The Murray River, Lakes & Coorong region has so many diverse and stunning environments. They’re beautiful to look at, but to really appreciate and understand these places you need to experience them. This is a region made for the adventurous, with plenty of opportunities to hike, paddle, fish, swim, stroll and cycle. It’s a great way to meet the locals too – roos, wombats, pelicans, and thousands of other native species abound. If the wildlife starts to look distinctly African, you’ll know you’re at Monarto!
The Murray River Lakes & Coorong region is home to the internationally significant Coorong National Park and a diverse range of noteworthy conservation parks - from the huge mallee parks with their distinctive vegetation and wildflowers, to the ancestral home of the Nganguraku People on the banks of the Murray River.
The parks of the region are ideal for anyone interested in bird-watching, hiking and photography. Many have great picnic spots, lookouts, walking trails, camping and 4WD opportunities. Each park has different facilities and some are quite isolated so be sure to research fully before setting off.
Boasting a range of natural sights and wonders the region is home to some of the most breathtaking and unusual scenery. Accessible waterfalls and rock pools, ancient limestone cliffs and rock formations that resemble animals are all part of the natural treasures of the region just waiting to be explored!
How about visiting Australia’s largest open-range zoo? Monarto is a 1000-hectare sanctuary where you can see some of Africa’s most impressive animals, including lions, cheetahs, giraffes and rhinos. Monarto Zoo plays an important role in the conservation and preservation of some of the world's most endangered species.
There are a number of ways to experience the zoo including on the free Zu-Loop Shuttle which takes visitors through the park to a wide range of daily zoo keeper talks and animal feeds that give guests the opportunity to interact. Monarto Zoo also has a network of approximately 10kms of walking tracks. For those visitors keen to explore the zoo by foot, there are a number of walking tracks available, ranging from easy to medium grading and suitable for robust pushers.
Big Bend By Night is a nature based tourism business that operates from a working family farm near Swan Reach. This attraction gives visitors the chance to see large numbers of kangaroos and wombats in the wild, on unique spotlighting tours at Big Bend on the banks of the Murray River.
There is no walking involved in the nocturnal tours, just soft, comfortable padded seats in an open sided cart that is a fun experience on its own. See the evasive wombat in its natural habitat, along with large mobs of grey and red kangaroos as they feed on the irrigated and natural pastures. These tours are exciting and informative, with the guides able to identify the animals just from the reflection of their eyes in the bright searchlights. It’s a fabulous experience for the whole family that can also be incorporated as part of a houseboat trip!
Situated on 30 hectares of Crown Land just outside Wellington, this Botanic Garden is part of an endeavour to conserve Australia’s threatened flora. Developed and maintained by an active group of volunteers, this garden specialises in species from the highly modified drier agricultural regions of Southern mainland Australia.