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Top 10 Things To Do in Innamincka, SA Australia (with local Hidden Gems)

31/08/2023
9 mins read
Innamincka
Source: South Australian Tourism Commission

Innamincka, a remote township in north-east South Australia, is a hidden gem nestled amidst the striking landscapes of the Strzelecki Desert to the south and the Sturt Stony Desert to the north. Located 820 kilometers (510 miles) north-east of Adelaide, this small yet captivating destination offers a unique blend of natural beauty, rich history, and cultural significance.

Join us as we uncover the hidden treasures and reveal the top things to do in Innamincka, a remarkable oasis in the heart of the Australian outback. Immerse yourself in the area’s stunning surroundings, delve into its fascinating past, and embark on an unforgettable journey through the enchanting world of Innamincka.

Things To Do In Innamincka, SA

1. Kings Marker – A Historic Landmark in the Outback

Step back in time and visit the Kings Marker, a historic landmark that commemorates the ill-fated Burke and Wills expedition. Located within the Innamincka Regional Reserve, the Kings Marker offers a glimpse into the past and the challenges faced by these early explorers. As you stand at the marker, imagine the hardships and determination of the expedition members as they traversed the unforgiving Australian outback.

Take the opportunity to learn more about the history and significance of the Kings Marker and its connection to the Burke and Wills expedition. This fascinating piece of history provides a unique insight into the spirit of exploration and discovery that has shaped Australia’s past.

  • Address: Kings Marker, Innamincka, SA 5731, Australia.

2. Cooper Creek – A Picturesque Oasis in the Outback

Discover the beauty of Cooper Creek, a stunning waterway that winds its way through the arid landscapes of South Australia. This picturesque creek offers a serene setting for a variety of outdoor activities, such as fishing, kayaking, and birdwatching. The abundant birdlife along the creek is a delight for nature enthusiasts, with species like pelicans, black swans, and various waterbirds making their home here.

Cooper Creek is also steeped in history, with several sites related to the Burke and Wills expedition located along its banks. As you explore the area, you’ll be captivated by the unique combination of natural beauty and historical significance that makes Cooper Creek a truly unforgettable destination.

  • Best time of the year: April to October, when temperatures are cooler and more comfortable for outdoor activities.
  • Address: Cooper Creek, Innamincka, SA 5731, Australia.

3. Innamincka Hotel – A Taste of Outback Hospitality

Experience the warmth and hospitality of the outback at the iconic Innamincka Hotel. This charming establishment offers comfortable accommodation, contemporary dining, and friendly service, making it the perfect place to relax and unwind after a day of exploring the surrounding area. Enjoy a delicious meal and a refreshing beverage as you share stories and experiences with fellow travelers.

The Innamincka Hotel is not only a place to rest your head but also a hub for the local community and a gateway to the stunning landscapes and attractions of the region. Don’t miss the opportunity to experience genuine outback hospitality at its finest.

  • Address: Lot 2, Santos Access Rd, Innamincka, SA 5731, Australia.

4. Cullymurra Waterhole – A Tranquil Retreat in the Outback

Escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life and find solace at the Cullymurra Waterhole, Australia’s largest billabong. This serene oasis is nestled within the Innamincka Regional Reserve and offers shaded campsites, perfect for a relaxing getaway. The abundant birdlife around the waterhole is a delight for nature lovers, with species like pelicans, black swans, and various waterbirds making their home here.

The Cullymurra Waterhole is also a popular spot for fishing, with golden perch and catfish among the species that can be caught here. Whether you’re seeking a peaceful retreat or an opportunity to connect with nature, the Cullymurra Waterhole is an idyllic destination that should not be missed.

  • Best time of the year: April to October, when temperatures are cooler and more comfortable for outdoor activities.
  • Address: Cullymurra Waterhole, Innamincka Regional Reserve, Innamincka, SA 5731, Australia.

5. Coongie Lakes National Park – A Wetland Wonderland

Venture into the Coongie Lakes National Park and discover a unique wetland ecosystem teeming with life. This protected area is home to a diverse array of wildlife, including numerous bird species, red kangaroos, and yellow-footed rock-wallabies. The park’s wetlands provide a vital habitat for these creatures, making it an important conservation area.

Explore the park’s walking trails and marvel at the stunning landscapes that surround you, from vast sand dunes to lush wetlands. The Coongie Lakes National Park is a haven for nature lovers and a testament to the incredible biodiversity that exists within Australia’s outback.

  • Best time of the year: April to October, when temperatures are cooler and more comfortable for outdoor activities.
  • Opening Hours: Accessible 24/7, but some facilities and campgrounds may have specific hours.
  • Address: Coongie Lakes National Park, Innamincka, SA 5731, Australia.

6. Cooper Creek via Innamincka Town Common – A Scenic Stroll Along the Water

Take a leisurely walk along the picturesque Cooper Creek via Innamincka Town Common, a perfect trail for those looking to enjoy the serene beauty of the Australian outback. The trail offers stunning views of the creek and its surrounding landscapes, making it an ideal spot for photography enthusiasts. Keep an eye out for the abundant birdlife that calls this area home, and take the opportunity to try your hand at fishing or simply relax by the water’s edge.

The best time to visit Cooper Creek via Innamincka Town Common is between April and October when temperatures are cooler and more comfortable for walking. This trail is easily accessible from the town of Innamincka and offers a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

  • Best time of the year: April to October, when temperatures are cooler and more comfortable for walking.
  • Address: Innamincka Town Common, Innamincka, SA 5731, Australia.

7. Policemans, Ski Beach, and Minkie Waterhole Campgrounds – Experience the Outback Under the Stars

Embrace the beauty of the Australian outback by camping at one of the picturesque campgrounds within the Innamincka Regional Reserve. Choose from Policemans, Ski Beach, or Minkie Waterhole campgrounds, each offering a unique experience along the banks of the Cooper Creek. These campgrounds provide an ideal base for exploring the surrounding area and connecting with nature.

The best time to visit these campgrounds is between April and October when temperatures are cooler and more comfortable for camping. Enjoy the tranquility of the outback, the abundant birdlife, and the stunning landscapes that surround you as you camp under the stars in this remote and captivating region.

  • Best time of the year: April to October, when temperatures are cooler and more comfortable for camping.
  • Address: Innamincka Regional Reserve, Innamincka, SA 5731, Australia.

8. Burke and Wills Historic Sites – A Journey Through Tragedy and Triumph

Explore the historic sites related to the Burke and Wills expedition, a tragic yet fascinating chapter in Australian history. Visit the gravesites of the famous explorers, located along the banks of the Cooper Creek, and learn about their ill-fated journey across the continent. The Dig Tree site in Queensland is another significant location, marking the spot where the explorers left supplies and messages for their support team.

As you visit these sites, reflect on the courage, determination, and ultimate tragedy that befell the expedition members. The Burke and Wills historic sites offer a poignant reminder of the challenges faced by early explorers and the enduring spirit of adventure that has shaped Australia’s past.

  • Address: Burke and Wills historic sites, Innamincka, SA 5731, Australia.

9. Mount Remarkable National Park – A Hiker’s Paradise

Embark on an adventure through the rugged landscapes of Mount Remarkable National Park, a haven for hikers and nature enthusiasts. The park is home to the iconic Heysen Trail, which offers a variety of hiking routes to suit all skill levels. Popular hikes within the park include the Mount Remarkable Summit Loop, which takes you to the summit for breathtaking panoramic views, and the Alligator Gorge, a stunning geological formation that is a must-see for any visitor.

The best time to visit Mount Remarkable National Park is during autumn and spring when temperatures are milder and the park is less crowded. With its diverse landscapes, abundant wildlife, and challenging hiking trails, Mount Remarkable National Park is a must-visit destination for any outdoor enthusiast.

  • Best time of the year: Autumn and spring, when temperatures are milder and the park is less crowded.
  • Address: Mount Remarkable National Park, Wilmington, SA 5485, Australia.
  • Distance from Innamincka: Approximately 800 km (12-hour drive).

10. Vulkathunha-Gammon Ranges National Park – A Journey Through Ancient Landscapes

Explore the stunning landscapes and rich Aboriginal history of Vulkathunha-Gammon Ranges National Park. This remote park offers a unique opportunity to delve into the ancient past and marvel at the breathtaking geological formations that have been shaped over millions of years. The Spriggina Walking Trail is a popular choice for hikers, taking you through the park’s diverse landscapes and offering glimpses of the native wildlife that calls this area home.

The best time to visit Vulkathunha-Gammon Ranges National Park is during autumn and spring when temperatures are milder and the park is less crowded. With its awe-inspiring scenery and fascinating history, Vulkathunha-Gammon Ranges National Park is a must-visit destination for any traveler seeking adventure and discovery.

  • Best time of the year: Autumn and spring, when temperatures are milder and the park is less crowded.
  • Address: Vulkathunha-Gammon Ranges National Park, Balcanoona, SA 5733, Australia.
  • Distance from Innamincka: Approximately 700 km (10-hour drive).

Towns Nearby Innamincka, SA

Here are some nearby towns/suburbs around Innamincka, SA, along with their highlights, attractions, distance from Innamincka, and reasons why they are worth visiting:

  1. Lyndhurst, SA (365 km from Innamincka): The closest town to Innamincka, Lyndhurst is a small settlement with a rich history and serves as a gateway to the Strzelecki and Birdsville Tracks. It’s a great place to stop for fuel and supplies before venturing further into the outback.
  2. Thargomindah, QLD (approx. 500 km from Innamincka): A small town in southwestern Queensland, Thargomindah is known for its friendly locals, historical sites, and the nearby Bulloo River. It’s a great destination for those interested in exploring the Australian outback and learning about the region’s history.
  3. Birdsville, QLD (approx. 670 km from Innamincka): A remote town in the far southwest corner of Queensland, Birdsville is famous for its annual horse racing event, the Birdsville Races. The town also serves as a gateway to the Simpson Desert and offers a range of attractions, including the Birdsville Hotel, the Big Red sand dune, and the Australian Inland Mission Hospital Museum.
  4. Marree, SA (approx. 670 km from Innamincka): Located at the junction of the Oodnadatta and Birdsville Tracks, Marree is a small outback town with a rich history. It’s worth visiting for its historical sites, such as the Old Ghan Railway Station and the Afghan Mosque, as well as the nearby Lake Eyre, Australia’s largest salt lake.
  5. Coober Pedy, SA (approx. 850 km from Innamincka): Known as the “opal capital of the world,” Coober Pedy is a unique underground town where many residents live in dugout homes to escape the extreme heat. The town offers a range of attractions, including opal mines, underground churches, and the Umoona Opal Mine & Museum.

Getting To Innamincka, SA

To get to Innamincka, SA from common destinations or origins as a local tourist, you have several options for both public transport and driving.

From Adelaide:

  • By car: Drive north on the A1 and B83 towards Port Augusta, then continue on the B80 and B83 to Lyndhurst. From Lyndhurst, take the Strzelecki Track for approximately 475 km to Innamincka. The total distance is around 1,164 km, and the journey takes approximately 16 hours, depending on road conditions and stops.

From Melbourne:

  • By car: Drive north on the M31 and A39 towards Mildura, then continue on the A20 and B79 to Broken Hill. From Broken Hill, take the B80 and B83 to Lyndhurst, and then follow the Strzelecki Track to Innamincka. The total distance is around 1,600 km, and the journey takes approximately 20 hours, depending on road conditions and stops.

From Sydney:

  • By car: Drive west on the M4 and A32 towards Bathurst, then continue on the A39 and A20 to Broken Hill. From Broken Hill, take the B80 and B83 to Lyndhurst, and then follow the Strzelecki Track to Innamincka. The total distance is around 1,500 km, and the journey takes approximately 18 hours, depending on road conditions and stops.

Please note that there are no direct public transport options to Innamincka. However, you can take a combination of trains, buses, and flights to nearby towns, such as Broken Hill or Lyndhurst, and then rent a car or join a tour to reach Innamincka. Keep in mind that the roads to Innamincka are mostly unsealed and can be challenging, especially in wet conditions. It’s essential to plan your trip carefully, check the road conditions, and ensure you have adequate supplies, fuel, and knowledge of the local conditions.

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