Shepherds Hill Recreation Park

  • Dogs on Lead
  • Horse Riding
  • Walking Trails
  • Bird Watching
  • Cycling
PDF Park Brochure
Photo by Flow Mountain Bike
Shepherd Hill gum trees
Photo by Nature Play SA - Jason Tyndall
Photo by Cath Leo
Photo by Flow Mountain Bike
Shepherds Hill Recreation Park park locator image

Discover the unexpected attractions of the magnificent remnant grey box eucalypts, or trek up the hill and enjoy 360 degree views of the surrounding Adelaide plains, coastline and hills.

Tag your Instagram pics with #shepherdshillrecreationpark to see them displayed on this page.

Shepherds Hill Recreation Park park locator image

Discover the unexpected attractions of the magnificent remnant grey box eucalypts, or trek up the hill and enjoy 360 degree views of the surrounding Adelaide plains, coastline and hills.

Tag your Instagram pics with #shepherdshillrecreationpark to see them displayed on this page.

About

This suburban park holds some unexpected attractions. Come and discover the magnificent remnant grey box eucalypts environment and take in the 360 degree views of the surrounding Adelaide plains, coastline and hills.

You can ride your bike on roads open to the public or use the specific cycling trails and tracks on offer in Shepherds Hill Recreation Park. If you are a bit more adventurous with your bike riding, the park offers a bicycle jumps-track.

A horse riding club and an archery range are also located in the park.

Opening hours

Open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

This park is closed on days of Catastrophic Fire Danger and may be closed on days of Extreme Fire Danger.

Listen to the local area radio station for the latest updates and information on fire safety. 

Contact details

Natural Resource Centre - Black Hill

Phone: (+61 8) 8336 0901
Email: DEWNR.AMLRBlackHillOffice@sa.gov.au

After Hours Regional Duty Officer: 0427 556 676

When to visit

Climatically and scenically, 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. If you are lucky enough to visit the park a few weeks after a soaking rain, you will be rewarded with ephemeral wildflowers and the sound of frogs in flowing creeks.

Getting there

Shepherds Hill Recreation Park is located 11km south of Adelaide. Access is via Ayliffes Road, St Marys and Ellis Avenue, Eden Hills. 

If you're in your own vehicle, you can find this park on the map.

There is also public transport to this park from the Adelaide city centre. 

Pets in parks

You and your dog can enjoy this park providing you keep your dog on a lead and under your control at all times. Don't forget to bring your disposable 'doggie-doo' bag to clean up after your dog.

Facilities

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.

Useful information

  • Mobile phone coverage is good in most areas of the park.

  • Important: Collection of firewood within National Parks is prohibited.

Pests and diseases

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.

Traditional owners

Prior to European settlement, the Kaurna (Gar-na) people lived in areas like Shepherds Hill during the cooler months, using the woodlands for fire, warmth and shelter. During the summer, the Kaurna lived along the coast, taking advantage of cool, ocean breezes.

Aboriginal South Australians are the first peoples of our State and have occupied, enjoyed and managed these lands and waters since the creation. For SA's First Peoples, 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. 

Aboriginal peoples' oral histories and creation stories traverse the length and breadth of Australia’s lands and waters, including South Australian Parks. These stories interconnect land and waters with complex meaning and values and hold great cultural significance. We recognise and respect Aboriginal people's ownership of their stories and that they hold rights and obligations to care for Country. It is through these rights and cultural obligations and a shared goal to protect the environment for generations to come that DEWNR is committed to meaningful collaboration and involvement with Aboriginal peoples in the management of our shared parks.

History

Much of Shepherds Hill Recreation Park was cleared around the time of settlement for grazing purposes and building materials. Some of the flatter areas of the park were used for cropping too. Sheep were grazed on the land up until the late 1950s, when domestic dogs became an issue. Horses were agisted until 1969, which is when all grazing rights were finally withdrawn. 

Although the land was still being used for grazing, the park was acquired for recreational purposes in 1953 by the South Australian Government Tourist Bureau and dedicated as a National Park Pleasure Resort from 1955. With the introduction of the National Parks and Wildlife Act in 1972, the park was dedicated as the Shepherds Hill Recreation Park in 1972.

See and do

Rangers recommend

We have picked the brains of our park rangers to find out what they would recommend you see and do whilst visiting this park.

  • Take in the view of Adelaide city from the top of Ridge Track.
  • Try and hug an old grey box tree and learn about the importance of hollows in trees. Tree hollows are essential to our many hollow-nesting birds such as kookaburras and rosellas.
  • Look out for the amazing birdlife within the park.
  • In spring, visit the park and look for the variety of flowering native plants. 

Bushwalking

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. Our trails cater for all levels of fitness and adventure and our classification system makes it easy to select an experience suitable for you.

Easy walks

  • Kids Zone (5 mins, 50m)

    A safe and easy area where children can practice and experience riding on dirt. Try some of the beginner trail features. Natural surfaced trails with timber structures.

  • River Red Gum Loop (30 mins, 2.3km loop)

    An easy trail that follows the Viaduct Creek. Suitable for walkers and beginner cyclists. Includes options to continue walking into Waitaparinga Reserve. No access through Archery Club when red flag is flying. Best walked and ridden in a clockwise direction.

Moderate hike

  • Seaview loop (30 mins, 2.2km loop)

    A wide track with great views of the sea and surrounding park. Great for walking the dog or walking and running in groups. Some steep and loose sections of track.

  • Grey Box Loop (45 mins, 2.8km loop)

    A challenging trail exploring the southern side of the park. Experience the Grassy Grey Box Woodlands restoration work. Best walked and ridden in an anti-clockwise direction.

  • Diagonal Ascent (15 mins, 700m)

    A great little trail up to the ridge. Use this track to reach the top and try a different route down! One way trail, climbing only.

Mountain biking

You can ride your bike on public roads and any specific cycling trails and tracks on offer in this park. 

Please obey signs and use the trail classifications and descriptions, where available, to select trails suitable to your ability. Many trails are shared, so always keep an eye out for others. Generally, cyclists give way to pedestrians. Please be considerate of all trail users at all times.

Feeling adventurous? This park also offers a challenging bicycle jumps-track.

Learn more about cycling in SA's parks, including other parks offering cycle tracks, trail classification and read the trail user code of practice for important points to remember when planning your bike ride.

Easy

  • Kids Zone (50m)

    A safe and easy area where children can practice and experience riding on dirt. Try some of the beginner trail features. Natural surfaced trails with timber structures.

  • River Red Gum Loop (2.3km loop)

    An easy trail that follows the Viaduct Creek. Suitable for walkers and beginner cyclists. Includes options to continue walking into Waitaparinga Reserve. No access through Archery Club when red flag is flying. Best walked and ridden in a clockwise direction.

Intermediate

  • The Bowl - Pump Track (100m)

    A pump track with several areas and features to suit riders with a range of abilities. This is a bikes only area. Be aware of other riders using the bowl.

  • Seaview loop (2.2km loop)

    A wide track with great views of the sea and surrounding park. Great for walking the dog or walking and running in groups. Some steep and loose sections of track.

  • Grey Box Loop (2.8km loop)

    A challenging trail exploring the southern side of the park. Experience the Grassy Grey Box Woodlands restoration work. Best walked and ridden in an anti-clockwise direction.

  • Diagonal Ascent (700m)

    A great little trail up to the ridge. Use this track to reach the top and try a different route down! One way trail, climbing only.

  • Intermediate DH 1,2 & 3 (2km)

    Mix up your descents by trying the three different ways of linking up the new and old downhill trails. One way trail, descending only.

Stay in the park

Camping is not permitted within this park.

Flora

There are two distinct native ecosystems in the park, the red gum dominated river flats, and the greybox grassy woodland. Both were typical of the Adelaide region but, due to land clearing and development, the greybox, eucalyptus microcarpa, and its understorey has now diminished to the extent that this plant association has been given a high conservation rating.

Over the past years, the 'friends of' group has removed olives, boneseed and other weeds, and have discovered a wonderful collection of native plants that have been overshadowed and crowded out by the more aggressive weeds. During a working bee the pale flax lily, dianella longifolia, a plant that is rare and at risk, was discovered.

One of the most precious plants is the variable glycine, glycine tabacina, a scrambling legume with small purple pea shaped flowers. This plant is rare and in danger of becoming extinct. It is under constant threat not only from the competition with weeds and being overshadowed by olives but also from trampling feet and bike tyres.

The 'friends of' group have noted 16 different plant species in the park which have conservation ratings from uncommon to endangered.

Volunteering

Friends of Shepherds Hill Recreation Park

A group of dedicated volunteers working to advance the environmental rehabilitation of Shepherds Hill Recreation Park. This group values members with a concern for this invaluable natural resource. The group conducts working bees at the park on the first Saturday of each month at 9.00 am. 

If you think you might be interested in volunteering opportunities within this park please contact our Volunteer Support Unit.

Safety

Bushwalking

The international Trail Users Code of Conduct is to show respect and courtesy towards other trail users at all times.

Ensure that you:

  • when hiking, wear sturdy shoes, a hat and sunscreen
  • 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?

Fire

This park is closed on days of Catastrophic Fire Danger and may be closed on days of Extreme Fire Danger.

Listen to the local area radio station for the latest updates and information on fire safety. 

Fire restrictions

  • Wood fires and solid fuel fires are prohibited throughout the year.
  • Gas fires are permitted, other than on days of total fire ban.
  • Ensure you are familiar with the fire restrictions for this park.

Water

Heavy rainfall can cause creeks to rise and flow rapidly. Please do not cross rapidly flowing creeks as there is a risk of slipping and falling.

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:

  • keep your dog on a lead at all times and check if there are areas of the park where dogs are not allowed
  • 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 - place rubbish in the bins provided or take it 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.

Maps

Maps on your mobile

Search for this park in the Avenza PDF Maps app, download the free park map for your mobile device when you have an internet connection. 

Because our maps are geo-enabled, whether you have internet or not, you will always have your location dot no matter where you are. The app allows you to calculate distances and (with sufficient GPS signal) locate yourself within the park.

Fees

Entry fees

Come and enjoy this park for free. 

Park pass

This park is not included in the park pass system. 

Camping and accommodation

There is no camping or accommodation available within this park. 

Other fees and permits

There are no other fees or permits associated with this park.