By Julie Bates
With the release of the new Storm Boy retelling in January 2019, we thought it might be good to let you in on some of our favourite Storm Boy inspired family adventures in the Coorong! To make it simple, we've pulled together the Top 10 experiences - and in even better news... most of them are free (but we know you'll be happy to pay for a fresh Coorong Mullet sandwich!). Check it out and start planning your family-friendly Storm Boy weekend in the Coorong!
Top 10 Storm Boy adventures in the Coorong for families
Go camping in the Coorong National Park: Look for crossings and 4WD tracks near Salt Creek (42 Mile Crossing and Tea Tree Crossing are best - check conditions first, 4WD vehicles only). Here you can explore the lagoons, run down golden sandhills, watch magical sunsets, see native wildlife, go fishing, dip your toes in the Pink Lake and more. Read more about the Coorong National Park here.
Explore Meningie’s lake front Pelican Path: Including a Storm Boy inspired nature playground, BBQ reserve, bird viewing platform and giant Pelican sculpture. This path is also part of the emerging Murray Coorong Trail - a multi-use walking and cycling trail which spans 450km and connects Salt Creek in the Coorong to other major towns along the Lower Murray. A short 10km section exists between the Meningie township and the edge of the Coorong lagoons at Noonameena, and is a great little path for families to explore (and if don’t panic if you forgot your bikes, you can hire them for free from the Meningie VIC!).
Image courtesy of Department for Water
Walk along the Goolwa Barrage: Take a look at the birdlife hustling around both sides of the barrage as they wait for their daily feed of fish. There's also a beautiful area for a picnic here right on the water's edge, and public amenities if you need them!
Image courtesy of photographer Chris Bock (follow him on Instagram @cbocky)
Walk (or drive) the Murray Mouth: You can walk over the sandhills from the barrage car park (approx. 500m from the barrage), or take your 4WD along the beach from the Goolwa beach car park. Make sure you check conditions, tides and the entrance access signage to ensure it's safe to go on the day/time you're travelling. You can also view it from a lookout at Sugars Beach on Hindmarsh Island – cross the bridge in Goolwa and follow the signs. This section of the Coorong is one end of the touring route, the Mighty Murray Way - check out out here!
Get your twitch on: Watch the birdlife from some of our favourite places, including the Meningie bird viewing platform (Narrung Road), Goolwa bird hide (Barrage Road) and the Jack’s Point Pelican Observatory Walk (near Salt Creek) . Otherwise, just walk around the national park and you’ll see them wherever you go. Pack the binoculars!
Taste the Coorong flavours: Try a fresh Coorong Mullet sandwich from one of Meningie’s local cafes, or collect your own Goolwa Pipis (seasonal) on the beach and cook them up. Or - if you don’t want to cook them up yourselves, just head to one of the local cafes/restaurants at Goolwa and check the menu – we know Bombora right on Goolwa Beach specialises in these local delicacies.
Try a family stay on Hindmarsh Island: Both Narnu Farm and Mundoo Island Station have great family stays, where you can experience the Coorong (and farm life) up close. Narnu also has one of the coolest looking playgrounds for kids who are staying on site. Or – if a farm stay/camping isn’t your thing, just check out other great family accommodation on Hindmarsh Island and other Coorong locations here.
Play on our Storm Boy inspired nature playgrounds: Have fun with the kids on the Storm Boy-inspired wooden nature playgrounds in Meningie and Goolwa. There’s one situated on the banks of Lake Albert at Meningie, with a giant carved Pelican the perfect landmark to guide you there. It also has it’s own (aptly-named) Storm Boy wooden boat for the kids to get their skipper on. Across the Coorong at Goolwa, there are two wooden nature playgrounds – again both with boats and beautiful carvings and based right on the end of the Murray River (one near the wharf precinct, the other larger one along Barrage Road near the sailing club).
Cross the Narrung Peninsula ferry: Cross the ferry at Narrung, where you’ll not only see huge numbers of resting pelicans, but also the beautiful and historic Pt Malcolm Lighthouse (the only in-land lighthouse in the Southern Hemisphere). It’s a great place to explore with walking tracks, wildlife and even geocaching if you’re in to treasure hunting! If you’ve got the time, you can also fit in a drive-by of the beautiful buildings at Poltalloch Station, and stop at the local Aboriginal community of Raukkan (home of the church from the $50 note, birthplace of famous Ngarrindjeri man David Unaipon, and giant artworks by world-famous Guido van Helten).
Paddle the Coorong waters: Whether it’s on the Lower Lakes, lagoons, or Murray River system – you should definitely have a paddle experience with the kids. You can bring your own, or hire paddle crafts on both sides of the Coorong. Lake Albert Paddle Hire is based in Meningie and hires out stand up paddle boards, kayaks, wakeboards, surf-skis, tandem bikes, miniature pedal-powered paddle-boats and more (plus safety equipment to use them). Across the other side in Goolwa, you can hire equipment, or go for a guided tour with the crew from Canoe the Coorong (these guys will take you to some the places only accessible by kayak!). Or – you can check out what Breeze Hire have to offer as well is you’re on the Murray.
Image from the remake of Storm Boy - releases in January 2019.
See you and the kids in the Coorong in 2019! Oh - and if you haven't been to see Storm Boy yet - it's time to book your tickets! See the official trailer below...
About the author
Originally hailing from the city, Julie Bates now resides with her family in the heart of the Murray River, Lakes and Coorong region, with property only metres from the world-famous Monarto Zoo. Julie has fallen in love with the region, and has been lucky enough to combine her experience in tourism, with her passion for bringing more people to the region she now calls home. Julie knows every stretch of the region, and the characters who live and work along it. If you ever meet her, she’ll tell you about the great places to eat, play and explore; the magical scenery she gets to see every day at work; AND with her tribe of three kids, she can fill you in on the most family-friendly itineraries for a weekend (or week) away (and she knows the best places to escape without the kids for a weekend too).