Mount Monster Conservation Park
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Located 12 km south of Keith, Mount Monster Conservation Park boasts many special features. The parks is noted for its predominant geological feature, an unusual granite outcrop found only in one other location in South Australia. A short hike to the summit offers uninterrupted views over the granite outcrops, natural bushland and the flat agricultural land extending into the horizon. For the inquisitive, an interpretive self-guided walk around the base of the granite outcrop will reveal some of the secrets of Mount Monster.
A mosaic of soil types surrounding the outcrops ranging from shallow stony soil to dark brown loams supports a diverse ecosystem of bushland including blue and pinkgum woodland, mallee, broombush heath and golden and prickly wattle shrublands. Sheoaks, banksias and hakeas are other prevailing species, and in spring, a spectacularly rich diversity of wildflowers including orchids can be seen. The park also provides an important refuge for wildlife including kangaroos, wallabies, echidnas, woodland birds, and reptiles.
With all this to offer, Mount Monster will quickly become a favourite park for family picnics, hikes, wildflower viewing and bird watching.
Visitor information, bookings and park management:
Coorong National Park Information Office
Phone: (+61 8) 7133 7270
National Parks and Wildlife Service Mount Gambier Office
Phone: (+61 8) 7424 5770
Booking enquiries please email:
Medical, fire (including bushfire) and police emergency situations
Phone: Triple Zero — 000
Phone: 131 444 for non-urgent police assistance
National Parks and Wildlife Service SA – After-hours duty officer
Phone: (+61 8) 7424 5770
Within the park
Please contact National Parks and Wildlife Service Mount Gambier Office on (08) 7424 5770
Outside of the park
Please contact a local wildlife rescue group
Autumn and spring are the best times to visit this park. The summer months from December through to February can be very hot and dry, and winter months from June through to August can be very cold and wet. Following an exceptionally wet winter, a spectacular wildflower show in spring will live long in your memory.
The park is located approximately 12 km south of Keith on the western side of the Riddoch (Keith to Naracoorte) Highway.
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.
Eight different vegetation associations consisting of at least 176 different plant species have been identified, 30 of those are orchids. One species, cradle of incense (prostanthera eurybioides) is considered nationally endangered.
The eight different vegetation associations are:
Broombrush, honey myrtle and dryland tea tree
Widespread throughout the park, but the mix of these three species varies considerably through the park, depending on soil type.
Hedge wattle, broombrush, honey myrtle, dryland tea-tree
Only on the rocky outcrops, also dominated by Spoon-leaved spydridium and Drooping sheoak.
Pink gum, desert banksia and silver banksia
This occurs only along the edge of the road on the northern boundary. It has the most divers understorey of all the associations in Mont Monster.
Yellow mallee, honey myrtle and dry-land tea-tree
Occurs away from the porphoritic outcrops over shallow soils.
Pink gums, golden wattle, honey myrtle and dryland tea-tree
Occurring on the deep alluvial soils, this has a dense and diverse understorey.
Peppermint box and white mallee
With emergent pink gum and golden wattle it is the most wide-spread associated in the park and has a large mix of species with a sparse understorey.
Peppermint box and South Australian coastal mallee
Only found along the south-eastern boundary of the park with limited and sparse understorey.
Blue gum and peppermint box
Occurs in the deep alluvial soils between the porphoritic outcrops. The trees are amature, well spaced and have no understorey.
The park supports a variety of wildlife habitats and is an important refuge to many wildlife species. Keep a keen look out for western grey kangaroos, swamp and red necked wallabies, short-beaked echidnas, and variety of woodland birds and reptiles.
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.
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.
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.
This park occupies an area of 93 hectares in Section 178 of the Hundred of Stirling. It was dedicated as a Conservation Park in September 1976 as a gift from three surrounding Landowners. The disused quarry area was later added to the park in 2011. Mt Monster was also an important historical navigation aid during the Gold rush era, and the inital settlemet of Mt Monster was later renamed to Keith.
We have picked the brains of our park rangers to find out what they would recommend you see and do whilst visiting this park.
- Enjoy a picnic in natural surroundings
- Visit during spring when wildflowers are at their best
- Sit quietly and listen to the sounds of the bush
- Bring binoculars and a bird field guide to do some bird watching
- Hike to the summit for superb views of the landscape
- Take the interpretive trail to learn more about Mount Monster
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.
Mount Monster summit hike (600m return, 30 min)
A hike strait to the summit of Mount Monster, rewarded with spectacular uninterrupted views of the surrounding
Gwen Ellis Walking Trail (1.2km return, 1 hr)
A peaceful hike through different habitats with several advantage points offering superb views over surrounding
You can ride your bike on public access roads within the park.
Overnight camping is permitted in the designated areas within the park, there are no facilities so please come prepared to be self sufficient.
Camping is free in this park, you do not need to book online.
Want to help?
To find out how you can help in this park or nearby, please visit Natural Resources South East.
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.
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.
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:
- 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.
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?
When camping in a National Park, it’s important to remember the following:
- Always let someone responsible know your travel plans, especially when travelling in remote areas. It’s a good idea to let them know when you expect to return.
- Check the weather forecast before you leave, including overnight temperatures on the Bureau of Meteorology. Even during very mild weather, the nights can get very cold.
- The quality and quantity of water cannot be guaranteed within parks. Please bring plenty of water and food to be self-sufficient.
- Always camp in designated sites (where applicable) — do not camp beneath trees with overhanging branches, as they can drop without warning. It’s also a good idea to check that there are no insect nests nearby.
- Check to make sure you’re not camping in a natural waterway, flash floods can happen anytime.
- If camp fires are permitted, you must bring your own firewood, as the collection of firewood within National Parks is prohibited. Extinguish your camp fire with water (not sand or dirt) until the hissing sound stops.
- Ensure that you are familiar with the fire restrictions for this park.
Come and enjoy this park for free.
Camping is free in this park, you do not need to book online.