Deep Creek Conservation Park

Introduction
Deep Creek Conservation Park is located 13 km east of Cape Jervis on the south coast of the Fleurieu Peninsula, South Australia. Approximately 1 1/2 hours drive from Adelaide, 45 minutes from Victor Harbor and 30 minutes from Yankalilla and Normanville, visitors can enjoy the natural and rugged remoteness of this park close to these major service centres.

 

Aaron Creek
Covering some 4,500 ha, Deep Creek Conservation Park is the largest remaining block of wildlife habitat on the Fleurieu Peninsula. The park contains a variety of landform and vegetation types and is home to a suite of native fauna. The park is an important refuge for several species of conservation importance.

 

The coastal location means a moderate temperature range is experienced in the park. Warm to hot, dry summers with average maximums of 25 degrees Celsius and cool, wet winters with maximum temperatures averaging 12 to 15 degrees are the norm. Average annual rainfall is approximately 900 mm.

 

Visitors to the Deep Creek Conservation Park are provided with several recreational opportunities including bushwalking on an extensive network of trails, camping in five campgrounds and viewing the spectacular scenery of the Backstairs Passage, Kangaroo Island and the rugged Deep Creek valley.

 


Contacts
Fleurieu District Office
41 Victoria St
Victor Harbor SA 5211
Australia

 

Phone: (61 8) 8552 3677
Fax: (61 8) 8552 3950
Deep Creek Conservation Park
C/- PO Delamere
SA 5204
Australia

 

Phone: (61 8) 8598 0263
Fax: (61 8) 8598 0269

 

Bushwalking

Deep Creek Conservation Park provides some of the most scenic and challenging bushwalking in the State. An extensive network of trails allow walkers to explore a variety of fascinating natural environments. Due to the Park's rugged nature, a careful, responsible and well planned approach to bushwalking is essential for your safety. Please observe the following:

 

Choose a walk or hike that best suits your time frame and fitness capabilities.
Wear solid and stable footwear with good grip.
Carry adequate supplies of drinking water.
Do not leave the marked trails.
Weather can change rapidly. Ensure you have appropriate wet weather clothing and sun protection.
Let someone responsible know of your intended route and estimated time of completing your walk or hike.
Walk at the speed which is comfortable for the slowest member of your group.
It is advisable to obtain an up-to-date map from Park Headquarters. Out-of-date maps may be distributed from other outlets.
School and other groups must complete a Trip Intentions form prior to visiting the Park. The form is available from Park Headquarters.

 


Other Things To Do
Fishing from Blowhole Creek Beach and Boat Harbor Beach.

 

Picnic tables are located at Trig Camp ground, Stringybark walk, Cobbler Hill, Aaron Creek picnic area, Talisker picnic area and Deep Creek Park Headquarters.

 

Historical hiking trail at nearby Talisker Conservation Park through ruins of the 1862-1872 silver-lead mine.

 

Observe Western Grey Kangaroos feeding at dusk at Tapanappa Ridge or on the Aaron Creek hiking trail.

 

Thank you for leaving the bush in its natural state for the enjoyment of others.

 

Landform and Geology
The southern Mount Lofty Ranges form a spine to the Fleurieu Peninsula and ridges extending from the range to the south coast make up the landform of Deep Creek Conservation Park. In the northern part of the park, elevations on the range reach 300 metres and numerous streams are fed by springs and soaks.

 

Flowing south, these creeks carve deep valleys to expose some spectacular rock outcrops before emptying into the Southern Ocean at small, predominantly rocky coves. These coves provide the only breaks in an otherwise imposing line of rugged cliffs that form the coastline. Blowhole Creek, Deep Creek and Boat Harbor Creek Beaches are the most attractive and accessible coves within the park.

 

The present landform in Deep Creek Conservation Park is the result of a geological history of sedimentation, uplifting, folding, faulting, glaciation and erosion.

 

The Kanmantoo trough was formed by the collapse along fault lines of the southern and eastern sides of a large undersea basin called the Adelaide Geosyncline. This trough collected a great depth of sediment before uplifting and folding, due to tectonic activity, occurred. The rock outcrop pattern found on the Fleurieu Peninsula today is largely a result of this folding process.

 

Glaciation followed, which flattened much of the mountain range and gouged valleys including Backstairs Passage. When the glaciers retreated the area was subject to a period of gradual weathering and erosion, leaving a plain of low relief. The remnants of this plain form the laterite hilltops of the Peninsula today.

 

A period of faulting then uplifted the Fleurieu Peninsula and left it surrounded by the St Vincent and Murray basins. Several fluctuations in sea level occurred before present-day shores developed. Active stream erosion stripped much of the old land surface and exposed the underlying rock which is seen in the landscape today.

 

Flora
Many vegetation associations are represented in Deep Creek Conservation Park ranging from open forests and woodlands to shrub and heathlands. Also of note are some specialised microhabitats within the park that provide a rich diversity of fern and other shade plants and a fungal flora otherwise poorly represented in South Australia.

 

406 indigenous plant species have been recorded in the park and of these 129 have been given specific conservation ratings. Several plant species found in the park are endemic to the southern Mount Lofty Ranges and a few are only otherwise known to exist on Kangaroo Island. Over 170 species of fungi have been recorded in the Stringybark forests in the park.

 

On the more elevated parts of the Park old growth Messmate Stringybark Eucalyptus obliqua open forest with an understorey dominated by Yaccas Xanthorrhoea semiplana. The upper valleys are also covered by open forests but species of smooth barked gums particularly Pink Gum Eucalyptus fasciculosa dominate. Stands of Drooping Sheoak Allocasuarina verticillata form low woodlands on some steep rocky slopes in the park. Low woodlands of Cup Gums Eucalyptus cosmophylla also exist on some of the ridges.

 

Between the upper valleys and coastal cliffs many of the slopes in the park are covered by open scrub and tall shrublands. Together with several eucalypts the main species in these belts include Golden Wattles Acacia pycnantha, Kangaroo Thorn A. paradoxa, Sticky Hop-bush Dodonea viscosa and Silver Banksia Banksia marginata. This vegetation grades through to more heathy areas until the low heath of the coastal cliffs is reached. Common species found in the heath country include Slaty Sheoak Allocasuarina muelleriana, Totem Poles Melaleuca decussata, Beaked Hakea Hakea rostrata, Common Fringe-myrtle Calytrix tetragona, Large-leaved Bush Pea Pultenaea daphnoides with the more hardy species such as Coastal Bearded-heath Leucopogen parviflorus, Heath Riceflower Pimelia phylicoides and Clasping Goodenia Goodenia amplexans dominating the cliff zone.

 

As mentioned, specialised habitats occur particularly in creeks and swamps of the park. Species of note found in these wetter areas include Swamp Gums E ovata, Native Fuschias Correa reflexa, Swamp Wattles A retinoides, Swamp Tea-tree Leptispernam lanigerum, together with several species of water plants and ferns.

 

Fauna
Western Grey Kangaroos, Short-beaked Echidnas, Ring-tailed Possums and Yellow-footed Antechinus are the most commonly seen animals in Deep Creek Conservation Park. Other mammals which are rarely seen but are of greater conservation significance include the Southern Brown Bandicoot and several bat species.

 

Over 100 species of birds have been recorded in the area and many are easily spotted when walking in the Park. Species of high conservation importance recorded in the park include Southern Emu Wren, Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoo, Glossy Black-Cockatoo, Peregrine Falcon, White-bellied Sea Eagle, Painted Button-quail, Chestnut-rumped Hylocola, White's Thrush, Elegant Parrot, Lewin's Rail, Latham's Snipe and the Beautiful Firetail.

 

Several species of skink make up the most abundant reptiles found in Deep Creek Conservation Park. Other species often seen are Sleepy Lizards, Red-bellied Black Snakes, Marbled Geckoes and Tawny Dragons. Healthy and diverse populations of amphibians and native fish also occur in the Park.

 

Information for this National Park has been supplied courtesy of The Department for Environment and Heritage (DEH)

 

 

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