5 treasures in Murray River National Park

5 treasures in Murray River National Park

Our Mur­ray Riv­er Nation­al Park insid­er shares some hot tips for vis­it­ing this scenic park.

Locat­ed 180 kilo­me­tres north-east of Ade­laide and span­ning more than 13,000 hectares, Mur­ray Riv­er Nation­al Park is made up of three dis­tinct areas. Katara­p­ko, Lyrup Flats and Buly­ong Island each offer unique expe­ri­ences includ­ing bird­watch­ing, kayak­ing, fish­ing and wildlife-spotting.

River­land area Dis­trict Offi­cer of Pub­lic Lands Han­nah Spronk shares five trea­sures to explore next time you vis­it this park locat­ed along the mighty Mur­ray River.

1. Seclud­ed Campsites

5 treasures in Murray River National Park

Enter Katara­p­ko from the Katara­p­ko Sec­tion entrance off Katara­p­ko Cres­cent. Fol­low the unsealed road past Crag­gs Hut Walk and a boat ramp until you come to an inter­sec­tion where you’ll need to veer right, fol­low­ing the sign that directs you to camp­sites and the Riv­er Mur­ray. When you see a rather large red sand dune on your right, take the left turn off to camp­sites 31 – 33. You’ll be pleas­ant­ly sur­prised by three camp­sites suit­able for tents tucked away amongst the red gums. All the camp­sites here are seclud­ed but the best is camp­site by far is 31 with its tow­er­ing red gums and pri­vate sand­bar. Canoers will love the gen­tle slope to the water.

5 treasures in Murray River National Park

Booky Cliffs is anoth­er gem of a camp­site in Katara­p­ko. This mag­i­cal place offers views of intense­ly coloured cliffs and mag­nif­i­cent sun­sets. It’s a seclud­ed spot with toi­let facil­i­ties and room for about six small groups. There’s even a rope swing attached to a tree com­plete with han­dle bars to launch your­self into the pris­tine waters.

If you can’t stay overnight, Booky Cliffs is still a great spot for a day trip – just remem­ber to bring your fish­ing rod, BBQ and bathers so you can take advan­tage of the great activ­i­ties this spot offers

2. Ngak Indau Walk­ing Trail

5 treasures in Murray River National Park

This pic­turesque 4km trail will take you about 1.5 hours walk­ing at a leisure­ly pace. Start­ing at the carpark just off Lock 4 Road, the trail winds its way around the Ngak Indau wet­land, out to the Riv­er and back again.

The trail is a birdwatcher’s par­adise and includes a bird hide, where you can check out the wet­land birdlife like spoon­bills, an array of duck species, herons and whistling kites. Friends of River­land Parks are cur­rent­ly work­ing on an upgrade to the bird hide to enable vis­i­tors to get an even bet­ter view of these fas­ci­nat­ing birds.

3. The Mallee Drive

This 6km dri­ve, acces­si­ble by 4WD, tru­ly encom­pass­es the diverse veg­e­ta­tion with­in the park. As you dri­ve along, you’ll notice the veg­e­ta­tion change from red gums and black box to salt­bush, blue bush and lignum as you get clos­er to the flood plain. You might even be lucky enough to see sand goan­nas, par­rots and kangaroos.

5 treasures in Murray River National Park

4. Log Cross­ing (Eck­erts Creek entrance)

5 treasures in Murray River National Park

As the name sug­gests Log Cross­ing (referred to as Eck­ert Creek Sec­tion Entrance on this map), used to be exact­ly that, a cross­ing made from logs.

Old red gum logs were placed in the riv­er to allow vehi­cles to cross to the oth­er side. You’ll be able to see these sit­ting to the left of the new cross­ing as you approach – they’re quite the spectacle.

The new cross­ing, part of the Kat­fish Reach Project, allows region­al staff to reg­u­late water flow to improve flood plain health and assist native fish to trav­el through the system.

5. Canoe­ing and Kayaking

5 treasures in Murray River National Park

The qui­et back­wa­ters of Katara­p­ko and Eck­ert creeks are ide­al for canoers or kayak­ers want­i­ng to explore the park.

Camp­sites 8 and 28, locat­ed in Katara­p­ko, allow you to launch direct­ly into the water. There are also boat ramps locat­ed at the Katara­p­ko Sec­tion entrance and adja­cent to the Crag­gs Hut walk­ing trail.

Keep an eye out for kan­ga­roos that some­times like to drink from the creek and watch the hol­lows of the trees for the endan­gered Regent parrot.

Con­tribute to the pro­tec­tion of the Regent par­rot by call­ing 1800 PAR­ROT if you’re lucky enough to see one.

This con­tent was pro­duced in part­ner­ship with  Good Living