aldinga washpool

Creating Aldinga Conservation Park

Aldinga Conservation Park in Adelaide’s southern fringe has now been proclaimed (January 2022), bringing together several significant parcels of conservation land into one consolidated conservation park.

The 340-hectare park is comprised of the ecologically valuable Aldinga Washpool site, a rare ephemeral freshwater wetland, and the former Aldinga Scrub Conservation Park land.

The area includes 67 hectares of high biodiversity land, which provides valuable habitat for at least 79 native species.

Among these species is three bird species of national conservation significance – the Australasian bittern (Botaurus poiciloptilus), the Australian painted snipe (Rostratula australis) and the hooded plover (Thinornis rubricollis).

Consolidating these adjacent land parcels into one park has been a priority for the state and local governments and the community, and will enable an even greater level of protection to the habitat and species under the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1972.

A park management planning process will commence this year to bring together hydrological, ecological, and cultural work done to date, and engage with community about the future management of the new park.

A small number of land parcels adjacent to the newly proclaimed area are subject to resolution of land tenure issues and are still under consideration for possible future inclusion in the park

About the area

Aldinga Conservation Park is made up of the Aldinga Washpool site and the former Aldinga Scrub Conservation Park.

Map of Aldinga Scrub Conservation Park (click on the map to download a PDF copy)
Map of Aldinga Scrub Conservation Park (click on the map to download a PDF copy)

Aldinga Washpool, 50 km south of Adelaide, is one of Adelaide’s last remaining coastal freshwater and estuarine lagoon systems.

It is a well-known habitat for a wide range of native species, particularly birds and swamp plants, many of which have significant conservation value.

This includes a threatened coastal saltmarsh which is nationally listed as a vulnerable threatened ecological community.

The washpool site is also of considerable spiritual and cultural significance to the Kaurna people. It is part of the Tjilbruke Dreaming Trail and contains registered sites under the Aboriginal Heritage Act 1988 (SA), including numerous archaeological sites and artefacts.

Meanwhile, the land occupied by the former Aldinga Scrub Conservation Park is home to a diverse range of rare plants and is recognised as a significant area for the conservation and protection of the region's flora and fauna.

Situated in the Willunga sub-basin, the former Aldinga Scrub Conservation Park features an impressive backdrop of sand dunes, sand blows (mobile dunes) and remnant coastal vegetation.

Lacy coral lichen, nardoo, hairy sedge and several species of orchids are among the park's rare species of flora. Remember to look out for the short-beaked echidnas, lizards, bats and the diverse range of birds that live in the park.

Visiting Aldinga Conservation Park

Visitors are welcome at Aldinga Conservation Park and can enjoy activities like bushwalking and fishing in the area of the park formerly dedicated to Aldinga Scrub Conservation Park, but should note that facilities and access is limited in the washpool section of the park.

A park management planning process will commence in the coming months, which will set the direction for its future land usage and visitor amenities.

To find out more about visitor facilities across the park, visit the Aldinga Conservation Park listing.

Project origins

The Aldinga Washpool site spans a number of land tenures, owned by various government agencies including the City of Onkaparinga, SA Water, the Department for Environment and Water and the Minister for Planning and Local Government.

The various land owners have worked collaboratively for a number of years to realise conservation and management outcomes.

The community has long expressed a strong desire for the land to be protected from development and for the cultural and environmental values to be protected and restored.

Relevant agencies have been working to consolidate tenure to allow protection of the land under the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1972.

The creation of Aldinga Conservation Park, bringing together Aldinga Washpool and the former Aldinga Scrub Conservation Park, will allow for this greater protection.

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