Your guide to camping at Para Wirra Conservation Park

Your guide to camping at Para Wirra Conservation Park

Con­sid­er­ing a stay at the new Wirra Camp­ground but not sure what to expect? Here’s every­thing you need to know.

Sit­u­at­ed on the west­ern side of Para Wirra Con­ser­va­tion Park, the new Wirra Camp­ground makes camp­ing con­ve­nient for city-dwellers, fam­i­lies and first-time campers. It’s locat­ed just south of Gawler and is one of the clos­est places to Ade­laide that you can camp in a nation­al park.

Wirra Camp­ground offers a range sites suit­able for fam­i­lies and groups. It also makes a great base for explor­ing the park, with easy access to the lake and the new Gawler View Pic­nic Area and nature play for­est.

Before you run off to pack the car, read these use­ful insid­er tips.

Near­by activities


Check out the near­by Tree Creep­er Loop, which can be done on its own or linked to the Hissey Hike and the Lake Dis­cov­ery Trail for a longer walk. Head off with torch­es at dusk to spot noc­tur­nal wildlife.

Before you go, make sure you down­load the park maps from the Nation­al Parks South Aus­tralia web­site, or try the Aven­za PDF Map app so you can see in real-time where you are in the park.

Your guide to camping at Para Wirra Conservation Park

Barossa Gold­fields

Did you know there was a Barossa gold rush? Head to the north­ern cor­ner of the park to take one of the inter­pre­ta­tive walks around the Barossa Gold­fields and dis­cov­er what hap­pened. If you vis­it on Tues­day morn­ing or on the third Sun­day of the month, you can also check out Bowden’s Cot­tage is a muse­um run by the Barossa Gold­fields His­tor­i­cal Soci­ety.

Your guide to camping at Para Wirra Conservation Park

Moun­tain biking

It’s worth squeez­ing your bikes in next to your camp­ing gear so you can try out the Scenic Loop trail that leads to The Knob Look­out. You can also try the Lake Dis­cov­ery Loop, which is an easy ride for the kids, with lots of oppor­tu­ni­ties to stop and explore the lake edge for water bugs.

Your guide to camping at Para Wirra Conservation Park

Nature play forest

Para Wirra’s nature play for­est is about a 2.5km walk, ride or dri­ve from Wirra Camp­ground. It has plen­ty for the kids to explore, includ­ing climb­ing trees and logs, a dry creek bed, ropes and sand pits. They can build an Abo­rig­i­nal wudli (house) along the tun­nel run, use the grind­ing stones to make wat­tle seed flour or soar through the air like a fal­con on the fly­ing fox. The play­ground also has BBQ facil­i­ties and shel­ters nearby.

Why not down­load Nature Play SA’s 40 things to do in Para Wirra for ideas on how to keep the kids busy dur­ing your visit?

Your guide to camping at Para Wirra Conservation Park


Toi­lets and water

A male, female and acces­si­ble toi­let, rain­wa­ter tank and sink/​washing up sta­tion are avail­able for campers to use. The qual­i­ty of the rain­wa­ter can’t be guar­an­teed though, so come pre­pared with your own drink­ing water.

Your guide to camping at Para Wirra Conservation Park


Camp­ing at Wirra Camp­ground is a real bush expe­ri­ence and sites and facil­i­ties are not pow­ered. You will need to be pre­pared to be self-suf­fi­cient, so be sure to bring a torch or a solar-pow­ered camp light.


All camp­sites are flat with a com­pact base. There is a cov­ered camp kitchen with BBQ, sink and bench­es. All sites are acces­si­ble, although the camper trail­er sites are the fur­thest from the toilets.

Your guide to camping at Para Wirra Conservation Park

Know before you go

Book online

Wirra Camp­ground is a book before you go site, so be sure to reserve your site online before you head off.


A detailed map of the camp­site lay­out can be down­loaded from the Nation­al Parks SA website.


Fire restric­tions apply in all nation­al parks. At Para Wirra, gas fires are per­mit­ted in the camp­ground through­out the year, oth­er than on days of total fire ban. Wood fires and sol­id fuel fires are only per­mit­ted out­side of the fire ban sea­son in des­ig­nat­ed camp­fire pits. Always check the Nation­al Parks SA web­site for cur­rent Fire Dan­ger Sea­son dates, and the SA Coun­try Fire Ser­vice web­site for infor­ma­tion on fire ban days.

You must also bring your own fire­wood if you plan to have a wood fire, as the col­lec­tion of fire­wood in nation­al parks is not allowed. Wood can pur­chased near­by at Kers­brook and One Tree Hill.

If you’re going to have a camp­fire, why not try your hand at these sim­ple but tasty camp­fire cook­ing recipes?

Your guide to camping at Para Wirra Conservation Park

Vehi­cle access

All the camp­sites are acces­si­ble by 2WD, with sev­er­al of the larg­er sites also acces­si­ble to camper trailers.

Your guide to camping at Para Wirra Conservation Park

Dogs allowed (on lead)

You are allowed to camp with your dog at Wirra Camp­ground but please ensure it remains on a lead no longer than 2 metres and under your con­trol at all times.

Camper reviews

Here’s what the first peo­ple to stay at Wirra Camp­ground had to say: 

What a per­fect spot for a quick get­away. Great camp­sites for small and big groups. Hav­ing a fire pit at your site is a great addi­tion, just remem­ber to bring your own wood.’ – Michael Rhoman.

Easy to find, well sign-post­ed, gen­er­ous camper­van sites that are not too close to oth­ers. Toi­let facil­i­ties are a small walk from camper­van sites but plen­ty of paths lead there and who does­n’t appre­ci­ate a flush­ing toi­let? Love­ly spot close to home, to switch off, be amongst nature and enjoy a camp fire (at the right time of year). Tips: Bring a BBQ plate for cook­ing on the camp­fire pit and BYO drink­ing water.’ – Robyn

If you live in Ade­laide, camp­ing in Para Wirra is a great option, espe­cial­ly if it’s your first time because you won’t have to trav­el far. Check out our tips to get you start­ed, includ­ingwhat to packandhow to be a cour­te­ous camper.

(Main image cour­tesy of Michael-Rhoman)

This con­tent was pro­duced in part­ner­ship with  Good Living