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Flinders Chase National Park
South Australia
IUCN Category II (National Park)
Remarkable Rocks 02.jpg
Remarkable Rocks, in the southern part of the park
Nearest town or city Kingscote
Coordinates Script error: The function "coordinsert" does not exist.
Established 1919
1972 (national park)
Area 326.61 km2 (126.1 sq mi)
Managing authorities Department for Environment and Water
See also Protected areas of South Australia

Flinders Chase National Park (formerly Flinders Chase) is a protected area in the Australian state of South Australia located at the west end of Kangaroo Island about 177 kilometres (110 miles) west-south west of the state capital of Adelaide and 110 kilometres (68 miles) west of the municipal seat of Kingscote. It is a sanctuary for endangered species and home to a few geological phenomena. It was the second national park to be declared in South Australia.

Flinders Chase National Park consists of three sections - an area of coastal landscapes around Cape du Couedic in the south west corner of the island, the Gosse Lands in the centre of the west end of the island and the former Cape Borda Lightstation reserve in the north west corner of the island.

Description

Location

Flinders Chase National Park is located at the north-western end of Kangaroo Island in South Australia approximately 110 kilometres (68 miles) west of Kingscote. It is located within the gazetted localities of Flinders Chase, Gosse and Karatta.

Extent

As of 1993, the national park consists of three separate parcels of land:

  • 'Cape du Couedic' which is refers to the main parcel of land within the national park and which is bounded at the north by the West Bay Road and the West Melrose Track, to the east by the West End Highway and an unsealed called the Sand Dune Track; and the portion of coastline extending from West Bay in the west to Cape du Couedic in the south and to Sanderson Bay in the east. This portion of the national park includes the following islands - Paisley Islet (also known as West Bay Island) at West Bay and the Casuarina Islets immediately south of Cape du Couedic.
  • The Gosse Lands - a parcel of land which is bounded by the Playford Highway to the north and the West End Highway to the west.
  • The former lighthouse reserve at Cape Borda.

Protected area designation

The national park is classified as an IUCN category II protected area.

History

Parts of the national park first acquired protected area status as a ‘flora and fauna reserve’ declared on 16 October 1919 under the Fauna and Flora Reserve Act 1919, an act whose specific purpose was:

…to establish a Reserve on Kangaroo Island for the Protection, Preservation, and Propagation of Australasian Fauna and Flora, and to provide for the Control of such Reserve, and for other purposes.

It was constituted as a national park upon the proclamation of the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1972 on 27 April 1972 which repealed five items of existing legislation including the Fauna and Flora Reserve Act 1919. At proclamation in 1972, it consisted of the following land in the following cadastral units as well as the entirety of the Casuarina Islets - section 11 in the Hundred of Borda, section 64 in the Hundred of Gosse, section 17 in the Hundred of McDonald and section 66 in "South out of Hundreds".

On 15 October 1993, land in section 11 of the Hundred of Borda, section 64 of Hundred of Gosse and Allotments 50 and 52 in DP 38340 and with an area of 416.63 square kilometres (160.86 sq mi) was removed from the national park and consitututed under the Wilderness Protection Act 1992 as the Ravine des Casoars Wilderness Protection Area.

Sanctuary

Since creation in November 1919, it has become a sanctuary for endangered species, some of them introduced from the mainland in the 1920s and 1930s. During the 1940s, 23 additional species were introduced, including Koalas (1923) and Platypus (1928). Most of these species can still be observed today. Kangaroos, Goannas and Echidnas are commonly seen in the national park.

Little penguins

Little penguins have been recorded in Flinders Chase in the 1920s, 1930s, 1940s and 1950s. It is believed that these colonies have since gone extinct, partly due to the increase of long-nosed fur seal populations since the end of commercial sealing. In 1886, little penguins were seen at Admiral's Arch.

Geological monuments

The national park contains two geological features that have been listed as geological monuments by the Geological Society of Australia - Cape du Couedic and Remarkable Rocks.

Remarkable Rocks are naturally sculptured formations precariously balanced atop a granite outcrop. They remind visitors of the sculptures of Henry Moore.

Fire

Lightning strikes on Thursday 6 December 2007 caused 63,433 hectares of Flinders Chase National Park to be burnt, before finally being contained on 16 December.

In 2019-20 the Ravine fire has burnt at least 15,000 hectares so far in the park.

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