Whyalla Conservation Park
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Rising suddenly from the surrounding plains just to the north of Whyalla, Wild Dog Hill is an outstanding topographical feature of the Whyalla Conservation Park. Its rugged features and imposing profile make it a popular picnic location for local residents and visitors.
Red and Grey Kangaroos are found in the park, and Euros can sometimes be seen on the slopes of Wild Dog Hill at sunset. Smaller, inconspicuous mammals are also present; the Common Dunnart is a carnivorous mouse sized marsupial which eats grasshoppers and small lizards. This park is great for bird watching with over 80 species of birds observed.
Visitor information, bookings and park management:
National Parks and Wildlife Service Port Lincoln Office
Phone: (+61 8) 8688 3111
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: 08 8688 3223
Within the park
Please contact National Parks and Wildlife Service Port Lincoln Officeon (08) 8688 3111 or the after-hours duty officer on (08) 8688 3223
Outside of the park
Please contact a local wildlife rescue group
If you find a sick or stranded marine mammal (including whales, seals, sea lions and dolphins), please contact National Parks and Wildlife Service Port Lincoln Office on (08) 8688 3111 or the after-hours duty officer on (08) 8688 3223
The best time to visit is between March and October, when the temperatures are mild during the day and cool at night.
The main entrance to the Park is located on the Lincoln Highway, 10 km north of Whyalla, just south of the Port Bonython turn off. Access within the reserve is via unsealed tracks which are variable in condition, but trafficable with high clearance 2WD when conditions are dry. The tracks become boggy and slippery when wet, access is not recommended when the tracks are wet.
Visitors should ensure they carry sufficient water, fuel and food for their entire stay and should advise a responsible person of the intended duration of their trip. A toilet is available at the Wild Dog Hill picnic area.
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.
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.
The most common tree that can be seen in the Park is the Western Myall, Acacia papyrocarpa. These majestic trees with their dome shaped canopy and silver-grey foliage can live to be over 250 years old. Sugarwoods, Bullock Bushes, Native Apricots, Quandongs and Black Oaks can also be found in many areas and Saltbush and Bluebush dominate the understorey.
Despite the apparent harsh conditions, wildflowers such as Fringe-lilies and Paper-daisies can be found throughout the Park, mainly in spring. Delicate lilac Rock Isotomes flower almost constantly at the top of Wild Dog Hill, whilst the tube like flowers of Emu Bushes can be found throughout the Park.
The lichens on rocks, trees and covering the ground within the Park are some of the best examples in the world.
Red and Grey Kangaroos are found in the park, and Euros can sometimes be seen on the slopes of Wild Dog Hill at sunset. Smaller, inconspicuous mammals are also present; the Common Dunnart is a carnivorous mouse sized marsupial which eats grasshoppers and small lizards.
Over 80 species of birds have been observed in the Park. Wedge-tailed Eagles and Australian Kestrels can sometimes be seen soaring in the thermals over Wild Dog Hill. The beautiful song of the Grey Butcherbird is frequently heard.
Whyalla Conservation Park is also home to some rarer bird species including the Western Grasswren, Slender-billed thornbill, Hooded Robin and Elegant Parrots. Other bird species that can be seen more regularly include the Crested Pigeon, White-browed Babbler, Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater and the Black-faced Woodswallow. More than 20 species of reptiles have been recorded in the Park. The Western Brown Snake, Bearded Dragon, Western Bluetongue and Sleepy Lizard are the most commonly seen species. When disturbed, small Striped Skinks scuttle for cover in the undergrowth.
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.
The Park is managed by the Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources and originally covered an area of 1,011 hectares. It was dedicated in 1971, and conserves a good example of the native flora and fauna of this semi-arid area.
In 2003 an extra 968 hectares of land to the south of the Park was added to the Park. This land was originally part of the BHP Indenture Act land and was under BHP’s care and control. With the divestiture of it’s Whyalla steel making operations to a new company, OneSteel, some of the land that was excess to requirements was added to the Park and the remainder was handed back to the local community.
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.
Wild Dog Hill hike (1.3 km return, 40 min)Take the short climb to the top of Wild Dog Hill and be rewarded with expansive views over the semi-arid plains of myall trees and bluebush. Take your binoculars and spot a euro or Australian kestrel on the cliffs. The trail begins at the car park.
Camping is not permitted within this park.
- Use Find a Park to discover which parks you can camp in.
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.
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.
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 4WDriving in the park, it is important to be aware of the following:
- Standard road rules apply when driving anywhere in the park, including the laws for speed limits, drink driving, vehicle registration and seat belts.
- Take extreme care when driving in the park – be aware of blind corners, crests and narrow two-way tracks.
- Observe all track and safety signs, especially ‘No public access’ signs.
- Do not take your vehicle off the designated tracks. Wildlife can be threatened and precious habitat and indigenous sites can be damaged by off track driving.
- Make sure you know what to do in the event of getting bogged and always carry a shovel.
- When driving on sand, deflate your tyres as appropriate for your vehicle. Don’t forget to reinflate your tyres to the manufacturer’s recommended pressure before leaving the park. Take care when lowering tyre pressure as there is risk you could roll the tyre off its rim. Also, remember that lower tyre pressure can mean a change in how the vehicle handles.
Come and enjoy this park for free.
There is no camping or accommodation available within this park.