Bool Lagoon Game Reserve and Conservation Park

Bool Lagoon Game Reserve and Hacks Lagoon Conservation Park is situated approximately 25 kilometres south of Naracoorte, South Australia. The main entrance is via Lindsay Hood Road. Enter 50 Lindsay Hood Road into your GPS. Be sure to organise your park fee online at before venturing out there. Fees are $10 per vehicle with an $8 concession fee (current at January 2019). Overnight camping is available at $20 per vehicle. The park is open everyday with the exception of Total Fire Ban days. An annual permit can be obtained giving access to the Park as often as desired during the year.

Mosquito Creek flow near Struan House

Bool Lagoon is one of the largest wetlands in Southern Australia. It relies on good winter rainfall for its water supply which comes in through Mosquito Creek from the East. Mosquito Creek flows into Hacks Lagoon which then overflows into Bool Lagoon. This wetland area has been known to go dry if there are too many successive dry seasons. 2016 was the last time that I was out there when the wetlands were overflowing. In 2018 Bool Lagoon was near full but when I was out there early September none of the overflow gates had been opened.

Tea Tree Boardwalk
Tea Tree Boardwalk, 2011

There are several board walks, the main one being the Tea Tree Boardwalk of 500 metres which takes you through an area of Tea Tree and into the main bird hide. This is the best spot to be if you want to see the birds coming in to roost after a day out feeding. Just be aware that there have been bees present in this bird hide at different times.

Bool lagoon sunset
Bool Lagoon sunset from the snake island lookout.

The Gunawar Walk takes you across the waterways between Hacks Lagoon and Bool Lagoon and across to Snake Island. This boardwalk has recently been re-built and is now a ‘floating’ boardwalk. Snakes can be present on this island; however, in several visits that I have made I haven’t actually seen any. This island has a lookout, giving you a higher up view of both lagoons. This is also a good vantage point for photographing sunsets.

The park is home to some 150 species of wildlife, including some rare and endangered bird species. When the water levels are good plenty of frogs can be heard and sometimes seen.

Echidna on Tea Tree Boardwalk
Echidna on the Tea Tree Boardwalk.

But water birds and frogs aren’t the only creatures to be seen using the boardwalks. On the drive around to Big Hill kangaroos and wallaby’s can often be seen grazing in the surrounding paddocks. From Big Hill you can look north west across Little Bool Lagoon.

Bool Lagoon overflow channel, Sept 2016.

For a different route back to Naracoorte turn right onto the Bool Lagoon road as you leave and then take Moyhall Road back into town. The drive will take you over the overflow drain which is worth checking out when the water levels are high. Note that not all of this road is bituminised but it has been considerably upgraded in recent years.

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Darwent’s Waterhole Reserve

Clearing in the scrub

A clearing and camp site in the scrub

Darwent’s Waterhole Reserve is about three kilometres south of Willalooka on the western side of the Riddoch Highway. The early history of Willalooka is recorded in the book ‘Wedgeholes to Windmills’, but unfortunately I have mislaid my copy.


The Wedgehole

The Wedgehole

It is just a small area of scrub that contains a wedgehole that was dug in the early days of settlement for watering stock. A wedgehole is simply a wedge shaped hole dug down deep and long enough to collect water from the under ground water table.


Hitching rail site

Site of a hitching rail for horses

Nearby to the wedgehole are these two posts which have brackets on them for the hitching rail for tying up horses while the stock (probably sheep) were drinking. With dryer seasons in recent decades very little water is now visible in the wedghole, but I have seen enough moisture in the bottom for bees to get a drink.


Lady Finger Orchid

Lady Finger Orchid, rarely found this dark a colour.

This small area of scrub contains some very special plants, among them is the Lady Finger Orchid. The flower is usually white and occasionally pink, but rarely as dark a pink as this one that I found in this reserve in October 2017. This orchid can also be found at Mt Monster Conservation Park closer to Keith, South Australia, and probably in other natural areas in the region.


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