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Find a Park > Adelaide

Shepherds Hill Recreation Park

  • Dogs on Lead
  • Horse Riding
  • Walking Trails
  • Bird Watching
  • Cycling


This suburban park holds some unexpected attractions. Come and discover the magnificent remnant grey box eucalypts environment and take in the 360 degree views of the surrounding Adelaide plains, coastline and hills.

You can ride your bike on roads open to the public or use the specific cycling trails and tracks on offer in Shepherds Hill Recreation Park. If you are a bit more adventurous with your bike riding, the park offers a bicycle jumps-track.

A horse riding and Archery club are located in the park. Please contact the respective clubs if you would like to become a member to use these facilities.

Opening hours

Open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Closures and safety

This park is closed on days of Catastrophic Fire Danger and may also be closed on days of Extreme Fire Danger.

You can determine the current fire danger rating by checking the Fire Ban District map on the CFS website.

Check the CFS website or call the CFS Bushfire Information Hotline 1800 362 361 for:

Listen to your local area radio station for the latest updates and information on fire safety.

Contact details

Visitor information, bookings and park management:

Black Hill Natural Resources Centre
Phone: (+61 8) 8336 0901

Emergency contacts:

Medical, fire (including bushfire) and police emergency situations
Phone: Triple Zero (000)

Police Assistance
Phone: 131 444 for non-urgent police assistance

National Parks and Wildlife Service SA – After-hours duty officer
Phone: 0427 556 676 

Injured wildlife:

Within the park
Please contact Black Hill Natural Resource Centre on (08) 8336 0901 or the after-hours duty officer on 0427 556 676 (outside of business hours)

Outside of the park
Please contact a local wildlife rescue group

When to visit

This park is great to visit at any time of the year. 

The summer months from December through to February can be very hot and dry. If you are lucky enough to visit the park a few weeks after a soaking rain, you will be rewarded with ephemeral wildflowers and the sound of frogs in flowing creeks.

Getting there

Shepherds Hill Recreation Park is located 11km south of Adelaide. Access is via Ayliffes Road, St Marys and Ellis Avenue, Eden Hills. 

If you're in your own vehicle, you can find this park on the map.

There is also public transport to this park from the Adelaide city centre.  Bikes can be carried on trains, but restrictions apply.  Please refer to Adelaide Metro website for further details.

Videos and virtual tours

Shepherds Hill Park - a view from above

Assistance dogs

Assistance dogs are permitted in most public places and are therefore welcome in South Australia’s parks and reserves. Assistance dogs must be appropriately restrained on a lead and remain under your effective control at all times while in a park or reserve.

As per the dogs in parks and reserves policy, if the dog is not an accredited assistance dog, they must be trained to assist a person with a disability to alleviate that disability and meet standards of hygiene and behaviour appropriate for a dog in a public place. However, refusal may be given if the person with the disability is unable to produce evidence the dog is an assistance dog with the appropriate training.

Before taking your assistance dog into a park that does not normally allow dogs, it is highly recommended that you contact us so we can provide you with the latest information on any potential hazards within specific parks that may affect your dog. Please contact the park via the contact details provided under the contact tab or contact the visitor service centre via email or on Facebook, or you can live chat with a customer service representative on the website Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm.

Dogs allowed (on lead)

Dogs are welcome in this park.

Please ensure you:

  • Keep your dog under control and on a lead no more than two metres in length.
  • Stick to designated walking trails.
  • Bring disposable bags to clean up your dog’s faeces (please be aware there are no bins in national parks).

Discover other parks you can walk your dog in on our find a park tool or read 12 dog-friendly walks in Adelaide Parks by Good Living for inspiration.


There are no facilities in the park. Please ensure you carry sufficient water, food and supplies for your entire visit. It is also a good idea to let a responsible person know of your intended movements and when you expect to return.

Useful information

  • Mobile phone coverage is good in most areas of the park.

  • Important: Collection of firewood within National Parks is prohibited. Dead wood plays a vital role in providing shelter for animals and adding nutrients to the soil.

Teach and learn resources

 If you are looking to visit Shepherds Hill Recreation Park for educational purposes, you might like to check out our Educational Pack tailored to Shepherds Hill. This pack was developed for schools and families by park rangers and the Natural Resources Adelaide and Mt Lofty Ranges’ NRM Education team.

Plants and animals

There are two distinct native ecosystems in the park, the red gum dominated river flats, and the greybox grassy woodland. Both were typical of the Adelaide region but, due to land clearing and development, the greybox, eucalyptus microcarpa, and its understorey has now diminished to the extent that this plant association has been given a high conservation rating.

Over the past years, the 'friends of' group has removed olives, boneseed and other weeds, and have discovered a wonderful collection of native plants that have been overshadowed and crowded out by the more aggressive weeds. During a working bee the pale flax lily, dianella longifolia, a plant that is rare and at risk, was discovered.

One of the most precious plants is the variable glycine, glycine tabacina, a scrambling legume with small purple pea shaped flowers. This plant is rare and in danger of becoming extinct. It is under constant threat not only from the competition with weeds and being overshadowed by olives but also from trampling feet and bike tyres.

The 'friends of' group have noted 16 different plant species in the park which have conservation ratings from uncommon to endangered. 

Flora and fauna species lists

To download flora (plants) and fauna (animals) species lists for this park, use the 'Create Simple Species List' tab under 'Flora Tools' or 'Fauna Tools'  in NatureMaps

Pests and diseases

Phytophthora (fy-TOFF-thora), otherwise known as root-rot fungus, is killing our native plants and threatens the survival of animals depending on plants for food and shelter.

This introduced fungus can be found in plant roots, soil and water. Help stop the spread by using hygiene stations, staying on tracks and trails and by complying with all Phytophthora management signs.

Traditional owners

Prior to European settlement, the Kaurna (Gar-na) people lived in areas like Shepherds Hill during the cooler months, using the woodlands for fire, warmth and shelter. During the summer, the Kaurna lived along the coast, taking advantage of cool, ocean breezes.

Aboriginal peoples have occupied, enjoyed and managed the lands and waters of this State for thousands of generations. For Aboriginal first nations, creation ancestors laid down the laws of the Country and bestowed a range of customary rights and obligations to the many Aboriginal Nations across our state. 

There are many places across the State that have great spiritual significance to Aboriginal first nations.  At some of these places Aboriginal cultural protocols, such as restricted access, are promoted and visitors are asked to respect the wishes of Traditional Owners.

In places where protocols are not promoted visitors are asked to show respect by not touching or removing anything, and make sure you take all your rubbish with you when you leave.

Aboriginal peoples continue to play an active role in caring for their Country, including in parks across South Australia. 

European history

Much of Shepherds Hill Recreation Park was cleared around the time of settlement for grazing purposes and building materials. Some of the flatter areas of the park were used for cropping too. Sheep were grazed on the land up until the late 1950s, when domestic dogs became an issue. Horses were agisted until 1969, which is when all grazing rights were finally withdrawn. 

Although the land was still being used for grazing, the park was acquired for recreational purposes in 1953 by the South Australian Government Tourist Bureau and dedicated as a National Park Pleasure Resort from 1955. With the introduction of the National Parks and Wildlife Act in 1972, the park was dedicated as the Shepherds Hill Recreation Park in 1972.

See and do

Rangers recommend

We have picked the brains of our park rangers to find out what they would recommend you see and do whilst visiting this park.

  • Take in the view of Adelaide city from the top of Ridge Track.
  • Try and hug an old grey box tree and learn about the importance of hollows in trees. Tree hollows are essential to our many hollow-nesting birds such as kookaburras and rosellas.
  • Look out for the amazing birdlife within the park.
  • Challenge yourself on the network of mountain bike trails in the park.  For the more adventurous try "The Bowl" bicycle jumps-track.
  • In spring, visit the park and look for the variety of flowering native plants. 
  • Get inspired by the 10 things to see and do in Shepherd Hill Recreation Park list on the Good Living Blog.
  • Check out Nature Play SA's 40 things to do in Shepherds Hill Recreation Park.


Bushwalking is a fantastic way to connect with nature, keep fit and spend time with family and friends. South Australia's national parks feature a range of trails that let you experience a diversity of landscapes.

Easy walks

  • River Red Gum Loop (30 mins, 2.3km loop)

    An easy trail that follows the Viaduct Creek. Includes options to continue walking into Waitaparinga Reserve. No access through Archery Club when red flag is flying. Best walked in a clockwise direction.

Moderate hike

  • Seaview loop (30 mins, 2.2km loop)

    A wide track with great views of the sea and surrounding park. Great for walking the dog or walking and running in groups. Some steep and loose sections of track.

  • Grey Box Loop (45 mins, 2.8km loop)

    A challenging trail exploring the southern side of the park. Experience the Grassy Grey Box Woodlands restoration work. Best walked in an anti-clockwise direction.

Mountain biking

You can ride your bike on public roads and any specific cycling trails and tracks on offer in this park. 

Please obey signs and use the trail classifications and descriptions, where available, to select trails suitable to your ability. Many trails are shared, so always keep an eye out for others. Generally, cyclists give way to pedestrians. Please be considerate of all trail users at all times.

Feeling adventurous? This park also offers a challenging bicycle jumps-track.

Learn more about cycling in SA's parks, including other parks offering cycle tracks, trail classification and read the trail user code of practice for important points to remember when planning your bike ride.


  • Kids Zone (50m)

    A safe and easy area where children can practice and experience riding on dirt. Try some of the beginner trail features. Natural surfaced trails with timber structures.

  • River Red Gum Loop (2.3km loop)

    An easy trail that follows the Viaduct Creek. Suitable for beginner cyclists. No access through Archery Club when red flag is flying. Best ridden in a clockwise direction.


  • The Bowl - Pump Track (100m)

    A pump track with several areas and features to suit riders with a range of abilities. This is a bikes only area. Be aware of other riders using the bowl.

  • Seaview loop (2.2km loop)

    A wide track with great views of the sea and surrounding park. Some steep and loose sections of track.

  • Grey Box Loop (2.8km loop)

    A challenging trail exploring the southern side of the park. Experience the Grassy Grey Box Woodlands restoration work. Best ridden in an anti-clockwise direction.

  • Diagonal Ascent (700m)

    A great little trail up to the ridge. Use this track to reach the top and try a different route down! One way trail, climbing only.

  • Intermediate DH 1,2 & 3 (2km)

    Mix up your descents by trying the three different ways of linking up the new and old downhill trails. One way trail, descending only.

Horse riding

You can ride along the shared use trails within the park as per the park signage.

For information on the horse-riding club &/or riding facilities located within the park, contact:

Jenny Charlesworth, President, Marion Riding Club: 0421 400 959 or
Jane Jeffery, Secretary/Treasurer: 0414 892 927.

Generally both cyclists and walkers give way to horses, and cyclists give way to walkers.

Stay in the park

Camping is not permitted within this park.

  • Use Find a Park to discover which parks you can camp in.


Try your hand at archery, at the Eden Field Archers club, who lease 4 hectares of Shepherds Hill Recreation Park.

There a 14 permanent field butts and a clubroom located in the park. Regular club competition is held every Saturday.


Friends of Shepherds Hill Recreation Park

A group of dedicated volunteers working to advance the environmental rehabilitation of Shepherds Hill Recreation Park. This group values members with a concern for this invaluable natural resource. The group conducts working bees at the park on the first Saturday of each month at 9.00 am. 

If you think you might be interested in volunteering opportunities within this park please contact our Volunteer Support Unit.



The international Trail Users Code of Conduct is to show respect and courtesy towards other trail users at all times.

Ensure that you:

  • when hiking, wear sturdy shoes, a hat and sunscreen
  • be aware of weather conditions and avoid walking during the hottest part of the day
  • make sure you have appropriate weather proof clothing
  • carry enough water to be self-sufficient
  • please be respectful of other users at all times
  • stay on the designated trails and connector tracks for your own safety, and prevent the spread of declared weeds to other areas in the park
  • ensure someone knows your approximate location and expected time of return
  • take appropriate maps.
  • Walk, hike or trek - what's the difference?

Mountain biking

Trail Users Code of Practice

To protect the surrounding environment and to ensure the safety of all riders and shared trail users, please be aware of the international Trail Users Code of Practice when using shared trails. Important points to remember include:

  • plan your ride
  • comply with all signs
  • ride only on formed tracks/trails
  • share the trail - obey give way rules
  • avoid riding in wet, muddy conditions
  • ride lightly and leave no trace or rubbish
  • control your bike within your limits
  • clean your bike to avoid the spread of weeds or plant diseases
  • carry sufficient food and drinking water
  • respect the rights of others
  • tell others about the code

Know before you go

Every national park is different, each has its own unique environment, it is important to be responsible while enjoying all the park has to offer.

Please ensure that you:

  • keep your dog on a lead at all times and check if there are areas of the park where dogs are not allowed
  • do not feed birds or other animals, it promotes aggressive behaviour and an unbalanced ecology
  • do not bring generators (except where permitted), chainsaws or firearms into the park
  • leave the park as you found it - there are no bins in national parks, please come prepared to take your rubbish with you.  
  • abide by the road rules (maintain the speed limit)
  • respect geological and heritage sites
  • do not remove native plants
  • are considerate of other park users.

  • Important: Collection of firewood within National Parks is prohibited. Dead wood plays a vital role in providing shelter for animals and adding nutrients to the soil.



Can I have a fire or barbecue?

  • Wood fires and solid fuel fires are prohibited throughout the year.
  • Gas fires and liquid fuel fires are permitted, other than on days of total fire ban.
  • Ensure you are familiar with the fire restrictions for this park.

Closures and safety

This park is closed on days of Catastrophic Fire Danger and may also be closed on days of Extreme Fire Danger.

You can determine the current fire danger rating by checking the Fire Ban District map on the CFS website.

Check the CFS website or call the CFS Bushfire Information Hotline 1800 362 361 for:

Listen to your local area radio station for the latest updates and information on fire safety.


Heavy rainfall can cause creeks to rise and flow rapidly. Please do not cross rapidly flowing creeks as there is a risk of slipping and falling.


Why does my dog need to be on a lead?

If your dog is off lead, it is more likely to impact on native wildlife and other visitors in a park and be at risk itself.

Risks to wildlife:

  • Dogs off tracks will leave a scent in the bush that will keep wildlife away.
  • Uncontrolled dogs may frighten wildlife and disrupt their natural behaviour.
  • Some dogs will kill or injure wildlife.

Risks to other park visitors

  • Dogs may be aggressive to other park visitors.
  • Even friendly dogs can knock people over causing injury.
  • Some people want to enjoy parks without dogs.

Risks to your dog

  • Poison baits may be laid to control foxes. Baits can be fatal to dogs.
  • Even if your dog is friendly, other dogs may not be.
  • Your dog can catch parasites (such as fleas and ticks) from wildlife.
  • Snake bites are a real risk in natural areas such as parks.
  • Wildlife such as kangaroos and koalas will defend themselves if threatened by a dog and can cause significant injury to or the death of your dog.


Park maps

Maps on your mobile

If you have a smartphone or tablet you can download the free Avenza PDF Map app and have interactive national park maps on hand when you need them.

The app uses your device's built-in GPS to plot your real-time location within the park onto a map. The app can be used without a network connection and without roaming charges. You can also measure area and distance, plot photos and drop placemark pins. 

How to get it working on your device:

1. Download the Avenza PDF maps app from the app store whilst you are still in range (its free!).
2. Open up the app and click the shopping cart icon.
3. Click ‘Find’ and type the name of the national park or reserve you are looking for.
4. Click on the map you are after and install it (all our maps are free).
5. You will now find a list of your installed maps on the home page of the Avenza app.
6. Use our maps through the Avenza PDF map app while in the park and never take a wrong turn again.


Entry fees

Come and enjoy this park for free. 

Park pass

This park is not included in the park pass system. 

Camping and accommodation

There is no camping or accommodation available within this park. 

Other fees and permits

There are no other fees or permits associated with this park. 

PDF Park Brochure