The Coorong, a national park in South Australia, is where the movie Storm Boy was filmed. Full of native birds and mammals, it extends from the mouth of the Murray River for a hundred miles southeast. It is one of the world's longest beaches, at 198 km long and an important cultural site for the Indigenous Ngarrindjeri people.
The name is derived from the Ngarrindjeri word "Kurangk" which means "sand dune". This is because there are sand dunes separating the mainland from the Southern Ocean, which can be seen clearly from the park.
Most of it is... sand, as the entire park is a beach.
Flora and fauna edit
The Coorong National Park is one of Australia's most important wetlands and is a RAMSAR designated site. It is most famous for its pelican breeding grounds and has been recognised by BirdLife International as an Important Bird Area. It has supported the chestnut teal, Australian shelduck, sharp-tailed sandpiper, red-necked stint, banded stilt, red-necked avocet, pied oystercatcher and red-capped plover. Australasian bitterns have been recorded. It has also supported significant numbers of orange-bellied parrots, fairy terns and hooded plovers, although their usage of the site has declined from reduced freshwater inflows.
Get in edit
Park access by car is from Goolwa or Kingston SE. No other forms of transport.
Fees and permits edit
Get around edit
The easiest way to cross the Coorong is at 42 Miles Crossing. An unsealed road leads to a small camping ground. From there you can walk along a path to the coast (about 20 minutes) or use the 4WD road.
- Coorong Beach. The world's longest beach, at 198km long, it is certainly an endless facination.
- 1 Murray Mouth Lookout, Sugars Ave, Hindmarsh Island. Where you can overlook Australia's longest river flowing into the Southern Ocean.
- Fishing — The Coorong is renowned for its fishing, from both the shore and boats. However, limits are more stringent than those for the rest of the state. They apply to the size and boat limits of fish caught within the Coorong. Beach fishing at the Murray Mouth, at the Coorong entrance, is also popular, but be aware that the strong current and undertow at the mouth can send the unwary and unlucky into deep trouble in a matter of minutes - in other words, don't swim there.
- Bush tour — The indigenous Ngarrindjeri people run bush tours for visitors, where you can learn about their origin stories, and how their ancestors have survived on the land for thousands of years.
- Kayaking - Mid summer is too hot and mid winter too cold and windy. Autumn and spring are best. Commercial tours based in Goolwa have day trips from Hindmarsh island. The Coorong as a rule gets shallower as you head south and is often too shallow for powered boats south of Parnka Point. If you have time a two or three day tour south of Parnka Point is an excellent option. The leached monochromes and weary dunes leave paddlers in no doubt that they are travelling through country unchanged for hundreds of thousands of years.