Everything you need to know about canoeing in South Australia’s Coorong

Everything you need to know about canoeing in South Australia’s Coorong

Coorong Nation­al Park is a great spot for canoe­ing. Here’s Senior Ranger Angus Droogan-Tur­nis­ki top tips.

With the warmer weath­er around the cor­ner, canoe­ing is a great way to immerse your­self in the great outdoors. 

Coorong Nation­al Park, locat­ed 200 km south-east of Ade­laide, caters to pad­dlers of all levels.

Explore the shel­tered bays of the Coorong lagoon, take a pad­dle across to Younghus­band Penin­su­la or for the more adven­tur­ous, tack­le a mul­ti­day or overnight expe­di­tion camp­ing on the remote shores of the lagoon.

With all of these options, you’ll get to explore the inter­na­tion­al­ly sig­nif­i­cant Coorong from a new per­spec­tive – on the water.

Coorong Nation­al Park Senior Ranger Merv Smith takes us through every­thing you need to know when you go for a pad­dle in Coorong Nation­al Park. Here’s what he had to say:

What you will see

The Coorong is beam­ing with an incred­i­bly diverse range of birdlife and wildlife. Expect to see pel­i­cans soar­ing, birds of prey search­ing and if you’re lucky, an emu tak­ing a dip in the lagoon.

Long-nosed fur seals are often found in the North Lagoon of the Coorong, bask­ing on the shore or swim­ming in the lagoon. If you spot them, be sure to keep your distance. 

Top camp­ing spots

Look­ing for a pri­vate camp spot? Set out on your kayak/​canoe with your camp­ing gear and head to one of our boat only’ camp­sites at Bark­er Knoll or God­freys Landing.

The Bark­er Knoll camp­site has a walk­ing trail to the beach and a nice flat camp­ing area, while the God­freys Land­ing camp­site has a pic­nic shel­ter and an inter­pre­tive walk­ing trail to the ocean beach.

For the more adven­tur­ous, you can also camp on the shore of the Younghus­band Penin­su­la. Make sure to let some­one know where you intend to stay and leave no trace in the park.

Top tips: Camp­sites at Bark­er Knoll or God­freys Land­ing can be booked online. While canoe camp­ing can be booked under non-vehi­cle based camp­ing.

Great trails

There are sev­er­al won­der­ful loop trails found on the Pad­dling Trails South Aus­tralia web­site, with details maps, sug­ges­tions and itineraries.

Top tip: Don’t have a canoe or don’t feel con­fi­dent head­ing out on the water? Con­tact Canoe the Coorong for canoe hire and tours.

Canoe safe­ty

Make sure you let some­one know before you go, and don’t for­get to take enough water and food.

The wind can get quite strong, so check the wind fore­cast before head­ing out.

Phone sig­nal can be patchy in areas in the park, so you might want to con­sid­er hir­ing a satel­lite phone or loca­tor for safety.

Areas to avoid

Ensure you vis­it the nation­al parks web­site for park maps before you head off on your adven­ture, and remem­ber don’t camp on pri­vate land, such as Mundoo Island oppo­site God­frey Landing.

Be cau­tious when nav­i­gat­ing the lagoon – sec­tions can become very shal­low with rocky reefs and cur­rents, so take care when tra­vers­ing through these areas.

Stur­dy shoes are rec­om­mend­ed as you may need to get out and walk in some areas.

Pre­fer to explore at your own pace? Check out Your guide to vis­it­ing Coorong Nation­al Park or 6 things you might not know about the Coorongto plan your next visit.

Main image: Coorong Nation­al Park (image cour­tesy of SATC)

This sto­ry was orig­i­nal­ly post­ed in Novem­ber 2020.

This con­tent was pro­duced in part­ner­ship with  Good Living