Coorong walk after rain

The Coorong is a system of lakes behind the dunes in the southeast of South Australia. It includes samphire swampland and melaleuca. This morning, we pulled into the Coorong National Park at Chinamen’s Well, which we had visited six weeks ago coming over from Victoria. Suddenly the rain stopped and we leapt outside to tackle a nearby walk: the Nakun Kangun, which runs for 27km along the Coorong.

Some of the walk was through melaleuca forest (see above), past samphire lakes.

There were delicate orchids if you looked carefully.



We continued to Kingston SE, which has a cool historic lighthouse.

Finally, we are in Robe, where we have caught up with family in the first house we have been in for nearly seven weeks.

Coorong morning and Ulysses in the afternoon

We awoke to a spectacular dawn as the sun emerged behind the sheokes and the roos grazed between them and the rose sky. At Chinamen’s Well, we took a short walk and leant how residents of Hong Kong had rushed to reports of gold in Victoria in the 1850s. To avoid a discriminatory tax by the Victorian government, they landed at Adelaide and travelled overland along the edge of the Coorong. There are archeological remnants of limestone wells skilfully built to provide fresh water. I found a fragment of porcelain (“Chinese?) and carefully replaced it after photographing it.

We spent more time exploring the salt lakes and dunes of the Coorong before crossing the Murray River by ferry at Wellington. At Strathalbyn we met members of the Fleurieu Ulysses Club out for a ride. Their bikes were lovingly cared for and wonders to behold.


Coorong Dunes Dusk Dash

“We have 26 minutes to last light,” advised Dave, after checking Willie Weather on his iPad. We’d decided spontaneously to camp for the night in the Coorong National Park, a environmentally sensitive area of dunes with a lake behind. The sign read “Ocean Beach 1.2km”. He grabbed a headlamp just in case and I grabbed a raincoat for the same reason. We charged up corduroy boards laid over the dunes, only to be greeted by ever more dunes as we reached each summit. The sound of the ocean lured us deceptively. Kangaroos gazed wisely – didn’t we know the park was theirs at this hour?

Finally we clambered up a dune and the ocean stretched below us. I took a moment to record our achievement before we repeated the exercise in reverse, straining to see the narrow track through the fading light before reaching the campsite as darkness descended. We congratulated ourselves and celebrated with pork stir fry white wine and lemon cake with ricotta.