Monarto Conservation Park

  • Walking Trails
  • Bird Watching
PDF Park Brochure
Ferries McDonald SA park location map

This park is a peaceful, semi-arid woodland environment, which hosts a diverse array of bird species.

Spring is an excellent season for native orchids, flowering mallee species and fungi. Vegetation communities include dry healthland, native pines and broombush thickets, which provide habitat for the western grey kangaroo and the native marsupial mouse.


Around one hour’s drive from the city of Adelaide you will find the tranquil refuge of Monarto Conservation Park. 

Situated in the rain shadow of the Southern Mount Lofty Ranges to the west, it has just over half the average annual rainfall of Adelaide, and is considered semi-arid – a stark contrast to the nearby Hills environment. The River Murray is 15km to the east and Lake Alexandrina is 15km southward. 

Hinting at the parks geological history, sandy ridges in this area of the Murray Plains reveal that it was once part of the ocean bed.

The thickets of mallee woodland and dry heathland provide alluring opportunities for those wishing to escape the hustle and meander amongst the vegetation in the hope of spotting southern scrub-robin and the shy heathwren.  If particularly patient, visitors may also be rewarded with a spotted harrier hovering above the adjacent pasture lands. A variety of other species have been recorded in the park including the purple-gaped honey eater, spotted pardoldote, malleefowl, weebill and white-browed babler. This Park is a 'birdo’s' paradise!

Opening hours

Open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Contact details

Natural Resources Centre - Murray Bridge

Phone: (+61 8) 8532 9100

When to visit

Spring is a lovely time to visit to enjoy the brilliant blossom of flowering mallee species, as well as the other vegetation communities including, dry heathland, native pines and broombush thickets typical of the area before European settlement and farming.  This vegetation provides habitat for larger animals such as the western grey kangaroo along with the native marsupial mouse, ground dwelling spiders and a variety of bat species. You can also find more than 25 different species of fungi just along the walking track during spring!

Getting there

Drive down the South Eastern Freeway (M1) from Adelaide towards Murray Bridge. At approximately 60km there is a turn off to the left to Monarto South, take this turn off then turn right onto Ferries-McDonald Road and head south for 3km. There is a car park and access to a walking trail from this point.

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. 


Please come to the park prepared to be self reliant as there are no facilities located in the park.

Useful information

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

See and do


Easy walks

  • Monarto loop walk  (45 min, 1.2km)

An easy, short, loop walk on flat terrain in the north-eastern corner of the park. The trail is well marked and will take around 45 minutes return depending on how many birds you stop to look at!

Stay in the park

There is no camping or accommodation available within this park. 




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.



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 restrictions

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

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.



Entry fees

Come and enjoy this park for free.

Camping and accommodation

There is no camping or accommodation available within this park. 

Park pass

This park is not included in the park pass system. 

PDF Park Brochure