Sandy Creek Conservation Park

  • Walking Trails
  • Bird Watching
PDF Park Brochure
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Sandy Creek Conservation Park park locator map

Enjoy the easy walking trails through the carefully preserved haven for native birdlife at Sandy Creek Conservation Park.

About

Sandy Creek Conservation Park is surrounded by farmland, vineyards and deep sand mining pits. Established on gently undulating sand dunes with occasional creeks, the park conserves some of the last remaining vegetation of the sandy soil lowlands of the Barossa Valley. Spring is the best time to view the wildflowers. 

The park lies on the edge of the land of the Permangk people, Kaurna people (south) and Ngadjuri people (north).

Several walking trails through the native pine and pink gum allow you to explore the park. Look out for the wildlife such as western grey kangaroos grazing on the grasslands in the early morning and at dusk. The richness and diversity of the park's birdlife makes it particularly significant for naturalists and birdwatchers. However, bird populations are in decline due to the changing habitat.

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 - Gawler

Phone: (+61 8) 8523 7700
Email: DEWNR.AMLRGawlerOffice@sa.gov.au

Getting there

Sandy Creek Conservation Park is located 60km, or a one hour drive, north east of Adelaide.

Turn right from the Barossa Valley Highway on to Conservation Park Road and follow the dirt track to the car park.

Pets in parks

Pets are not permitted within this park. There are however, a number of South Australian National Parks where you can take your dog on a lead. 

Useful information

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

Traditional owners

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

In the first half of the twentieth century, much of Sandy Creek Conservation Park was cleared and planted with vines. Low soil fertility saw the vineyards abandoned and, in 1965, the area was dedicated as a conservation park. Sections were named after life-long ornithologists and conservationists, Cecil Rix and Mark Bonnin, who identified many native bird species in the area. The Sir Keith Wilson section of the park was a gift from the Wilson family and the Nature Foundation of SA Inc., which increased the habitat available for numerous birds.

Today, regenerating cleared land and the ruins of a small hut, built in 1918 from locally quarried stone and native pine, remain in the park. In addition, an abandoned vineyard in the southern section contains grasses that provide important habitat for birds such as the grass-dwelling stubble quail.

See and do

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.

Mountain biking

Mountain biking is currently not permitted in this park. 

Stay in the park

Camping is not permitted within this park.

Flora

Featuring mainly low fertility and deep sandy soil, the park is home to stands of southern cypress-pine and pink gum, both now rare in the state. Wildflowers are common in spring, with wattles, daisies, heaths, lilies, gums, banksias, grevilleas and orchids in full bloom. The remnant vegetation in the park is currently under threat, with many species such as pink gums, banksias and bottlebrush failing to regenerate and leading to a decline in bird numbers. One theory for this is the park’s isolation from other large areas of native vegetation.

Fauna

Walkers may hear the occasional ‘plonking’ sound of the bull frog. The eastern bearded dragon and marbled gecko can be seen on sunny days. At dusk look out for western grey kangaroos and echidnas. The park is a haven for birds migrating through the Barossa Valley, Adelaide Hills and Plains, with over 130 species being recorded. Diamond firetails – which move around the park in pairs or flocks of up to 30 and mate for life – are an amazing sight.

Volunteering

  

Want to help?

To find out how you can help in this park or nearby, please visit Natural Resources Adelaide and Mt Lofty Ranges – 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.

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
  • 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?

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.

Know before you go

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. 

Maps

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. 

PDF Park Brochure