Natural Experiences, Wetlands and Wildlife
Naracoorte Lucindale has plenty of areas to encounter and experience nature and wildlife at its best.
Walk on water amongst brolgas
Bool Lagoon, a seasonal wetland, is one of the largest and most diverse freshwater lagoon systems in southern Australia and is home to a wide range of wildlife, providing drought refuge for rare and endangered birds. Hacks Lagoon, adjoining the main basin of Bool Lagoon, is another wetland habitat to explore.
Hundreds upon hundreds of waterbirds flock to the freshwater wetland system including ibis, magpie geese, black swans and brolgas - the most spectacular of the 150 species of birds that visit the Lagoons.
Bool Lagoon, one of the most valuable wetland conservation areas in Australia, is recognised under the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands as a Wetland of International Importance. It is protected under the Japan/Australia and China/Australia Migratory Bird Agreements because of the importance of the area as a summer refuge for migratory waders.
Bushwalking is a fantastic way to connect with nature and experience the wetlands and lagoons.
The Tea Tree Boardwalk takes you into the heart of the lagoon and gives the feeling of walking on water. See the nest areas of ibis, spoonbills and many other birds in the gnarled and weathered tea-trees. Learn who lives where in the wetland. Make yourself comfortable in a ‘bird hide’ and listen for the creatures of the wetlands - birds, insects and frogs.
There are easy walks and moderate hikes where you can view a range of wetland areas including freshwater marsh, reeds, rushes and open water, providing nesting and feeding areas for birds, reptiles, frogs, elusive water-rats and many aquatic insects.
Spring is usually the best time to experience the wetland and its prolific birdlife. The number of birds at the lagoons is dependent on climatic conditions and during summer months the lagoon may dry up. Be sure to bring your binoculars, you never know how many birds will be seeking refuge at the lagoon.
Camping is available at the Bool Lagoon campground. Entry and camping fees apply. For more information visit National Parks South Australia - www.parks.sa.gov.au
Take the short drive to the top of Big Hill to see how big these wetlands really are. Brolgas are often seen feeding in The Black Rush Swamp just west of Big Hill.
Take the extended drive via Bool Lagoon and Moyhall Roads to Little Bool Lagoon where the deep, open water is popular with waterbirds and the nearby Lily Ponds is an important nesting site for ibis.
Enjoy the beautiful tranquil water front views of Cockatoo Lake (pictured above) on a day trip or stay for a few nights. Favourite activities are canoeing, yabbying, water skiing, walking and fishing. There are flat green areas to park the van or pitch a tent. A short drive north of Naracoorte (30kms), Cockatoo Lake, is a great spot if you prefer to be out of town. The lake is seasonal and water level is dependent on rainfall.
Lying astride the Victorian border near Kybybolite is Mullinger Swamp, with huge, ancient gums, plentiful birdlife and waters to canoe or paddle (subject to seasonal conditions). Adjacent to the swamp is the Limestone Coast’s largest living red gum, standing about 50 metres high with a circumference of 11.6 metres. The tree is believed to be between 800 and 1,000 years old and much of the base is hollow – in past times used as a change room for swimmers!
Mary Seymour Conservation Park, just a few kilometres west of Bool Lagoon, features abundant natural bushland, with numerous bird species. Seasonal orchids are among the variety of plants that can be spotted during spring.
Big Heath Conservation Park, 29 kilometres south west of Naracoorte, also offers ample opportunities for the keen bird watcher and bush walker to experience nature at its best.
Fairview Conservation Park, just north of Lucindale, is famous for its abundant displays of native flowers and secluded picnic spots over its 1,400 hectares.
(These are no facilities at these parks, bushwalking in these parks is only recommended for experienced and self-sufficient bushwalkers.)