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Bool Lagoon Game Reserve

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Bool Lagoon Game Reserve - Cities, Towns and Localities

Bool Lagoon Game Reserve © AusEmade PL

Located between Adelaide and Melbourne, and just 21 km south of Naracoorte, is the amazing Bool Lagoon Game Reserve, one of the largest and most diverse freshwater systems in Southern Australia. The reserve is home to a wide range of wetland wildlife and provides essential drought refuge for many rare and endangered bird species. It offers ideal close observation of the many wildlife with it specially developed boardwalks and bird hides.

Bool Lagoon comprises three interlinked basins, with the water in the wetlands artificially manipulated, being used as an equalisation basin for flood mitigation, acting as a sump for the catchment. The wetland dry out about once every two years. In the past the lagoon was filled from the overflow of water from Mosquito Creek into Hacks Lagoon, but most of the creek flows bypass the lagoon, although Hacks Lagoon is the deepest and usually contains water all year round. Bool Lagoon also receives water as part of a regional drainage scheme.


Bool Lagoon Game Reserve © AusEmade PL

There are picnic spots scattered around the area and basic facilities for camping near the shores of Hacks Lagoon. Bring your own fresh water and register at the visitors centre.

Source: Department of the Environment and Heritage and
Environmental Water Requirements to Maintain Wetlands of National and International Importance

For additional information on attractions, tours and events, contact the local visitor centre. Parks information, including park permits are available from the Parks and Wildlife website. Day visitors can pay at the lagoon by filling out your details and depositing your money in the envelopes provided at the entrance.

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Parks and Wildlife
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Bool Lagoon Game Reserve Attractions

Bool Lagoon Game Reserve - Swan with youngs © AusEmade PLThe Gahnia Walk
Thatching grass tussocks and common reeds are found at the edges of the basins of the wetlands. These sheltered areas are the nesting sites for a range of small birds including the superb blue wren and the little grassbird.

The Gunawar Trail
A self-guided walk that leaves from car park at Hacks Lagoon and taking you onto Hacks Island. You cross boardwalks where you can see water ribons (Triglochin procera) that are used by swans and swamp hens to make their nests. The small red-leafed water fern (Azolla filiculoides) are fed on by ducks and coots, which also eat insects. If you look into the water, you may see the introduced small mosquito fish (Gambusia). If you face the car park from the Wirriu Lookout, Hacks Lagoon Conservation Park is to your left and Bool Lagoon Game Reserve is on your right, this is a total of 3,000 hectares of wetland. Throughout the reserve you can see black swans. The trail is named after them, Gunawar meaning ‘black swan’ in the Bunganditj language.

Bool Lagoon Game Reserve - Supurb Blue Wren © AusEmade PLAs you continue the walk pass the Lookout, you will pass tall reeds (Phragmites australis) growing in dense stands along the waters’ edge. The superb blue wren and the Golden-headed cisticola make their nests in these reeds, as well as to hide from danger.

The walk circles around a grassland area. Native grasslands were the most common natural habitat on the Bool Lagoon plains, before being changed through grazing and introduced plants. The grassland is now mostly comprised mostly of introduced plants, proving a home for small birds, mice, reptiles and snakes such as the Copperhead snake.

Circling back towards the boardwalk you will pass the revegetate area of swamp paperbarks (Melaleuca halmaturorum). These trees were planted to provide habitat for insects spiders, and eventually birds.

At any time of the year there is wildlife found in the wetland reserve. Over 155 different species of birds have been sighted in the area include:
  • Australian Hobby
  • Australian Shelduck
  • Banded Lapwing
  • Banded Stilt
  • Black Winged Stilt
  • Barn Owl
  • Black-tailed Godwit
  • Black-tailed Native-hen
  • Brolga
  • Cape Barren Geese
  • Clamorous Reed Warbler
  • Crescent Honeyeater
  • Flame Robin
  • Forest Raven
  • Golden-headed Cisticola
  • Greenshank Sandpiper
  • Little Grassbird
  • Little Wattlebird
  • Magpie Geese
    (Anseranas semipalmata)
  • Musk Duck
  • Pacific Black Duck
  • Peregrine Falcon
  • Pied Stilt
  • Red-browed Firetail
  • Red-necked Avocet
  • Sharp-tailed Sandpiper
  • Southern Boobook
  • Straw-necked Ibis
  • Swamp Hen
  • Swan
    (Cygnus atratus)
  • White-fronted Chat
  • Whiskered Tern

Bool Lagoon Game Reserve © AusEmade PL

  Bent Wing Bats (Miniopterus schreibersii bassanii)
• At night the Bent-wing bats arrive from their roosting place in the Naracoorte Limestone Caves.

Many different frogs live in the Bool Lagoon and Hacks Lagoon wetlands. They feed on the various insects and and in turn are food for the birds and snakes. You can usually identify their presence by their calls.
  Southern Bell Frog / Golden Bell Frog (Litoria raniformis)
• Characterised by a loud barking call, and distinctive colourful skin patterns of a pale green mid-dorsal stripe with large black spots on its back. This species specialises in feeding on other frogs. It’s call is characterised by a series of loud ‘cra-ack, cra-ack’. The Parks & Wildlife has an example of the frog call.

Eastern Banjo Frog (Limnodynastes dumerilii)
• It’s call is characterised by a series of ‘plonks’.

Brown-striped Frog (Limnodynastes peronii)
• It’s call is characterised by a single loud ‘plonk’ or ‘tok’.

Bool Lagoon Memorial Hall
• Bool Lagoon Road and Hoods Lane, BOOL LAGOON SA 5271
Located just 94 km north of Mount Gambier.

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