Steve Robertson: Spectacular local cliffs

Some of the wildest and most dramatic coastal scenery anywhere in South Australia is just 18 kms from Victor Harbor. It's in Newland Head Conservation Park and here's a walk that you can do in a couple of hours or stretch it out for a full day.

Start from the exceptionally spacious car park at Parsons Beach, just off Range Road west of town. Follow the Heysen Trail west and after a couple of hundred metres you'll be on Parsons Beach with its coarse sand and ceaseless rolling waves.

A highlight of this walk is back the other way, across the headland  to the far eastern end of massive Waitpinga Beach. Along the way keep an eye out for plump wallabies (we spotted one feeding happily on new winter plant growth), the first flowering shrubs of early spring and, if you are very lucky, migratory whales patrolling a few hundred metres offshore. This windswept headland walk offers memorable views of the weathered rocks below and the relentless crashing waves that have sculpted them over the centuries. Depending on how far you progress along Parsons Beach, expect to walk about 3kms on a well-maintained track with plenty of signage.

At eastern Waitpinga Beach, enjoy a picnic in the shadow of some huge boulders and watch intrepid bushwalkers making their way along the strand. One of the world's great long distance treks, the Heysen Trail is 1200 kms long and just about one per cent of it goes though this conservation park. If you want to extend your own little adventure, walk east along Waitpinga Beach, follow the track up to the campground and begin the Coastal Cliffs Walking Track. It's an 8.6 km loop track that offers still more sweeping ocean vistas and a tantalising taste of Fleurieu Peninsula coastal bush. 

Local travel writer and photographer Steve Robertson explores some fascinating locations in our region where you can walk, photograph and learn.