Onkaparinga Estuary

Where is it?: The Onkaparinga Estuary preserves the sand dunes from Saltfleet Bridge to the sea. It is the largest dune landform in the region, being nearly 2 km long, 250 m at its widest, and rising to 20 m. The sand spit has diverted the river mouth towards the south, suggesting that, for this short section of the coast, littoral drift is north to south, a local reversal of the usual situation along the shores of the Gulf St Vincent. The area is part of the Encounter Marine Park. Car parking is available adjacent to Saltfleet Road Bridge and along Weatherald Terrace opposite the Southport Surf Life Saving Club. It can be accessed by Bus Routes 745 or 747 from the Noarlunga Centre Interchange (Seaford Circuit: Stop 74 on Saltfleet Road).

Owner: The dune and the samphire within the last 2 bends of the river are Crown Lands Act Reserve in the care of the City of Onkaparinga.

Property summary: Total area of 31 hectares. Hundred of Willunga – Allotment 2 (Plan 67564) and Section 1621.

Landscape Management Region: Green Adelaide

Habitat: The remnant vegetation includes Coastal Daisy (Olearia axillaris) shrubland. The reserve includes the South Port Noarlunga Dunes and an area of low lying samphire along the eastern shores of the Onkaparinga River.

Total Species Recorded to Date: (non-passerines 52, passerines 25)

Common Species:  Little Pied Cormorant, *Spotted Dove, Silver Gull, White-faced Heron, Singing Honeyeater, Australian White Ibis

Less Common Species: Sacred Kingfisher, Osprey,  Sandpiper, Marsh Sandpiper, Yellow-billed Spoonbill


Updated: 1/03/2022


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