Adelaide International Bird Sanctuary National Park – Winaityinaityi Pangkara – is the National Parks SA Park of the Month for November 2017.
Adelaide Shorebirds Festival is celebrating this Park of the Month throughout November.
There’s lots of activities like kayaking, snorkelling and river cruises, and you can also see some of the birds on some of the walking trails in the park.
Below we’ve outlined 5 walks and trails to see some of the shorebirds and experience the unique coastal habitats.
Walking Trails to see Shorebirds
Third Creek Trail, Samphire Coast Shorebird Trails, Thompson Beach
3.4km, 1 hour
The Third Creek Trail is one of the Samphire Coast Shorebird Trails at Thompson Beach. Follow the trail to learn about the lives of shorebirds and the samphire smorgasboard. Look for up to 40 species of shorebirds and waterbirds.
The trail has recently been upgraded with new signage and new compacted gravel. The upgraded section is a 900m loop from the trailhead, and the remaining trail is easily walked to Third Creek.
The Third Creek Trail starts from the southern end of the Esplanade. Brochures and maps are often available at the Third Creek Trail trailhead, or you can download the brochure.
There is a free Ranger Guided Walk along this trail on Thursday 16 November.
St Kilda Mangrove Trail
1.5km, 45 mins return
Enjoy exploring a flooded mangrove forest on an elevated walkway that meanders through tidal salt marshes, mangroves and sea grass channels to a lookout that has scenic views across the Barker Inlet.
The walk is open daily between 9am and 4pm (except Christmas Day). Entry is free, but you need to obtain an Access Gate Key from the kiosk (Tackle & Tucker) near the Adventure Playground. You need to leave a $20 key deposit, or leave something else of value (such as a Medicare card).
Greenfields Wetlands Nature Trail
Explore the wetlands along the trails with Interpretive signage detailing the rich and diverse wildlife. Accessible 7 days a week between 8am-4pm. Just push open the gate and enjoy the walk along the trails and boardwalks.
The south-eastern section of the trail (access from cafe), and the northern trail section (refer to map) is suitable for people with mobility access issues.
Bakers Creek Trail, Samphire Coast Shorebird Trails, Thompson Beach
4.0km, 1.5 hours
The Bakers Creek Trail is one of the Samphire Coast Shorebird Trails at Thompson Beach. The trail starts from the northern end of the Esplanade. It can be hard to follow (the Third Creek Trail at southern Thompson Beach is easier to follow), but you can revert to walking along the beach.
Samphire Discovery Trail, Middle Beach
900m, 20 mins
Explore the unique habitat of this section of the coast. The trail meanders through the mangrove, following a chenier, which is an ancient sand dune 4,000 to 6,000 years ago, out to a viewing point at overlooking a creek.
The trail was constructed in 2000, but has suffered in more recent times from lack of maintenance. The trail itself and the boardwalk are easy to follow. The interpretive signs have faded, and some are missing, but nonetheless they present an informative way to explore this unique coastal habitat.
The trail begins from the (closed) Education Recreation Centre/Kiosk, in the carpark beside the caravan park. Unfortunately, as at late 2017, the centre is closed and the area appears to be run down. The trail actually begins on the left side of the building, before reaching a gazebo and then heading out on a levee bank. However, standing in the carpark it would be easy to be left wondering where the trail might start. The trail is on the far side of the caravan park – which as at 2017 appears to be closed and in use as residential accommodation. From the carpark you can see the levee bank at the far end of the caravan park, and it isn’t too difficult to find the green rotunda where the trail can be walked from.