Little Dip National Park

Little Dip is a spectacular natural area. 40 kms of coastline beaches, rocky headlands and reef platforms. Great sweeps of sand with towering dunes fringe attractive cove-like beaches.

This rugged coast-scape tells a story of wind, sea and weather slowly eroding the softer rocks, turning them into sand, while the tough, ancient basement rocks withstood the elements and remained as a barrier to the sea. Those along the shoreline contain little rockpools to explore. Beachcombing is a compulsive sport here, with shells and coloured seaweeds, and an air of remoteness which you can't enjoy on busier beaches.

The Park

This park was originally set aside to conserve a number of small lakes that are found inland from the Robe Range. The areas also conserves a large area of coastal dune systems, a rugged and attractive coastline and part of the foreshore of Lake Eliza.

From at least 10000 years ago, large numbers of Aborigines lived in this area, rich in resources with the sea providing the majoritiy of food. Shell heaps or "middens" made up of discarded remains of shellfish are reminders of the past.

The park has two distinct landscapes: a coastal strip containing sand dunes, cliffs, shore platforms, reefs and inlets, and a low-lying series of small lakes with salt tolerant vegetation.

Two-wheel drive access is possible to Long Gully, Little Dip Beach and almost to Stony Rise. Sand dunes make many areas accessible only to four-wheel drive vehicles.

Nestled in the sheltered eastern side of the dune range is typical low tangled coastal scrub creating the protection needed for the taller mallee with stands of majestic coastal white or soap mallee (Eucalyptus diversifolia). The scrub gives way to thick groves of melaleuca, dense rushes and samphire flats surrounding the lakes. Each lake has its own unique character from open, marshy, shallow Lake Eliza; crystal clear, very salty Big Dip and deep, clear, fresh water at the aptly named Fresh Water Lake.

Walking in the Park

Choose from a variety of walks within the park. Experience the exposed rocky coast and beaches, fossicking for a variety of natural and man-made flotsam and jetsam that the frequent gales during winter bring onto the beaches. Study the different bits that you find and you will be surprised at the many places they came from.

Compare the beaches with a quiet, sheltered walk around Fresh Water Lake. This walk is a circuit around the lake through diverse habitat including an area of coastal mallee which forms a canopy overhead for part of the walk.

Waterbirds such as black ducks, swans, musk ducks and white-faced herons, as well as many small bushbirds may be seen along the walk.

You may also like to wander through the different habitats and salt tolerant vegetation of Big Dip and Lake Eliza.

Fishing

Beach fishing for salmon, mulloway, rays, flathead, snapper and King George whiting is popular along the many surf beaches of the park.

Rock fishing for salmon, mullet, snapper, and sweep is possible at several places including Stony Rise and Little Dip.

Wildlife

The usual dune grasses and low shrubbery are present, but with plenty of bare slopes as well. A variety of native animals are present - wombats, echidnas, ring-tailed possums, kangaroos and wallabies, species of native rats, long-necked tortoise and various skinks and lizards are the major species.

Click here for list of Birds, Reptiles and Mammals

Four Wheel Driving

South east coastal parks include Canunda National Park, and Little Dip and Beachport Conservation Park.s Because more and more people with four-wheel drives are using these parks, please follow these guidelines to help protect sensitive areas. Following the guidelines will also ensure you will be able to enjoy the parks in the future.

Safe driving

Many of the four-wheel drive tracks are narrow. As a result there is a risk of colliding with other vehicles on curves and dune crests. Watch out! Install a mast and flag on the front of your vehicle to help others see you coming. Give way to walkers using the tracks in the park. Respect their rights.

Looking after the parks

Drive only on the tracks marked by orange posts. Although the tracks are well-marked, moving sand or other vehicles may have knocked some posts down.

If you cannot see the next post get out and walk. Locate the track or the next post before continuing.

Only park on bare sandy areas next the marked tracks.

Don't drive off tracks to headlands or beaches. Marked tracks lead to various points of interest.

Beachdriving

When you drive on the beach, use existing wheel tracks if there are any.

Rare birds such as the hooded plover nest just below the foredune on the beach and feed near the water's edge. Don't be responsible for jeopardising the future of these birds - drive towards the middle of the beach if possible.

Some beaches consist of very deep sand - if you are unsure of getting through, don't try to drive on them.

Comfortable driving

To lessen damage to tracks and to your vehicle, reduce your tyre pressures to 15psi. You will have a safer and more comfortable ride, and your progress will be much easier.

Remember - if you are unsure of a section of the track, give it a miss.

For future information

Please remember if you are unsure about tackling the trip or need more information about conditions in some sections of these parks, enquire at the park office first. The addresses are:

Canunda National Park Office,  Phone (08) 87356053

Little Dip, Robe Office, Phone (08) 87682543