Obrovac adorns the river Zrmanja. With its beauty it is a real treat for nature lovers. Because of its spatial position it is called "Hidden Beauty".
Zrmanj springs in "Zrmanja Vrelo" in Lika at the foot of the mountain Poštak. Along its 69 kilometers cuts in hard Velebit karst. The main tributaries of her, with Krnjeza and Krupa, constitute "Lika" river "Ričica" and "Otuča". It gets its water from a number of caves that complement "Čudina", "Ðurica", "Čavlinska", "Milića", etc.
Zrmanja is characterized by rich flora and fauna. Apart from tiny organisms such as endemic snails, "Vodenbubura" and amphipods, we can also find a greater population cave salamander.
It flows through the "Mokro polje" (where at summer dries up), then through "Ervenik" (downstream from Ervenik spring "Crni bunar" and from there it has a steady stream), "Žegarsko polje" (after the village "Žegar" dominates the high canyon, and it runs up to 300 meters) and over village "Bilišani" through town of "Obrovac", and at the end flows into the "Novigrad Sea".
Flora and fauna of the river Zrmanja can be divided into two parts, from the source to the last waterfall ("Jankovića buk"), and since the last waterfall to the mouth. Until the last waterfall "Zrmanja" is like any karst river. On the part below "Jankovića buk" it is mixed with the sea and its water becomes brackish. Town of Obrovac is located about 4 km downstream from "Jankovića buk", and 11 kilometers upstream from the confluence with the Novigrad Sea.
In this bottom, brackish, part "Zrmanja" is characterized by a large number of species of marine fish. Some of them are sea bass, sea bream, mullet, eel, flounder, smelt, face, sole, etc. From cephalopods during seasone you can find squid, octopus and cuttlefish. From birds you can encounter white and gray heron, cormorant, duck Mallard, dove, the peregrine falcon, hawk karst, and others. The vegetation that is struggling in a harsh canyon deeply cuted into the rocks we are finding spruce, beech, black hornbeam, white ash, and in some parts even fir and oak.
Some of poisonous animals that can be found on the lower part of the river "Zrmanja" are the snake "Viper" and the "Black widow" spider.
On this part of the river "Zrmanja" - "Jankovića buk" are remainings of the former water mills. These water mills that still today can be seen (although eroded by time) are specific in their structure because their water wheels were laid horizontally on the ground unlike traditional waterwheels that were constructed vertically, so we can say that that was a forerunner of today's modern turbines.
It remains to me to finally say that tourism in Obrovac develops from year to year. Increased tourist offer (rafting, canoeing, boat excursions, walking tours, photo safari and many other really interesting activities). If you are passing, stop and take a break at least for a moment, enjoying the delights of our one and only "Hidden Beautie" - "Zrmanja".
Written by: Marko Modrić