Leigh Creek News – June 2021



An initiative by the Leigh Creek Area School has led to the opening of a new walking trail from Leigh Creek to Aroona Dam, which was recently celebrated by over 70 people.

Funding accessed by the school through the SA Healthy Towns Challenge provided the catalyst for the 10.5km Akurra Trail, which provides a new recreation experience for locals and visitors. The project was facilitated by the Leigh Creek Community Progress Association (LCCPA) and Outback Communities Authority, with the school engaging the University of Adelaide’s Mobile Language Team and Adnyamathanha Elders to develop the trail and interpretive signs. These signs provide information about Adnyamathanha culture including seasons, plants and animals, and are also in the Adnyamathanha language. Local community members assisted with trail definition, installation of interpretive signs and a number of tables and seats.

NPWS provided guidance with trail design and construction, plus feedback and design of the interpretive signs. National Parks and Wildlife Manager Tony Magor stated that providing new visitor experiences has been a focus since DEW took over management responsibility of  Aroona Dam in 2017, with non-motorised boat access and fishing already initiated.

‘The work undertaken by the different project partners has been excellent. It provides a new recreation experience for both Leigh Creek locals and visitors, improving people’s wellbeing. It also provides a learning experience and raises awareness of Adnyamathanha culture through the interpretive signs. NPWS thanks everyone involved in this project and they should be proud of the outcome.’

‘The project represents a wonderful community collaborative effort and will hopefully be the first of many walking trails from Leigh Creek’ said Heather Hage from the LCCPA NPWS and the Leigh Creek Community Progress Association will now turn their focus to upgrading and re-opening an old walking trail with associated interpretive signs and seating that provides a stunning view over Aroona Dam.


Since the Department for Environment and Water took on management responsibility of the Aroona Dam sanctuary, a number of changes to the way the sanctuary is managed have occurred. While new recreation experiences such as on water non-motorised boat access and fishing through stocking with Yellow belly and Murray Cod has occurred, managing the sanctuary’s biodiversity has also changed.

Prior to DEW being involved at Aroona Dam, goat control was undertaken by mustering. Now goat control is undertaken via an integrated approach through DEW’s Bounceback program. The Bounceback program is a landscape-scale restoration program managing threats such as feral animals and weeds, to benefit biodiversity in the Flinders Ranges, Olary Ranges and Gawler Ranges. For Aroona Dam, goat control now involves goat mustering plus other ground and aerial control methods which involves shooting. When these shooting programs are underway, Aroona Dam is closed in the interest of public safety. Notices are put up in Leigh Creek as well as at entry point Aroona Dam, and these entry points are closed to the public – which includes visitors and locals.

During the most recent ground control program at Aroona Dam, two locals entered via a closed entry point that had a sign stating the sanctuary was closed. Fortunately, people undertaking the control program saw the two locals and questioned why they were in the sanctuary when it was closed for ground control operations. This was a very fortunate outcome as a worst-case scenario incident would have been tragic. In the interest of your own safety and potentially life, please adhere to closure notices and signs and do not under any circumstances enter Aroona Dam when it is closed for goat control programs.


LC News June 2021 - email

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