top of page
  • Welcome to the Patawalonga Lake

    On Kaurna Land

    You are standing at the north end of the Patawalonga Lake in Kaurna Country. The Kaurna People are the traditional owners of the Adelaide Plains and have carefully managed the land and its resources for thousands of years. The Kaurna People continue to have an important connection to the coastal plains today and have a unique cultural relationship to the land and waters. This includes a responsibility to look after the wellbeing of country. This area was originally a tidal estuary with dunes and wetlands. Fish, birds and other wildlife continue to rely on the sheltered waters of this managed lake system.

    Dolphins in the Patawalonga

    The dolphins that enter the Patawalonga are Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins. Dolphins are mammals: they breathe air, are warm blooded and give birth to live young. Dolphins are highly intelligent and quick learners. They demonstrate self awareness, problem solving, innovation, empathy, grief, joy and playfulness. Dolphins use clicks and whistles to communicate. Clicks are used to sense their surroundings through echolocation. Dolphins travel the entire length of the Pat. Some of the dolphin behaviours regularly observed include fishing, travelling, breaching, spy hopping, logging (resting) and tail slapping. Dolphins are protected by law in South Australia under the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1972.It is illegal to feed, touch, harass or harm marine mammals.

Welcome to the Patawalonga Lake

On Kaurna Land

You are standing at the north end of the Patawalonga Lake in Kaurna Country. The Kaurna People are the traditional owners of the Adelaide Plains and have carefully managed the land and its resources for thousands of years. The Kaurna People continue to have an important connection to the coastal plains today and have a unique cultural relationship to the land and waters. This includes a responsibility to look after the wellbeing of country. This area was originally a tidal estuary with dunes and wetlands. Fish, birds and other wildlife continue to rely on the sheltered waters of this managed lake system.

Dolphins in the Patawalonga

The dolphins that enter the Patawalonga are Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins. Dolphins are mammals: they breathe air, are warm blooded and give birth to live young. Dolphins are highly intelligent and quick learners. They demonstrate self awareness, problem solving, innovation, empathy, grief, joy and playfulness. Dolphins use clicks and whistles to communicate. Clicks are used to sense their surroundings through echolocation. Dolphins travel the entire length of the Pat. Some of the dolphin behaviours regularly observed include fishing, travelling, breaching, spy hopping, logging (resting) and tail slapping. Dolphins are protected by law in South Australia under the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1972.It is illegal to feed, touch, harass or harm marine mammals.

BMX Park

picnic shelter

Nearest picnic shelter

Please call the Marine Mammal Emergency number (0427 556 676) if you see:

    - ​people feeding or harassing dolphins 

Educational resources

Fact sheet: Marine Mammal information

Activity: Marine Animals of SA bookmarks

Activity: Patawalonga Dolphin Trail bookmarks

Useful links

DEW Patawalonga Lake System

Feeding dolphins disrupts their natural feeding patterns

Trail stations

at the South Gates

1

Station 1

at the South Gates

along the South-East bank

2

Station 2

along the South-East bank

opposite the Patawilya Reserve

3

Station 3

opposite the Patawilya Reserve

at the Patawalonga boat ramp

4

Station 4

at the Patawalonga boat ramp

at the Diversion Basin

5

Station 5

at the Diversion Basin

at the Stanley St beach

7

Station 7

at the Stanley St beach

Keep in mind when watching dolphins

Dolphin behaviours

Dolphins have many different behaviours including travelling, spy hopping and tail slapping. Travelling When travelling, dolphins surface regularly and smoothly. Spy hopping Spy hopping is when a dolphin lifts its head out of the water. They may do this to observe what is happening above the water or when they are playing. Tail slapping Tail slapping may be a form of communication. It is also thought that dolphins tail slap when they are frustrated or angry.

Station 6

at the West Beach entry

bottom of page