Understanding the value of the Coorong

We’re celebrating National Water Week by shining a light on the Coorong. Here’s why it’s so valuable to our state.


With its natural beauty, abundant wildlife and unspoilt coastline, the Coorong is one of South Australia’s most visited tourist destinations and loved environments.

Stretching about 200 kilometres, from the mouth of the River Murray near Goolwa to north of Kingston in the South East, it offers spectacular scenery and activities for nature and adventure lovers alike.

It is also of enormous cultural significance to its Traditional Owners, and the name ‘Coorong’ is derived from the Ngarrindjeri word for the area – ‘Kurangk’ – meaning long, narrow neck.

But the wetland's significance isn’t just known by locals and visitors to the region.

It is internationally recognised as part of the Coorong and Lakes Alexandrina and Albert Ramsar listed wetland.

This special area is home to an amazing number of water birds and supports endangered migratory birds from across the world, threatened wildlife and rare plants.

At the heart of ‘Storm Boy Country’, featuring in the classic Australian movie as well as the recent remake, the Coorong is also an important breeding area for the iconic Australian pelican.

Such a special wetland and beautiful tourist destination needs to be looked after for future generations to enjoy.

(Image courtesy of Paul Wainwright)

During the Millennium drought, the Coorong suffered devastating impacts. Thanks to work already done in the region and the Basin Plan, it is showing encouraging signs of recovery, but still more work needs to be done.

That’s why action is underway to restore this precious place through new environmental projects to get the Coorong back on track as well as initiatives to boost eco-tourism in the area.

As part of Project Coorong, the South Australian Government has developed a plan to guide its next actions to restore and revitalise the Coorong.

These include on-ground works, scientific trials and investigations, better water management tools, investigating infrastructure options, and partnering with First Nations and communities.

If you love the Coorong and want to have your say on actions to restore its health, check out the Healthy Coorong, Healthy Basin Action Plan and get involved in the discussion by 31 October.

Find out more about why the Coorong is so special and what is being done to bring new life to this national icon by visiting the Project Coorong website.

Inspired to experience the iconic Coorong for yourself? Check out this action packed itinerary for spending a day in Coorong National Park and insider tips on the best places to visit and ‘must do' activities from park ranger Tim Hartman.

(Main image courtesy of Paul Wainwright)

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