Two Wells, Lewiston & Districts Landcare Group

By Mark Webb

Last weekend my son and I went to Port Gawler with his kayak. I have always wanted to explore the mangroves and tributaries within our region and wondered where the Gawler River system reaches the ocean. As a kid one of the best places to be was down the local creek or even better a creek that needed to be explored.

I can now cross this one off my bucket list. 

The only thing that broke the silence as we travelled up the creeks was the array of different birds that call these environments home and the sound of running water as it flowed into the creek. Travelling by kayak through this near pristine environment must be one of the best ways to see this amazing ecosystem at its best.

I say near pristine because even near the mouth of the Gawler River there was evidence of the rubbish, including bottles, cans and paper etc dumped into the river system upstream from areas kilometres away. 

This river meanders through many council regions including Gawler, Playford and Mallala. Some of this rubbish enters the river via the stormwater drains.

It was obvious that some rubbish wouldn’t fit into a drain system; you could say how does it get there?

Unfortunately I have to say some people just throw rubbish into the river and it ends up in the sea eventually, the consequences of this pollution can kill birds, fish and our local dolphin population. 

Pt Gawler is within the new International Bird Sanctuary, which is being created to help protect resident and migratory shorebirds that gather along the coast of Gulf St Vincent. Some of these migratory birds travel from Siberia, Alaska, Korea and beyond to reach our backyard to feed. 

If you want to learn more or get involved with the Adelaide Bird Sanctuary visit

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