Innes National Park

Innes National Park comprises 9,141 ha of natural coastal mallee, representing 1 of only a few pockets of significant vegetation on the Yorke Peninsula. Being rich agricultural country, most of Yorke Peninsula has been cleared for farming making Innes an important and valuable national park for biodiversity.


The Park is blessed with warm to hot summers (av. 28 degrees C) while autumn is mild to warm (av. 22 degrees C). The forces of wind and wave action over thousands of years, have sculptured rocky headlands, wavecut platforms and sandy beaches. Further inland, a chain of salt lakes occurs amongst the mallee woodlands.


Excellent fishing and surfing opportunities exist in the surrounding waters and, combined with the Park's unique wildlife provides variety and enjoyment for all park visitors.


Origin of the Name Innes


Innes National Park inherits its name from William Innes, who discovered commercial quantities of gypsum in the area in the early 1900s. In 1913 he set up the mining village of Inneston where gypsum was produced until 1930.


Innes National Park was dedicated in 1970 to conserve the habitat of the rare and elusive Western Whipbird. Previously thought to be extinct in the region, the bird was re-discovered in the mid 60s by diligent ornithologists.


After arriving in the Park, the bird spotters, armed with a recorded tape of a female Western Whipbird, played the tape in known habitat. Here, they hid and patiently waited for what they hoped would be the arrival of male birds attracted to the call of the female.


After 2 hours wait their efforts were rewarded when several males whistled their distinct "it's a teacher" call. They then came out of hiding to investigate the recorded "pick it up" female response call.




The Narrunga People


Prior to European settlement of Yorke Peninsula, aboriginal people lived on Yorke Peninsula and Innes National Park. They were known as the Narrunga people whose spiritual symbol was called Wilthulthu, translated as the "great white shark". They lived a peaceful existence for thousands of years, skilfully netting for fish and fashioning spears and traps for kangaroos and wallabies.


During the late 1800s conflict with European whalers and sealers eventually forced the traditional owners from their land.


Gypsum Mining


Inneston village was established in 1913 for the purpose of gypsum production. During the boom phase the township boasted a population of around 500 people. Although isolated, Inneston was completely self sufficient, having its own school, post office, bakery, general store and tennis court.




Lying on the ocean bed off the coast of Yorke Peninsula and Innes National Park are the skeletons of around 40 shipwrecks. All fell victims to the unpredictable storms that frequent the area during winter, spring and autumn.


An interpretive maritime trail along the coast of Innes tells a tale of the tragedy, bravery and final agonising moments before these ships sank beneath the waves.




Yorke Distict Office
National Parks and Wildlife SA
Stenhouse Bay SA 5577 Australia Phone: (61 8) 8854 3200 Fax: (61 8) 8854 3299


A Park for All Seasons


No matter what time of year you visit Innes National Park, there is always something that will surprise and delight.


The summer months provide warm and sunny conditions for the beach lover, while autumn heralds cool and milder weather ideally suited for bushwalking and sightseeing.


West Cape


Winter transforms the Park into a fresh, green landscape with wild seas, vibrant rainbows and visits by Southern Right Whales.


Springtime sees Innes in magnificent colour with the blossoming of the wild flowers and casuarina trees.


How to get to the Park


Innes National Park is located on the south-west tip of Yorke Peninsula. The Park is 300 km from Adelaide via Main North Road through to Port Wakefield and the towns of Ardrossan, Minlaton and Warooka.


Exploring the Park


There is so much to see and do in Innes National Park. Here are a few activities that you can enjoy.




Experience camping amongst coastal mallee in 1 of the many designated sites within the Park. For those who prefer a little more comfort, inquire about the heritage accommodation at the old Inneston township. Here, 5 lodges are available for rental to park visitors.


Campers are reminded that collection of firewood, either dead or alive, is prohibited in the Park. Penalties apply for non compliance.


Wood for campfires can be purchased from the Stenhouse Bay Store.




Chinamans reef


Surf in some of South Australia's most challenging breaks. Try Chinamans reef, Pondalowie Bay or West Cape.




A wide variety of fish species can be caught off the beaches and jetty in the Park.


Fish in secluded locations like Stenhouse Bay and Cape Spencer, or join the other adventurers on the salmon run at Browns Beach.




Explore the fascinating caves and reefs near The Gap or the offshore islands.




Towards Ethel Beach. Bushwalk along the many inland or coastal trails. Discover the Thomson/Pfitzner Plaster Trail from Stenhouse Bay to historic Inneston village and the old wood cutters trails, or investigate the Royston Head coastal trail.




Take shots of the diverse and vibrant flora and fauna or the impressive landscape.


Whale Watching


Whale watch from the clifftops during the winter months at Stenhouse Bay and Cape Spencer.


Bird Spotting


Search and identify up to 124 species of birds that frequent the Park during certain times of the year. See if you can spot the rare Osprey, Western Whipbird or the amazing Malleefowl.


Enticing Beaches


Striking beaches greet the visitor to Innes National Park. From the wide, sweeping expanse of West Cape to the beautiful protected sandy bays of Dolphin and Shell Beaches. The Park is truly a beach lover's paradise.


Park Fees


Entry and camping permits can be obtained from the Park Visitor Centre during office hours, or at the visitor permit pay station near the Visitor Centre, or at Stenhouse Bay at any time.


Help protect your national parks by following these guidelines:


>> leave your pets at home
>> take your rubbish with you
>> observe fire restrictions (1 November - 30 April)
>> conserve wildlife habitat by using liquid fuel or gas stoves
>> camp only in designated areas
>> respect geological or heritage sites
>> keep our wildlife wild - do not feed or disturb animals, or remove native plants or firewood
>> keep to defined vehicle tracks and walking trails
>> be considerate of other park users
>> sand boarding is prohibited. It causes severe erosion.
Thank you for leaving the bush in its natural state for the enjoyment of others.



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