21 January 2012

Newland Head Conservation Park

Last weekend we camped for a couple of nights at Newland Head Conservation Park, which is on the southern coast of the Fleurieu Peninsula, just west of Victor Harbour. We had never been there before.

We stayed at Waitpinga Campground (at Waitpinga Beach) and found that it lived up to its namesake (the Aboriginal meaning of Waitpinga is "Windy Place"). It's a nice camp ground with toilets, water, nearby walking trails and a boardwalk to the beach (about 20 minutes return). The designated camping areas are enclosed by wooden barriers, so you generally can't get your vehicle directly adjacent to your camp site, which is what we would usually do. We had to carry our gear to the camp site, instead of leaving it in the boot, but it wasn't a problem.

Waitpinga Beach

We did the "Coastal Cliffs Loop Hike" one morning. The walk took us past the impressively flat cliffs of Newland Head, and provided some nice coastal views. We covered the distance of 7.5 km in under three hours.

Newland Head Cliffs (Coastal Cliffs Loop Hike)

We didn't do any swimming at Waitpinga or Parsons beach as according to Parks SA: Due to strong rips and hidden gutters, the park's beaches are not suitable for swimming. After seeing the beaches in person, we agreed with that. It was pretty windy anyway, and therefore a bit cold.

We were going to try a bit of fishing, but thought better of it given our miserly little rod and the windy conditions. There were quite a few people fishing with large beach rods. Apparently the area is good for Australian Salmon, Mullet and Mulloway.

Waitpinga Beach
We probably won't go back all that often, as unless you are a keen fisher or surfer, the exposed coast doesn't offer up a lot of things to do. But don't get me wrong, it was a great place to see and a welcome chance to get outdoors and away from the glowing screens!

Some more photos here.

(I have since created a Wikipedia article on Newland Head Conservation Park.)