Located on Kangaroo Island, Australia, Flinders Chase National Park is a remote but breathtaking national park, complete with coastal scenery, formidable naturally-sculpted rocks, vast wilderness, towering limestone cliffs and huge white beaches. There is also an abundance of wildlife, including seals, kangaroos, koalas, birds, goanas and echidnas.
Apart from the wildlife and landscapes, the park also has geological monuments with a rich cultural heritage and value, traditional lighthouses built from limestone, and an excellent and warm tourist reception.
Planning a visit? You should! Below are the top ten things to do in Flinders Chase National Park.
The comprehensive visitor center is a perfect place to start your tour. With the help of informative panels and interactive displays of artwork and local souvenirs, the center provides information on the fauna, flora and landscapes of Flinders Chase National Park. You can also sample some of the local food and drinks sold at the cafe before heading out on your tour. Don’t forget to pay your park entry fees, book accommodations and sort out camping fees and permits here.
To do: Enjoy a picnic or a barbecue with family and friends using the facilities at the visitor center. There is also lots of space for kids to play and activities including a fossil dig pit.
Best time to visit: Anytime. The center is open all days of the week, from early morning to late evenings.
Seal watching is a must-do in Flinders National Park and these furry New Zealand seals can be found by the dozens living on the rocks below Admirals Arch, a natural rock arch formed by years of sea waves pounding on the coastline. Even without the seals, the Arch is one of the most breathtaking a picturesque spots in the park and wortha visit on its own.
To do: Enjoy the wide, almost turbulent oceanic view on the 1 km boardwalk from Admirals Arch car park to the arch itself. Along the way, look down below to spot fuzzy long nosed fur seals sunning themselves on the rocks. There are steps down to the water. If you are lucky, you may see a couple of seal pups frolicking!
Best time to visit: The site is open 24 hours a day, although the park suggests day visitors leave by sundown. Visit between May to October for a chance to spot migrating whales.
Tip: Start your tour from early sunrise to spot the seals and avoid tour buses.
Cape du Couedic is one of the two lighthouses found in Flinders Chase. Commissioned in 1902, this lighthouse is valued for its historic significance in preventing possible shipwrecks. Although no one is permitted to enter the lighthouse, you can walk round it and gather information from the boards nearby.
To do: Learn about the history of the lighthouse from the information boards and soak up the historic vibe.
Best time to visit: Midmorning to early evening.
Tip: Stay at the lighthouse cottages. Large, roomy and comfortable for six people, these cottages were built in 1907 from limestone that was carved from solid blocks.
The hike to Weirs Cove is a moderate one-hour hike that stretches about 3 km and also comes with a bit of historical significance. After the Cape du Couedic lighthouse was commissioned, the lighthouse keeper walked this long 3 km distance to pick up goods from the landing. There was no road access, so it was a pretty tough task, walking back and forth with goods and basic supplies shipped from far away. For families, this is a moderate hike suitable for older children.
To do: You can also take a look at the historic cliff pulley system used to bring in the supplies and the storehouse that lies in ruins.
Best time to visit: Start your hike early enough in the day to beat the sun.
Tip: Do carry lots of water as this hike offers minimal shade and hikers might be prone to dehydration.
Deserving of their name, Remarkable Rocks are a must visit site in Flinders Chase National Park. These rocks are over 5 billion years old and look like artwork sculptured by a skilled artist, when in fact they are a product of years of rain, waves, and sea pounding on granite stones. The result is a set of uniquely shaped granite boulders that look like they could topple into the sea at any moment.
To do: Although the rocks look unbalanced, they are safe enough to climb and explore, even for kids. Explore the numerous formations of the rocks and enjoy the view of the coastline.
Best time to visit: Mid-morning to late afternoons, although the rocks look especially stunning at sunset.
Tip: The oddly shaped rocks with their beautiful colors (especially at sunset) are a perfect subject for photography enthusiasts.
Unlike most other lighthouses, this cute and photogenic little lighthouse built in 1858 is square in shape. It also acts as a museum and offers guided tours on certain days of the week. Like Cape du Couedic lighthouse, it is also possible to spend a night or two here.
To do: Take a historic and cultural trip round the museum. The museum displays salvaged items from shipwrecks and each item has its own unique story to tell.
Best time to visit: The museum is open for tours Fridays – Tuesdays.
Tip: Don’t miss the firing of cannons during the 12:30pm tour.
Don’t miss this 4 km walk through sugar gums and mallee (a certain eucalypt species that grows with multiple stems) which descends down to Rocky River and ends at the beaches of Southern Ocean. The relatively flat and easy walk offers a spectacular view of the sea and sprawling landscapes.
To do: Spend the night at designated campsites in the now-dry lagoon and enjoy night walks around the lagoon.
Best time to visit: Early morning to nights.
Tip: Kangaroos hang around Snake Lagoon so a hike around the area is a must if you wish to spot kangaroos.
Platypus are a rare sight, and while taking this easy 4.5 km return walk doesn't actually mean you’ll see a platypus, if you wait patiently and quietly you might be able to spot one around the waterholes. On this trail, which starts from the visitors center, you are more likely to spot koalas hanging out in the trees, so don’t forget to look up! This walk also offers a chance to discover many other flora and fauna around the waterholes.
To do: The Platypus Walk is a 2-hour easy bush walk that is suitable for kids and older people. Apart from koalas, you may be lucky to spot some echidnas, a wallaby or a goose.
Best time to visit: Early morning to nights.
Tip: Look out for signs that provide information about the wildlife along the trail.
The unspoiled Rocky River offers a scenic view of low woodlands, open forests and a riverine community of birds, reptiles, insects and mammals. There is accommodation here for curious visitors to enjoy nature of their doorstep. For the adventurous, walk the 13 km Rocky River trail that opens up to the sea near Maupertuis Bay.
To do: Take a nature trip round Rocky River and get a chance to spot some of the wildlife such as goanas, platypuses and kangaroos.
Best time to visit: Mid-morning to late afternoon.
Tip: There are facilities for barbecues, rest stops, and showers. This is a great spot to take a break before continuing with your hike.
This stunning, once-in-a-lifetime 61 km endurance trek is not for the faint of heart. However, Kangaroo Wilderness Trail offers one of the best views of landscapes, the ocean, wildlife and other stunning nature views in south-west Flinders Chase National Park. It is a popular attraction for marathoners.
To do: Take 5-days to tackle this adventurous trek, camping along the way.
Best time to visit: Between March – November. Early mornings are the best time to start.
Tip: To enjoy this trek, make sure you have some bush trekking experience.
There are lots of activities and things to do in Flinders Chase National Park. Sightseeing, nature walks and trips round geological monuments are just a few of the things to do here. The stunning scenery, collection of endangered wildlife and of course the ocean make Flinders Chase a top tourist attraction in Australia. If you ever happen to be in Southern Australia, don't hesitate to stop over. There are secrets and destinations just waiting for you to explore.
Also, check out our trips and holidays available on Kangaroo Island.