Hindmarsh Island



Hindmarsh Island


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Hindmarsh Island is a beautiful and untouched island located about 15 km off the coast of Adelaide, South Australia. A popular spot for swimming, boating, fishing, bird watching and picnicking, Hindmarsh Island is also home to some amazing flora and fauna.

Although the island is only a short ferry ride from the Adelaide city centre, it’s well worth the journey to experience its natural beauty. In this blog, we are going to introduce you to Hindmarsh Island, its history, flora and fauna. We will also provide you with tips on how to enjoy your visit to Hindmarsh Island to the fullest.

Hindmarsh Island


Hindmarsh Island was first sighted by Europeans in 1536 when the Portuguese explorer Pedro Álvares Cabral sailed past it on his way to discover Australia. It wasn’t until 1802-03 that Captain Matthew Flinders discovered and named the island after Admiral George Murray, 1st Duke of Athol, an important figure in British naval history.

Since its discovery, Hindmarsh Island has played an important role in South Australia’s early history.


The climate on Hindmarsh Island is temperate. The island experiences a moderate coastal climate with average temperatures ranging from 16-27 degrees Celsius all year round.

Flora and Fauna

Hindmarsh Island is home to a variety of flora and fauna not found anywhere else in the world. Some of the most interesting plants include the endangered lychee tree, the rare candytuft and regent’s palm which are all endemic to the island. Other species unique to Hindmarsh Island include the mangrove-alder mimosa and regent’s palm tree, Asperula alpinia which is endemic in Australia but was discovered on Hindmarsh Island during an expedition conducted by Dr Craig & Dr Neil Smith of OUE SA.


There are also a variety of wildlife found on Hindmarsh Island, including the brown-throated parrot, the southern cassowary and koalas. It’s important to remember that while most of these animals are fairly common in Australia, they may be rare or even endangered in some parts of the country. Therefore it’s always best to heed warnings issued by park rangers when visiting nature areas.

When visiting Hindm arsh Island make sure you don’t disturb any of the animals, take a look at The Nature Conservation Act and do not feed wildlife.


Hindmarsh Island is part of the state of South Australia. It’s located in the southernmost part of SA and forms a small, irregular piece of land that connects to mainland Tasman Bay. The island is only about 5km wide at its widest point and just over 1km long. It is located 28km west of Tasmania and just under 10 km from the centrepoint of Eyre Peninsula.

The area was originally inhabited by Aboriginal Australians before it became part of a land known as Herberton Island some time in the 1770’s. In 1873, Captain William Featherstone discovered an isolated piece of southern continent not far to the north-east named Hindmarsh that had never been recorded on maps or charts anywhere else in Australia, much like the land of Tasmania.

Government services

As of 28 November 2017, Hindmarsh Island was incorporated into the state of South Australia as part of the Yorke Peninsula Conservation Park. The island is managed by Parks and Wildlife Services (PWS) with a ranger presence on site to monitor and manage the natural resources. Visitors are welcome to visit, but must obey all park regulations while in the area.


Hindmarsh Island is not a popular tourist destination. The PWS operates camping facilities on the island and charges visitors for access to these grounds, which is how most people learn about the island. There are no visitor services or shops on Hindmarsh Island, so if you plan to spend any time there it’s best to bring some food and water with you.



Hindmarsh Island is only accessible by boat. The PWS operates a small ferry that services the island every day from 6am to 6pm, costing $10 per person. The PWS also monitors one track on the island for vehicular access, and it is crossable by 4wd vehicle as well.



There is no good food available on Hindmarsh Island, so if you’re looking for sustenance you’ll need to bring your own supplies. If you wish to have a picnic, be prepared for some unpleasant surprise. Other facts

Despite the lack of accommodation, the island is home to a garrison or three. Huts are available for rent from Parks and Wildlife Services (PWS) from $10 per night . There’s no running water on the island but waste must be disposed at set locations for collection by PWS during operating hours; once collected it can then be placed in one of the hauler trucks that pass frequently through here.



Hindmarsh Island is home to a significant population of Australian fur seals, which are known for their playful behaviour and vigorous defence of their territories. You may also see Wedge-tailed eagles and galahs during your visit. The island is a partly submerged sediment that offers some interesting geological samples. The different shorelines can be seen in the photograph below, while this string of rocks are found further out to sea – they’re known as ‘Hindmarsh Island Rocks’.


Hindmarsh Island is a 9.7 hectare island located in Port Phillip Bay, an estuary of the Great Southern Bay of Victoria, Australia. The island is part of the Port Phillip Heads Marine National Park and the only place in Australia where breeding populations of the little penguin occur.


Is Hindmarsh Island Open To The Public?

Yes, Hindmarsh Island is available to visitors from 8am to 6pm weekdays, and 9am-5pm on weekends. Ferry tickets cost AU$8 for a single trip or AU$12 for a return trip. There is no charge for children aged 5-15 years.

Can I Bring My Own Food And Drinks Onto Hindmarsh Island?

You are free to bring your own food and water. But responsible visitors should be aware of fire bans in the area, so don’t risk yourself or other people by having a barbecue on Hindmarsh Island. You are welcome to bring picnic items such as tables, chairs, cool boxes etc.

Is Marine National Park Fees Refundable?

Yes, Marine National Park fees are refundable as long as you arrive on the island with a full car-carrying weight of at least two kilos. The base camps (Hedgehog and Rockhopper) are located close to each other so it takes about 15minutes by foot to reach them from either side.  No deposit is required for any pair of binoculars brought in use or otherwise , and the gear is returned to you on the morning of your departure.

Is There A Car Park Available?

There is no car parking space but there are toilets, drinking water showers etc located adjacent to each base camp (Hedgehog and Rockhopper).

Is There A Tour Company On The Island?

Yes, KOA tours run daily from around 9:15am to 4pm . Our  KOA team will provide you with an efficient overview of several different species (Hawksbill Turtle & Wedge-Tailed Eagle) and their habitat. They also provide transport for your return leg home in Melbourne into Westgarth Street tram stop over Herring Gully Oval about 10 minutes walk across the public parkland.

The price of each trip is AU$45 return, including a FREE WESTERN BUNDLE TICKET purchased in Melbourne CBD which can be used on multiple services within the city (e.g local train/bus service to South Yarra & suburbs)

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