Coorong National Park
The Seven Mile Road lookout at Noonameena provides views across the Coorong (lagoon) to the sand dunes of the Younghusband Peninsula. The Coorong at this point is 2km across and the walking distance through the sand dunes from the opposite shore to the ocean beach is 1km. The water varies from very shallow to more than head height and the surface below varies from solid sand to soft mud and rough rock. Despite it’s apparent shallow appearance you will need water-craft to make this crossing. The lagoon continues north to the Murray Mouth and south to 42 Mile Crossing. In all this saline lagoon is over 100kms long and Noonameena is sightly north of central along this stretch. It is fed from the north my the Murray River and from Salt Creek in the south from the South-East Drainage Scheme. The change in water level is driven primarily by the wind. In warmer months the water is driven north and out through the Murray Mouth. In cooler months the lagoon fills as water is driven south.
Coorong National park was declared in 1966, to conserve the distinctive landscape, the coastal dune system, the lagoons, wetlands and coastal vegetation and the great variety of birds, animals and fish that live in or visit the area. The Coorong is an archeological site of international significance with middens and burial sites throughout the Park giving evidence of Aboriginal occupation over many thousands of years.
Noonameena through cultural eyes as related by Peter and Meryl Mansfield
Your current location (Noonameena lookout) is known to the Temporumindjera (the local family clan) as Ngilduwatyeri. Just to the north, the Coorong National Park office sits on a point called Pomatapulen. Further to the north you will see an island known as Sam’s Island which was named after a Wilitinjera (family clan name) man called Sam Keiwikki Dodd. The name Keiwikki is derived from the call of the Kalu bird (little night bird) which says “ke iwik … ke iwik”. Post settlement family names in this area are:
– Temporumindjera (also spelt Temporuminjera): Cameron
– Wiriltinjera (also spelt Wirriltinjera): Dodd
Temporumindjera ngatji (totems are Maluwi (mulloway) and Tyili (blue and black dragonfly)
Wiriltinjera ngatji are Wattle, Kungari (Black swan) and Peldi (Musk duck).
Musk ducks are no longer common in the area.
The Coorong supports five fish species which are of recreational and commercial interest. These are mulloway, yellow-eye mullet, bream, greenback flounder and Australian salmon. Of these, yellow-eye mullet and mulloway are the most commonly caught.
Water composition and properties
There is a marked seasonal variation in water quality in the lagoon. Winter temperatures average between 9 degrees and 14 degrees, while summer temperatures average 20 degrees to 25 degrees. In summer, shallow waters tend to heat up more than adjoining deeper waters. The water is alkaline, with a pH value slightly higher than that of normal sea water, being from 8.25 to 8.5.