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Find a Park > Limestone Coast

Bool Lagoon Game Reserve and Hacks Lagoon Conservation Park

  • Picnic Areas
  • Caravan Sites
  • BBQ Facilities
  • Toilets
  • Camping
  • Disabled Toilets
  • Walking Trails
  • Bird Watching

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

For online bookings enquires please email:

DEW.SEOnlineBookings@sa.gov.au

Getting there

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

Accessibility

Parks are for all to enjoy, we would love to hear from you about your experience in nature. You can share your comments, pictures and videos with us and others by tagging @NationalParksSA on Facebook,  Instagram or email us.

See and do

Tea-Tree Boardwalk (1km)

A wheelchair accessible boardwalk through the wetlands, a great spot to enjoy the bird life. Note there are no bathroom facilities here.

Assistance dogs

Assistance dogs are permitted in most public places and are therefore welcome in South Australia’s parks and reserves. Assistance dogs must be appropriately restrained on a lead and remain under your effective control at all times while in a park or reserve.

As per the dogs in parks and reserves policy, if the dog is not an accredited assistance dog, they must be trained to assist a person with a disability to alleviate that disability and meet standards of hygiene and behaviour appropriate for a dog in a public place. However, refusal may be given if the person with the disability is unable to produce evidence the dog is an assistance dog with the appropriate training.

Before taking your assistance dog into a park that does not normally allow dogs, it is highly recommended that you contact us so we can provide you with the latest information on any potential hazards within specific parks that may affect your dog. Please contact the park via the contact details provided under the contact tab or call the information line on (+61 8) 8204 1910.

Dogs not allowed

Dogs are not permitted in this park.

Discover which parks you can walk your dog in on our find a park tool or read 12 dog-friendly walks in Adelaide Parks by Good Living for inspiration.

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 peoples have occupied, enjoyed and managed the lands and waters of this State for thousands of generations. For Aboriginal first nations, 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. 

There are many places across the State that have great spiritual significance to Aboriginal first nations.  At some of these places Aboriginal cultural protocols, such as restricted access, are promoted and visitors are asked to respect the wishes of Traditional Owners.

In places where protocols are not promoted visitors are asked to show respect by not touching or removing anything, and make sure you take all your rubbish with you when you leave.

Aboriginal peoples continue to play an active role in caring for their Country, including in parks across South Australia. 

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.

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

  • Gunawar 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. 

Duck hunting (seasonal)

Duck hunting is permitted in South Australian Game Reserves during declared duck hunting open seasons. Please refer to Game Reserves opening times and exclusions for information about duck hunting in Bool Game Reserve.

The Department for Environment and Water (DEW) is working together with Conservation and Hunting Alliance of South Australia (CHASA) to promote ethical and responsible hunting. Each year an assessment is conducted using data from the Bureau of Meteorology, the annual DEW wetland and waterfowl survey, CSIRO ‘Pastures from Space’ landscape modelling, PIRSA agronomic data and the Eastern Australian Aerial Waterbird Survey (EAAWS) to determine the abundance of waterfowl.

The duration, bird species and daily bag limit varies from season to season based on the annual assessment, so it is important to keep up to date through the Duck & Quail Open Season webpage.

Further information:

Know before you go:

  • Please respect all users of the area.
  • Hunting on Game Reserves is managed to be sustainable.
  • Hunters, through CHASA, contribute money and volunteer time to maintain habitat for all wetland birds.
  • Behave and hunt in a responsible manner.
  • Obey all laws and regulations.
  • Carry a current hunting permit.
  • Hunt only in the designated hunting area.
  • Do not set up within 100m of another hunter without consent.
  • Leave no litter and pick up spent cartridges and wads.
  • Dress your game away from camping areas.
  • Keep camping areas clean.
  • Remember to fill in your season bag survey forms and send them to CHASA.

 

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

Want to help?

To find out how you can help in this park or nearby, please visit Natural Resources South East – Volunteering.

Want to join others and become a Park Friend?

To find out more about Friends of Parks groups please visit Friends of Parks South Australia.

You could join others to help look after a park. You can take part in working bees, training and other events.

 

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
  • be aware of weather conditions and avoid walking during the hottest part of the day
  • 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 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.

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.

Maps

Fees

Entry fees

Vehicle entry needs to be paid prior to arrival.

Click through to the online booking page for vehicle entry fees.

Book Online

Book online to buy day entry for your vehicle.

FAQs about booking online

Book and pay in person

If you are unable to book and pay online you can do so, in person, at these booking agents across the state.

For online bookings enquiries please email:

DEW.SEOnlineBookings@sa.gov.au

Camping and accommodation

Campsites need to be booked prior to arrival.

Click through to the online booking page for more details about individual campgrounds and fees.

Book online

Book online to reserve your campsite up to 12 months in advance.

FAQs about booking online

Book and pay in person

If you are unable to book and pay online you can do so, in person, at these booking agents across the state.

For online bookings enquiries please email:

DEW.SEOnlineBookings@sa.gov.au

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 for this park for 12 months. 

There are 12 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 not just for this park, but up to an additional 10 parks as well!

Other fees and permits

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

PDF Park Brochure