Flinders Chase National Park, located at the western end of Kangaroo Island encompasses stunning coastal landscapes, vast areas of wilderness and diversity of wildlife.
Flinders Chase is the name given to a complex of protected areas covering the western end of Kangaroo Island. Flinders Chase National Park is comprised of 3 parts, totalling 32,600 hectares; the Cape du Couedic and Rocky River area to the south west, the Gosse Lands to the north east and Cape Borda Lightstation on the north west tip of Kangaroo Island. The Park directly adjoins the 41,320 hectare Ravine des Casoars Wilderness Protection Area. Flinders Chase is approximately 110 km west of Kingscote, the islands largest town and can be accessed via the Playford Highway or South Coast Road.
After a long struggle, Flinders Chase National Park was declared in November 1919. The Fauna and Flora Board of South Australia unanimously passed a motion stating "the western end of Kangaroo Island be reserved for the protection of native flora and fauna". Following its declaration, Flinders Chase came to be seen as a sanctuary for threatened fauna from the mainland. Over the next 40 years, 23 species of animals including Koalas (1923) and Platypus (1928) were released in the Park. Many of those species that were released, flourished in the Park and can be seen today.
What to Do:
Flinders Chase offers an array of recreational opportunities.
Live the past - stay in a historical lightkeepers' cottage at Cape du Couedic or Cape Borda. Accommodation is also available in May's Homestead and Postman's Cottage at Rocky River. Bookings are essential.
Walk, Hike or Trek - a network of walking trails provide opportunities for walkers of all abilities to appreciate the Park and its wildlife.
Camp under the stars - camping opportunities exist at Harveys Return, Snake Lagoon, Rocky River and West Bay. Bookings are essential and camping fees apply. The campground at Rocky River is currently being upgraded.
Sightseeing & wildlife - spectacular rugged coastlines, views of a vast wilderness, remarkable naturally sculptured rocks and close-up encounters with native wildlife are all part of the Flinders Chase experience.
The Flinders Chase Visitor Centre at Rocky River is the gateway to the Park. It is the focal point for information about the Park, permits for camping and entry to Flinders Chase and sale of souvenirs and light refreshments.
Cape du Couedic Lighthouse accommodation
Information - Park information is available at the Flinders Chase Visitor Centre open from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm (10:00 am - 5:00 pm during winter). Park information is also available at Cape Borda Lightstation.
Hiking at Cape du Couedic:
Walking Trails - a network of walking trails exist in Flinders Chase and provide opportunities for walkers of all abilities to enjoy the Park and its wildlife.
Barbecues - gas barbecues set in picturesque surrounds are available near the Flinders Chase Visitor Centre. Please note, Flinders Chase is designated as a Gas Fires Only area.
Picnic Facilities - picnic shelter facilities set in picturesque surrounds are available near the Flinders Chase Visitor Centre. A picnic shelter is also available at Cape Borda Lightstation.
Refreshments - light refreshments are available at the Flinders Chase Visitor Centre at Rocky River and at Cape Borda Lightstation.
Public Telephone - a public telephone is located at the Flinders Chase Visitor Centre. Phonecards can be purchased from the Visitor Centre.
Toilets - Toilets are available at the following locations
>> Cape Borda Lightstation
>> Remarkable Rocks Walk
>> Cape du Couedic Lighthouse
>> Snake Lagoon Campground
>> West Bay Campground
>> Harveys Return Campground
>> Flinders Chase Visitor Centre
>>Rocky River Campground
Water is available year round at the Flinders Chase Visitor Centre and seasonally at all camp grounds. Visitors are advised to treat all water prior to use.
Camping at Rocky River:
Camping - Rocky River Campground is currently being redeveloped to provide a high quality camping experience. Water, showers, gas barbecues and a public telephone are available for campers at Rocky River. Bookings are essential and camping fees apply.
Bush camping sites are available at Snake Lagoon, West Bay and Harveys Return. These camp grounds have basic toilet facilities and water is seasonally available. Water should be boiled prior to use. Bookings are essential and camping fees apply.
Trekking - Opportunities exist to undertake overnight or longer walks through Flinders Chase to access remote areas of the Park. If you are planning an overnight walk or longer, you must discuss your route with a Ranger and complete a Trip Intentions Form prior to arriving in the Park.
Fees and Charges:
An entry fee applies for access to Flinders Chase National Park and this can be paid at the Flinders Chase Visitor Centre at Rocky River. Fees are charged for guided tours at Cape Borda Lightstation and camping. Fees are used to employ local people and develop and maintain visitor facilities within Flinders Chase.
A new walking trail experience has recently opened in Flinders Chase. The Platypus Waterholes Walk provides park visitors with the opportunity to see platypus habitat and if they are lucky, view a platypus in its natural environment. The walk starts from the Flinders Chase Visitor Centre and winds its way across Black Swamp; a haven for wildlife, to the unspoilt Rocky River where a walking trail loop leads visitors to specially constructed and sensitively sited viewing platforms. The trail provides an amazing educational and informative experience for visitors with colourful interpretive panels.