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Cantara Dune WalkCantara Dune Walk 2012

Twenty five years ago the desire to protect nesting Hooded Plovers on the Coorong Ocean Beach was one of the driving forces behind the formation of the Friends of the Coorong. To celebrate the continuing work of the Friends a walk to the beach was arranged for Sunday 4th November followed by a BBQ lunch at the homestead. Built by the Gall family and first occupied around 1880 the homestead is a very valuable item of built heritage. The major restoration and conservation work carried out in recent years reflects well on all involved.

The walk commenced immediately behind Cantara Homestead and proceeded across a mixture of open grassland, low scrub and sand dunes to the ocean beach, a distance of just under  two kilometres each way. Apart from vehicle tracks along the high-water line the beach is little changed from the way it was in April 1802 when Flinders and Baudin sailed past. The walk provided great views of the homestead and the adjoining land giving a vivid impression of the property as it would have been in pioneering days. Slashing by DEWNR made the walk a lot easier and safer. A group of about 14 made it across to the beach with a few opting to get a lift back in the DEWNR 4 wheel drive.


Woods Well walkWoods Well Walk 2012

In June 2012 Friends of the Coorong enjoyed a walk at Woods Well. The weather was cool but fine, just right for the 6km outing. The walk began along a track just south of the Tintinara turnoff on what was part of the old Melbourne Road. Quite a lot of the original paving is still visible there. Walkers then returned to Woods Well and visited the grave of Jane Macmenimen on the 150th anniversary year of her murder. A visit was also made to the still occupied residence, formerly the Woods Well Inn, where the inquest into her death was held in May 1862. Walkers then enjoyed a soup lunch at Pam Gillen’s house while watching a video which incorporated some more contemporary scenes of the Inn and some recollections of events as told by Dot Cameron.

The spelling used here for Jane’s surname is one of several in use. This spelling is the one favoured by Tom McCourt and Hans Mincham in their book on the Coorong. It is quite different from the spelling used on Jane’s gravestone.


spider orchidMessent Orchid Walk 2012

Friends of the Coorong organised a Sunday morning walk in Messent Conservation Park to take a quick overview of the native orchid population. The park was surveyed at the same time in 2011 by NOSSA, the Native Orchid Society of South Australia. That survey showed strong orchid regrowth following a burnoff the previous year. The 2012 walk again found good populations of a number of different species in a variety of locations. Greenhoods, donkeys, spiders and sun orchids (to the amateur observer) were seen. The park as a whole was in good condition following the strong winter rains and quite a lot of wildlife was seen. The Friends organised the walk to underline the importance of Messent as a venue for flora and wildlife.


Ration Station 2012Ration Station Walk 2012

Friends of the Coorong members and friends undertook a walk to the ruins of the old ration station built in 1877 at Millarouan.

The walk commenced in Bonney Reserve and proceeded along old tracks through open scrub to the fascinating and historically important buildings. The site is listed under teh South Australian Heritage Act on the register of State Heritage Items. Situated close to the Coorong shore the buildings enjoy a marvelous view of the lagoon and peninsula. At just under 6kms the walk was just long enough to build up a good lunch appetite.

The group is thankfull to the Millarouan Association Inc. for allowing access to the ruins and Camp Coorong for access through Bonney Reserve.