Deep Creek Conservation Park takes home second-most visited regional park

POPULAR: Figures have revealed that Deep Creek Conservation Park was the second-most visited regional national park last year.
POPULAR: Figures have revealed that Deep Creek Conservation Park was the second-most visited regional national park last year.

As South Australia's national parks continue to see a surge in visitors, one of the Fleurieu's most visually stunning parks recorded a massive visitor increase in 2021.

Figures from the National Parks and Wildlife service show have revealed that Deep Creek Conservation Park was the second-most visited regional national park last year, based on online bookings.

The popular coastal park received 63,719 visitors during last year, which was a 38 per cent increase on 2020 visitation figures.

Dhilba Guuranda-Innes National Park, located on the Yorke Peninsula, was recognised as the most popular, for online bookings, with more than 85,000 visitors, a rise of more than 28 per cent.

Lincoln National Park, on the Eyre Peninsula, rounded out the top three with 43,871 visitors, with an increase of more than 32 per cent.

District Council of Yankalilla mayor Simon Rothwell said Deep Creek Conservation was one of the countless natural jewels the region has in its tourism crown.

He explained that a lot of money has gone into parks throughout the district, improving the already incredibly walking spaces on offer.

"I was at Parawa around a month to look at a new campsite they've developed as part of the Heysen Trail - it is one of many trail developments," Mr Rothwell said.

A spectacular new lookout on the Heysen Trail was officially opened as part of the first stage of the $6 million Wild South Coast Way project in September last year.

The Goondooloo Ridge walk, which is a 4.2km return class two trail, benefitted massively from the upgrades, with it being one of the area's most accessible hikes.

"The walk became wheelchair and pram friendly in September last year, which is great as it allows more people to use the trail," Mr Rothwell said.

"We also only recently opened the walking trails at Second Valley Forest."

Outside of the many amazing walking trails, Mr Rothwell said the district is home to a number of stunning outdoor tourist destinations.

"There isn't a location that stands out, but we have seen the Myponga Reservoir become quite popular. The town has grown in population and shopping has increased hugely," he said.

"You also have to look at our beaches and coastlines - whether that be Second Valley, Normanville, Rapid Bay and Carrickalinga. They are all amazing locations."

Minister for Environment and Water David Speirs explained that the summer holiday period has provided the perfect time for visitors to enjoy what state's parks had to offer.

"To have such a significant increase in visitor numbers to our national parks is an amazing result," he said.

"South Australia is home to some of the most picturesque landscapes in the world and it's fantastic to see more and more people getting outdoors and experiencing this."

With countless people wanting to travel and enjoy outdoor activities, regional communities are starting to see an economical boost.

"This has significant flow on benefits for regional communities with more people staying the night, spending money and supporting the local economy at a time when it's needed most," Minister Speirs said.

He explained that the State Government will continue to invest in national parks, which will aim to provide a better visitor experience and improve conservation.

South Australia is home to 362 parks and reserves, which contain a wealth of experiences and activities for visitors looking to experience the state's beautiful and unique landscapes.

To book your spot at one of the many national park, or find out more on where to explore, please visit: https://www.parks.sa.gov.au/booking