Lincoln National Park

Campground Hosting at Lincoln National Park

October 2019
Lea & Jim C

We had thought for some time that we would like to join the campground hosting program run by the Department for Environment and Water. It seemed like a good way to visit some of the State’s most picturesque locations, meet like-minded travellers and at the same time donate some of our time to help rangers out during their busy holiday periods.
Having lodged our application with the department, it wasn’t long before we had completed our on-line training modules, updated our first aid qualifications and obtained the mandatory police and child protection certificates. We were ready to go!

From the list of available locations, we chose Lincoln National Park as our first posting over the October long weekend and the following week of school holidays. We were quite familiar with the park having camped there several times before and made numerous day trips while staying with family in Port Lincoln.

We drove over to the park from Adelaide (approx. 650kms) on the Thursday prior to the long weekend so that we had time to settle in before the expected throngs arrived. We were allocated a conspicuous campsite at Surfleet Cove, a campground which can be reached by a good bitumen road about 20kms into the park.

The campground is quite spread out with sites to suit everything from large caravans to the smallest of tents. Most sites have a view of the pristine waters of the cove, with some only a few metres from the water’s edge. There is an abundance of flora, fauna and birdlife includ-ing the beautiful Port Lincoln parrots in the park.

The ranger paid us a visit and provided an induction to the park together some information pamphlets to hand out and a box of supplies to restock and maintain the facilities. He said that this is usually one of the busiest times of the year and bookings were high.

The expected rush of campers on Friday and Saturday did not really eventuate as the weather forecast for the weekend was not favourable. However, most of the good sites were starting to fill up and there were plenty of children riding their bikes around or trying their hand at beach fishing.

We introduced ourselves to all the campers as they arrived and offered information on walks and day drives within the park. It was great to meet people from such a varying range of locations from locals who are regulars to the park, to interstate travellers doing the ‘lap’ seeking to enjoy the sights on offer for a few days before moving on. We also engaged with people young and not so young from a range of overseas countries visiting the park trying to see as much as they can within their limited time schedule.

Our days were easily filled talking to people, maintaining the facilities at Surfleet, Stamford Hill and further into the park at Fisherman Point, September Beach and Taylors Landing. During quieter times we walked along the various marked trails, most of which offer spectacular views of the water, tuna pens and the Port Lincoln township beyond.
On the Saturday before our departure, one of the rangers offered to take us to Memory Cove, a Wilderness Protection Area, located in the south east corner of the park. While we had been to Memory Cove some years ago and camped there for a few days, we jumped at the opportunity to revisit the area and view some of the most spectacular scenery you will see anywhere in the world.

We were relatively self-sufficient during our 10 day stay only making one trip into town to refresh some basic supplies. We were able to run all our power needs, including a 95ltr fridge/freezer in the camper and a 35ltr fridge in the car, through our batteries which were kept topped up, even in some less optimal conditions, using two linked 150 watt solar panels. The camper water tank holding 130ltr and two 20ltr jerry cans was sufficient for drinking, showers and washing dishes and clothes.

This was a great introduction to campground hosting, and we are looking forward to our next placements. Unfortunately hosting at Katarapko in the Murray River National Park over Easter has been cancelled due to the pandemic. Mount Remarkable National Park hosting at Mambray Creek in the July school holidays is also looking doubtful.

If you have some time on your hands, enjoy meeting like-minded people, and want to visit some of South Australia’s iconic National Parks, then campground hosting may be for you.

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Dawn over Surfleet Cove
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Superb Blue Fairy Wren
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View towards Pt Lincoln