Ridley Conservation Park

  • Camping
  • Walking Trails
  • Bird Watching
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Ridley Conservation Park is conveniently located close to other reserves such as the Swan Reach Conservation Park and the Marne Valley Conservation Park. It is also close to The Big Bend, a popular tourist attraction which provides spectacular views of colourful cliffs along the River Murray.

The park mainly consists of mallee open woodland vegetation, and the keen birdwatcher may be able to spot species such as honey eaters, mallee ringnecks, Purple-crowned lorikeets and butcher birds.


Ridley Conservation Park is located approximately 10 km from Swan Reach, with the southern edge of the park on the valley of the River Marne. 

Close by you will also find the popular Big Bend on the River Murray, providing spectacular views of colourful cliffs along the River Murray, quite a popular tourist attraction for the region.

The park encompasses areas of flat limestone plains, however there is a high point located in the south area of the park known locally as Hayward’s Hill, along with an old dis-used quarry in this area.

Vegetation in the park is very representative of the region with mallee open woodland including red mallee and yorrell through to semi-arid low woodlands. Stands of murray pine are associated with shrubland of hopbush and cassias. If you are a keen bird watcher, keep an eye out for honeyeaters, mallee ringnecks, purple-crowned lorikeets and butcherbirds.


Open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

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

Ridley Conservation Park is located on the Western side of the Mannum to Swan Reach Road, about 6 kilometres south of the turn off from the Sedan to Swan Reach 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. 


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

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.


Ridley Conservation Park was proclaimed on the 27th of April 1972, after having previously been proclaimed as Ridley National Parks Reserve on the 30th of May 1968. Prior to this, Ridley Conservation Park was part of a Travelling Stock Reserve which ran for approximately 5-10km parallel to the River Murray.

This reserve connected Murray Bridge to the stock market of Burra. Travelling Stock Reserves were usually approximately 400 metres wide, were given fixed boundaries and often followed existing stock tracks as these were invariably cleared and grazed. By confining stock movement to designated areas, there was minimal interference with surrounding properties and stock movement could be supervised by the Department of Lands Ranger.

See and do


Management tracks throughout the park provide an opportunity for walking trails, however no specific trail information is available for this park.

Stay in the park

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

Please note online booking is not required for this park. 

Mountain biking

Mountain biking is currently not permitted in 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.



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.


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.


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 15 November 2017 to 15 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.



Entry fees

Come and enjoy this park for free. 

Camping and accommodation

 Camping is free in this park, online booking is not required. 

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