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Fleurieu Swamps in Mount Compass

Home > Adelaide > Outdoor | Nature | Escape the City | Animals and Wildlife | Walks
by Jenny Esots (subscribe)
A freelance writer and traveller who likes to explore the spiritual, literary and hidden gems of Adelaide and beyond.
Published October 20th 2015
Raising the Profile of Swamps
Mount Compass is home to many swamp places. A wetlands boardwalk and interpretative trail is situated near the Primary School in Arthur Road, Mount Compass. It is 730 metres, which is easily accessed and goes over some very wet swampy areas and seasonally dry areas. Further information on this trail is available here

Mount Compass Swamp entrance
Mount Compass Swamp entrance

Mount Compass Swamp
Another swamp trail has been constructed near the Mount Compass Tavern and behind the Mount Compass shops. It has excellent paths, signage and information plus exciting modern sculpture. It is an easy walk within a short distance of the Mount Compass shops. The Mount Compass shops now include a pop up Home Grain Bakery available on Fridays and Saturdays and the popular café Fleurieu Dish, which serves an economic breakfast, lunch and snacks.

Mount Compass countryside around the swamp
Mount Compass countryside around the swamp

Fleurieu Dish Mount Compass
Fleurieu Dish Mount Compass

What is a Swamp?
Readers may be surprised to learn that swamps have a valuable role to play within our storm water systems and environment. Swamps have unique ecosystems, which are home to many special organisms and species of birds, fish and animals. The Fleurieu Penninsula has many swamps and wetland areas. The Fleuireu swamps exist on waterlogged soils and generally have a central area that is permanently wet. Healthy swamps rarely have open water like a pond. Instead they have thick vegetation such as sedges, healthy plants and ferns. Trees are not always present but may be scattered through the swamp or around the edges.

Mount Compass Swamp
Mount Compass Swamp

Key Ecological Places
Swamps have important roles to play in the ecosystem. There main functions are to store, cleanse and release water over time, protecting the landscape against drought. They also serve to filter and trap sentiments and nutrients and help break down pollutants. Swamps also act like sponges as a buffer against the impact of floods and keep water in the landscape.

Mount Compass Swamp
Mount Compass Swamp

Home to many Endangered species
The Fleurieu swamps contain many threatened, vulnerable and rare species of native plants. Over half of the 170 native plants and animals found in Fleurieu swamps have conservation significance and are endangered including the Southern emu wren, Yarra Pygmy Perch and Southern Brown Bandicoot.

Mount Compass Swamp entrance
Mount Compass Swamp entrance

The Fleurieu swamps are listed as a critically endangered, threatened ecological community. They are home to plants and animals that are found nowhere else in Australia. Without protecting the swamps, these plants and animals will become extinct in the wild. Raising the profile of swamps is a good place to start.

Fleurieu Swamp Places
Fleurieu Swamp Places
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Why? Forgotten Swamp Places
When: Open all year
Where: Commences in car park off the beginning of Nangkita Road behind the Mount Compass Shops
Cost: Free
Your Comment
Fascinating, thanks Jenny - I have never heard of the swamps
by Dave Walsh (score: 4|11307) 2000 days ago
I have never heard of this either! Thanks for the article Jenny!
by Paula McManus (score: 3|3663) 1999 days ago
Hi Jenny,
It's great that you're sharing the importance of Fleurieu Swamps! Just to clarify though, the Mount Compass School Swamp Boardwalk, which was upgraded and reopened in 2014 (, is across from the school on Arthur Rd. The pictures you've taken are of the newly constructed Mount Compass Wetland. If you're up that way again you should visit the other boardwalk, it's a great walk.
by jodie (score: 0|2) 1924 days ago
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