Chowilla Game Reserve and Regional Reserve
The flood plain and wetland protected within Chowilla Game Reserve and Regional Reserve is on the Ramsar List and is also part of the Bookmark Biosphere Reserve. This semiarid environment is one of the few parts of the lower Murray flood plain that has not been used for irrigation. Massive stands of magnificent river red gums and mallee, black oak and bluebush shrublands provide a dramatic backdrop to the reserve, and habitats for birds such as parrots, Major Mitchell cockatoos, malleefowl and the very rare and endangered black-eared miner. Reptiles are common, with 45 recorded species, including the marbled velvet gecko, which is rare in South Australia.
Before the arrival of Europeans, the permanent water supply and abundance of food made Chowilla (Tjowilla or ‘place of spirits and ghosts’) a bountiful home to the Maraura and Ngintait people and important trading routes crossed through the area. The local Aboriginal community retains its connections with the region. After white settlement, Europeans established stock routes that utilised the water resources.
This region has the largest remaining native riverine forest in South Australia. The Border Cliffs Customs House Wetland Trail (4 km circuit, 1½ hrs, easy), starting at the Customs House carpark, is a meandering loop walk past huge river red gums, river cooba (Acacia sp.), dryland tea-tree and native pines. A bird observation point is located 350 metres off the trail. Numbered markers correspond to information in a brochure. Camping is possible and campfires are permitted between May and October but fuel stoves are preferred. Activities include picnicking, swimming, fishing, canoeing and bushwalking.
Campsites at Chowilla, Little Gums and Littra House; fees apply
280 km north-east of Adelaide; 30 km east of Renmark via Murtho Rd; or 37 km via Wentworth Rd
- Parks SA (08) 8204 1910
- Parks SA Berri (08) 8595 2111
18 000 ha
Renmark (08) 8586 6704
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