Coorong National Park is located within the Younghusband Peninsula of the South Australia state in southern Australia. The national park area covers an area of 189.2 square miles (490.15 sq km). It was established in 1966.
The national park is centered on the Coorong lagoon which is a unique ecosystem that protects a variety of species. In addition to the lagoon, the ecosystems include coastal dune and coastal vegetation. The majority of the park is fairly level, however, the coastline can be a bit rugged.
One of the intriguing facets of the national park involves the interchange of water sources occurring between the seawater of the Coorong, freshwater of the Murray River, rainfall and groundwater. The Murray-Darling us the country’s largest river system.
The various water sources create estuarine, freshwater, and hypersaline bodies of water that support an array of marine and land wildlife. The Coorong is recognized as a wetland of international importance.
The birds of Coorong National Park include both endemic and migrant species. Some of the popular species include Australasian parrots, hooded plovers, oystercatchers, red-necked bitterns, and Australian shelduck.
The Coorong lagoon and varied interactive water sources have created a unique ecosystem with a collection of varied wildlife species. Hiking the various trails and exploring the region is the leading attraction of the park.
This wetland is home to over 200 species of birds creating a bird-lovers paradise. Some of the species in the area are even threatened as a species noted by the IUCN Red List.
Coorong Lagoon is a recognized wetland of international importance. Birdwatching is one of the more popular activities in the lagoon area.
Coorong National Park Trails:
There are over a dozen different trails to hike and explore the park. Hiking the trails also creates an excellent opportunity for bird-watching and trying to identify the abundant number of species in this tropical wetland. It is a bird lover's haven.
Jack Point Pelican Observatory
This easy walk covers a distance of 1.2 km and takes about 20 minutes. The highlight is a lookout point that provides views of the pelican breeding islands.
Ngrugie Ngoppun Walk
Another easy walk traveling 2.7 km through low growing vegetation. It follows much of the Salt Creek and ends with a lookout over the Coorong where the Salt Creek enters the lagoon. It takes about 1 hour and 15 minutes to hike the trail.
Ocean Beach Hike
This 3.4 km trail takes about an hour as visitors get an excellent opportunity to view the coastal sand dunes, shoreline, the Southern Ocean, and of course the Coorong. This is an easy hike and easily accessible.
Lakes Nature Walk Trail
Another easy walk over a distance of 2.9 km that travels along ephemeral lakes and simple sand dunes. It takes about an hour to take the hike.
Barkers Knoll Ocean Beach:
This is a short 1.2 km trail that only takes about 30 minutes. It travels over the dunes to the shores of the Southern Ocean.
Coorong National Park was created to protect the fragile lagoon and coastal dune ecosystem. The habitat is a breeding ground for several species of birds. The region is recognized as a wetland of international importance. The Australian government recognized the significance of the breeding grounds and set this land aside many years ago.
There are over 200 species of birds nesting throughout the wetlands with some of the species identified as threatened by the IUCN. The global community must come alongside South Australia to do everything we can to protect these wetlands and the birds that call them home.
- Coorong lagoon
- Discover Murray, Coorong National Park, http://murrayriver.com.au/parks/coorong-national-park/, retrieved October 2019.
- Good Living, 6 Things You Might Not Know About the Coorong, https://www.environment.sa.gov.au/goodliving/posts/2018/06/coorong-facts, retrieved October 2019.
- National Parks and Wildlife Service South Australia, Coorong National Park, https://www.parks.sa.gov.au/find-a-park/Browse_by_region/Limestone_Coast/coorong-national-park, retrieved October 2019.
- Walking SA, Walking Trails along the Coorong, https://www.walkingsa.org.au/news/walking-trails-along-coorong-and-in-the-coorong-national-park/, retrieved October 2019.