|Travelling Australia - Journal 2012
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|4 July 2012 - Coorong National Park|
Today I drove along the Princes Highway from Meningie to Salt Creek then along the Loop Road to a National Parks camping area and nature walk. This walk was the Lakes Nature Walk; a 3 kilometre loop track along the edge of Pipe Clay Lake then across different environments, along the edge of another salt lake, then back to the car park. The trees, scrub and ground cover plants were typical of those found along the Coorong.
The Friends of the Coorong have installed numbered name plates near selected plant species to make the walk more interesting; some features of the lakes are also described. The long main lake extending for more than 100 kilometres behind the sand dune barrier separating it from the ocean (The Coorong) is associated with numerous smaller individual lakes which water permeates between via underground paths. Many lakes are salty or hypersaline (very salty) and there is a seasonal cycle of water flows between lakes which includes some lakes regularly drying up completely in summer.
Camping and day-visit facilities installed by National Parks at Salt Creek are well laid out. The Loop Road is a gravel road with a good surface at the time of this visit; it is a scenic drive through the Coorong returning to the Princes Highway. Full details on driving, walking and camping facilities in the Coorong National Park are described in "The Tattler" published by National Parks and Wildlife. This newspaper-format publication contains maps and descriptions in Coastal Parks of the Limestone Coast, especially the Coorong, and is widely available on the Limestone Coast. Current edition (mid-2012) is Edition 12. "The Tattler" is also available on the Internet, enter "The Tattler" in Google to get a .PDF file. There are several other Tattlers on the Internet so adding "National Parks and Wildlife" improves the result.
Fuel can be obtained at Salt Creek where accommodation is available.
Salt Creek - 36° 07' 33"S, 139° 38' 51"E.
Nature Trail Car Park/Camping area - 36° 08' 16"S, 139° 39' 29"E.
|The Lakes Nature Walk passing Pipe Clay Lake. Saltbush grows along the track.
|Springtime is generally regarded as the best time to see wildflowers but many Eucalyptus flower in Winter. These flowers of the Soap Mallee (Eucalyptus diversifolia) brighten up the park. |
|Looking across the Coorong.
|Sand dunes on Younghusband Peninsula separating the Coorong from the ocean.