- Bird watching
- Walking trails
Around one hour’s drive from the city of Adelaide you will find the tranquil refuge of Monarto Conservation Park.
Situated in the rain shadow of the Southern Mount Lofty Ranges to the west, it has just over half the average annual rainfall of Adelaide, and is considered semi-arid – a stark contrast to the nearby Hills environment. The River Murray is 15km to the east and Lake Alexandrina is 15km southward.
Hinting at the park's geological history, sandy ridges in this area of the Murray Plains reveal that it was once part of the ocean bed.
The thickets of mallee woodland and dry heathland provide alluring opportunities for those wishing to escape the hustle and meander amongst the vegetation in the hope of spotting southern scrub-robin and the shy heathwren. If particularly patient, visitors may also be rewarded with a spotted harrier hovering above the adjacent pasture lands. A variety of other species have been recorded in the park including the purple-gaped honey eater, spotted pardoldote, malleefowl, weebill and white-browed babler. This Park is a 'birdo’s' paradise!
Visitor information, bookings and park management:
Murray Bridge Natural Resources Centre
Phone: (+61 8) 8532 9100
Booking enquiries please email
Medical, fire (including bushfire) and police emergency situations
Phone: Triple Zero (000)
Phone: 131 444 for non-urgent police assistance
Within the park
Please contact Murray Bridge Natural Resource Centre on (08) 8532 9100
Outside of the park
Please contact a local wildlife rescue group
When to visit
Spring is a lovely time to visit to enjoy the brilliant blossom of flowering mallee species, as well as the other vegetation communities including, dry heathland, native pines and broombush thickets typical of the area before European settlement and farming. This vegetation provides habitat for larger animals such as the western grey kangaroo along with the native marsupial mouse, ground dwelling spiders and a variety of bat species. You can also find more than 25 different species of fungi just along the walking track during spring!
Drive down the South Eastern Freeway (M1) from Adelaide towards Murray Bridge. At approximately 60km there is a turn off to the left to Monarto South, take this turn off then turn right onto Ferries-McDonald Road and head south for 3km. There is a car park and access to a walking trail from this point.
Dogs not allowed
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.
Please come to the park prepared to be self reliant as there are no facilities located in the park.
Plants and animals
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.
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.
Stay in the park
There is no camping or accommodation available within this park.
Monarto loop walk (45 min, 1.2km)
An easy, short, loop walk on flat terrain in the north-eastern corner of the park. The trail is well marked and will take around 45 minutes return depending on how many birds you stop to look at!
Want to help?
To find out how you can help in this park or nearby, please visit Natural Resources South Australian Murray-Darling Basin – Volunteering.
Want to join others and become a Park Friend?
To find out more about Friends of Parks groups please visit Friends of Parks South Australia.
You could join others to help look after a park. You can take part in working bees, training and other events.
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?
Can I have a fire or barbecue?
- Wood fires, solid fuel, gas fires and liquid fuel fires are prohibited throughout the year.
- 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:
- Information on fire bans and current fire conditions
- Current CFS warnings and incidents
- Information on what to do in the event of a fire.
Listen to your local area radio station for the latest updates and information on fire safety.
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:
- leave your pets at home
- 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.
Come and enjoy this park for free.
Camping and accommodation
There is no camping or accommodation available within this park.
This park is not included in the park pass system.