Innes National Park

Innes National Park

Infobox_protected_area_of_Australia | name = Innes National Park
iucn_category = II

caption = Looking west towards Cape Spencer
locator_x = 163
locator_y = 178
nearest_town_or_city = Marion Bay
coordinates = coord|35|13|40|S|136|53|41|E|region:AU-SA_type:landmark
area = 92 km²
established = 1970
visitation_num =
visitation_year =
managing_authorities = Department for Environment and Heritage
official_site = [ Innes National Park]

Innes is a national park on the southwest tip of Yorke Peninsula in South Australia (Australia), 160 km west of Adelaide. Innes is the largest area of native vegetation remaining on the Yorke Peninsula, providing habitat for 115 species of conservation significance.

Innes National Park was named after William Innes and his family, who pioneered the mining of gypsum on Southern Yorke Peninsula. Apart from its magnificent coastal scenery and environment, Innes National Park contains the former gypsum mining town of Inneston established in 1912 and abandoned by 1970, and the small port and township of Stenhouse Bay. Some of the buildings at Inneston have been restored and are available as basic hire accommodation. A number of gypsum lakes are with the area of the park, but excluded so they can still be mined for gypsum if required. The park also contains a spectacular rugged coastline which contains the sites of several historic shipwrecks and two lighthouses. The wreck of the sailing barque "Ethel" was well-preserved on the beach for many years, but has now succumbed to the elements.

Innes National Park was first proclaimed in 1970 when the first Ranger in Charge, Mr Bruce Macreth was assigned to manage the park. Since that time a number of rangers have served the area well including Mr Peter Tomlin (1973-77), Mr Pearce Dougherty (1977-89), Ms Katherine Stephens, Mr Ross Allen, Mr Colin Waters, Mr Bryn Troath and more recently Ms Caroline Paterson.

The park headquarters are located in Stenhouse Bay and visitors can obtain information on the park and obtain entry and camping permits at this location.



Innes National Park has 9 camping ground in the park. Pondalowie Campground is the main campground has seventy-five sites situated in coastal mallee and sheoak vegetation. Hot showers are free. Caravans and generators are permitted in the western end of the campground.

Casuarina Campground is a quiet, tranquil campground ideal for families. Eight sites located behind a locked gate require bookings and collection of the gate key from the visitor centre. Access to the beach.

Surfers Campground has ten sites located close to the Pondalowie boardwalk providing access to the popular surf beach and viewing platform. Shell Beach Campground has has eight site in this shady campground. The lovely Shell Beach is only a short walk from this campsite.

Browns Beach Campground has ten sites nestled amongst natural vegetation and bordered by a steep sand dune. This site is popular for with people who come to fish for Australian Salmon at nearby Browns Beach.

Gym Beach Campground, accessed from the Corny Point road, this campground at the northernmost boundary of the park has four sites offering solitude and beach access.

Jollys Beach Campground is a small coastal camping area with approximately four sites. There are no facilities provided.

Stenhouse Bay Campground has twenty-five sites in close proximity to the beach, visitor centre, Innes Trading Post.

Cable Bay Campground has eight sites with easy access to the beach and great views of the offshore islands.

Indoors accommodation

Heritage accommodation is available at the historic lodges at Inneston. In addition, the Stenhouse Bay Hall is available for group bookings (up to 30) and Shepherds Hut at Shell Beach accommodates four people.


The main surf break at Pondalowie is a popular quality wave. It consists of a combination left and right peak that breaks over a reef and snad bottom. The left is good up to about 4'. The right starts to become good from between 3' to 8' plus.

A second smaller right hand reef break known as 'Richards Reef' is located 250 metres further north along the beach. It was named in honour of Mr Richard Thomas a long time local surfer and resident of the area.

Not far from Stenhouse Bay is a break known as 'Chinamans'. This is a powerful and hollow left hand reef break which breaks in shallow water and washes over a rock shelf. It is a high quality wave that is suitable only for skilled surfers and caution should be used when surfing here.

ee also

Protected areas of South Australia

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