Penola Conservation Park

  • Picnic Areas
  • Walking Trails
  • Bird Watching
PDF Park Brochure
Penola - SA Location Map

Waterbirds thrive in Penola Conservation Park's wetland environment. Birdwatchers and those seeking a quiet spot for a picnic or the chance to see native wildlife will be rewarded here.


Visit Penola Conservation Park to discover its wetland environment, woodlands and open heaths.

The park's swamps (when full) provide a breeding area for numerous waterbirds such as herons, ibis and swamphens which make the park an interesting site for birdwatching. It is also a haven for orchids in spring. You may also see flocks of yellow-tailed black-cockatoos or encounter a short-beaked echidna, red-necked wallaby or a western grey kangaroo.

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 - Mount Gambier

Phone: (+61 8) 8735 1177

When to visit

The park is attractive all-year round, offering visitors a different experience each season. Spring is the best time to see wildflowers, honeyeaters feeding amongst the blossoms and echidnas searching under shrubs for busy ants. During autumn the park comes alive with small seasonal plants and feeding parrots. In the winter and spring months, much of the park is underwater, making this a good time to see waterbirds and frogs.

Getting there

Penola Conservation Park is located 13km west of Penola or 392km south east of Adelaide. Access is via the Robe-Penola Road.

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. 


Bring a packed lunch and enjoy an open air meal in one of the picnic areas located in the park. 

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.

See and do


There is currently no bushwalking information available for this park, please contact the park office for more information. 

Mountain biking

Mountain biking is currently not permitted in this park. 

Stay in the park

Camping is not permitted within this park.


Native vegetation that was common in the South East before agriculture and forestry became widespread is evident throughout the park. On the dunes there is an open woodland of brown stringybark, while the wetlands and flats support river red gums. Water ribbons and running marsh flowers grow in the swamps. The low heath area is bright in spring with common fringe-myrtle, flame heath and yellow guinea-flowers. Masses of spider orchids flower in spring and can be seen beside the nature trail.


Endangered red-tailed black-cockatoos, elusive restless flycatchers and flocks of yellow-tailed black-cockatoos are just some of the birdlife that can be found in the park. The swamps attract waterbirds such as herons, ibis and purple swamphens.

Echidnas, red-necked wallabies and western grey kangaroos can often be seen and, at night, sugar gliders and bats are active. Sleepy lizards can be seen during summer and, in winter, common long-necked tortoises are present.


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.




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?


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 between 22 November 2017 to 30 April 2018.
  • You must bring your own firewood, as the collection of firewood within National Parks is 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.

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. 

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