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this is katarapko page 1 to u[n]sa katarapko page 2 to u[n]sa katarapko page 3
pelicans glide on a tranquil murray river at sunrise - link to web feature image [73 kb] full moonrise through red-gum branches - link to web feature image  [154kb] undercut bank creates an aerial mat of red-gum roots - link to web feature image [110kb] canoeists paradise; a broad billabong on eckerts creek - link to web feature image [175kb]
broad, tranquil katarapko creek, a murray anabranch; katarapko island at right - link to web feature image [189 kb] broad serene katarapko waters at sunrise- link to web feature image [151 kb] phragmites; the common reed - link to web feature image [175 kb]
sedges and aquatics with morning sunlight catching scraps of creek mist - link to web feature image [158 kb] eckerts creek panorama - link to web feature image [97 kb]
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murray river national park, south australia

the katarapko section of the murray river national park lies just to the south-west of the prominent fruit and wine growing town of berri, and north and opposite to loxton.  the murray is the largest river in australia, and the only major permanent water-course in south australia

the park forms a key component of the vast bookmark biosphere reserve, a network of national and conservation parks, privately-owned sanctuaries, and pastoral lands being managed for conservation and minimal biodiversity impact

this diverse wetland with its relatively undisturbed vegetation is both an important habitat for a range of terrestrial and aquatic animals, and an outstanding destination for stream-bank relaxation, walking, bike-riding and canoeing

 
broad, tranquil katarapko creek, a murray anabranch; katarapko island at right - link to web feature image [189 kb]   the katarapko creek is actually an ana-branch (former major channel) of the main river, and much of the park is taken up by katarapko island (right bank in the picture), which is fomed by these two large - by australian standards - rivers  
       
canoeists paradise; a broad billabong on eckerts creek - link to web feature image [175kb]   many smaller creeks braid across the broad flood-plain, including the narrow channels and broad billabongs of eckerts creek (left, and the sweeping panorama bottom-right in the main image above)and the poetically-named the splash
 
 
       
the grand sweep of the murray above lock 4 - link to web feature image [151 kb]      the broad sweep of the murray river forms the eastern boundary of the park, with fine, substantial forests on either bank giving a strong feel for the area's pre-invasion look.  the tall, seeding grasses in the foreground of the photo are Phragmites, the common reed
 
 
       
ancient red gum on the bank of the murray aposite the bookpurnong (goldmine) cliffs - link to web feature image [119 kb]     
river red gums - Eucalyptus camaldulensis - the majestic giants of inland australia, are the dominant trees on the river banks of all the major water-courses and lagoons in the area.  unfortunately these trees are suffering the impacts of dramatically reduced water flows (and vital flooding) and rising salinity along over 1000 kms (600 miles) of the river system - including the murray river national park - and many of the trees surrounding now long-dry lagoons on the floodplains are in very-obviously stressed condition
 
 
       
rough grey trunks of the river box (Euc. largiflorens) on the western bank of the murray contrast with the brilliant colours of the bookpurnong (goldmine) cliffs - link to web feature image [202 kb]   the rough-barked river boxes - Eucalyptus largiflorens - are the major tree of the flood-plains.  these specimens have a beautiful prostrate creeping boobialla (Myoporum parvifolium) growing beneath themthe cliffs visible in the background of this photo (and above left) are the goldmine cliffs of bookpurnong.  the shrubby, sparse mallee vegetation above them shows clearly that, beyond the lush oasis of the river floodplain, this is an arid area indeed  
       
       
       
       
 

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