Its name means narrow neck, a fitting description for the land locked sliver
of water that stretches from the River Murray mouth southwards for 145 kilometres
to just north of Kingston.
At most just under three kilometres wide, the Coorong is bounded on the seaward
side by the large sandhills of Younghusband Peninsula .
Coorong National Park and Game Reserve is one of the state's most important
areas of wetlands and of world-wide biological significance. It is the habitat
of over 400 species of birds including spoonbills, black swans, gannets and
at least forty thousand years before white settlers arrived in South Australia,
the Coorong was the home to the Ngarrindjeri people. Theirs was a plentiful
world, with fish, birds and animals such as the kangaroo, wombat and snakes
and goannas in abundance. The remains of shell middens can still be seen at
various spots throughout the sand dunes.
National Park also offers some special and beautiful camping locations, often
well away from main roads and noise. Permits are needed from the park's headquarters,
and they allow camping in a good range of designated spots.
is a great way to explore the Coorong; its quiet waters are safe and still.
will find the Coorong equally enjoyable. There are plenty of walking trails;
it's best to obtain information from the Meningie Park Ranger Headquarters
before setting out.
Telephone (08) 8585 2111
Visitors can learn what it means to live outside Goyders Line - a division
between arable (guaranteed rainfall) and arid land. To live on the wrong side
can spell drought and anguish for farmers.
This typical Murraylands semi-arid plain of mallee, sugarwood and bluebush
is home to the Southern Hairy-nosed Wombat - South Australia's faunal emblem.
While some of the park is set aside to study this unique creature, there is
a ten kilometres nature drive to explore. Watch out for flights of parrots
and the shy gaze of kangaroo and emu. Put your ear to a wombat warren and
you may hear the creatures tunnelling.
areas have been set aside and excellent information on the park and its creatures
is available from rangers. For further information, please contact: Murraylands
3 South Terrace, Murray Bridge.
Caves Conservation Park
Telephone (08) 8762 2340
These caves have been a tourist attraction with organised tours by a local
publican dating back to 1869. Located twelve kilometres south east of Naracoorte
on the road to Penola, there are at least sixty known caves, many of which
are in the Naracoorte Caves Conservation Park.
Guided tours take visitors to the main chambers of Blanche Cave, and the beautifully
decorated Alexandra Cave. Most significant to science is the Victoria Fossil
Cave, with its many fauna fossils, discovered this century. During school
holidays and on long weekends special adventure caving expeditions are held,
taking children and adults into caves not normally accessible to the public.
The Naracoorte Caves Conservation Park has picnic areas, a camping ground
and an interpretive centre.
Telephone (08) 8764 7541
is one of the state's finest and largest areas of wetlands, with a superb
range of birdlife. Its importance is greater because it also happens to be
one of the state's last wetland areas. Registered with UNESCO as a Wetland
of International Significance, Bool Lagoon provides a drought refuge and breeding
ground for literally thousands of birds and other wildlife.
The best way to see Bool Lagoon is on a guided tour along the Tea Tree Boardwalk,
which has been built out over the water. A Ranger who knows the area intimately
will walk you through this very special world. At the end of the Boardwalk
is an ibis rookery.
Dell Conservation Park
Telephone (08) 8738 2221
Two kilometres from Port MacDonnell is a small conservation park set aside
to conserve the native vegetation of the lower South East, especially the
very rare Dingley Dell gum.
Dingley Dell is also a pretty cottage the former home of colonial poet and
renowned horseman Adam Lindsay Gordon. The cottage dates from the 1860s and
has been restored and refurnished to reflect I9th century lifestyle. Some
of Gordon's belongings can still be seen at the cottage. Set in the natural
scrubland of Dingley Dell Conservation Park, the cottage grounds offer picnic
facilities and nature walks in the area which inspired Gordon.
Caves Conservation Park
Telephone (08) 8734 4153
The Tantanoola Caves are twenty one kilometres from Millicent. The complex
nestles inside an ancient marine cliff which towers over the highway. Masses
of delicate formations arch overhead as you stroll through this highly decorated
single chamber on a special pathway built without steps. Outside the caves
a cliff-top walking trail has views of forests, beach dunes and extinct volcanoes.
Adventure caving tours are available for people who prefer to get off the
well-trodden path and traverse caves as yet undeveloped.