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March - Coorong National Park

You’re invited to celebrate Coorong National Park this March.

There is something for all ages and interests in the Coorong. The serenity and the sheer diversity of flora and fauna make it an immensely popular park. Visitors come for bird watching, boating, kayaking, fishing, camping, walking, four-wheel driving and European and Aboriginal cultural history.

Located about a 2 hour drive south-east of Adelaide, Coorong National Park protects a wetland of international importance. It is where Australia’s largest river system, the Murray-Darling flows out to the Southern Ocean and is home to over 200 species of birds as well as many migratory birds that arrive each summer. The critical eco-system not only serves as a breeding area for birds, but also for many marine species that breed in the calm waters of the Coorong lagoon.

Find out which parks are featuring as Park of the Month next or even host your own event.

What’s on

Capture the Coorong - Photo competition

Get snapping and join in the fun of the Capture the Coorong - Photo competition. There's 12 prizes on offer across four catergories: Landscape, Wildlife, Flora and Visitor Experience. For all the details, visit the competition page.

Parkapiki - Park of the Month Competition 

Visit Coorong Naitonal Park during March to go in the draw to win a guided tour for two with Canoe the Coorong. Prize includes

  • full day (9:00 am - 3:00 pm) guided kayaking tour
  • kayaking equipment
  • meals (morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea)
  • bush tucker walk through the dunes
  • experience and knowledgeable guides

Our friends at Parkapiki have used GPS technology to create a virtual boundary around the park. All you need to do is visit Coorong National Park during February and when you’re there, open the competition page on your smart-phone or tablet, fill in the form and leave a creative comment about the park.

Don't worry if your out of mobile coverage, you can enter the competition by loading a digital photo you've taken in the park when you're back in range.

Clean Up Australia Day - Friends of the Coorong

Dates and times:

Sunday 3 March, 10:00 am – 12:30 pm 

About and information:

Join the Friends of the Coorong as they remove rubbish from the Parnka Point area of the Coorong National Park as part of Clean Up Australia Day. Our rangers will take you by boat across the Coorong Lagoon to the Younghusband Peninsula to collect rubbish from the sand dunes and ocean beach.

Due to the need to transport participants by boat, numbers are restricted to 20. Additional participants who wish to stay on the mainland and clean up around the campgrounds are very welcome. All children must be accompanied by a supervising adult. 

Please note that this event may be canceled in the event of poor weather. This activity will be determined by water and weather conditions on the day. Should conditions not be suitable for crossing the lagoon by boat, we will clean up around the picnic area and Pelican and Avocet Campgrounds.

Meeting point:

Meet at the picnic area at Parnka Point at 10:00 am for registration and a 10:30 am start.  

Directions:

From Meningie: Turn right off the Princes Highway, 24kms south of Meningie. Follow the unsealed road approximately 4kms to the Coorong Lagoon.

From Salt Creek: Turn left off the Princes Highway, 35kms north of Salt Creek. Follow the unsealed road approximately 4kms to the Coorong Lagoon.

Maps:

Coorong National Park map

Coorong National Park Magrath Flat to Policeman Point map

What to bring:

  • minimum 1 litre of water
  • some snacks
  • small backpack
  • long trousers and long-sleeved top recommended
  • hat/cap and sun screen
  • sturdy footwear
  • gardening gloves
  • warm jumper and rainproof jacket just in case. 

Rubbish bags will be supplied. Lifejackets will be provided and must be worn in the boat. You will be required to step into the water as you get on and off the boat. 

Bookings:

This event is FREE but registration is essential.

42 Mile Crossing campground - Free camping for March long weekend

Date and time:

Friday 8 March - Monday 11 March

About and bookings:

To celebrate Coorong National Park as Park of the Month, camping will be free at 42 Mile Crossing campground over the Adelaide Cup long weekend. Make the most of your visit by attending the Welcome to country event.

Location:

42 Mile Crossing campground.

Directions:

Turn right off the Princes Highway, 80 kms south of Meningie. Follow the unsealed road for approximately 3 kms to the campground. 

Maps:

Coorong National Park map

Coorong National Park Policeman Point to 42 Mile Crossing map

Coorong National Park - 42 Mile Crossing campground map

What to bring:

  • caravan, camper trailer, or tent
  • water and food
  • camping/cooking utensils*
  • sun screen
  • insect repellent
  • hat or cap.

*Gas and liquid fuel appliances are permitted to be used, except on days of Total Fire Ban.

Bookings:

There is a limited number of campsite available and bookings are essential.

Welcome to country

Date and time:

Saturday 9 March, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm 

About and bookings:

Coorong National Park is of enormous cultural significance to the Ngarrindjeri and South East Aboriginal groups with cultural material present throughout the park demonstrating Aboriginal presence over thousands of years. Kurangk is the Ngarrindjeri word for Coorong and means long narrow neck.

Join our Cultural Rangers and Rita Lindsay as they welcome you to Country and share the Ngarrindjeri culture with you. Watch a performance by Rita and her Ngarrindjeri dance group, Rritjarukar, the willy wagtails.

Please note that this event may be canceled in the event of poor weather. Participating numbers are restricted to 30. All children must be accompanied by a supervising adult.

Meeting point:

Meet at the 42 Mile Crossing campground picnic shelter 

Directions:

Turn right off the Princes Highway, 80kms south of Meningie. Follow the unsealed road for approximately 3kms to the campground. 

Maps:

Coorong National Park map

Coorong National Park Policeman Point to 42 Mile Crossing map

What to bring:

  • minimum of 1 litre of water and some snacks
  • loose fitting clothes appropriate for the weather
  • sun screen
  • insect repellent
  • hat or cap.

Bookings:

This event is FREE but registration is essential.

Guided birdwatching tour with Birds SA 

Date and time:

Saturday 16 March, 9:00 am – 12:00 pm 

About and bookings:

The Coorong is a birdwatcher’s paradise. Over 200 species of birds have been recorded in the park, including two rare species. The distinctive landscape is a destination for migratory waders, as well as an internationally renowned breeding area for the Australian pelican. Many different water birds visit the wetland, particularly in summer and it is a refuge for ducks, swans, cormorants, terns, grebes and numerous species of local waders.

Join John Gitsham, President of Birds SA, on a guided tour from Mark Point to the Tauwitchere Barrage. We will meet at the first bird spotting stop at Mark Point before driving in convoy 5kms along the Coorong lagoon to park at Pelican Point. It is an easy 800m walk over level terrain from Pelican Point to the Tauwitchere Barrage – looking out for birds as we go.

We will be joined by the Barrages Manager from SA Water who will explain the role of the barrages in the Coorong, Lower Lakes and Murray River system.

Please note that this event may be canceled in the event of poor weather. Participating numbers are restricted to 20. All children must be accompanied by a supervising adult. Please note, there are no toilet facilities available at Mark Point or Pelican Point.

Meeting point:

Meet at the Mark Point car park at 9:00 am sharp for registration.

Directions:

From Meningie: take the Narrung Road for 23kms. Turn left off the Narrung Road onto the unsealed Loveday Bay Road. After 7kms, turn left onto the unsealed Mark Point Road. Follow this road for 5kms to the parking area at Mark Point.

From Narrung: follow the sealed road to Meningie for 18kms. Turn right onto the unsealed Loveday Bay Road.  After 7kms, turn left onto the unsealed Mark Point Road. Follow this road for 5kms to the parking area at Mark Point.

Maps:

Coorong National Park map

Coorong National Park Goolwa Barrage to Long Point map

What to bring:

  • binoculars or telescope
  • bird identification field guide
  • minimum of 1 litre of water and some snacks
  • loose fitting clothes appropriate for the weather
  • sun screen
  • insect repellent
  • hat or cap.

Bookings:

This event is FREE but registration is essential.

Murraylands Deadly Fun run

Date and time:

Sunday 17 March, 9:30 am registration for 10:00 am start 

About and bookings:

The Murraylands Deadly Fun Run Series is a free event, with breakfast provided and prizes to be won.

There are 2 events:

  • 3 km: Junior 16 and under
  • 5 km: Senior 17 and over

It offers an opportunity for all the local community, male or female, young or old, to come together to enjoy the Coorong National Park and get physically active at Long Point. Join in whatever your pace! You will need to register on the day. 

All children must be accompanied by a supervising adult. Suitable, enclosed footwear is recommended, and apply sun protection. 

Meeting point:

Meet at the Long Point carpark at 9:30 am for registration. 

Directions:

Turn off the Narrung Road onto the Long Point Road, 22 kms north-west of Meningie or 19 kms south-west of Narrung. Follow the unsealed road for 6 kms to the Long Point campground carpark. 

Maps:

Coorong National Park map

Coorong National Park Goolwa Barrage to Long Point map

What to bring:

  • drinking water
  • some snacks
  • sun screen
  • insect repellent
  • hat or cap.

Bookings:

This event is FREE but registration is essential.

South East Flows Tag-a-long 4WD tour and overnight stay at Cantara Homestead

Date and time:

Saturday 23 March, 10:00 am – Sunday 24 March 

About and bookings:

Join our staff as they take you on a tag-a-long 4WD tour of the South East Drains and stay overnight at historic Cantara Homestead in the Coorong National Park. We will travel in convoy to Martin Washpool Conservation Park, visiting the southern end of the Morella Basin, the drain at Bonneys Camp and the causeway at the northern end of the basin, just before the water flows into Salt Creek.

A member of the South East Flows Restoration Project team will be joining us to tell us about on- ground works to assist salinity management in the Coorong Southern Lagoon, enhance flows to wetlands in the Upper South East and reduce drainage outflow at Kingston beach.

We will stop about half way along Morella Basin, overlooking the water, for lunch in the shade of the gum trees – you will need to bring your own picnic lunch, drink and chair.

After lunch we will travel to Cantara Homestead. While at Cantara, we will show the original Storm Boy movie. Take time to check out the displays showing details of the history of Cantara and its restoration. You will also have the opportunity for a Ranger Guided sunset walk through the sand dunes to the ocean beach. This will be a moderately difficult walk of approximately 3kms (return), through the sand dunes.

You are welcome to camp overnight at Cantara. Showers, toilets barbecue and the kitchen are available. Electricity is not available for the camping sites – generators are permitted.

Please note that this event may be canceled in the event of poor weather. Participating numbers are restricted to 20 vehicles. You must provide your own 4WD vehicle and be experienced in driving in bush conditions.

Meeting point:

Meet at the Oil Rig monument at Salt Creek at 10:00 am

Directions:

Follow the Princes Highway south for 60 kms from Meningie to Salt Creek.

Maps:

Coorong National Park map

Coorong National Park Policeman Point to 42 Mile Crossing map

What to bring:

  • your own 4WD vehicle
  • *caravan, *camper trailer, tent or swag.
  • food supplies for lunch, dinner and breakfast
  • drinking water
  • enclosed footwear
  • loose fitting clothes appropriate for the weather
  • sun screen
  • insect repellent
  • hat or cap.

*If you plan on taking a caravan or camper trailer, you must arrange to leave it at Cantara Homestead prior to joining the tour on Saturday morning. It is not possible to tow caravans or trails whilst on the tour.

Bookings:

This event is FREE but registration is essential.

Nruggie Ngoppun Trail guided ranger walk

Date and time:

Sunday 24 March, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm 

About and bookings:

Coorong National Park is of enormous cultural significance to the Ngarrindjeri and South East Aboriginal groups with cultural material present throughout the park demonstrating Aboriginal presence over thousands of years. Kurangk is the Ngarrindjeri word for Coorong and means long narrow neck.

Join our Cultural Rangers on a guided walk along the Nruggie Ngoppun (Good Walk) Trail at Salt Creek (2.5kms). Bushwalking is a fantastic way to connect with nature, keep fit and spend time with family and friends. 

Please note that this event may be canceled in the event of poor weather. Participating numbers are restricted to 20. All children must be accompanied by a supervising adult. 

Meeting point:

Meet at the Oil Rig monument at Salt Creek at 10:00 am

Directions:

Follow the Princes Highway south for 60kms from Meningie to Salt Creek.

Maps:

Coorong National Park map

Coorong National Park Policeman Point to 42 Mile Crossing map

What to bring:

  • minimum of 1 litre of water and some snacks
  • loose fitting clothes appropriate for the weather
  • sun screen
  • insect repellent
  • hat or cap.

Bookings:

This event is FREE but registration is essential.

Canoe the Coorong

About and bookings:

Kayaking is one of the best ways to explore the Coorong National Park. Brenton Carle of Canoe the Coorong offers all-inclusive guided tours for people of all ages and skill levels. 

A Coorong full day tour involves about three hours of kayak cruising, broken up with numerous stops and delicious local food. Stretch your legs and take a closer look at native coastal flora on a bush tucker walk across the Younghusband Peninsula to the Southern Ocean. The tour incorporates interpretation of the area's international significance, leaving from Hindmarsh Island and culminating at the Murray Mouth.

Canoe the Coorong also offers sunset tours, overnight camping experiences and four night expeditions. They can cater for individuals, small groups, school groups, corporate team building, customised tours and self-guided kayak hire.

Bookings:

For further details, itineraries, prices and booking details, visit Canoe the Coorong

Spirit of the Coorong Cruises

About/information:

Join the award winning Spirit of the Coorong Cruises on a journey into the countryside where the iconic Storm Boy movies were made.

Cruise aboard the high speed passenger vessel, Spirit of the Coorong from the old river port of Goolwa, through the barrage lock and across the mouth of the River Murray into the wetland wilderness of the Coorong National Park.

See a seal colony lazing on the barrage and flocks of native and migratory birdlife. Hear some of the Aboriginal and European history of the area with expert commentary provided by the Captain. Stop for a guided walk across the spectacular dunes of the peninsula to the ocean beach and another to visit a midden site.

Lunch, afternoon tea and guided walks are included on the 3.5 hour Discovery Cruise and the 6 hour Adventure Cruise.

For a shorter alternative, a 2 hour Murray Mouth Cruise operates on Saturday mornings and Thursday mornings of the school holidays, during the months of October and April.

Bookings: 

For further details, itineraries, prices and booking details visit Spirit of the Coorong Cruises

Cruise the Coorong

About/information:

Enjoy a six hour boat cruise into the Coorong National Park, Lower Lakes and Murray Mouth area aboard a 14 seater passenger vessel with morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea provided.

The only cruise to circumnavigate Hindmarsh Island, the boat leaves from the River Port of Goolwa before heading upstream to Clayton, through Duck's Hospital Bay and into Lake Alexandrina. Passing through the hand-operated lock at Tauwitchere Barrage into the Coorong lagoon, the next stop is for lunch at Cattle Point. Here you will learn some of the local Aboriginal history and visit Storm Boy country, where the iconic story was based.

Travelling towards the Murray Mouth, the next stop is at Barker's Knoll for a walk through the sand dunes to the spectacular Southern Ocean beach, where you can try digging for cockles (during season) and learn about native bush tucker with your experienced guide.

Cruise past the Murray Mouth and arrive at the Goolwa Barrage where you can get up close to long-nosed fur seals before returning to the Goolwa wharf.

A 2.5 hour Coorong highlights tour is also available. Cruises operate between September and May.

Bookings: 

For further details, itineraries, prices and booking details visit Cruise the Coorong 

Insider Tips for Cooring National Park