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Murray River SA The best travel deals are in the bag

Murray River National Parks & Wildlife
South Australia

Coorong National Park and Game Reserve

431,840 hectares
Telephone (08) 8575 1200.
Its name means narrow neck, a fitting description for the land locked sliver of water that stretches from the River Murray mouth southwards for 145 kilometres to just north of Kingston.

At most just under three kilometres wide, the Coorong is bounded on the seaward side by the large sandhills of Younghusband Peninsula .

The Coorong National Park and Game Reserve is one of the state's most important areas of wetlands and of world-wide biological significance. It is the habitat of over 400 species of birds including spoonbills, black swans, gannets and plovers.

For at least forty thousand years before white settlers arrived in South Australia, the Coorong was the home to the Ngarrindjeri people. Theirs was a plentiful world, with fish, birds and animals such as the kangaroo, wombat and snakes and goannas in abundance. The remains of shell middens can still be seen at various spots throughout the sand dunes.

Coorong National Park also offers some special and beautiful camping locations, often well away from main roads and noise. Permits are needed from the park's headquarters, and they allow camping in a good range of designated spots.

Sailing is a great way to explore the Coorong; its quiet waters are safe and still.

Landlubbers will find the Coorong equally enjoyable. There are plenty of walking trails and it's best to obtain information from the Meningie Park Ranger Headquarters before setting out.

Brookfield Conservation Park

6,333 hectares
Telephone (08) 8585 2111
Visitors can learn what it means to live outside Goyders Line - a division between arable (guaranteed rainfall) and arid land. To live on the wrong side can spell drought and anguish for farmers.

This typical Murraylands semi-arid plain of mallee, sugarwood and bluebush is home to the Southern Hairy-nosed Wombat - South Australia's faunal emblem. While some of the park is set aside to study this unique creature, there is a ten kilometres nature drive to explore. Watch out for flights of parrots and the shy gaze of kangaroo and emu. Put your ear to a wombat warren and you may hear the creatures tunnelling.

Picnic areas have been set aside and excellent information on the park and its creatures is available from rangers. For further information, please contact: Murraylands Regional Office,
3 South Terrace, Murray Bridge.

Naracoorte Caves Conservation Park

410 hectares
Telephone (08) 8762 2340
These caves have been a tourist attraction with organised tours by a local publican dating back to 1869. Located twelve kilometres south east of Naracoorte on the road to Penola, there are at least sixty known caves, many of which are in the Naracoorte Caves Conservation Park.

Guided tours take visitors to the main chambers of Blanche Cave, and the beautifully decorated Alexandra Cave. Most significant to science is the Victoria Fossil Cave, with its many fauna fossils, discovered this century. During school holidays and on long weekends special adventure caving expeditions are held, taking children and adults into caves not normally accessible to the public. The Naracoorte Caves Conservation Park has picnic areas, a camping ground and an interpretive centre.

Bool Lagoon

3,600 hectares
Telephone (08) 8764 7541
This is one of the state's finest and largest areas of wetlands, with a superb range of birdlife. Its importance is greater because it also happens to be one of the state's last wetland areas. Registered with UNESCO as a Wetland of International Significance, Bool Lagoon provides a drought refuge and breeding ground for literally thousands of birds and other wildlife.

The best way to see Bool Lagoon is on a guided tour along the Tea Tree Boardwalk, which has been built out over the water. A Ranger who knows the area intimately will walk you through this very special world. At the end of the Boardwalk is an ibis rookery.

Dingly Dell Conservation Park

6 hectares
Telephone (08) 8738 2221
Two kilometres from Port MacDonnell is a small conservation park set aside to conserve the native vegetation of the lower South East, especially the very rare Dingley Dell gum.

Dingley Dell is also a pretty cottage the former home of colonial poet and renowned horseman Adam Lindsay Gordon. The cottage dates from the 1860s and has been restored and refurnished to reflect I9th century lifestyle. Some of Gordon's belongings can still be seen at the cottage. Set in the natural scrubland of Dingley Dell Conservation Park, the cottage grounds offer picnic facilities and nature walks in the area which inspired Gordon.

Tantanoola Caves Conservation Park

14 hectares
Telephone (08) 8734 4153
The Tantanoola Caves are twenty one kilometres from Millicent. The complex nestles inside an ancient marine cliff which towers over the highway. Masses of delicate formations arch overhead as you stroll through this highly decorated single chamber on a special pathway built without steps. Outside the caves a cliff-top walking trail has views of forests, beach dunes and extinct volcanoes. Adventure caving tours are available for people who prefer to get off the well-trodden path and traverse caves as yet undeveloped.

South Australian National Parks | Camping in South Australia

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