Almost 50% of Kangaroo island is home to one of the most beautiful national parks in all of Australia, Flinders Chase National Park.
Home to 326 sq km of untouched natural landscape on Kangaroo Island south of mainland South Australia, this once lush green forest was plunged into darkness during the 2019-20 bushfire season that ravaged hundreds and thousands of hectares across south-east Australia.
Nevertheless this incredible landscape is home to natural attractions like Admirals arch, remarkable rocks, various walking tracks, Cape Du Couedic Lighthouse station, Weirs Cove ruin and Fur Seal lookout.
For everything you need to know about Flinders Chase National park you can find right here in this 2021 Guide.
WHERE IS FLINDERS CHASE NATIONAL PARK?
Flinders Chase National Park sits in the far western side of Kangaroo Island, South Australia’s premium island destination.
If you have arrived from mainland South Australia into Kangaroo island using the SeaLink ferry you will arrive in Penneshaw in the East.
A further 96km west of the capital city of Kingscote is the border of Flinders Chase National Park.
GETTING TO FLINDERS CHASE NATIONAL PARK
Your options for getting here are either Playford highway through the middle of the island or take South Coast Rd, passing places like Vivonne Bay and Seal Bay on the way through.
Hire a rental car before you start your journey to Flinders Chase to take the stress off your trip.
The main entrance is in the south west corner of the island so best bet would be to take the south coast road the whole way down.
FLINDERS CHASE BUSHFIRES 2019-20
The end of 2019 and the beginning of 2020 saw a nationwide bushfire that swept across the landscapes of Kangaroo Island, Victorias Gippsland region and north into the southern rural regions of NSW.
96% of Flinders Chase national park was destroyed by bush-fires that swept with such speed most wildlife and infrastructure were unprepared and unable to evacuate in time.
The destruction was so wide spread that to this day there is still no camping or overnight accommodation within the Flinders Chase National Park.
Recovery is slow but it is underway, with federal funding allowing accommodation and campsites to rebuild once again.
BEST TIME OF YEAR TO VISIT FLINDERS CHASE NATIONAL PARK
The summer months in Australia are officially December through February.
This is also the busiest time of the year as the school holiday season begins throughout the Christmas season and all Aussies head out on their annual festive season holidays and road trips.
If you’re looking for mostly warm weather and little to no rain then January is the best time of the year, and the warm weather will correlate with the end of the school holiday calendar in late january.
If you’re looking for a less crowded time of year then wait until the end of January and Feb for still warm weather and no little kids running around.
READ MORE: Plan your South Australia trip with this all inclusive Guide here
FEES TO ENTER FLINDERS CHASE NATIONAL PARK
Upon arrival at Flinders Chase national park you will purchase a park pass for a fee of $11 per person or from the website online.
This can be discounted to $9 for concession holders/students and children costing $6 per child.
If you plan on staying longer than a night then a 2 night discount will bring you to $16.
Unfortunately Flinders Chase national park is not included in the south australia parks pass list, therefore you will need to purchase a separate pass at the Visitor centre.
For more information and updated park and walking track closures and purchasing a parks multiple entry pass, visit the Visitor information centre.
OPENING HOURS FOR FLINDERS CHASE NATIONAL PARK
Flinders Chase National Park is a public park, therefore it is open to the public daily and year round.
The visitor centre is staffed between the hours of 9am till 5p daily, and there is also a 24 hour wifi payment hotspot at Rocky River for access to the campgrounds within the national park ordinarily.
EPIC PLACES TO VISIT IN FLINDERS CHASE NATIONAL PARK
This diverse region is home to a colony of New Zealand Fur Seals that rest on the rocky outcrops and shallow, protected areas of Flinders Chase.
Sheltered from the crashing waves of the ocean is Admirals arch; a large gaping hole in the side of a cliff that has formed somewhat stalactites in this oval shaped cave.
If you’re looking to get up close and personal with wildlife you can check out our guide on our favourite and most ethical wildlife adventure on Kangaroo island.
Views from the winding boardwalk give you an unprecedented view of the seals and their resting area during the day and is one of the only places in all of Flinders Chase National Park where you can view seals from.
Erosion over hundreds of years has formed the arch and enabled the fur seals protection as well as the ideal sunbathing area hidden from Great White sharks.
One side of the platform takes you to the fur seal colony sunbathing in the rock pools below whilst continuing to the end of the platform gives you incredible views of Admirals Arch.
Yes, well say it! They are truly remarkable.
A carpark is provided for guests before a short compacted walk through the shrub towards the rocks that are no more than a 5-10 minute walk away.
A boardwalk used to guide visitors to the Rocks, but it was unfortunately destroyed; miraculously, the Rocks were left untouched by the fires and remain in their original standing.
Sitting precariously on the edge of a granite mountain top are a rather visually fascinating and architecturally intriguing collection of burnt orange granite rocks placed at the top of one big granite hill that looks out over the oceans edge.
Probably the most fascinating attraction to all of Flinders Chase National Park and indeed anywhere we had been within South Australia really, this unique formation of rocks has also been molded by erosion and sea spray over the years.
Cape Du Couedic Lighthouse station
Listed as state heritage sites in South Australia, Cape du Coedic lighthouse station is the only lighthouse within Flinders Chase National Park.
Crafted from local sandstone, the keepers cottage, stables and stores all form separate heritage listings as it was created back in 1909 and stands 25 metres tall used as a warning to ships off the coast of the Great Australian Bight.
RE-OPENED WALKING TRAILS IN FLINDERS CHASE NATIONAL PARK
Much of the infrastructure and walking trails within flinders chase national park were destroyed by the bushfires and have since indefinitely been closed to the general public.
Since that time the natural regrowth and reforestation has allowed a select few tracks to officially re-open to the public.
Open walking tracks
Ravine Des Casoars
A 3 hour return grade 3 walking track that spans 7.6km of walking track that follows the ravine valley to the western coast of the great australian Bight.
Emus used to be a common sighting on Kangaroo Island, unfortunately the French explorer Nicholas Baudin mistook the animals as Cassowary and wiped them out within a few short years.
This hike begins on the Ravine des Casoars rd road 7km south of the Playford Highway near Cape Borda Lighthouse station.
Cape Du Couedic Track
Much smaller and shorter than previously mentioned, a quick 40 minute return over a 1.9km grade 3 hike offering coastal views and interpretive signs all the way along the loop.
You can begin this hike from the upper car park near the toilets or from the lower carpark at the start of Admirals Arch.
Know what the Top 15 Most Amazing things to do on Kangaroo island are? We do….
Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail
Not for the faint of heart and one of the best multiple day hikes anywhere in Flinders Chase National Park is the Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail.
A 5 day 73km one way hike that takes you from the Rocky River entrance to the Kelly Hill station on day 5.
The official trail length is 60.4km long but add on the extra side trails along the way to make up the 73km total.
This trail in Flinders Chase National Park is free on Day 1 & 5, however day 2-4 will cost you $161 trail fee.
Each campsite every night has a dedicated campground area, a group tour campground area as well as a communal kitchen, dining area, shared toilet and rainwater facilities.
An incredibly diverse bushwalking experience, this hike in particular will take you through a range of bio-diversities including a karst cave system, a recovering woodlands area and a beautiful sugar gum woodland region.
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Chris and Laura Travels acknowledge Aboriginal people as the First Peoples and Nations of the lands and waters we live and work upon and we pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging.
We acknowledge and respect the deep spiritual connection and the relationship that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have to Country.