Ratalang (Basham’s Beach) Regional Park
A beautiful walk through nature and history…There is a 52 hectare park situated just east of Port Elliot on the Southern Fleurieu Peninsula called ‘Ratalang’ (Basham’s Beach) Regional Park (or Conservation Reserve). It is a special hub of biodiversity and cultural significance and is a popular coastal environment that is enjoyed by both the local community and visitors to the region. It is a family friendly and educational stroll of approximately 60 minutes one way or a 20 minute bike ride along the Encounter Bikeway, with a stunning beach, beautiful views, an abundance of wildlife and natural flora. A must if you’re staying in or visiting the Southern Fleurieu…
If you choose to begin at the northern entrance of the park, you will find a collection of interesting structures available to look at dating from the 1840s and ’50s when William Basham ran a farm and trading business here. Interpretive signs tell the story of the family and their stone dairy, fowl shed and animal trough.
Numerous walking trails take you across the rocky granite outcrop on the headland along sandy trails and through native vegetation which are magnets for the birds, butterflies and bees, particularly during spring and summer. The small rocky granite outcrop is a great place for kids to explore safely while the grown ups can sit and ponder the shipwrecks that lie just off the coast.
The east facing beach is 1.8km’s long and is sheltered by Commodore Point so is protected from the swell and surf waves that are so popular with the surfers a little further up.The calm waters also make it a popular spot for families with young children, who can splash and frolic in the shallow water safely.
In winter, the beach comes alive with whale enthusiasts and visitors all wanting to catch sight of the many whales that visit the area every winter. The calmer waters of this beach make it a popular area for mother whales and their calves to be spotted.
Access to the Park is via the car parks at the southern or northern ends, or via the long beach that fronts the Park and cyclists can access the park via the paved Encounter Bikeway Signs near the large car parking area explain the walking tracks and recreational facilities in the conservation park and there are also public toilets available.
The traditional owners called this place Yarluwar Ruwe (Sea Country). It is a beautiful area and has important cultural assets in the form of significant Ngarrindjeri and European heritage, making the area an extremely unique and important time capsule of the past. The Park is open all year round with no entry fee and to help keep this area as beautiful as it is, visitors are encouraged to leave nothing behind but their footprints and take nothing home except memories…