Coffin Bay National Park is a remote escape on the southwestern shores of the Eyre Peninsula in South Australia. Just 40 minutes from Port Lincoln, the park is known for its remote coastal scenery and pounding surf beaches. Many of the park’s coastal landscapes can only be reached by 4WD track bordering high windswept cliffs and sand dunes.
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Named after naval officer Isaac Coffin, Coffin Bay town is renowned for its seafood and unspoilt beaches. The national park is just outside of Coffin Bay Township and has several secluded camping areas for a perfectly remote experience. Visitors to the park can enjoy fishing, bushwalking, surfing, and sandy 4WD adventures.
If you’re planning a trip, here is everything you need to know about visiting Coffin Bay National Park.
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How to Get There
Coffin Bay National Park is located 40 minute (50 km) drive from Port Lincoln along the Flinders Highway. It’s 700 km away from Adelaide by road, making for an 8 hour drive. You can shed an hour off your trip by taking the ferry from Wallaroo to Lucky Bay, located just outside of Cowell.
Vehicle entry to the park costs $11 per car or $9 with a valid concession. Note that camp fees apply in addition to your park entrance fee.
Best Time to Visit
Summer is the best time to visit Coffin Bay National Park because the weather is hot and dry. This makes for great conditions for camping and enjoying the beautiful beaches. If you visit during other seasons, you’ll see the lush flora in full swing.
When we visited in April, the outside temperature was around 20-25°C, but the water was already too cold to enjoy swimming in the ocean. We also found many of the beaches covered with seaweed.
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Things to do in Coffin Bay National Park
Coffin Bay National Park is a haven for surfing, scuba diving, bushwalking, and 4WD adventures. The park’s coastal landscapes offer plenty of activities for exploring the remote and beautiful area.
Enjoy the Beaches
Seven Mile Beach
This 4WD accessible beach borders Thorny Passage Marine Park near Morgan’s Landing Campground. The 4WD track is on the beach with massive dunes sculpted from soft, powdery sand. Be sure to check the tide schedule as these pristine northern beaches can be impossible to reach at high tide. You don’t want to get stuck without a way back if the tide came up while you were relaxing on the beach.
Black Springs Beach
Black Springs is a beautiful beach spanning 250 meters made from shells instead of sand. You need 4WD to reach it, but it’s our favourite campsite and spot in the park. The beach borders granite headlands and grassy slopes where the camping area is.
Visitors to Coffin Bay National Park don’t need 4WD to enjoy sandy Almonta Beach. It’s beautiful for swimming, fishing, and relaxing with a bush picnic. Plus, it has some of the whitest sand on the Eyre Peninsula. The area is protected by Golden Island so it feels like one of the park’s sheltered sandy bays. Park at the car park at the beach and walk over to the Golden Island Lookout for spectacular island views and remote coastal scenery. You may even see dolphins!
Can you camp on the beach at Coffin Bay?
Yes, it is possible to camp on some beaches in Coffin Bay, particularly Black Springs Beach and Seven Mile Beach, as the campgrounds here are located right on the beach. There is no camping at Almonta Beach.
Coffin Bay National Park has great surf beaches for more experienced surfers. Head to Point Avoid or Flatrock on the other side of Almonta Beach to reach the break in the reef. If you have 4WD, venture to Mullalong Beach on the northern shore of the peninsula. The remote beach is surrounded by bedrock headlands and offers rugged reef surfing with a closer break than Flatrock.
Coffin Bay National Park is a favourite destination for bushwalking to enjoy sheltered sandy bays and fabulous ocean views. The Yangie Bay Hike is a nice 2 km coastal bushwalking trail with views of the bay from Yangie Lookout. It’s a nice stroll through bushy coastal mallee, but not spectacular.
For a longer hike, the 5 km Yangie Island Hike is a birdwatcher’s dream, offering stunning views of Yangie Island and nearby wildlife. If you’re prepped for a full-day trek, the Whidby Hike takes you into one of the most remote areas of the park. You’ll need 4WD to reach this 24 km trail following sheltered coves and rugged coastline.
Long Beach Hike is a 3.5 hour 10 km trail that runs between Yangie Bay camping area and the expansive Long Beach.
Black Rocks Hike is a 4 hour 12km trail that runs along a rugged coastline of Avoid Bay offering views overlooking Lake Damascus along the way. The trail starts from the Black Rocks car park.
Black Springs Well Hike is a short, 40 min 2 km easy trail that follows the coast around the headland overlooking sheltered Port Douglas. The trail starts at the Black Springs camping area and is a perfect walk for someone staying at Black Springs for the day.
With most of the park reachable by 4WD track, Coffin Bay National Park is a hotspot for offroad adventures. The sand is soft and the road is bumpy so be sure to not go past Yangie Bay Campground if you don’t have 4×4.
Essential 4WD Tips
- Decrease the pressure in your tires before hitting the sandy tracks. Going down to 16-18 psi will help provide more traction for sand driving. There is a gas station in town where you can pump them back up for the highway if you’re not carrying your own pump.
- Always carry recovery gear with you—you never know what sandy situations you might get into.
- Stick to the route markers and avoid driving above the high tide line on beaches wherever possible. Always be mindful of the wildlife and vegetation nearby.
Recommended 4WD Tracks to Explore
- Black Springs is a 28 km track that takes about 3 hours to complete. We had a lot of fun on this route and only found 3 bad sandy spots. The drive to Seven Mile Beach is another 30 minutes past Black Springs with only 1 or 2 sandy spots.
- Gunyah Beach is a shorter 14 km track on the southern end of Coffin Bay National Park. The route follows the sandy beach up until important seabird nesting areas where the track turns around.
- Sensation Beach is a tough 50 km haul across the Coffin Bay Peninsula. The track reaches Sensation Campground, which has an unallocated camping area for two vehicles.
Coffin Bay National Park is home to emus, western grey kangaroos, goannas, and over 120 bird species. In the winter, you may even spot southern right whales from the cliffs at Avoid Bay. You’re likely to see emus on the road or kangaroos visiting your campsite but remember, DO NOT feed the wildlife!!
Where to Stay: Coffin Bay National Park Camping
There are six designated campgrounds in the park but only one is accessible with 2WD. While you can’t camp on the beach at Coffin Bay, many campsites are within 100 m of the beach.
Yangie Bay Campground
The largest campground in the park, Yangie Bay Campground has 19 campsites suitable for tents, caravans, or campers. It’s the only 2WD accessible site in the park and is easily reached from the park entrance. On-site there are toilets, a picnic shelter, and a kayak launch. All sites are unpowered and can be booked online for $13 per night. Also, this is not to be confused with Big Yangie Bay Campground, which is a 4WD site in the same area.
Black Springs Campground (4WD)
Located 50 m of the beach, Black Springs is a 4WD campground with eight designated campsites. You’ll be greeted by the resident kangaroo mob who are super friendly and very curious. The campground has drop toilets but no other facilities, with the exception of site #7 that has a picnic table. Camping is $13 per night and can be booked online.
Tip: Book site 6 or 7 for the best views of the bay.
The Pool Campground (4WD)
On the eastern tip of the park, The Pool Campground is a 4WD accessible site with seven designated campsites. Sites are located close to a sheltered, sandy beach with a drop toilet. Camping is $13 per night and can be booked online.
Morgan’s Landing Campground (4WD)
At the end of Seven Mile Beach, Morgan’s Landing Campground has four allocated campsites accessible with 4WD. Campsites have easy beach access and note that drop toilets are the only facility. Camping is $13 per night and can be booked online.
Park Amenities and What to Bring
- There are no drinking water stations in the park so be sure to bring your own. There is rainwater at some campgrounds but don’t rely on it. All rain water containers were empty when we visited in April.
- There are no shops, ranger stations, or other facilities in the park. So plan ahead and stock up for your trip while in town—especially if you plan to camp in the remote 4WD campsites.
- Cell service isn’t widely available in the park. Yangie Bay camping area and Black Springs are the only spots with 4G and there are no connections anywhere else.
- Coffin Bay town is close so if you want to go out and get food or restock, it’s only 15 mins from Yangie.
- Our top experience while visiting Coffin Bay was getting oysters and wine in town and enjoying them at our campsite. After all, you can’t visit Coffin Bay without having oysters!