Bool Lagoon Game Reserve
One of South Australia’s largest and most diverse freshwater lagoon systems, this was declared a game reserve in 1967 and is on the Ramsar List of Wetlands of International Importance. These wetlands rarely dry out, creating a refuge for over 150 species of bird, such as brolgas, black swans, magpie geese and tiny fairy-wrens.
A network of boardwalks, trails and observation hides allows a close-up view of the wetland activity. Gahnia walk (500 metres, easy) leads to sheltered fringing grasses and reeds where many small birds nest. Gunawar Trail (1.5 km, easy) leads from Hacks Lagoon carpark to Hacks Island along boardwalks that cross the water past mats of floating red-leaved water ferns and water ribbons (an aquatic plant species). Further along, the trail passes tall reeds, grassland areas and a patch of revegetated swamp paperbarks. Pat-om walk (700 metres, easy) passes close to the inlet channel and the largest bird populations. In the heart of the wetland an ibis rookery is accessible via a 500-metre boardwalk. Drive to the top of Big Hill for views over the reserve or to Little Bool Lagoon along Moyhall Road to see lily ponds and the nesting ibis.
At dusk in spring and summer try your hand at identifying Bool Lagoon’s five frog species as they growl, bark and plonk from their secret hiding places at the water’s edge. Some species, like the southern bell frog, are large and colourful, but are still elusive. Dusk also brings bentwing-bats to the area from the nearby Naracoorte Caves. Cycling in the game reserve is on vehicle roads only.
Eastern shore of lagoon; fees apply
Location and access
360 km south-east of Adelaide via Dukes Hwy to Keith then A66 to Naracoorte; reserve is 21 km south of Naracoorte.
- Parks SA (08) 8204 1910
- Parks SA Naracoorte (08) 8762 3412
Naracoorte 1800 244 421
- Birdwatching, South-East South Australia, Eco-friendly activity