Things to See at Flinders Chase National Park
Think of Kangaroo Island as a time capsule of Australian natural history. Its separation from the mainland has allowed endemic species to thrive where they have otherwise been eradicated by invasive species in present day Australia. And if Kangaroo Island is a time capsule, Flinders Chase National Park may be its most important artifact.
Flinders Chase National Park is a look back in time at the Australian outback. See huge swaths of pristine, untouched wilderness perfect for an afternoon hike. Geological wonders ripe for photo opportunities dot the landscape. Nineteenth century architecture provides a look back to the country’s early history.
Take a walk into the past with our guide of things to see at Flinders Chase National Park.
This stunning, natural archway almost looks meticulously sculpted. The multi-layered, rock bridge features gnarled stone and hanging stalactites. Thousands of years of erosion from the water below formed the hollow we see today. Take a walk down to the viewing platform. From there you’ll have the best view of Admiral’s Arch through to the sea beyond. Tip: Sunsets at Admiral’s Arch are breathtaking. From the right point on the viewing platform, you’ll see the sun set over the water centered in the arch. Also be sure to lookout for a colony of New Zealand fur seals that have made their home on the slab of stones directly below the Arch. Those seals scored some of the best real estate in the country!
This signature landmark is almost a rite of passage on your trip to Kangaroo Island. Remarkable Rocks is one of the best photo-ops on the island. The aptly named granite stones look almost unnatural when you look at them. Like they could have been sculpted by humans. But their round-waviness is evidence of the more than 500 million years it took for them to form. Rain and waves from the ocean wore down huge granite boulders to the interesting, pitted rock formations they are today. Orange lichen covers many of the formations found at Remarkable Rocks. Combined with the pink, black and blue granite mix, the rocks take on a multi-colored rainbow hue, especially during sunrises and sunsets. Photographers take note: the “golden hour” here is truly remarkable. No wonder this is one of the most photographed spots on Kangaroo Island.
Cape du Couedic Lighthouse
This Kangaroo Island hike is a beautiful look in to the past. Begin at the Cape de Couedic lighthouse. This 19th century lighthouse is isolated on the tip of Kangaroo Island. In fact, in the lighthouse’s early days the keepers would remain in the keepers’ cottage with their families, only being delivered supplies every 3 months. No wonder lighthouse keepers are said to be reclusive!
Today, the lighthouse is fully automated, eliminating the need for a full-time keeper. The cottages surrounding the lighthouse have been turned in to destination accommodations for those looking to get away from it all.
Weirs Cove Hike
While you’re at the lighthouse, embark on the 2-mile hike down to Weirs Cove. When the lighthouse keepers would receive their once-every-3-month resupply, they would make the same trek down to the cove.
Because of the rough terrain, getting supplies from the cove to the lighthouse required a zipline-winch system pulled by horses. Even after the motor vehicle was invented – horsepower prevailed.
On your hike, you’ll see the remains of this zipline supply system along with sheer cliff faces and stonework more than 100 years old.
Not to mention, the view over the sea from the cove is spectacular!
Platypus Waterholes Walk
“You had me at platypus”.
One of the most sought-after wildlife sightings in Australia is this duck/beaver hybrid creature. The duck-billed platypus is such an odd creature, that the first scientists to examine one thought they were the victims of a prank!
It’s an animal that doesn’t really know if it’s a water creature or a land mammal, or maybe a bird? In any case, the platypus is as cute as it is perplexing.
Enter this walk straight from the Flinders Chase visitors center. The 2.5 mile stroll winds past Aussie bush and watering holes where the platypus’ have been known to make their home.
They can be elusive creatures, so there’s no guarantee you’ll see a platypus immediately. But keep your eyes peeled for this rare animal found only in Australia. Try and time your walk around dawn and dusk to have the best chance at a spotting.
West Bay Beach and Campsite
The perfect way to cool down after a long walk seeing the Flinders Chase sights. This pristine beach is “postcard-ready” with it’s white sand and sapphire-turquoise waters. Though this secluded beach is a favorite among Flinders Chase visitors, it is rare that you’ll find a crowd on this coast. Instead, enjoy the quiet atmosphere and surrounding cove. Swimming and fishing are permitted at West Bay so come to the park prepared for a day at the beach after seeing the sights.
For those looking to rough it a bit on their vacation, nearby West Bay campground is a great spot to stay overnight just steps from the shore. Camping out lets you see the sunrise and set over the coast for an unforgettable experience.
Just remember to pack in all you’ll need for the day and night. The West Bay campground provides a place to pitch a tent and little else. The only creature-comfort you’ll find, luckily, is a toilet – but don’t forget your water and portable stove!
Snake Lagoon Walk
This scenic walk starts at Snake Lagoon and winds through Sugar Gums and mallee before descending into the Rocky River Valley. The trail crosses Rock River and meanders along its band to the Southern Ocean Coast. You can find the trail head about five and a half miles from Flinders Chase Visitor Center off West Bay Road.
Of course, it wouldn’t be Kangaroo Island without the kangaroos! Flinders Chase National Park is a great place for spotting this iconic Aussie creature. You’ll find roos hopping around this protected reserve as nature intended.
Along the walks from the Flinders Chase National Park entrance, keep your eyes peeled for kangaroos that are hopping around and feeding.
Photo: Tourism Australia / Adam Bruzzone
Tip: If you’re driving along the roads that go through Flinders Chase at dusk – be extra careful! Kangaroo are much like deer in that they can cross the roads at the most inopportune times. So take it slow, make sure your head lights are on and be careful for kangaroos!
Visit Flinders Chase National Park
For wildlife spotting, Kangaroo Island can’t be beat. While you’re there, be sure to make your way to Flinders Chase National Park. You’ll get a perfect mix of some of Australia’s best natural sights and outdoor beauty. From the bush and the outback, to the pristine beaches and coast, to the rugged rock formations, Flinders Chase National Park has it all. Plus, how many people do you know that have seen a Platypus in real life?
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Western Australia takes luxury camping to a whole new extreme with ‘glamping’ – glamorous camping. There are several “eco-tent” glamping resorts that offer the perfect luxury escape to the outdoors, catering to both the lavish and back-to-nature enthusiasts. We have compiled a list of our favorite glamping resort destinations in Western Australia. For families and groups, we would highly suggest the Ramada Eco Beach, Bungle Bungle Bush Camp, Karijini Eco Retreat, or Soul Camping due to the larger number of tours and activities. Kimberley Coastal Camp, Sal Salis, and Faraway Bay Retreat are catered to intimate, quiet, and relaxing settings. Guided tours are the best way to ensure you don’t miss a single moment of what Western Australia has to offer!
The Ramada Eco Beach Resort is located in Broome, Western Australia and rests along gorgeous, white sandy beaches with the most magnificent views and scenery.
Photo By: Ramada Eco Beach Resort
The resort runs solely on sustainable energy; the ecologically friendly camp offers a wide variety of unique tours that cater to the interests of many different people. For the romantics, Ramada offers a drop off at the secluded beach and neighboring caves that allow you to explore the fascinating culture and reconnect. The salty Australia beach waters in Broome are home to the humpback whale and the endangered sea turtle. You may cruise the waves to watch the outstanding humpback whales during their migration to the Antarctic (seasonal) or volunteer during the months of November – January to monitor the endangered species and assist the locals in nurturing the turtles. For the adventurous you should find the nearest tour guide for exciting deep-sea fishing, land and beach fishing, and even helicopter fishing. There are an unlimited amount of activities for families, couples, and groups!
The Bungle Bungle Bush Camp is nestled in the World Heritage Listed Purnulu National Park, in East Kimberley Australia and is surrounded by the most captivating scenic views.
Photo By: East Kimberley Tours
The multi award winning camp spoils its guests with hot showers, impressive dining facilities, a homey campfire area, and a swimming pool. The camp embodies the beauty of the surrounding nature. You can disconnect from the world and explore the Purnulu National Park while hiking on any of the trails provided. You will find gorgeous beehive shaped towers, ginormous boulders, creek beds, towering cliffs, gorges, and waterholes surrounded by lush wildlife. There’s no shortage of tours and adventures to embark on while you visit the Bungle Bungle! Each tour includes afternoon tea and either breakfast or a picnic lunch. Plus, you are transported to and from the accommodation on a scenic helicopter ride with stunning views over the Ord River, Lake Argyle, Lissadell Station, and Texas Downs Stations. For the diamond lovers, spoil yourself on the Argyle Diamond Mine Tour! The Argyle Diamond Mine is the world’s largest single producer of diamonds, you may purchase jewelry and diamonds as well as enjoy a delicious buffet.
Karijini Eco Retreat is found in the Karijini National Park surrounded by bushland, near the Joffre Gorge.
Photo By: Karijini Eco Retreat
The Karijini Eco Retreat is the only glamping resort found in the national park; all cabins, eco-tents, and campgrounds are semi-permanent to preserve the natural environment, wildlife, and habitats of the animals that call Karijini home. This is the perfect getaway for families and groups! The Retreat offers a variety of options including 82 individual campsites for RV camping, 5 caravan park group campsites, 40 eco-tents, 10 “dorm-style” eco-tents, and 8 “dorm-style” cabins. On site there are BBQ grills, wifi, a payphone, gift shops, the Alfresco Restaurant and Bar – breakfast, lunch, and dinner – and an amphitheater. The gorges and tours are a brisk walk from the shared, luxury accommodations of the retreat. There are a number of self-drive tours that take you along the depths of the Karijini National Park.
Photo By: Soul Camping
Soul Camping is the closest to traditional camping in WA without all of the hassle!
You are able to customize your entire experience – you pick the spot near Margaret River, Australia and they do the rest. They will pack and unpack the tent, supply you with a comfortable queen sized bed, warm blankets & comfortable pillows, and serve you gourmet meals for the duration of your stay – it doesn’t get any simpler than that. You will be staying in your own personal wilderness haven customized just for you. This is the perfect mix of nature and luxury. Glamping trips are the perfect opportunity for families or groups to truly bond and create a deeper connection with the wilderness and Australia. Soul Camping is perfect for large groups and properties, remote locations, or events.
Kimberley Coastal Camp is another hidden treasure of Western Australia that is not accessible by road, its remote location is alongside the Admiralty Gulf across from the Mitchell Plateau and Mitchell Falls.
Photo By: Kimberley Coastal Camp
There are two means of arrival: helicopter landing right on the beach, or an impressive float plane landing directly on the waterfront of the secluded highway. Kimberley Coastal Camp has two seasons – wet and dry – which are both equally incredible. The camp is open from March – October, catering the attractions to the seasons. The hub of the camp is simply known as “the shed”, a beautiful pavilion which serves as a gathering point for guests to unwind, have a delicious, gourmet meal, listen to music, or revel in the beauty of the ocean and wildlife. The guides are knowledgeable, experienced, and cultured and will assist you on all of your fishing endeavors. There are several guided walking trails that let you experience the wildlife and culture firsthand. Walking, flying, or boating are your only means of transportation which leaves the land virtually untouched and a safe-haven from pollution.
Sal Salis is found near the World Heritage Listed, Ningaloo Reef, hidden by the dunes in a private oasis of beauty and wilderness.
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Each eco-tent has an incredibly stunning view of the ocean and a functional restroom. This is one of the more quiet and intimate of the glamping resorts, allowing a maximum of 18 guests at the resort at a time. It is the ideal place to relax, dip in the crystal clear waters, and unwind. The Ningaloo Reef is only a short swim from the beach and unveils some of the ocean’s greatest wonders. If you plan on traveling between the months April – July you can witness the whale sharks, the world’s largest fish, migrate with one of several whale watching packages catered to this event. Sal Salis also offers snorkeling, kayaking, guided gorge walks, and fishing. The breathtaking sunsets and million-star sky will leave you absolutely breathless. This is the perfect place for weddings, honeymoons, and couples looking to get away. It is intimate, romantic, and secluded. It is truly believed to be Western Australia’s best kept natural secret.
Faraway Bay Retreat is hidden along the Diamond Coast of Australia, accessible only by air, you will be on an isolated island near King George Falls, Western Australia’s largest waterfall.
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The season runs from March 1st – October 31st every year. The land is unexplored and a great way to really experience Australia in its natural habitat; the marine and wildlife will astound you. A trip to King George Falls is an exclusive trip for every guest. The Retreat focuses mainly on simplicities: private cabins equipped with single or king sized beds and flushing toilets, outdoor showers that overlook the ocean, exquisite food, and the sound and smell of the ocean to wake you up in the morning. The campsite is surrounded by cascading waterfalls, great fishing spots, spring pools, and gorgeous Faraway Bay. With a maximum of 16 guests on the island at a time, you’re guaranteed a perfectly private getaway. The serenity and tranquility of Faraway Bay will leave you with moments you’ll be able to cherish forever.
For more information on Glamping Western Australia, please contact us and we’d love to help you plan your next trip to Australia.
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