Parnka Point Trails South Australia

Two trails are presented as individual round trips in opposite directions from Parnka Point campground
in the Coorong National Park.

Paddle overview : Parnka Point Trails

Parnka Point 2 individual loop trails

Region Murray River, Lakes and Coorong
Nearest Town Meningie (150 km from Adelaide)View in google map
Distance Approx 36km (total for two trips originating from Parnka Point)
Paddle Time 4-5 hrs each trip
Difficulty Easy
Facilities Available at campsite
Conditions Visit BOM for weather conditions
Conditions This trail takes in a very shallow area of the Coorong with lots of sharp rocks. Care needs to be taken to avoid damage to kayaks and canoes.
Parking Available at launch site
National and recreation park link Coorong National Park

Trail Notes

Launch Site:
Wallys Landing, Tonkin road, Finniss GPS: 35.4076 S; 138.8312 E

Trail Notes:
The two trails start at Parnka Point camp ground and travel north and south.
The area is very shallow with lots of sharp rocks. Stout shoes are recommended in case you need to get out and walk.
When travelling north from Parnka Point keep to the left hand side (Western side) of the islands where the water is deeper and there are fewer rocks.
As you paddle north you will pass four islands – Bluff island, Rabbit Island, next Snake Island and lastly the Needles which is aptly named as the rocks are particularly pointed and sharp in that area.

These islands are noted breeding areas for Fairy terns.
You will then enter the Northern Lagoon which is largely free of  underwater obstructions but may be shallow in areas. When travelling south the deeper water tends to be found on the Eastern side of the islands.

Prohibited islands South of Parnka Point are clearly marked and should not be approached in case you disturb breeding colonies of birds. In particular the islands near Jacks Point (GPS 36.0368 S; 139.5674 E) are noted for the large colonies of breeding pelicans. The Coorong being the home of   the largest and most important permanent colony of pelicans in South Australia.
Paddlers are cautioned about wind and weather conditions in the Coorong and it is recommended that last minute checks of these are made before you leave on your trip.



Always check weather conditions prior to departure (see Meteye)
The best time to kayak in this area is during the winter months when the water is deep enough to paddle in.

Note: This area of the Coorong is not tidal but the water level is strongly affected by the wind. Westerly and South-westerly winds tend to send water from the northern lagoon towards the southern lagoon, thereby raising the water level in this area. These winds tend to occur mainly in winter.

In the summer months there can be as little as 200 mm of water at Parnka point.
Check  at for water levels in this area under data systems and surface water status reports.
Some of the islands in the area are prohibited areas to safeguard Pelican breeding colonies and no landing is permitted.
Note: Fires are not permitted in the Coorong National Park

Trail 16


Note: Fires are not permitted in the Coorong National Park 
Note: Camping permits must be obtained from  Coorong National Park prior to departure and can only be obtained online.

Points of interest

1 – Coorong National Park
This park is more than 50 years old. It was established I 1966 and its lagoons (north and south) are protected from the Southern Ocean by the sweeping sand dunes of the Younghusband Peninsula, from which its name originated. The local Ngarrindjeri people gave the Coorong it name which is derived from ‘Kurangk’ which means long, narrow neck.

The Coorong’s natural beauty, abundant wildlife and unspoilt coastline make it one of South Australia’s most visited tourist destinations. If you are thinking of visiting then here are six Things you might not know about the Coorong

2 – Birdwatching
The Coorong is a birdwatchers’ paradise. Over 200 species of birds have been recorded in the park, including two rare species. Many different water birds visit the wetland, particularly in summer. The distinctive landscape is an internationally renowned breeding area for the Australian pelican and a refuge for ducks, swans, cormorants, terns, grebes and numerous species of migratory birds.

When bird watching, carry binoculars and a field guide to help with bird identification. Wear clothes that blend in with the surrounds and be quiet, particularly if birds are nesting. Do not approach or interfere with nests – this can cause birds to abandon them.
Migratory wader birds of the Coorong and Lower Lakes 


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before your paddling trip.


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Paddling Trail South Australia has range of Paddling Trails to suit different abilities. These are easy to access kayak and canoe trails through the Adelaide, Fleurieu Peninsula, Riverland, Murray River and the Coorong.