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Find a Park > Limestone Coast

Mount Monster Conservation Park

  • Picnic Areas
  • Camping
  • Walking Trails
  • Bird Watching

About

Located 12 km south of Keith, Mount Monster Conservation Park boasts many special features. The parks is noted for its predominant geological feature, an unusual granite outcrop found only in one other location in South Australia. A short hike to the summit offers uninterrupted views over the granite outcrops, natural bushland and the flat agricultural land extending into the horizon. For the inquisitive, an interpretive self-guided walk around the base of the granite outcrop will reveal some of the secrets of Mount Monster.

A mosaic of soil types surrounding the outcrops ranging from shallow stony soil to dark brown loams supports a diverse ecosystem of bushland including blue and pinkgum woodland, mallee, broombush heath and golden and prickly wattle shrublands. Sheoaks, banksias and hakeas are other prevailing species, and in spring, a spectacularly rich diversity of wildflowers including orchids can be seen. The park also provides an important refuge for wildlife including kangaroos, wallabies, echidnas, woodland birds, and reptiles.

With all this to offer, Mount Monster will quickly become a favourite park for family picnics, hikes, wildflower viewing and bird watching.

Opening hours

Open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Contact details

Natural Resource Office South East

Address: 61 Anzac Terrace, Keith
Phone: (+61  8) 8755 1620
Regional Duty Officer: (+61 8) 8735 1177

When to visit

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, and winter months from June through to August can be very cold and wet. Following an exceptionally wet winter, a spectacular wildflower show in spring will live long in your memory.

Getting there

The park is located approximately 12 km south of Keith on the western side of the Riddoch (Keith to Naracoorte) Highway.

Dogs not allowed

Dogs are not permitted in this park.

Discover which parks you can walk your dog in on our find a park tool or read 12 dog-friendly walks in Adelaide Parks by Good Living for inspiration.

Assistance dogs

Assistance dogs are permitted in most public places and are therefore welcome in South Australia’s parks and reserves. Assistance dogs must be appropriately restrained on a lead and remain under your effective control at all times while in a park or reserve.

As per the dogs in parks and reserves policy, if the dog is not an accredited assistance dog, they must be trained to assist a person with a disability to alleviate that disability and meet standards of hygiene and behaviour appropriate for a dog in a public place. However, refusal may be given if the person with the disability is unable to produce evidence the dog is an assistance dog with the appropriate training.

Before taking your assistance dog into a park that does not normally allow dogs, it is highly recommended that you contact us so we can provide you with the latest information on any potential hazards within specific parks that may affect your dog. Please contact the park via the contact details provided under the contact tab or call the information line on (+61 8) 8204 1910.

Useful information

  • 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

Aboriginal peoples have occupied, enjoyed and managed the lands and waters of this State for thousands of generations. For Aboriginal first nations, 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. 

There are many places across the State that have great spiritual significance to Aboriginal first nations.  At some of these places Aboriginal cultural protocols, such as restricted access, are promoted and visitors are asked to respect the wishes of Traditional Owners.

In places where protocols are not promoted visitors are asked to show respect by not touching or removing anything, and make sure you take all your rubbish with you when you leave.

Aboriginal peoples continue to play an active role in caring for their Country, including in parks across South Australia. 

European history

This park occupies an area of 93 hectares in Section 178 of the Hundred of Stirling. It was dedicated as a Conservation Park in September 1976 as a gift from three surrounding Landowners. The disused quarry area was later added to the park in 2011. Mt Monster was also an important historical navigation aid during the Gold rush era, and the inital settlemet of Mt Monster was later renamed to Keith.

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.

  • Enjoy a picnic in natural surroundings
  • Visit during spring when wildflowers are at their best
  • Sit quietly and listen to the sounds of the bush
  • Bring binoculars and a bird field guide to do some bird watching
  • Hike to the summit for superb views of the landscape
  • Take the interpretive trail to learn more about Mount Monster

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.

Moderate hikes

  • Mount Monster summit hike (600m return, 30 min)

     A hike strait to the summit of Mount Monster, rewarded with spectacular uninterrupted views of the surrounding
     landscape.    

  • Gwen Ellis Walking Trail (1.2km return, 1 hr)

     A peaceful hike through different habitats with several advantage points offering superb views over surrounding
     agricultural land.

Mountain biking

You can ride your bike on public access roads within the park.

Stay in the park

Overnight camping is permitted in the designated areas within the park, there are no facilities so please come prepared to be self sufficient.

Camping is free in this park, you do not need to book online.

Flora

Eight different vegetation associations consisting of at least 176 different plant species have been identified, 30 of those are orchids. One species, Cradle of Incense (Prostanthera eurybioides) is considered nationally endangered.

The eight different vegetation associations are:

Broombrush, Honey Myrtle and Dryland Tea Tree

Widespread throughout the park, but the mix of these three species varies considerably through the park, depending on soil type.

Hedge Wattle, Broombrush, Honey Myrtle, Dryland Tea-Tree

Only on the rocky outcrops, also dominated by Spoon-leaved spydridium and Drooping sheoak.

Pink Gum, Desert Banksia and Silver Banksia

This occurs only along the edge of the road on the northern boundary. It has the most divers understorey of all the associations in Mont Monster.

Yellow Mallee, Honey Myrtle and Dryland Tea-Tree

Occurs away from the porphoritic outcrops over shallow soils.

Pink Gums, Golden Wattle, Honey Myrtle and Dryland Tea-Tree

Occurring on the deep alluvial soils, this has a dense and diverse understorey.

Peppermint Box and White Mallee

With emergent Pink Gum and Golden Wattle it is the most wide-spread associated in the park and has a large mix of species with a sparse understorey.

Peppermint Box and South Australian Coastal Mallee

Only found along the south-eastern boundary of the park with limited and sparse understorey.

Blue Gum and Peppermint Box

Occurs in the deep alluvial soils between the porphoritic outcrops. The trees are amature, well spaced and have no understorey.

Fauna

The park supports a variety of wildlife habitats and is an important refuge to many wildlife species. Keep a keen look out for Western grey kangaroos, Swamp and red necked wallabies, short-beaked echidnas, and variety of woodland birds and reptiles.

Volunteering

Want to help?

To find out how you can help in this park or nearby, please visit Natural Resources South East – 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

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.

Fire

This park is closed on days of Catastrophic Fire Danger and may be closed on days of Extreme Fire Danger. Listen to your local radio station for the latest updates.

CFS website
• CFS Hotline: 1300 362 361

Fire restrictions

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

Bushwalking

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?

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.

Maps

Fees

Entry fees

Come and enjoy this park for free. 

Camping and accommodation

Camping is free in this park, you do not need to book online.

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