6 things you might not know about the Coorong

6 things you might not know about the Coorong

The Coorong isn’t just famous for Storm Boy. Get to know one of Australia’s most envi­ron­men­tal­ly sig­nif­i­cant areas.

The Coorong’s nat­ur­al beau­ty, abun­dant wildlife and unspoilt coast­line make it one of South Australia’s most vis­it­ed tourist destinations.

It’s locat­ed at the end of the Riv­er Mur­ray, where the riv­er meets the South­ern Ocean (near the Mur­ray Mouth) and stretch­es around 200 kilo­me­tres to Kingston in the south-east of the state.

Learn more about this sig­nif­i­cant eco­log­i­cal area with these six facts about the Coorong:

1. It’s a Ram­sar-list­ed wet­land of inter­na­tion­al importance

The Coorong is a nation­al trea­sure. The area, includ­ing lakes Albert and Alexan­d­ri­na, is recog­nised under the Ram­sar Con­ven­tion as a wet­land of inter­na­tion­al importance.

The area’s wet­lands pro­vide habi­tat for many local species as well as for migra­to­ry wad­ing birds – many fly­ing in from as far away as Alaska.

The Con­ven­tion means the area has inter­na­tion­al atten­tion and rules to ensure its conservation.

6 things you might not know about the Coorong

2. The area used to be one of the most dense­ly pop­u­lat­ed areas in Australia

The low­er Riv­er Mur­ray, includ­ing the Coorong and lakes Albert and Alexan­d­ri­na, were one of the most dense­ly pop­u­lat­ed areas of Aus­tralia pri­or to Euro­pean settlement.

The Tra­di­tion­al Own­ers, the Ngar­rind­jeri peo­ple, have lived in the area for many thou­sands of years. The Coorong remains an intrin­sic part of their cul­ture, spir­i­tu­al­i­ty and identity.

3. The name Coorong comes from the Ngar­rind­jeri name kur­rangk’

The word kur­rangk’ means long, nar­row neck and it was giv­en to the area by the Ngar­rind­jeri people.

6 things you might not know about the Coorong

4. Coorong Nation­al Park is more than 50 years old

Coorong Nation­al Park was estab­lished in 1966 and its lagoons are pro­tect­ed from the South­ern Ocean by the sweep­ing sand dunes of the Young Hus­band Peninsula.

There’s lots to do in the park, such as camp­ing on the edge of the wild ocean, kayak­ing in the lagoons, explor­ing the sand dunes, 4WD-ing, bird­watch­ing and fish­ing – or sim­ply relaxing.

The park also pro­vides habi­tat for nation­al­ly threat­ened species like the orange-bel­lied par­rot, freck­led duck, Mur­ray hardy­head and south­ern bell frog.

6 things you might not know about the Coorong

5. Mr Per­ci­val exists, but there’s more than one

The orig­i­nal book Storm Boy was writ­ten by Col­in Thiele and pub­lished in 1964 about a boy’s rela­tion­ship with a pel­i­can called Mr Percival.

The sto­ry raised the pro­file of the Coorong after the release of the Storm Boy movie in 1977, which was filmed in and around the area. Storm Boy remake will be released in 2019.

The Coorong is an impor­tant breed­ing ground for pel­i­cans. Thou­sands of Aus­tralian pel­i­cans call the Coorong home, thanks to the area’s abun­dance and diver­si­ty of fish.

Aus­tralian pel­i­cans hang­ing out along the Coorong

6. The ecosys­tem of the Coorong is slow­ly mending

The Coorong has shown pos­i­tive signs of recov­ery fol­low­ing the dev­as­tat­ing impacts of the Mil­len­ni­um Drought, and years of basin-wide over water allo­ca­tion, but more work is need­ed to restore it back to health.

But it’s not all doom and gloom. The intro­duc­tion of envi­ron­men­tal water has increased fish species like the lam­prey and con­gol­li, and some aquat­ic plants are also bounc­ing back.

Lean more about the Riv­er Mur­ray by read­ing up about oth­er wet­lands to vis­it, fun things to do and 5 great camp­ing spots.

This sto­ry was orig­i­nal­ly post­ed in June 2018.

This con­tent was pro­duced in part­ner­ship with  Good Living