Insider Guide – Canunda National Park

Insider Guide – Canunda National Park

Go behind the scenes to dis­cov­er the unique jobs and pas­sion­ate peo­ple that care for South Australia’s environment.

Glenn Jack­way – Senior Ranger at Canun­da and Robe Area Parks

What’s the biggest draw­card at Canunda?

Amaz­ing land­scapes and seascapes! Canun­da Nation­al Park has it all. Sandy surf beach­es and large sand dunes, rocky head­lands and steep cliffs, reef plat­forms and rock pools, geo­log­i­cal for­ma­tions and Abo­rig­i­nal middens.

The clifftop walk­ing trail in the north­ern sec­tion of Canun­da, which stretch­es for many kilo­me­tres, is a real high­light. This trail is close to Southend, acces­si­ble by 2WD, and the coastal scenery and wild­flow­ers are brilliant.

To see most of the park you will need a 4WD or trail bike – or be will­ing to put your hik­ing boots to good use.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

The vari­ety of work is a real pos­i­tive, and the bal­ance of field work with office work is pret­ty good. Being sta­tioned in a one ranger office’, you do a lot of every­thing, from com­pli­ance work, wildlife res­cues, weed and ver­min con­trol, plan­ning and main­tain­ing walk­ing and vehi­cle tracks, pre­scribed burn­ing, inter­pre­ta­tion and reg­u­la­to­ry sig­nage, man­ag­ing marine parks, work­ing with vol­un­teers – and the list goes on! Thank­ful­ly I’m assist­ed by two very capa­ble park assis­tants based at Southend and occa­sion­al­ly oth­er staff from the Low­er South East District.

Also being a crusty old surfer and fish­er­man, it is a great place to live and work hav­ing the ocean and Canun­da Nation­al Park at my back door.

What’s the most amaz­ing thing you’ve seen at Canunda?

In my 20 years of being a park ranger in Canun­da, I have seen many inter­est­ing land and marine crea­tures, some alive, some dead.

I am still amazed how much the sand dunes, beach­es and cliffs reg­u­lar­ly change from the forces of the wind and the waves. Abo­rig­i­nal oven stones and some rock for­ma­tions are cov­ered over and oth­ers are unearthed by mobile sand dunes. After a wet and wild win­ter, thou­sands of tons of cliffs can plum­met into the sea. It’s an incred­i­bly dynam­ic place.

What would vis­i­tors find sur­pris­ing about Canunda?

Vis­i­tors may be sur­prised to find how much dif­fer­ence there is between the dense scrub-lined clifftops in the north, to the thick wet­land scrub and tus­sock grass­land near Lake Bon­ney, to the rolling sand dunes in the south.

They may also be sur­prised that they can dri­ve the length of the park in a 4WD and in doing so, may not even encounter anoth­er per­son dur­ing their trip. It’s real­ly a semi-wilder­ness park, where kan­ga­roos, echid­nas, wom­bats, lizards, shore­birds and bush birds will far out­weigh human visitors. 

Through­out the month of Decem­ber, Canun­da Nation­al Park is being cel­e­brat­ed as Park of Month – an ini­tia­tive between Nature Play SA and the Depart­ment of Envi­ron­ment, Water and Nat­ur­al Resources.

For more of Glenn’s insid­er tips on what to look out for on your next vis­it, check out 5 trea­sures in Canun­da Nation­al Park. And don’t for­get to sharepic­tures of your next vis­it on Insta­gram and tag #nation­al­parkssa, or share your expe­ri­ence with us in the com­ments sec­tion below.

This con­tent was pro­duced in part­ner­ship with  Good Living