After seeing the locked gate yesterday and wondering what was behind it, this morning we visited the Port Lincoln Information Centre and got the key and special permit to go exploring the Memory Cove Wilderness Protection Area. So it turns out that this place was pretty special. Matthew Flinders reached this area in 1802 and named the area Memory Cove in honour of his crew who lost their lives aboard the ship’s cutter. At the time, fresh water supplies were so low that he despatched eight of his crew in the ship’s cutter to search for water. The cutter never returned and was eventually found floating bottom upwards with no sign of the crew. The crew were never found so Flinders named the surrounding islands in their honour.
Discovering Memory Cove
Memory Cove is about 50km from the town of Port Lincoln, in the Lincoln National Park. This incredible cove has white sandy beaches and is surrounded by ochre-covered rocks and granite outcrops. We loved that it was so remote, there was no one else there on a Sunday so we had it to ourselves. The water was very, very cold but it was crystal clear. The 1 hr drive in is 4WD access only – it’s a very easy drive in and you need to take it easy (max speed 30km/hr) because of the abundant wildlife in the area – emus in particular but we also saw kangaroos, goannas and lots of birds.
Camping at Memory Cove
There is a small campground right on the beach at Memory Cove, which is designed for tents and camper trailers. The campsites are a decent size and private.
Website: Memory Cove Wilderness Protection Area
Cost: $25 per site, there are 5 campsites in total
Things to do: Swim, fish, kayak, and out of the wilderness area there are plenty of 4WD tracks to explore the surrounding area.
Pros: Remote and private, scenic surroundings, good signage about the historical significance and native wildlife.
Cons: No fires allowed, no rubbish disposal, paid camping, unsuitable for caravans.
Facilities: Drop toilets and a picnic table.
Our rating: 8 out of 10