Murray River, Lakes and Coorong Parks and Wildlife

Natural beauty and native animals

Get off the beaten track and explore the river, lakes and wetlands.

Take a four wheel drive (4WD) to explore large tracts of Mallee scrub, which is actually native eucalypt. These trees attract plenty of wildlife, so keep an eye out for the ground dwelling mallee fowl, which you’ll only find in Australia’s mallee areas. 

Bird watching, Murraylands, South Australia

From coastal wilderness where pelicans soar, to mallee scrublands and rich Aboriginal heritage sites - the national parks of the Murray River, Lakes and Coorong hold countless gems to discover.

Call of the Coorong

One of Australia’s most iconic parks, the Coorong, is a 130 kilometre expanse of saltwater lagoons and striking scenery. A natural wonder where salt and fresh water meet, it attracts hundreds of thousands of migratory wader birds from Siberia, North Asia and the Arctic Circle.

To fully appreciate the Coorong’s magic, hit the walking trails, paddle, kayak or four wheel drive (4WD) along designated tracks to unspoilt places. Camp by a lagoon, where the only sounds you’ll hear are the waves and the birds.

Keep your camera handy to photograph ducks, swans, cormorants, terns, grebes or the much-loved Australian pelican - made famous by the 1976 Australian film Storm Boy, which was filmed in the region.

The Coorong is a place of great cultural significance to the Ngarrindjeri people. Discover important archaeological sites and "middens" - mounds of discarded shells accumulated over thousands of years, indicating the presence of ancient Aboriginal campsites.

Abundant bird life

About 323 species of waders and waterbirds call the Murray River, Lakes and Coorong home. Good birdwatching spots near Murray Bridge include the Swanport, Riverglades, Paiwaila and Rocky Gully wetlands, while the Hermann L. Gass Bird Sanctuary in Mannum is also worth a visit.

You’ll need persistence and patience to spot the rare and elusive Mallee Fowl. An endangered species, this mysterious bird can be found in conservation parks and on private land.

An ancient landscape

Just two hours from Adelaide is the Ngaut Ngaut Conservation Park. Stand on lofty, ochre-coloured cliffs where the traditional landowners, the Nganguraku people, and the visiting Ngarkat people, would take in the beauty of the landscape.

Join a guided tour and see how footsteps were carved into the cliffs over thousands of years.

Explore Ngarkat’s rugged terrain

Ngarkat Conservation Park is renowned for its network of challenging four wheel drive (4WD) tracks, including the Big Desert Loop and Ngarkat loop tracks through dense mallee scrub and sand dunes.

On the Border Track you’ll follow the footsteps of Edward White, the first surveyor to mark the boundary separating Victoria and South Australia. Plan to drive the one-way section of the Border Track when it is open between 1 April and 31 October.

An easier place to access in Ngarkat is Pertendi Hut - a great spot to picnic beneath shady trees, or stay a few nights in your tent or caravan.

Birdwatchers will love Comet Bore and Rabbit Island Soak where up to 120 native bird species may be seen, including yellow-tailed black cockatoos, striped honeyeaters and regent parrots.

A slice of the savannah

Monarto Zoo is situated just 15 minutes from Murray Bridge and is Australia’s largest open-range zoo. See the largest giraffe herd in the country, lions, rhinos and other African animals. Visit the chimpanzee exhibit or walk among three hand-raised cheetahs on special behind-the-scenes tours.

The Murray River, Lakes and Coorong – a paradise for nature lovers.

What's on in SA

There are plenty of events on in South Australia. Here are some ideas to get you started.

Things to do

Here are some great ideas for you to try while you’re in the area.

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