Swan Reach Conservation Park

  • Camping
  • Walking Trails
  • Bird Watching
PDF Park Brochure
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This park is the perfect place for a bushwalk out in nature. The park provides habitat for western grey and red kangaroos, southern hairy-nosed wombats, Gould’s goanna and central bearded dragons.

If you are a keen bird watcher you may find some common species of birds including cockatiels, mallee ringnecks, galahs, banded lapwings, with more patience and a little luck you might also be rewarded with sightings of purple-crowned Lorikeets, rainbow bee-eaters or white-winged choughs.

About

Swan Reach Conservation Park is a classic example of Australia’s semi-arid mallee environment. You will find tranquility in the gently undulating limestone country with its thick local mallee over-storey and sparser understorey. 

There are also a few small patches of low woodland comprising false sandalwood and bullock bush with an understory of stipa grass. With around 2,017 hectares to explore, don’t be surprised if you stumble across signs of a southern hairy-nosed wombat, as these elusive creatures were the primary reason for the proclamation of this park 1970.

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 Resources Centre - Murray Bridge

Phone: (+61 8) 8532 9100
Email: SAMDBEnquiries@sa.gov.au

When to visit

Although this park Is great to visit at any time of your, we recommend visiting in autumn to see the mallee birds at their most active.

Getting there

Located around 125 kilometres from Adelaide and approximately 15 kilometres west of the town of Swan Reach along the Sedan to Swan Reach Road (Stott Highway) you will find sign posts to the Northern Park boundary.

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

At the time of European arrival, the Ngaiawang Aboriginal People occupied an area of approximately 388,000 hectares on the Western Murray Plains, in which the park is situated. Within this area, the river was the main focus of activity, providing a permanent water source and a continuous food supply. Fish were caught in nets and stone traps, one of which is still preserved in the northern end of McBeans Pound. The river was also a major communication and transport route. Bark canoes were obtained from large river red gums, and several of these canoe trees can still be seen near Blanchetown. The river became the nucleus of settlement as it provided for most needs.

Please refer to the South Australian Museum publication Ngaiawang Folk Province (1977) for further information on the Ngaiawang People.

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

The Swan Reach district was occupied in the last decades of the nineteenth century. The township of Swan Reach was established in 1896, largely to cater for the small farms which were being developing in the surrounding district. This land was less than favourable, and required clearing and sinking of bores to provide additional water. Many of the small farmers, especially those growing crops, barely eked out a living and were destined to hardships and despair as the many ruined farmhouses testify. Successive droughts, rabbits and overgrazing created in places a desolate, unproductive landscape capable of supporting only a few sheep per hectare. The subdivision of land neighbouring the park, coupled with the altered nature of the landscape under pastoralism and agriculture, makes it imperative that an area of comparatively untouched mallee such as Swan Reach Conservation Park remains untouched.

See and do

Bushwalking

There are some walking trails located in the park, however they are not officially marked or signposted.

Mountain biking

Mountain biking is currently not permitted in this park. 

Stay in the park

Free, self-sufficient bush camping is permitted in this park.

Volunteering

Want to help?

To find out how you can help in this park or nearby, please visit Natural Resources South Australian Murray-Darling Basin – 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

Fire

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.

Camping

When camping in a National Park, it's important to remember the following:

  • Always let someone responsible know your travel plans, especially when travelling in remote areas. It's a good idea to let them know when you expect to return.
  • Check the weather forecast before you leave, including overnight temperatures on the Bureau of Meteorology. Even during very mild weather, the nights can get very cold. 
  • The quality and quantity of water cannot be guaranteed within parks. Please bring plenty of water and food to be self-sufficient.
  • Always camp in designated sites (where applicable) - do not camp beneath trees with overhanging branches, as they can drop without warning. It's also a good idea to check that there no insect nests nearby.
  • Check to make sure you're not camping in a natural waterway, flash floods can happen anytime.
  • If camp fires are permitted, you must bring your own firewood, as the collection of firewood within National Parks is prohibited. Extinguish your camp fire with water (not sand or dirt) until the hissing sound stops.
  • Ensure that you are familiar with the fire restrictions for this park.

Bushwalking

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

Ensure that you:

  • keep to defined walking trails and follow the trail markers
  • wear sturdy shoes, a hat and sunscreen
  • carry sufficient drinking water
  • be aware of weather conditions and avoid walking during the hottest part of the day
  • Walk, hike or trek - what's the difference?

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:

  • 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 - 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

Fees

Entry fees

Come and enjoy this park for free. 

Camping and accommodation

Camping is free in this park.

PDF Park Brochure