Lower Glenelg National Park

Lower Glenelg National Park is 27,300 hectares in size and situated in the south-western corner of Victoria. The Glenelg River is the central feature. Along the last part of its winding 400 kilometre path to the sea the river has carved a spectacular gorge up to 50 metres deep through limestone. River erosion and the trickle of rain water has created some remarkable caves.

 

These and the rich variety of bush plants and animals are reason enough to visit Lower Glenelg National Park.

 

Things to Do

 

Visit Princess Margaret Rose Cave.

 

Commercial boat trips run from Nelson to the cave.

 

The Glenelg estuary provides salt water habitat far upstream for a wide range of fish, including mulloway, bream, mullet, salmon trout and estuary perch, making it one of Australia's most popular fishing destinations.

 

Visit points of interest e.g. Jones Lookout, the Bulley Ranges, and the Inkpot.

 

The park is criss-crossed by fire trails, which offer short scenic bush walks. The Great South West Walk passes through the park.

 

Facilities

 

There are boat-launching ramps at several points along the river. Canoes can be hired from Nelson and Dartmoor/Winnap and taken either upstream or downstream.

 

Two sections of the lower reaches of the river are set aside for power boating and water skiing.

 

There are cabins and a camping ground at the Cave (booking required).

 

Camping is also possible beside the Glenelg River (permits required).

 

Heritage

 

The geological characteristics were formed millions of years ago when sea creatures, deposited on the ocean floor, compacted into limestone. Eons later the water receded, exposing the sea bed. Water, percolating through and dissolving the limestone, formed the caves.

 

Fauna

 

Platypus and water rats burrow into the river banks. Reed beds along quieter stretches shelter ducks and moorhens. Azure Kingfishers and herons fish in the shallows. Emus, Eastern Grey Kangaroos and Red-necked Wallabies are common, as are Brush-tailed Possums, Koalas and Echidnas. The park also has small colonies of wombats and Yellow-bellied Gliders.

 

Vegetation

 

For plant life, the park is where east meets west. Gullies at Moleside Creek contain the most westerly tree ferns in Australia and at least 60 other plant species which are found no further west. At the same time many West Australian plants occur here - the edge of their eastern range - so that a total of 700 species, including 50 orchids, can be sighted in and around forest, heath, swamp and river.

 

Looking After the Park

 

>> A camping permit is required for camping.
>> Fires are to be lit only in fireplaces provided.
>> Dogs, cats, firearms and the cutting of wood are prohibited.
>> Landing is not permitted at Keegans Bend.
>> Speed restrictions apply to boats.
>> Water skiing is allowed only in designated areas.

 

Precautions

 

Take care when swimming in the river - the water is deep and there may be snags.

 

How to Get There

 

Access is from Portland-Nelson Road or via Dartmoor

 

Battersbys, Pritchards and Wilson Hall riverside camping and picnic areas

 

Of these three picnic and camping sites along the Glenelg River, Battersbys is overall slightly more accessible than Pritchards and Wilson Hall, though it does not offer shelter near the picnic facilities. Overall there is poor river access due to steeply sloping banks and inaccessible jetty design. The banks design. The banks Wilson Hall, but the jetty at that site is particularly narrow and hazardous.

 

Visitor Centre

 

The Visitor Centre in Nelson is generally accessible. The car parking bays are good, and there is a ramp to facilitate building entry. Inside, the building is spacious, but lacks handrails. A designated accessible toilet is provided at the rear of the building.

 

Princess Margaret Rose Caves

 

The picnic and camping areas and the Visitor Centre building are all reasonably accessible at Princes Margaret Rose Cave. The cave itself is accessed via steep and slippery stairs and is therefore poorly accessible. A limestone cave in Mount Gambier (not far across the South Australian border) offers better access for people with a disability.

 

Nearby Parks

 

>> Cape Nelson State Park
>> Discovery Bay Costal Park
>> Mount Eccles National Park
>> Mount Richmond National Park

 

Activities

 

Accommodation, Boating, Camping, Canoeing, Fishing, Walking, Water Skiing

 

Guided Activities

 

1. Bicycle Touring
2. Birdwatching
3. Boat Tours: Motorised
4. Bushwalking
5. Canoeing / Kayaking
6. Coach/Bus Tours
7. Fishing
8. Four Wheel Drive Tours
9. Horse Riding
10. Horse-Drawn Wagon Tours
11. Mountain Bike Riding
12. Rafting
13. Sea Kayaking
14. Spotlight Tours / Nightwalks

 

 

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