Saturday, February 4, 2012

Livingstone Island, Nelson

On our second last day of stay at Cape Bridgewater in December 2011, I decided to visit Nelson. The journey via A1 took about an hour, passing by dense forests/plantations of Christmas trees.

Christmas Tree Plantation A

The first place of call in Nelson was its Information Centre. I was told we could do the 2.5 km Livingstone Island Nature Walk which is suitable for prams and would take about an hour. After parking at the end of Beach Road and following the track past the toilet block, we came to a beach, which was packed with families. This is probably Estuary Beach, according to this map.

Livingstone Island Beach 01

We realized that we were on the wrong track so we walked to a farther carpark where I found another beach, which I now think is an extension of the same Estuary Beach. There was a big group of senior citizens carrying a lot of photographic equipment. Presumably, they are members of a photography club on an excursion to take photos of the birdlife. Many people had set up tripods and were aiming their cameras at the estuary, as seen in the following photo.

Livingstone Island B

Still I could not find any sign for the Livingstone Island Nature Walk or any indication of a walking trail. I started asking people but they too do not know. Fortunately a lady pointed me to an inconspicuous location which leads to the entrance of the walk. The walking paths around the island are mainly dirt surfaces that have been cleared of vegetation. We really regretted on doing this trail as it was really difficult to push a pram through certain sections. It was also very hot on that day with little cover vegetation so negotiating a pram through the bush was an exhausting and uncomfortable experience.

Livingstone Island 08

In particular, there were a number of difficult steps prior to a boardwalk across the salt marshes, which emitted a foul, decaying odour.

Livingstone Island C
The boardwalk on the left

There is a wide variety of wildlife inhabiting Livingstone Island. Around the salt marshes you may see Striped and Spotted Marsh Frogs, as well as many types of water birds.

Bird 03

The large variety of birdlife on Livingstone Island include black swans, pelicans, spoonbills, herons and ducks. The island is also home to many kangaroos, which we did not manage to see.

Bird 02

Flora found on the island include Moonah trees, Coast Wattle, Coast Beard-Heath, and Beaded Glasswort.

Flowers 01

A viewing platform at the north-end of the track offers views of the Glenelg River, the estuary mouth and the Southern Ocean. There is also a bird hide on a branched path to the east of the island.

Livingstone Island E

You can visit this website to see what are the things you could do at Nelson. If we have managed to catch the Glenelg River Cruise or have visited the Princess Margaret Rose Cave, our experience may have been different.

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