Aldinga Scrub Conservation Park

  • Walking Trails
  • Bird Watching
PDF Park Brochure
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Walking trails provide fantastic opportunities to enjoy the park's wildlife and native coastal scrubland.

About

Aldinga Scrub Conservation Park is home to a diverse range of rare plants and is recognised as a significant area for the conservation and protection of the region's flora and fauna.

Situated in the Willunga sub-basin, Aldinga Scrub features an impressive backdrop of sand dunes, sand blows (mobile dunes) and remnant coastal vegetation.

Lacy coral lichen, nardoo, hairy sedge and several species of orchids are among the park's rare species of flora. Remember to look out for the short-beaked echidnas, lizards, bats and the diverse range of birds that live 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 - Willunga

Phone: (+61 8) 8550 3400

When to visit

Visit in spring to enjoy a stunning range of wildflowers as the park bursts into colour.

Getting there

Aldinga Scrub Conservation Park is located 46km south of Adelaide, on the coastline of the Gulf of St Vincent, between the townships of Aldinga Beach and Sellicks Beach.

From Adelaide, take Main South Road and turn right at Aldinga Beach Road. Bitumen and gravel roads provide conventional vehicle access to the park boundary.

Visitors cannot drive into the park. Walkers can enter via stiles or gates at the corner of Wattle Avenue and Acacia Terrace, Quandong Avenue, Fraser Street, Boomerang Avenue and Cox Road. A small car park is located on the corner of Fraser and Dover Streets.

Public transport

You can catch an Adelaide Metro bus to Lower Esplanade which is approximately 650m to the 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. 

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

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

Traditional owners

Aldinga Scrub was part of the territory of the Kaurna people who used the area during the summer months. The scrub yielded a rich and bountiful supply of food and materials used for utensils. Shellfish, fish, marsupials, reptiles, birds and plant foods such as nardoo, muntries, yams and quandongs were abundant.

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

Aldinga Scrub is situated in an area known as the Willunga sub-basin. This was formed by red clays being washed down from the Willunga Hills over several thousand years. Sands from the ocean floor have been deposited over the clays and an older red marine sand deposit.

Mobile sand dunes known as ‘sand blows’ occur along the western boundary of the park. These mobile dunes are backed by semi-stabilised sand dune ridges which reach up to 35 metres high. Further inland, stabilised dunes up to ten metres high alternate with swales to form an undulating sand plain.

The first European settler in the area was Mr F Culley in 1857. Before World War I the scrub was subdivided and several attempts were made to farm the area. Because of the sandy soils, farming did not prove viable.

In the 1960s the Willunga Council became concerned that subdivision of the area would cause erosion. Between 1965 and 1982, 300 hectares were purchased at Aldinga to be managed by the State Planning Authority as an Open Space Reserve. In 1985 the reserve was declared Aldinga Scrub Conservation Park.

See and do

Bushwalking

Walking trails of varying lengths provide the opportunity to explore the park’s habitats and unique plant life. Take the time to stop, look and listen for animals and birdlife. You will hear a wide range of sounds and see a variety of plants. During spring the park is ablaze with wildflowers making any walk an enjoyable experience. Allow 20 minutes to walk one kilometre and carry drinking water with you.

Fishing

Permitted

Fishing is permitted at accessible beaches within the park, make sure you are familiar with fishing restrictions before casting off.

Not permitted

Fishing is not permitted at creeks, dams and waterways within the park - this includes fishing for marro and yabbies via the use of nets.

Stay in the park

Camping is not permitted within this park.

Accommodation is available close to this park at Aldinga Beach and Sellicks Beach.

Mountain biking

Mountain biking is currently not permitted in this park. 

Flora

Aldinga Scrub Conservation Park contains a diverse range of plant communities from sedgelands and closed heaths to pink gum woodlands and mallee box. These plants, adapted to the sandy soils, help stabilise the sand dunes and help prevent sand blows.

Low woodlands and heath communities cover most of Aldinga Scrub. In the north-east and far eastern sections of the scrub, a low woodland of mallee box trees grows on brown sandy loam soils. Sedgelands grow in areas where the water table is close to the surface and the soil is semi-permanently waterlogged. Tall shrublands of drooping sheoak give way to low-growing coastal dune vegetation on the western side of the scrub.

Several rare species of plants are found in the park. They include lacy coral lichen, nardoo, hairy sedge and several species of orchids.

Fauna

More than 166 different bird species can be seen and heard within Aldinga Scrub Conservation Park. Some are migratory and visit the area for only a few months each year. If you watch quietly you may spot mistletoe birds, rainbow bee-eaters, brown goshawks and golden whistlers.

The park’s vegetation provides a variety of host plants for 18 species of butterflies and 540 species of other insects. Brushtail possums, short-beaked echidnas, bats, geckoes and skinks live in the park. Aldinga Scrub also provides a home for brown snakes and red-bellied black snakes.

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, solid fuel, gas and liquid fires are prohibited throughout the year.
  • Ensure you are familiar with the fire restrictions for this park.

Know before you go

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

Maps

Park 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