Nilpena Ediacara National Park is a national park in the South Australian Outback. It's one of South Australia's newest national parks, only proclaimed in June 2021, but only opened in early 2023 when visitor facilities were built. The park includes the former Ediacara Conservation Park as well as another 60,000 hectares and is home to some of the earliest animal life anywhere found in the world.
Nilpena Ediacara National Park is rather one unique park, home to fossils from over 500 million years ago — long before dinosaurs roamed the planet. Fossils here have helped discover earliest complex animal life on Earth.
The Ediacara Conservation Park was proclaimed on 26 April 2007 over land of what had been declared as a conservation reserve in 1993 and as a fossil reserve in 1958. In March 2019, the Government of South Australia purchased 60,000 hectares (150,000 acres) of adjacent land from the Nilpena Pastoral Company to enlarge the conservation park by ten times, and so the park now extends as far as Lake Torrens National Park.
In June 2021, the entire area was reclassified and proclaimed as Nilpena Ediacara National Park. A visitor hub and Ediacara Fossil experience were developed in 2021, expected to open in early 2023.
Flora and fauna edit
Get in edit
From the South Australian capital of Adelaide, head north on the M2 Northern Connector and then exit onto the A1 Port Wakefield Rd. Continue on that road up for about three hours up until just before Port Augusta, where you'll turn onto B83 Flinders Ranges Way, continue for about 220 km. Then once you're at Beltana Station, you will see a huge gateway welcoming you to the park.
Access to the park will also only be done via guided tours. See § Get around for more about that.
Fees and permits edit
See #Get around.
Get around edit
You are only allowed to visit the park on a guided tour that requires bookings in advance (which can be made on the park website). Tours only operate on Wednesdays and Saturdays and cost $80 per person.
- Alice's Restaurant Bed. The name of this fossil bed dates back to the 1960s, when Arlo Guthrie released a song called "Alice’s Restaurant", which was about being able to get whatever you want at a restaurant. That context was put into this fossil bed when paleontologists found those fossils.
- 1 Randell Lookout will be a lookout constructed at a peak. It's unclear what you'll see from the lookout, though.
Eat and drink edit
The nearest eateries can be found in Leigh Creek.
There are no accommodation facilities, nor are there be any sort of recreation facilities – this is in order to protect the area from fossil theft. The nearest accommodation can be found at Leigh Creek, which is about a 30-minute from the park.
Stay safe edit
Go next edit
- Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park is a nearby park also in the Flinders Ranges as the name of the park suggests