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Coorong National Park

Coorong National Park is a long, shallow lagoon more than 100 km in length, and an ecosystem of extraordinary importance in South Australia. It lies approximately 150 km southeast of Adelaide, in a quite rural area of the state. Its name is derived from the Aboriginal word "Coorang", which means sand dune, a reference to the great sand dune systems that make up a large part of the national park on the shores of the Southern Ocean. The park was formed in 1966 as a sanctuary for many species of birds, animals and fish. It is a refuge for animals during some of Australia's long periods of drought. One of the unique things about the Coorong is the interaction of water along its length, with sea water and fresh water from the Murray River meeting. The freshwater supports the fauna of the area while the sea water is the habitat for much of the birdlife. Geologically the Coorong is a set of complex and ancient sand dunes. The oldest were formed about 120,000 years ago. Some of that original dune still remains on Young Husband Peninsula. The modern day Coorong was formed between 6,000 and 20,000 years ago when the seas started to rise and form an island on top of the 80,000 year old dune. This produced a lagoon behind the present line of seaward dunes, which is now very well protected from howling southerly winds and waves. At the time there were probably many access points from the sea to the lagoon but over time wind and sand filled these in creating this unique neck of land.