Heysen Trail. Eagle Waterhole to Tunkalilla Beach

Day 2, Tuesday September 13, 2011

Up early as usual when on a walk, had brekky of muesli and a cuppa tea before packing up and wandering behind the bushes for my morning ablutions only to get dive bombed by the kamikaze maggie again! Intended destination was at least Tapanappa and perhaps Tunkalilla Beach if I made good progress. Found much steepness up and down and found the terrain challenging but still reached Tapanappa around midday.

Passed the turnoff to Trig Point Campground on the way, but as I had plenty of water I felt no need to make a visit. Down into the Deep Creek valley to see the best waterfall of the trip, but unfortunately, not a good time for photography in bright backlit conditions. I did get some nice shots of the water swirls though.

Deep Creek Water Swirls
Deep Creek Waterfall Swirls

Tapanappa was a few km up the track, pleasant walking through a couple of valleys. The temperatures were warming up and I was quite warm by the time I arrived. I noticed a tank in the campground off to the left of the track so headed over to fill up my water bottle.

Tapanappa tank
Tapanappa Tank and Conveniences.

Probably that little diversion is the reason I didn’t see the promised shelter or maybe it has been removed. Tapanappa boasts two toilet and tank installations, one tank at 70% full and the other 90% at the time of my visit. Hammock hanging would be no problem here.

Tapanappa Self Registration point
Self Registration point at Tapanappa

Walked on down to Boat Harbour Beach via the apparently new trail re-route. Hard to imagine Boat Harbour Beach as any sort of Harbour, very open, exposed, rough and rocky!

Boat Harbour Beach
Boat Harbour Beach

On to Tunkalilla Beach which was an absolute beauty. Didn’t see any sharks, but did see a seal and a dolphin pod put on an amazing surfing show for me. Great stuff! With all the indecision about official campsites at Tunkalilla , I scouted about and found a site just above the beach that was great. I guess its not something they can encourage though, if everyone camped there it would be degraded pretty quickly I think. I consoled myself that it was grassed and adjacent to farmland and enjoyed the camp. Turned on the phone and found signal again. What? I thought most of this walk was out of range?

Camped above the beach
Camped above the beach

By now, I had realised that the hipbelt on my new pack (Aarn Peak Aspiration) was too large, so I emailed Aarn Tate to see if I could get hold of a smaller size (I already knew there were none in Australia) – later on he replied yes and we organised it on the trail. I was even able to paypal the payment from the top of a hill.

No Hammock sites that I saw at Tunkalilla beach – there are some houses with stands of trees nearby, so it might be possible as the houses don’t appear to be occupied (no lights) but YMMV. I fell asleep to the sound of thundering waves pounding the beach not that far away, and woke to a magnificent sunrise on the beach.

Rocks on Tunkalilla beach at sunrise
Rock formations on Tunkalilla beach at sunrise

2 Replies to “Heysen Trail. Eagle Waterhole to Tunkalilla Beach”

  1. Hiya!
    Came across this when searching for places to camp on the beach or near enough in South Australia, was wondering if seeing as though this was published in 2011, you know by any chance if it’s still possible to camp on Tunkalilla Beach? Great photos by the way!

  2. Hi Olyvia,

    Thanks for your comment. Whilst there is no official campsite on the beach I cannot imagine why you couldn’t camp there if I did. Just be self sufficient, don’t wreck the place and take out any rubbish: Leave no Trace.

    I haven’t been back to the beach yet, but I did visit Tapanappa via Deep Creek Cove earlier in the year and did some walking around the area, very little has changed since my last visit.


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