- Campfires permitted
- Bird watching
- Walking trails
Ridley Conservation Park is located approximately 10 km from Swan Reach, with the southern edge of the park on the valley of the River Marne.
Close by you will also find the popular Big Bend on the River Murray, providing spectacular views of colourful cliffs along the River Murray, quite a popular tourist attraction for the region.
The park encompasses areas of flat limestone plains, however there is a high point located in the south area of the park known locally as Hayward’s Hill, along with an old dis-used quarry in this area.
Vegetation in the park is very representative of the region with mallee open woodland including red mallee and yorrell through to semi-arid low woodlands. Stands of murray pine are associated with shrubland of hopbush and cassias. If you are a keen bird watcher, keep an eye out for honeyeaters, mallee ringnecks, purple-crowned lorikeets and butcher birds.
When to visit
Although this park Is great to visit at any time of your, we recommend visiting in autumn to see the mallee birds at their most active.
Visitor information, bookings and park management:
National Parks Wildlife Service South Australia Riverland and Murraylands Regional Office
28 Vaughan Tce, Berri
Phone: (+61 8) 8595 2111
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: 0417 192 335
Within the park
Please contact the Riverland and Murraylands Regional Office on (08) 8595 2111 or the after-hours duty officer on 0417 192 335 (outside of business hours).
Outside of the park
Please contact a local wildlife rescue group
Ridley Conservation Park is located on the Western side of the Mannum to Swan Reach Road, about 6 kilometres south of the turn off from the Sedan to Swan Reach Road.
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 not allowed
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.
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.
Ridley Conservation Park was proclaimed on the 27th of April 1972, after having previously been proclaimed as Ridley National Parks Reserve on the 30th of May 1968. Prior to this, Ridley Conservation Park was part of a Travelling Stock Reserve which ran for approximately 5-10km parallel to the River Murray.
This reserve connected Murray Bridge to the stock market of Burra. Travelling Stock Reserves were usually approximately 400 metres wide, were given fixed boundaries and often followed existing stock tracks as these were invariably cleared and grazed. By confining stock movement to designated areas, there was minimal interference with surrounding properties and stock movement could be supervised by the Department of Lands Ranger.
Management tracks throughout the park provide an opportunity for walking trails, however no specific trail information is available for this park.
Stay in the park
Free, self-sufficient bush camping is permitted in this park.
Online booking is not required for this park.
There are no designated mountain biking trails in this park.
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.
The international Trail Users Code of Conduct is to show respect and courtesy towards other trail users at all times.
Ensure that you:
- keep to defined walking trails and follow the trail markers
- wear sturdy shoes, a hat and sunscreen
- carry sufficient drinking water
- be aware of weather conditions and avoid walking during the hottest part of the day
- Walk, hike or trek - what's the difference?
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.
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.
Can I have a fire or barbecue?
- Wood fires and solid fuel fires are prohibited between 15 November 2020 to 15 April 2021.
- You must bring your own firewood, as the collection of firewood within national parks is prohibited.
- Gas fires and liquid fuel fires are permitted through the year, 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.
Come and enjoy this park for free.
Camping and accommodation
Camping is free in this park, online booking is not required.