6 national parks to visit in South Australia’s Riverland

6 national parks to visit in South Australia’s Riverland

Plan­ning a week­end away in the River­land? Make a stop in one of these nation­al parks.

The Riverland’s exquis­ite food, stun­ning views and unique nat­ur­al envi­ron­ment make it the per­fect des­ti­na­tion for your next week­end get­away. If you’re look­ing for ideas of how you can enjoy the region’s nat­ur­al beau­ty, look no fur­ther than its nation­al parks.

The Riverland’s nation­al parks are great to vis­it all year round, but spring time is when they’re at their very best.

Whether you want to enjoy the beau­ti­ful scenery as you float along in your kayak or get your binoc­u­lars out and try to spot native birds, there’s some­thing on offer for everyone.

Here’s our top six parks to help plan your next trip to the Riverland:

1. Loch Luna and Moorook Game Reserves

Locat­ed 15 kilo­me­tres out of Barmera, Loch Luna and Moorook Game Reserves are pop­u­lar recre­ation sites for riv­er-based activ­i­ties and camping.

Canoes and kayaks can be launched from most camp­sites with­in the reserves and there is a spe­cif­ic launch­ing area in Loch Luna.

As you kayak or canoe through the peace­ful water­ways, keep an eye out for herons and the rare white-bel­lied sea eagle who inhab­it the nar­row creeks and shal­low swamps of the reserves.

6 national parks to visit in South Australia’s Riverland

2. Mur­ray Riv­er Nation­al Park – Katarapko

Mur­ray Riv­er Nation­al Park is locat­ed 22 km out­side of the town­ship of Berri and is made up of three sep­a­rate areasLyrup Flats, Buly­ong and Katara­p­ko.

The Katara­p­ko sec­tion of the park has a num­ber of camp­sites suit­ed to both large and small groups.

Katara­p­ko Creek is a pop­u­lar spot for a day of fish­ing and is home to many of our native fish. If you cast out your line you’re like­ly to catch some gold­en perch (cal­lop) – but be sure to fol­low the rules about things like bag lim­its and the type of fish­ing gear you use.

6 national parks to visit in South Australia’s Riverland

3. Brook­field Con­ser­va­tion Park

Just 16 km out­side of Blanchetown – regard­ed as the entrance to the River­land – Brook­field Con­ser­va­tion Park is home to a wide array of native wildlife includ­ing the south­ern hairy-nosed wom­bat and the fat-tailed dunnart.

Head out on the Three Habi­tat Walk in the ear­ly morn­ing and you just might be lucky enough to spot a south­ern hairy-nosed wom­bat ven­tur­ing out to graze on spear grasses.

The walk is 1 km long and will take rough­ly 45 min­utes to an hour to com­plete. There are plen­ty of bench­es along the way where you can stop to take in the beau­ti­ful land­scapes and keep an eye out for wildlife.

6 national parks to visit in South Australia’s Riverland

4. Mor­gan Con­ser­va­tion Park

Mor­gan Con­ser­va­tion Park is rough­ly 6 km from Mor­gan, at the west end of the River­land. It’s a fun trip to get to the park from the town as it includes a short and free ride on the Mor­gan Fer­ry.

Set up your tent, car­a­van or camper trail­er in one of the park’s camp­sites sit­u­at­ed along the banks of the Riv­er Mur­ray and wake up to the sounds of the pel­i­cans and white-faced herons that call the park home.

6 national parks to visit in South Australia’s Riverland

5. Chow­illa Game Reserve

Chow­illa Game Reserve is a 54 km dri­ve north of the town­ship of Ren­mark and fea­tures flood­plain and wet­land envi­ron­ments that pro­vide an impor­tant refuge for water­bird populations

Bush­walk­ing is a great way to expe­ri­ence the reserve and its inhab­i­tants, and the 4 km Wet­land Walk­ing Trail is per­fect for just that. Keep an eye out for par­rots, bats, pos­sums and oth­er wildlife, and take the 350-metre detour to the lagoon where you might spot the tiny superb fairy-wren and many oth­er native birds. The trail will take rough­ly 1 hour and 30 min­utes to complete.

If you fan­cy get­ting away from the buzz of tech­nol­o­gy for a night or two, Chow­illa pro­vides great oppor­tu­ni­ties for seclud­ed bush camp­ing. The Bor­der Cliffs Camp­ground and the Chow­illa Camp­sites have more than 40 sites, some of which can hold up to 40 people.

6 national parks to visit in South Australia’s Riverland

6. Maize Island Lagoon Con­ser­va­tion Park

Locat­ed 8 km east of Waik­erie, Maize Island Lagoon Con­ser­va­tion Park is home to a vari­ety of bird and rep­tile species, as well as fam­i­lies of west­ern grey kangaroos.

Pitch your tent in one of the Coun­cil-run free camp­sites along the river­front and go fish­ing along the cliffs and riv­er banks.

Take a walk along the Peter Jacobs Walk­ing Trail, which was designed by mem­bers of the Riv­er Mur­ray Youth Coun­cil. The trail fea­tures inter­pre­tive sig­nage with infor­ma­tion about envi­ron­men­tal water­ing, threat­ened species, local wildlife and more.

There are no facil­i­ties in the park, so make sure you come ful­ly pre­pared with plen­ty of drink­ing water and food supplies.

6 national parks to visit in South Australia’s Riverland

Top tip: If you’re plan­ning a camp­ing adven­ture in one of these parks, remem­ber to book your camp­site online before you head off, and to check the Nation­al Parks web­site for infor­ma­tion about any tem­po­rary park clo­sures and oth­er impor­tant infor­ma­tion for your visit. 

Look­ing for oth­er ideas to keep the fam­i­ly enter­tained? Check out thesefun things to do along the Riv­er Mur­ray. And if you’re keen to learn more about the Riv­er Mur­ray, thesefast factswill get you started.

(Main image cour­tesy of Fed­eri­co Salazar)

This con­tent was pro­duced in part­ner­ship with  Good Living