Naracoorte Camp – October

As reported in the October 18th edition of the Naracoorte Herald, October 11th saw the arrival in Naracoorte of 43 enthusiastic C and D grade members of the ARPA bushwalking group. Based in the Naracoorte Holiday Park, they spent the next 5 days getting “off the beaten track to see what Naracoorte really has to offer …, tackling walks of varying distance and difficulty” around the district, as well as enjoying a series of other activities. Walks were undertaken in the Naracoorte Caves National Park, Mary Seymour and Big Heath Conservation Parks, Black Cockatoo Bush Camp and Bool Lagoon, and incorporated visits to Bourne’s Bird Museum, Struan House and Mullinger Swamp.
Reputedly the time of the year to see Naracoorte at its best, when the countryside is green and the weather pleasant, campers were not disappointed. Apart from the wintry weather for the trip down and some showers on the last day, the weather was sunny, allowing for a full appreciation of the natural environment. Walkers were treated to a wonderful display of spring wildflowers in Big Heath Conservation Park, a wide array of waterbirds on Bool Lagoon, natural scrubland in Mary Seymour Conservation Park and Black Cockatoo Bush Camp, an explanation of the caves development along the Caves Heritage Trail, the region’s largest gum tree and the eerie sight of multiple dead red gums in the waters of Mullinger Swamp. Wildlife was abundant and included sightings of echidnas, kangaroos, emus and sleepy lizards.
Bourne’s Bird Museum was a delight to see, with over 600 mounted birds, nests and mammals making up a colourful display, whilst Struan House gave an insight into the lavish lifestyle of successful late 19th century pastoralists. The traditional rest day in the middle allowed an opportunity for individuals to undertake varying activities, many choosing to go underground and see the World Heritage Caves, whilst others concluded the day with an enjoyable twilight stroll along the 3 Km town stretch of the Naracoorte Creek. Dinner at the Kingcraig Hotel on the evening of the 18th concluded a very enjoyable camp.