Ranger tips: Murray River National Park

Ranger tips: Murray River National Park

Get insid­er tips on the best places to vis­it and must do’ activ­i­ties from park ranger Glenn Chisolm.

Locat­ed about a 3‑hour dri­ve east of Ade­laide, Mur­ray Riv­er Nation­al Park pro­vides ample oppor­tu­ni­ty for a vari­ety of recre­ation­al activ­i­ties such as walk­ing, canoe­ing, bird watch­ing and bush camping.

The park is spread over three sep­a­rate loca­tions along the riv­er, stretch­ing from Lox­ton to Ren­mark, so there’s plen­ty to explore.

Local park ranger Glenn Chisolm has spent the past 8 years work­ing in the park, so he knows it like the back of his hand.

We asked him for his insid­er tips – here’s what he had to say:

What is your favourite camp­site and why?

There’s so many great spots along the riv­er and Katara­p­ko Creek that it’s hard to choose. My favourite would be camp­site 38 in the Katara­p­ko Sec­tion of the park, although it is only acces­si­ble to four-wheel-dri­ve vehicles.

The camp­site is huge and is suit­able for tents and camper trail­ers. It’s great if you want to go with a group of friends as you can have up to six vehi­cles on the site.

It has direct access to Katara­p­ko Creek, which is per­fect for launch­ing canoes and fish­ing, and the tall riv­er red gums offer good shade. There’s also toi­let facil­i­ties locat­ed just a short walk away.

Top tip: Camp­sites in Mur­ray Riv­er Nation­al Park must be booked pri­or to arrival. Book online or vis­it one of our book­ing agents to reserve your campsite.

Ranger tips: Murray River National Park

Do I need a four-wheel-dri­ve to vis­it the park?

It’s pre­ferred but not essen­tial. There’s plen­ty of camp­sites acces­si­ble to two-wheel-dri­ve vehi­cles in dry con­di­tions, how­ev­er it’s impor­tant to keep an eye on the weath­er fore­cast as the park roads can become bog­gy and very slip­pery when wet.

Also keep in mind that there are some camp­sites in the Katara­p­ko Creek sec­tion (camp­sites 30a – 39) that are only acces­si­ble by four-wheel-drive.

Where’s the best place to canoe or kayak?

There’s some real­ly amaz­ing water­ways to dis­cov­er by canoe or kayak. Katara­p­ko creek and Buly­ong Island both have beau­ti­ful scenery and lots of peace­ful lit­tle creeks and back­wa­ters that are great to explore.

Ranger tips: Murray River National Park

Where’s the best place to go fishing?

You’ll find good fish­ing spots in most sec­tions of the park. The most com­mon fish species caught is Euro­pean carp, which is an intro­duced pest species that is not allowed to be returned to the water alive if caught. If you’re lucky you might be able to catch gold­en perch (cal­lop), which are tasty to eat.

Katara­p­ko Creek is a great spot to catch yab­bies, which you’ll find in big num­bers from Octo­ber to April, espe­cial­ly in years when there are high win­ter and spring flows.

Top tip: Before you cast in a line or throw in a yab­by net, make sure you know what the rules are by down­load­ing the SA Recre­ation Fish­ing Guide App on to your smart­phone. The app has all the infor­ma­tion you need on bag and size lim­its and fish­ing rules, and includes full-colour illus­tra­tions so you can ID your catch.

Ranger tips: Murray River National Park

What’s your favourite walk­ing trail in the park?

The Ngak Indau Wet­land Trail in the Lock 4 sec­tion of the park is great if you’re into bird­watch­ing. The trail begins at the Ngak Indau carpark just off the Lock 4 road and winds its way around the wet­land and out to the river.

You’ll often see wet­land birds like spoon­bills, pel­i­cans and herons, and a vari­ety of duck species as well as kan­ga­roos and lizards. If you take the trail at night, keep an eye on the canopy above where you might spot pos­sums scur­ry­ing through the trees. This trail gives you a great appre­ci­a­tion of the dif­fer­ent land­scapes of the park.

Ranger tips: Murray River National Park

When is the best time to vis­it the park?

The park is great to vis­it all year round. My favourite time of the year is dur­ing spring when the days start to get brighter and warmer. It’s a good time of the year to see wild­flow­ers and the ani­mals are eas­i­er to find.

Ranger tips: Murray River National Park

Park of the Month

Through­out Sep­tem­ber, Mur­ray Riv­er Nation­al Park is being cel­e­brat­ed as Nation­al Parks and Wildlife Ser­vice South Australia’s Park of the Month. There’s lots of events and activ­i­ties to get involved in – check the web­site for all the details.

Main image: Ranger Glenn Chisholm

This con­tent was pro­duced in part­ner­ship with  Good Living