Coorong National Park
Coorong Salt Creek
The Coorong is divided into two vast, long narrow lagoons, the North Lagoon and the South Lagoon, separated by a narrow channel at Parnka Point. The South Lagoon, which runs south past Salt Creek to the Chinaman’s Well area, includes major breeding islands for Pelicans and various Terns, including the Caspian, Crested, Whiskered and most importantly, the vulnerable Fairy Tern. In fact, the area from Woods Well to Salt Creek might appropriately be called the ‘Nursery’ of the Coorong.
Salt Creek through cultural eyes related by Peter and Meryl Mansfield
Salt Creek was known in the old days as Painbali Country, a name of a family who when the time came to choose a white name chose Carter, which was the name of an early owner of the Salt Creek Garage. It is the country of the the Kongolindjeri Tribe of the Tanganikald. A Kongoli is a sprat which frequented the waters there. The lake just to the south of Salt Creek, Mike Lake, was known to our people as Gerumgerum and there were ceremonies carried out there by men, placing stones in trees and dancing around . Women did not go there at that time. Salt Creek Hill was known to us as Nerakerang, the place where the creek used to flow into the Coorong. It is covered in thick mallee and this is where the Crow (man) had come down from the north with boomerangs. The Owl and the Mopoke (men) told him that he could stay if he could throw the boomerangs and get all 5 of them to return . He rammed his spears into the dirt (which turned into the mallee scrub) and got four boomerangs to return which became islands in the lake. The fifth did not return and became a small arm still joined to the shore. He then fled on hands and knees beause he could no longer stay in this country and the Owl and the Mopoke were in hot pursuit .The Crow fled towards Kingston and the salt lakes and saltpans were the imprints left by his hands and knees . He became a star in the sky seen in the Kingston area.
Ephemeral lakes occur throughout the southern section of the Coorong National Park. The lakes only contain water during the wetter months and dry out during summer. They are filled by rainwater and magnesium rich groundwater. The waters of the lakes actively precipitate carbonate minerals due to evaporation. The lakes are very significant because examples of current dolomite precipitation are rare and the association of carbonate minerals is unique.
Camping at Salt Creek
Camping Maps of the Coorong can be found here and booked online through the Parks SA website.