not in use when we stayed.
Carcase Rock is a 4WD access only camp site through some rocky sections, little puddles and a heap of overhanging branches. You’d struggle to get a full height caravan in here.
The camp sites were reasonable, but set back from the coast and very different to Fisherman Point or September Beach.
If you own a 4WD, and want a more remote camp site in the Lincoln National Park then the drive out to Mclaren point will do the trick. The actual beach and rocks are quite nice, with the camp sites set back a bit from the coastline. You’d get a hybrid camper in here, but nothing larger as there’s lots of overhanging trees.
Taylors Landing is a 7km 4WD track in, which we didn’t do, so I can’t give you feedback on its condition. It is however, a very popular place for people to tow their boats in and launch them, as you can get around the bottom of the national park easily.
Our favourite camp site by a country mile was Memory Cove, which is booked online and you need a key for. You get this from the visitors centre, and then have to do a fairly long, and very slow 4WD track in. From Port Lincoln, expect to spend between 1.75 – 3 hours driving in at very slow speeds. The last 19km is literally an hours drive, and we met people who took nearly two to do it.
When you arrive though, you are greeted with a pristine little bay that is well protected on 3 sides. It’s often unaffected by the weather (unless it blows from the north or north east), and plenty of boats come in and spend the night there.
There’s only 5 camp sites, that are suitable for 4WD’s or camper trailers and its got a real quiet, relaxed feel about it. We spent 3 amazing nights at Memory Cove, listening to the hundreds of wrens happily passing their days on.
4WD tracks in Lincoln National Park
You can use your 4WD at Horse Rock to get in, asjdfljasf via the beach or long, windy 4WD track, Mclaren point, Taylors Landing, Carcase Rock and Memory Cove.
The ultimate 4WD track (and must do) is from Wanna to Sleaford, which is one of the most scenic and stunning coastal drives I’ve done in my life. We spent most of the day enjoying the area, and rated it as a huge highlight in the Lincoln National Park
Do you need a parks pass?
Yes, you do, but the SA booking system is awfully strange. If you are coming in for a day visit, you have to have a parks pass. If you are booking a camp site though, the fee covers the entry, so you don’t need a parks pass.
I’m not sure why they’ve made it different to what you’d normally do, but there you go. We purchased an annual parks pass for $112, and I’m not sure if we actually would have, if we’d known this.
Is the Lincoln National Park worth visiting?
We spent 9 nights in the Lincoln National Park, and thoroughly enjoyed it. Except for Wanna, Sleaford and Memory Cove, everything else is fairly close together and can be done quicker, but we were dodging nasty winds and moving around, and wanted to see as much as we could.
The beaches here are as good as they get, with the water being incredibly cold for a WA family. Fishing is good, and we had a lot of fun exploring the place. I’d certainly not miss it if I had the time!