Ngarkat Group of Conservation Parks
The Ngarkat group of Conservation Parks is a complex of 4 adjoining parks, individually referred to as Ngarkat, Scorpion Springs, Mt Rescue, Mt Shaugh and Ngarkat, covering 270,000 hectares of native vegetation. When combined with the neighbouring Big Desert Park in Victoria more than 800,000 hectares is conserved.
The Park comprises a complex of sand dunes stabilised by a unique mosaic of Heath and Mallee. Early attempts to farm this country failed as can be seen in the ruins at Box Flat.
Access to the Park in conventional vehicles is via the sealed Pinnaroo Bordertown road that takes you through the middle of the Park. The main Park entrance is via the Snoswells Road near Tintinara. At this point you can enjoy the Tym's lookout walking trail which takes 2-3 hours to complete.
Four-wheel-drive vehicles allow greater access, although visitors are reminded that vehicles must remain on marked tracks at all times.
NB: There is no vehicle rescue service in the area. Also, please note current partial park closures due to fire damage.
Suggested 4WD day trip
- Mt Rescue Loop
Starting from Tintinara travel down the Dukes Highway for 22kms. Turn left into Snoswells Road and follow this road until you reach the park. Your first stop is the Tym's Lookout walking trail. From here travel to the Bucks Camp ruins (camping area) and head north towards the Rescue Track. A short but steep walk will give you magnificent views of the Mallee from the top of Mt Rescue.
When you reach Baan Hill Road, turn right until you reach the parks' southern boundary. Here, a right-hand turn along the Southern Boundary track will take you back towards the Snoswells Road corner and back to Tintinara.
The vast area of the Park allows for some spectacular vistas of native vegetation to the horizon. Wildlife is commonly observed, including the Western Grey Kangaroo and the emu. The Park is home to 120 species of birds including the rare Mallee Fowl, that may be seen walking slowly among the trees.
There are a number of walking trails which will give you the opportunity to view the wildlife and get a better appreciation of the Mallee.
Coorong National Park
The 50,000 hectare Coorong National Park was declared in 1966 to conserve the distinctive landscape, coastal dune system, lagoons, wetlands, coastal vegetation and the great variety of birds, animals and fish that live in or visit the area.
Map Courtesy of Coorong Country
As a habitat for numerous species of migratory birds and as a refuge for birds in times of drought, the Coorong is important in a national and international sense. The Coorong was included on the list of 'Wetlands of International Importance especially as Waterfowl Habitat', maintained by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources on 21 December, 1975 and the 'Agreement between Australia, Japan and China for the 'Protection of Migratory Birds and Birds in Danger of Extinction and their Environment' on 30 April, 1981.
The Coorong is also an archeological site of national importance with middens and burial sites throughout the park, providing evidence of Aboriginal occupation over many thousands of years.
Taken together, these factors account for the Coorong National Park's significance in regional nature conservation and recreation and for its special importance as an area of national and international biological and heritage significance.
Camping prices do apply, per night per vehicle (click here for fees and facilities).
Carcuma Conservation Park
Carcuma is 18 km north east of Coonalpyn and directions to the Park are best gained by contacting the Mallee District Office (as the entrance requires access through private property).
Carcuma is a large park on an undulating plain of large sand ridges and numerous small depressions. The vegetation is typical of the southern Mallee region with low woodlands of Brown Stringy Bark Ridge-Fruited Mallee and Pale-Barked Blue Gum on the steep dunes. Ridge-Fruited Mallee and Coastal White Mallee inhabit the low dunes. Open flats have a thick cover of waist-high Heath Shrubs such as Dwarf Oak and Banksias. The Park is very isolated and ample water and fuel must be carried. The Park is accessible only to 4WD vehicles.
Contact the Department for Environment and Heritage Mallee District Office on (08) 8576 3690.