Visitor Information

Port MacDonnell is situated on the 'Limestone Coast', which stretches from the Glenelg River on the Victorian border, along the coast westwards and up to Tailem Bend and back to Bordertown.

Rock Formations: Rocks locally called Rhino, Frog, Crocodile and Camel Rocks, Lobster Pot rocks and Map of Australia Reef. These can be seen around the lighthouse area. Over the years they have withstood the sea pounding over them, yet they are still recognised by their shapes.

Sinkholes: The area has many caves and sinkholes; many of these frequented by divers. Cave diving is now a well established international sporting activity and the South East is a prime destination. Many of these caves and sinkholes are on private land and access to them is limited. A permit is often required before diving in sinkholes on land controlled by public authorities. For further information contact The Lady Nelson on (08) 8724 9750 or 1800 087 187, or the Department of Environment and Natural Resources on (08) 8735 1111.

Bushwalking Trails: Germein Reserve opposite Dingley Dell (30 minutes), Dingley Dell Conservation Park (10 minutes), Finger Point (half hour and two hour walks) and cemetery.

Petrified Forest: When the Southern Ocean was at the Continental Shelf many thousands of years ago, a forest of tall trees covered this stretch of country now covered by the sea. As the trees died acid from the rotting wood mixed with salt and calcium crystals, remineralised, creating a chemical front of karst earlier known as petrified wood. Some rock formations can be flint, others may be cemented sand and limestone rock weathered and carved by wave action.

A Short Walk

Community Hall Mural, 233.2 square metres of history painted by 416 local residents with registered artist Kathy Mabon in 1999.

Customs House, Corner of Sea Parade and Charles Street. Built in 1863, it was the only one of its type in South Australia to combine police station and residence, cells, court room, customs house, post and telegraph stations with residence, and school teacher’s residence. Designed on a grand scale indicating confidence in the development of a significant port. Not opened to the public.

German Mine and War Memorial, Corner of Sea Parade and Charles Street. An obelisk stands in memory of those who gave their lives in the wars. On the lawn nearby stands a German mine, washed up at Port MacDonnell in 1943

Breakwater, Boathaven and Jetty, Protects the largest Southern Rock Lobster Fishing Fleet in South Australia and provides sheltered conditions for recreational water sports and fishing spots.

Cape Northumberland Area. Follow scenic drive west; see wagon wheel tracks and petrified forest (visible at low tide only). Explore Shelley Beach, rugged cliffs, off-shore reefs and rock formations, walk the trail to the Cape’s highest point and see the coastline stretch to Discovery Bay, Victoria, Nelson to the east and Cape Douglas to the west. Off the Cape’s car park observe the Fairy Penguins return to their colony at sunset from the lookout. Lighthouse Monument on the original site, present Lighthouse on the new site opened 1882. Historic Cemetery – two parts of the cemetery help to tell the story of early Port MacDonnell. Follow the path from the corner of the present cemetery and discover some old sites being uncovered by a group of enthusiasts.

Ewens Ponds. Conservation Park, crystal clear water flows to the sea through Eight Mile Creek. Scuba diving and snorkelling.

Germein Reserve. Wetland area on reserve. Walk the boardwalk through natural regeneration; see some of the few remaining stands of the rare SA Blue Gum. Reconstruction of old quarry, see native flora and birdlife with nesting boxes and enjoy frog watching for some of Australia’s rarest frogs.

Allendale East. Cave dividing road, once used as a watering hole for bullock teams. Sinkholes are also found in this area. Permit required to dive in these caves. CDAA Members only.

Further Afield

Piccaninnie Ponds. Conservation Park, known worldwide for sinkhole diving. Permit needed for diving, snorkelling or camping from National Parks and Wildlife (08) 8735 1111. CDAA Members only.

Donovans. A quiet town on the Glenelg river in South Australia. Scenic river views with fishing from public landing, picnic facilities, BBQ and boat ramp.

Finger Point Conservation Area. Popular surfing, swimming and diving sports. Reef and rockpool exploring, walking trails, ancient Aboriginal campsites. Please stay on marked tracks.

Mount Schank. Crater of Australia’s dormant volcano, steps to summit, walk crater rim, take in magnificent views of surrounding area. Toilets. (Volcanic Trail Brochure)

Little Blue Lake. Changes colour simultaneously with Mount Gambier’s famous Blue Lake. Popular swimming and diving spot for the experienced. Car Park.

Blackfellows Caves. Named after the Aboriginal people who hunted sheep and cattle from local farms. The landholders chased them out on to the point where the Aboriginal people knew there were caves near the sea they could hide in (visible at low tide). A quiet coastal village.

Carpenter Rocks. This small fishing town developed at the end of small coastal towns. Named because the rocks alluded to the indentations of a carpenter’s saw. A beautiful curving bay which provides a safe haven for the fishing fleet, and a pleasant beach. Walking trails

Please visit for more information about things to see and do in the Port MacDonnell area.