50 years of NPWS

50 years of NPWS

Cel­e­brat­ing 50 years of the Nation­al Parks and Wildlife Act 1972

50 years ago the Nation­al Parks and Wildlife Act was enact­ed in a crit­i­cal step towards con­serv­ing and pro­tect­ing native wildlife and the envi­ron­ment in South Aus­tralia. Nation­al parks have a long and proud his­to­ry in South Aus­tralia. The state’s first nation­al park, Belair Nation­al Park, was pro­claimed in 1891 and the Nation­al Park Act 1891 was enact­ed the same year.

Belair was the sec­ond nation­al park declared in Aus­tralia fol­low­ing Roy­al Nation­al Park, estab­lished south of Syd­ney in 1879. The Nation­al Parks and Wildlife Act 1972 pro­vides for the estab­lish­ment and man­age­ment of reserves for pub­lic ben­e­fit and enjoy­ment; to pro­vide for the con­ser­va­tion of wildlife in a nat­ur­al envi­ron­ment; and for oth­er purposes.”

There are now 358 parks and reserves which cov­er 21.6% of South Aus­tralia. These beau­ti­ful and valu­able pro­tect­ed areas con­serve impor­tant ecosys­tems, habi­tats, flo­ra and fau­na, unique land for­ma­tions, and cul­tur­al­ly sig­nif­i­cant places. They help ensure we con­tin­ue to have clean air, soil and water, and con­tribute to glob­al efforts to con­serve bio­di­ver­si­ty against the impacts of cli­mate change. For First Nations Aus­tralians, pro­tect­ed areas are invalu­able in main­tain­ing con­nec­tions to their Coun­try. South Aus­trali­a’s nation­al parks are also a trea­sure trove of her­itage sites that con­nect vis­i­tors to the tri­als, chal­lenges, and sto­ries of the past.

Share your mem­o­ries of South Australia’s parks

Nation­al Parks and Wildlife Ser­vice will cel­e­brate the 50 year anniver­sary through­out 2022 with a series of activ­i­ties shared with parks staff, vol­un­teers and visitors.

Cur­rent and for­mer parks staff, vol­un­teers and vis­i­tors can share their mem­o­ries of South Australia’s parks by email­ing their sto­ries, great­est mem­o­ries and best pho­tos to dewengagement@​sa.​gov.​au or by tag­ging #npws50years on social media.

Let’s share the rich cul­tur­al her­itage, nat­ur­al beau­ty and unique and endan­gered species of our nation­al parks, which make South Aus­tralia such a spe­cial place.