Wilderness Wanders - Lincoln National Park : Ron explores the Eyre Peninsula coast in the West Coast region of South Australia
Enter Lincoln National Park by four wheel drive and you enter a wilderness with everything the intrepid traveler could possibly want. Literally on Port Lincoln's doorstep - just kilometres from the town centre, this coastal escape hides secrets from our more recent European past and others stretching back to the dawn of time.
Phil Porter, Wilderness Wanders: "This is Sleaford Mere. A mere is an old English term for a shallow lake. It was named by Matthew Flinders after Sleaford in his home town of Lincolnshire."
Flinders and his men scoured this piece of South Australian coastline back in 1802, in a desperate search for fresh water. I'm out here with Wilderness Wanders guide Phil Porter in search of something which helped form the basic building blocks of life itself.
Phil Porter, Wilderness Wanders: "They're the very oldest life on earth. Some of the original life and are well over a billion years old. Some of the stromatolites in the Flinders Ranges are up to eight hundred and nine hundred million years old. We owe a great debt to this amazing stuff because it actually oxygenated the planet in the first place. Originally there was very little oxygen in the atmosphere. It was all carbon dioxide and because these take carbon dioxide in and give off oxygen, it actually created enough oxygen for life to kick start".
From ancient solidified algae to the impressive dune system for which we're bound, Lincoln National Park, is an amazing amalgam of dramatic coastal scenery and picturesque tea-tree and low lying heath. But it pays to venture in here with a guide who knows the lay of the land and how to get you in and out of some pretty demanding country.
Phil Porter, Wilderness Wanders: "You need to let your tyres down a little because it makes it so much easier to get through the sand. And it saves erosion on the track too which is so important."
It's a bumpy ride in parts, but the Wanna Dunes circuit brings you to places like Wreck Beach - the final resting place for the Mary Ellis back in 1909. This coastline has claimed its fair share of victims and the dunes have stopped a fair few four wheel drives in their tracks. But Phil Porter is part of clan that knows this country better than most being a fifth generation Port Lincolnite.
For the Nao people the bush tucker along with the emus and western grey kangaroos meant this coastal landscape made for a plentiful hunting ground. The roos and emus make light work of this country and soon Phil does likewise in the famous Wanna Dunes - a feature of Lincoln National Park.
The largest dunes extend over 10 kilometres and can reach up to 90 metres in height. And it's from the top of the dunes that you get a panoramic view of this wild coastline.
The name Lincoln National Park tells a tale. And it harks back to Lincolnshire England, the birthplace of the great navigator Matthew Flinders who sailed round here in 1802. He named places like Cape Wiles, West Point, Cape Catastrophe and Memory Cove. It's here that we stop to take in the sights and over a quick cuppa Phil reveals a secret passenger from the back of the vehicle - Wanda, an orphaned kangaroo.
For Phil, Wanda and I this marks the end of our day as Wanda explores her patch of the Wanna Dunes. If you want to explore your own patch call Phil on 08 8684 5001. Wilderness Wanders runs regular tours though Lincoln National Park and nearby Whalers Way. If you have any further questions please email email@example.com
Tours to Lincoln National Park & Whalers Way
Contact 8684 5001
Published 11th July 2010