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Gunyah Beach Sand Dunes

Coffin Bay National Park, South Australia (SA), Australia


Gunyah Beach Sand Dunes are one of the major tourist attractions in Coffin Bay National Park in South Australia.

Gunyah Beach and sand dunes are located in about 15 kilometres from the Coffin Bay, a typical Australian holiday resort full of holiday units and relatively cheap accommodation and designed for people who want to spend a holiday fishing, sailing, skindiving, bushwalking or enjoying themselves on the beach.

A sealed road (Yangie Trail) leads to the Coffin Bay National Park. Follow it for approximately 12 kilometres until a turnoff onto 4WD track to the Gunyah Beach. The Gunyah Beach track is accessible only to 4WDs. In order to protect the fragile coastal vegetation a series of route markers have been established for 4WDs to follow. Access along Gunyah Beach is limited to 3 km each side of where the track joins the beach. Beyond this are important seabird refuge and breeding areas. All vehicles are required to keep to designated roads and tracks, and fines apply for non-compliance.

The dunes are constantly moving which makes it difficult to maintain a 4WD track through them, so the National Parks have put in marker poles to help drivers keep to the relatively firm track. If you don't want to risk driving through the deep sand on the track there is a car park just before you enter the dunes proper.

The dunes at Gunyah Beach run north/south-east and are best photographed at twilight and either sunrise or sunset. In fact, outside of these hours they are very flat looking and uninteresting. Footprints are usually not a problem due to limited number of tourists there.

Coffin Bay National Park is located on the southern part of the Eyre Peninsula, approximately 50 kilometres west of Port Lincoln and about 300 km west of Adelaide. Coffin Bay National Park offers a diversity of coastal landscapes. High windswept cliffs, massive dunes and pounding surf beaches are exposed to the Great Southern Ocean. These contrast with the sheltered bays and sandy beaches that typify the park's northern coastline, which lies amongst the calmer waterways of Coffin Bay, Port Douglas and Mt Dutton Bay. Away from the coast there are both vegetated and mobile sand dunes, and limestone pavements.