areas protected for conservation in the Australian state of South Australia

Conservation areas in Australia topics:
National parksMarine parksIndigenous Protected Areas

State/territory national parks: NSWNTQldSATas.Vic.WA

There are twenty-eight national parks in Australia's third largest state, and unlike neighbouring New South Wales, national parks in South Australia are only reserved for the finest parks. The state is home to Australia's largest national park, several dry lakes, the vast Flinders Ranges, several fossil sites, one of which is world heritage listed and unusual geological formations.

Understand Edit

Admirals Arch in Flinders Chase National Park

Unlike other states, South Australia has a hierarchy when it comes to what is a national park and they are only reserved for the finest landscapes. Some national parks in other Australian states may only be a conservation park, game reserve, recreational area, regional reserves, conservation reserves or a wilderness protection area. Like other states, the state government manages most marine parks that are within 5.5 km from the shore, with the waters further than 5.5 km being managed by Parks Australia.

Park websites Edit

There are two websites that are used by the SA government.

Some individual parks or historic sites such as Naracoorte Caves or Adelaide Gaol will have its own website (in this case or, but those are the two main websites used.

National Parks and Wildlife Act 1972 Edit

The "National Parks and Wildlife Act 1972" (also known as the "National Parks Act") is South Australia's primary legislation regarding the establishment and management of protected areas. The act uses the term "reserve" instead of the term "protected area" while the agency administering the act generally uses the term "park". The act concerns the establishment and management of reserves, the establishment of sanctuaries, the conservation of indigenous plants and animals, the declaration of protected animals, the management of protected animals with respect to the collection, capture, breeding and control of hunting.

World heritage national parks Edit

Unlike other states, South Australia only has a single world-heritage listed national park, Naracoorte Caves National Park. However, in April 2021, the Flinders Ranges were added to the tentative list, which include Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park, Nilpena Ediacara National Park and Vulkathunha-Gammon Ranges National Park.

Get in Edit

Most national parks will have at least one public road to get in, but some such as Lake Torres NP don't have any, and you will have to use private roads, often with permits required. Getting one might take days, if not weeks and you will need to do some planning in advance.

If you are going to a park in the Outback, make sure to check the SA government's Outback Road Warnings report before leaving.

National parks Edit

Map of South Australian national parks

As a key, a shaded turquoise background indicates the park is part of a UNESCO World Heritage List site while a shaded orange background indicates the park is part of a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. A red background indicates that it is on the tentative list for world heritage.

Park Established Image Area Region Description
1 Adelaide International Bird Sanctuary National Park—Winaityinaityi Pangkara 2016   24.57 km2 (9.49 sq mi) Adelaide Region A very large bird sanctuary.
2 Belair National Park 1891   8.35 km2 (3.22 sq mi) Adelaide South Australia's first national park, home to several historic sites and waterfalls. By today's standards, it's only a conservation park, but it remains for historical reasons.
3 Canunda National Park   1959   96.24 km2 (37.16 sq mi) Limestone Coast A park with coastal dunes, limestone cliffs and natural bushland.
4 Cleland National Park 1945 (conservation park)
2021 (national park)
  11.25 km2 (4.34 sq mi) Adelaide Region Formerly a conservation park until 2021, Cleland is known for those wanting to reach the Mt. Lofty summit and its wildlife park.
5 Coffin Bay National Park   1982   309.76 km2 (119.60 sq mi) Eyre Peninsula An area with pristine turquoise waters near Port Lincoln, particularly of interest for bird watchers.
6 Coorong National Park 1967   490.15 km2 (189.25 sq mi) Murray and Mallee Riverland One of the world's longest beaches, and an important cultural site for the indigenous Ngarrindjeri people
7 Deep Creek National Park 1971   44.96 km2 (17.36 sq mi) Fleurieu Peninsula
8 Dhilba Guuranda–Innes National Park 1970   94.15 km2 (36.35 sq mi) Yorke Peninsula
9 Flinders Chase National Park   1919 (nature reserve)
1972 (national pakr)
  326.61 km2 (126.10 sq mi) Kangaroo Island A place to go sealion-watching in Kangaroo Island
10 Gawler Ranges National Park 2002   1,628.75 km2 (628.86 sq mi) Eyre Peninsula
11 Glenthorne National Park–Ityamaiitpinna Yarta   2020   N/A Adelaide A new national park created after transforming the O'Halloran Hill Recreation Park and with the addition of the Hallett Cove Conservation Park, Marino Conservation Park, areas of the Field River Valley and the Happy Valley Reservoir.
12 Great Australian Bight Marine National Park   1996   1,233.22 km2 (476.15 sq mi) (state waters) Outback / Commonwealth waters Home to a lot of sea lions and whales
13 Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park 1945   933.97 km2 (360.61 sq mi) Outback South Australia's most iconic national park, containing a naturally formed amphitheatre
14 Kati Thanda-Lake Eyre National Park 1985   13,488.37 km2 (5,207.89 sq mi) Outback An important reserve of Australasian wildlife
15 Lake Gairdner National Park   1991   5,531.77 km2 (2,135.83 sq mi) Outback
16 Lake Torrens National Park   1991 5,676.68 km2 (2,191.78 sq mi) Outback
17 Lincoln National Park   1941   216.38 km2 (83.54 sq mi) Eyre Peninsula
18 Malkumba-Coongie Lakes National Park   2005 266.69 km2 (102.97 sq mi) Outback
19 Mount Remarkable National Park   1952   150 km2 (58 sq mi) Outback
20 Munga-Thirri–Simpson Desert National Park 2021   36,000 km2 (14,000 sq mi) Outback Australia's largest national park
21 Murray River National Park   1991   135.92 km2 (52.48 sq mi) Murray and Mallee Riverland
22 Naracoorte Caves National Park 1972 (conservation park)
2001 (national park)
  6.6 km2 (2.5 sq mi) Limestone Coast South Australia's only World Heritage national park is home to one of Australia's largest fossil deposits
23 Nilpena Ediacara National Park 2021 Outback One of the state's newest parks, having opened to the public in early 2023, it contains some of the oldest fossils in the world from the Ediacaran era. The Ediacaran era was named after the former name of the park (Ediacara Conservation Reserve)
24 Nullarbor National Park   1979 (org boundary)
2013 (present boundary)
  323.10 km2 (124.75 sq mi) (national park)
28,500 km2 (11,000 sq mi) (protected area)
Outback Vast openness with nothing in sight. From a travel perspective, it is often considered to be part of the same park as the Nullabor Wilderness Protection Area. Unfortunately, its area was significantly reduced in 2013, where much of it is now part of the Nullabor Wilderness Protection Area.
25 Onkaparinga River National Park   1993   15.42 km2 (5.95 sq mi) Adelaide
26 Vulkathunha-Gammon Ranges National Park 1970   1,257.23 km2 (485.42 sq mi) Outback
27 Wapma Thura–Southern Flinders Ranges National Park   2021 Outback
28 Witjira National Park   1985   7,726.73 km2 (2,983.31 sq mi) Outback

See also Edit

This travel topic about South Australian national parks is a usable article. It touches on all the major areas of the topic. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.