Bool Lagoon Game Reserve and Hacks Lagoon Conservation Park

  • Picnic Areas
  • BBQ Facilities
  • Toilets
  • Camping
  • Disabled Toilets
  • Walking Trails
  • Bird Watching
PDF Park Brochure
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Bool Lagoon SA map

Whether you are a birdwatcher, a lover of open space, or merely wish to escape the hustle and bustle of modern life, Bool and Hacks Lagoons are well worth a visit.

Bool Lagoon SA map

Whether you are a birdwatcher, a lover of open space, or merely wish to escape the hustle and bustle of modern life, Bool and Hacks Lagoons are well worth a visit.

About

Bool Lagoon is one of the largest and most diverse freshwater lagoon systems in southern Australia. This seasonal wetland is home to a wide range of wildlife and provides essential drought refuge for many rare and endangered bird species.

Take a drive to the top of Big Hill to see just how big these wetlands really are. The extended drive via Bool Lagoon and Moyhall Roads to Little Bool Lagoon is also worth the effort. The open water of Little Bool Lagoon is a popular venue for many waterbirds.

The boardwalk, extending 500 metres over the wetlands, gives you the feeling of walking on water. Brolgas, commonly associated with northern Australia, are perhaps the most spectacular of the 150 species of birds that visit this area. Enjoy the magnificent scenery and listen carefully for the creatures of the wetlands, especially the insects and frogs.

Hacks Lagoon Conservation Park adjoins the main basin of Bool Lagoon Game Reserve. Whether you are a birdwatcher, a lover of open space, or merely wish to escape the hustle and bustle of modern life, Hacks Lagoon offers another wetland habitat to explore.

Opening hours

Open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

This park is closed on days of Total Fire Ban.

Listen to the local area radio station for the latest updates and information on fire safety. 

Contact details

Naracoorte Caves National Park

Phone: (+61 8) 8760 1201

Natural Resources Centre - Mount Gambier

Phone: (+61 8) 8735 1177

Getting there

Bool Lagoon Game Reserve and Hacks Lagoon Conservation Park is located 360km south east of Adelaide.

Pets in parks

Pets are not permitted within this park. There are however, a number of South Australian National Parks where you can take your dog on a lead. 

Facilities

The toilets are centrally located in the Bool Lagoon campground. There is also a small picnic area with a gas BBQ and rubbish bins. Running water is available, but is not suitable for human consumption. 

Useful information

  • Mobile phone coverage can be patchy and unreliable in this park, especially if you are in low-lying areas.

  • Important: Collection of firewood within National Parks is prohibited.

Traditional owners

Aboriginal South Australians are the first peoples of our State and have occupied, enjoyed and managed these lands and waters since the creation. For SA's First Peoples, creation ancestors laid down the laws of the Country and bestowed a range of customary rights and obligations to the many Aboriginal Nations across our state. 

Aboriginal peoples' oral histories and creation stories traverse the length and breadth of Australia’s lands and waters, including South Australian Parks. These stories interconnect land and waters with complex meaning and values and hold great cultural significance. We recognise and respect Aboriginal people's ownership of their stories and that they hold rights and obligations to care for Country. It is through these rights and cultural obligations and a shared goal to protect the environment for generations to come that DEWNR is committed to meaningful collaboration and involvement with Aboriginal peoples in the management of our shared parks.

See and do

Rangers recommend

We have picked the brains of our park rangers to find out what they would recommend you see and do whilst visiting this park.

  • Take the short drive to the top of Big Hill to see just 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 is usually well worth the effort. The deep, open water of Little Bool Lagoon is a popular venue for many waterbirds while the nearby Lily Ponds are very important nesting sites for ibis.

Bushwalking

Bushwalking is a fantastic way to connect with nature, keep fit and spend time with family and friends. 

South Australia's national parks feature a range of trails that let you experience a diversity of landscapes. Our trails cater for all levels of fitness and adventure and our classification system makes it easy to select an experience suitable for you.

Easy walks

  • Gahnia Walk (10 mins)

    A short walk through the tussocks, reeds and tea-tree provides excellent viewing of a range of small birds that use the area as a feeding ground and nesting area.

  • Tea-Tree Boardwalk (30 mins, 1km)

    Take a walk into the heart of the lagoon. 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.

Moderate hikes

  • Gunaway Walk (1 hour, 1.5km)

    Take a walk across the boardwalk to Hacks Island. View a range of wetland areas including freshwater marsh, reeds, rushes and open water. These all provide homes for a variety of birds, reptiles, frogs, elusive water-rats and many aquatic insects.

  • Pat-om Walk (45 mins, 1.5km)

    Skirting the very deepest water in these wetlands, Pat-om Walk leads you to the overflow of the inlet channel. The fresh water flowing in the channel attracts many thousands of waterbirds.

Mountain biking

Mountain biking is currently not permitted in this park. 

Stay in the park

Bool Lagoon Game Reserve's camping area is a bird-lover's paradise. Campers are most welcome - waking to the sounds of a wetland at dawn is not to be missed. Set up camp and experience the sheer number of birds that flock to the lagoon to seek refuge from the drought.

The camping area is located between the main basin of Bool Lagoon and Hacks Lagoon. There are scattered patches of trees for shade and shelter from the wind. Toilets are centrally located. Running water is available, but is not suitable for human consumption. There is also a small picnic area with a gas BBQ and rubbish bins.

Fauna

Brolgas are perhaps the most spectacular of the 150 species of birds that visit this area, one of the most valuable wetland conservation areas in Australia. It 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.

Volunteering

If you think you might be interested in volunteering opportunities within this park please contact our Volunteer Support Unit.

Safety

Bushwalking

The international Trail Users Code of Conduct is to show respect and courtesy towards other trail users at all times.

Ensure that you:

  • when hiking, wear sturdy shoes, a hat and sunscreen
  • make sure you have appropriate weather proof clothing
  • carry enough water to be self-sufficient
  • please be respectful of other users at all times
  • stay on the designated trails and connector tracks for your own safety, and prevent the spread of declared weeds to other areas in the park
  • ensure someone knows your approximate location and expected time of return
  • take appropriate maps.
  • Walk, hike or trek - what's the difference?

Camping

When camping in a National Park, it's important to remember the following:

  • Always let someone responsible know your travel plans, especially when travelling in remote areas. It's a good idea to let them know when you expect to return.
  • Check the weather forecast before you leave, including overnight temperatures on the Bureau of Meteorology. Even during very mild weather, the nights can get very cold. 
  • The quality and quantity of water cannot be guaranteed within parks. Please bring plenty of water and food to be self-sufficient.
  • Always camp in designated sites (where applicable) - do not camp beneath trees with overhanging branches, as they can drop without warning. It's also a good idea to check that there no insect nests nearby.
  • Check to make sure you're not camping in a natural waterway, flash floods can happen anytime.
  • If camp fires are permitted, you must bring your own firewood, as the collection of firewood within National Parks is prohibited. Extinguish your camp fire with water (not sand or dirt) until the hissing sound stops.
  • Ensure that you are familiar with the fire restrictions for this park.

Fire

This park is closed on days of Total Fire Ban.

Listen to the local area radio station for the latest updates and information on fire safety. 

Bool Lagoon Game Reserve

Fire restrictions

  • Wood fires and solid fuel fires are prohibited throughout the year.
  • Gas fires are permitted, other than on days of total fire ban.
  • Ensure you are familiar with the fire restrictions for this park.

Hacks Lagoon Conservation Park

Fire restrictions

  • Wood fires and solid fuel fires are permitted outside the annual Fire Danger Season.
  • You must bring your own firewood, as the collection of firewood within National Parks is prohibited.
  • Gas fires are permitted through the year, other than on days of Total Fire Ban.
  • Ensure you are familiar with the fire restrictions for this park.

Water

The water levels in this wetland vary with the seasonal climatic conditions. The lagoon may dry up completely during summer months.

For more information on lagoon conditions, contact:

Naracoorte Caves National Park

Phone: (+61 8) 8760 1201

Know before you go

Every national park is different, each has its own unique environment, it is important to be responsible while enjoying all the park has to offer.

Please ensure that you:

  • leave your pets at home
  • do not feed birds or other animals, it promotes aggressive behaviour and an unbalanced ecology
  • do not bring generators (except where permitted), chainsaws or firearms into the park
  • leave the park as you found it - place rubbish in the bins provided or take it with you
  • abide by the road rules (maintain the speed limit)
  • respect geological and heritage sites
  • do not remove native plants
  • are considerate of other park users.

  • Important: Collection of firewood within National Parks is prohibited.

Fees

Entry fees

Fees apply to enter and camp in this park.

You must pay for your entry and camping permits before you arrive, as cash self-registration stations are no longer in use in this park. 

Vehicle entry fees

Vehicle entry: $10.00
Vehicle entry (concession): $8.00

Fees collected are used for conservation and to maintain and improve park facilities.

Camping and accommodation information

If you experience any problems while booking online, please contact:

Natural Resources Centre - Mount Gambier
Monday to Friday, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm  
Phone: (+61 8) 8735 1177
Email: DEWNR.SEOnlineBookings@sa.gov.au

Alternative booking and payment options

Cash payments for Limestone Coast Parks can be made at the following agents:

Park pass

If you intend to visit often, you may like to purchase one of the below park passes.

Single Park Pass

Is this your favourite park? If you visit this park a lot, it's more economical to purchase a Single Park Pass giving you vehicle entry (and optional camping) for this park for 12 months. 

There are 13 parks that are part of the Single Park Pass system.  

Holiday Park Pass and Multi Park Pass

Want to explore SA’s parks all year round? Purchase a Multi Park Pass (12 months), or a Holiday Park Pass (for 2 months) which entitles you to vehicle entry and optional camping not just for this park, but up to an additional 58 parks as well!

Camping and accommodation

Fees apply to enter and camp in this park.

You must pay for your entry and camping permits before you arrive, as cash self-registration stations are no longer in use in this park. 

The fees for camping vary from campground to campground, check the online booking page for more details about individual campgrounds and fees.

Fees collected are used for conservation and to maintain and improve park facilities for your ongoing enjoyment.

Camping and accommodation information

If you experience any problems while booking online, please contact:

Natural Resources Centre - Mount Gambier
Monday to Friday, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm  
Phone: (+61 8) 8735 1177
Email: DEWNR.SEOnlineBookings@sa.gov.au

Alternative booking and payment options

Cash payments for Limestone Coast Parks can be made at the following agents:

Other fees and permits

There are no other fees or permits associated with this park.