The Southern Ocean Walk is a 4 day, 3 night adventure that showcases the full majestic beauty of the Fleurieu Peninsula coastline. From sandy beaches and rugged cliff tops to stringybark forests and secluded waterfalls, the ever changing scenery makes for a memorable experience.
If you would love a taste of this adventure but have limited time why not consider the 3 day – 2 night Deep Creek Highlights walk. It is similar to the Southern Ocean Walk but concludes at Tunkalilla Beach on Day 3. This is a great option for those on a tight schedule who still want to experience the irresistible pull of this amazing landscape. Don’t be surprised though if you decide to stay the extra day to complete the journey!
Day 1 - Cape Jervis to Deep Creek
Approximate walking time 5 hours
Our journey commences at Cape Jervis, starting point of the iconic Heysen Trail, one of the world’s great walking trails and at 1200km the longest dedicated track in Australia. An easy introduction along a gently undulating shoreline leads to Fisheries Beach and a series of coves tucked away along the trail. Winter streams run their course out to the Southern Ocean which will be our companion for most of the way. Elevated vantage points offer majestic views over Backstairs Passage, a narrow shipping lane between the main land and Kangaroo Island that is known for its challenging currents.
We slowly work our way towards Deep Creek Conservation Park where the landscape transforms from open grass lands into dense sclerophyll forests. A highlight is the descent on to Blow Hole Beach with its sparkling waters. From here we climb to Cobbler Hill for a short transfer to our accommodation in Deep Creek where pre-dinner drinks await.
Day 2 - Exploring Deep Creek
Approximate walking time 5½ hours
After a hearty breakfast we pick up the trail from Cobbler Hill and make our way across Aaron Creek and Tent Rock Creek to the main water course after which the Park was named. As the trail meanders from open woodlands to thick bushland with ancient grass trees and wildflowers the majesty of nature soon dawns. Yes, the many hues of native flora provide a rich palette of colours in this unspoiled landscape. The sheltered gully of Deep Creek leads us to the year-round waterfall where we stop for lunch.
The soothing sound of upstream waters cascading over ancient rock formations is a tonic to the soul. After taking in our share of this elixir we gradually climb up to Tapanappa Ridge where a welcoming committee of Western Grey Kangaroos will oblige for cameras against a panoramic backdrop of the Southern Ocean.
Day 3 - Deep Creek to Tunkalilla Beach
Approximate walking time 4½ hours
The starting point for today begins with 180° views from Tapanappa Ridge towards the edge of the horizon. As you cast your eye across this open expanse the thought occurs that there is nothing but open water between here and Antarctica. Fill your lungs with the fresh air rolling in from the Southern Ocean. It’s among the cleanest you’ll find anywhere on earth.
The panoramic views of the Pages Islands and Kangaroo Island are exchanged for a sheltered path that meanders through Pink Gum forests. Suddenly, the roar of the ocean is a distant memory and finches dart across our path. As we make our way towards Boat Harbour the vegetation opens once more to reveal a secluded cove where dolphins are a common sight. Here, we leave Deep Creek Conservation Park as the Heysen Trail takes us to Tunkalilla Beach, a remote and very scenic wilderness of sand and surf.
Day 4 - Newland Head Conservation Park
Approximate walking time 5½ hours
The final leg of our journey introduces us to the striking cliff face of Newland Conservation Park. Our day begins with a commanding view of Parsons Beach from where we follow the shoreline to Waitpinga Beach.
This secluded wilderness presents the last chance to take off those boots and feel the sand beneath your feet as ocean waves crash just metres away. Walk along the expansive stretch of beach and experience the magic of the sea’s invigorating powers.
A short climb leads to the Newland Cliffs where photo opportunities abound. Keep an eye out for white-bellied sea eagles that breed along this stretch of coast. The trail gradually descends all the while hugging the coastline as we reach King Beach just outside Victor Harbour.