Driving through Australia’s bustling seafood capital, Port Lincoln, you could be forgiven for thinking you’ll end up in a crowded, inner-city caravan park, far away from the scenic coastline – but nothing could be further from the truth. Few caravan parks in Australia boast spectacular ocean views from the majority of campsites – but the Port Lincoln Tourist Park (TP) is one of them.
As soon as you reach the park’s entrance, the wow factor kicks in. Situated on the top of a hill, Port Lincoln TP has uninterrupted views of beautiful Boston Bay and the rugged peninsula, which is home to Port Lincoln National Park (NP).
When we visited the park, we caught up with Len and Heather Lehmann from Adelaide. who first stayed at the park five years ago, after they bought their custom-built caravan. Now they book one of the drive-through sites every time they come.
“We love the spacious sites and everyone’s got a view,” Len said, pointing to the tranquil waters of Boston Bay. “We come here two or three times a year and stay for up to three weeks before we continue up the west coast to fish.”
Port Lincoln TP doesn’t only cater for vanners who prefer the concrete drive-through sites. The unpowered section is a large grassy area, close to the water with stunning views of the bay and the national park beyond. There are no marked sites, so you’re free to plonk yourself down wherever you want. It’s a hilly area, with some sections levelled out and a couple of taps. The popular Parnkalla walking trail can be easily accessed as it meanders along the edge of the park, providing a healthy alternative for getting to town. The 14km trail circumnavigates picturesque Boston Bay and is popular with the locals.
The large camp kitchen is newly constructed and has several barbecues and picnic tables. It is located near the drive-through sites and serves as a sort of ‘town square’ where travellers meet, throw a snag on the barbie and share a meal. The nearby amenities block is large, modern and maintained meticulously. The four-star park has built up a reputation for cleanliness and great service, and was awarded a Certificate of Excellence by Trip Advisor in 2014.
For those who fancy a bit more luxury, there are plenty of cabins to choose from. Initially, the park only had 19 cabins but continuing strong demand resulted in the construction of 16 two-bedroom holiday units as well as six two-bedroom executive cabins. Running at 86 per cent occupancy, the newer cabins come with all the mod-cons, including reverse-cycle air-conditioning and a TV with DVD player.
EXPLORE THE AREA
Chantarle Townsend from Sarin Group Property said tourism has increased significantly in Port Lincoln over the last few years. “We receive many overseas visitors; a lot of them are here for the shark cage dive tours,” she said. “Also, the cruise ships that now stop off at Port Lincoln have put the word out about our beautiful city”.
Port Lincoln is the ideal location to explore the southern Eyre Peninsula. The breathtaking Lincoln NP is only a 13km drive from town, and is home to secluded beaches and magnificent scenery. The remote Memory Cove Wilderness Protection Area is a must-see destination, featuring awe-inspiring ocean views and a vast array of wildlife.
Time-permitting, book a stay at picturesque Memory Cove (three nights maximum) and experience the white, sandy beach only a stone’s throw from your rig. You’ll have to take your tent though because vans are not permitted, due to the rough access track.
Another place worth seeing is Coffin Bay, a unique national park with pristine beaches and massive sand dunes. An easy 50km drive from Port Lincoln, several sections can be accessed with a 2WD while the most spectacular spots require a 4WD. The recently upgraded Yangie Bay campground now has large sites suitable for big rigs with views of the bay.
Port Lincoln TP is a place you want to check out for yourself and you’ll undoubtedly go back, just like the many regulars who see this place as their home-away-from-home.
The full feature appears in Caravan World #560 2017. Subscribe today for the latest caravan reviews and news every month!