Cleland Conservation Park

Where is it?: The park extending from Mount Lofty Summit in the east to Waterfall Gully in the west is in the highest part of the Mount Lofty Ranges. Greenhill Road forms the northern boundary and Mount Barker Road the south-eastern boundary.  It includes the Cleland Wildlife Reserve (entry fee payable), Mount Lofty Summit and Waterfall Gully. Access via Waterfall Gully Road is 11km and via Mount Lofty Summit Road 18-20m depending on route. Public transport is very limited with only two or three services during the day to/from Crafers Interchange (Bus Route 823).

Owner: Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources

Property summary: Total area 1025 hectares. Hundred of Adelaide – Sections 568, 579, 608, 637, 641, 642, 729, 741, 920, 6034, Allotments 23, 40, 51, 57 and Hundred of Onkaparinga – Allotment 10, Pieces 24-26.

Landscape Management Region: Hills and Fleurieu

History: In 1856, at the time of subdivision of the foothills, one block,which included the first fall at Waterfall Gully, was retained as a Government Reserve. In 1884 it was gazetted as a ”place for the amusement and recreation of the public” under the control of the Burnside District Council. The area remained under the control of the Burnside Council until 1912, when it became the State’s first National Pleasure Resort under the administration of the National Resorts Advisory Board and later in 1915, the Tourist Bure

Mount Lofty Reserve had been established as early as 1867. The obelisk, Flinders Column was built near the summit in 1902 as a trigonometrical station. Like Waterfall Gully, the Mount Lofty Summit Reserve was also a National Pleasure Resort under the control of the Tourist Bureau.

In 1945 the Government purchased at auction the Obelisk Estate that now comprises the bulk of the Cleland Conservation Park. In 1965 the development of the Native Fauna Zone got underway and was officially opened to the public in April 1967. This is now the Cleland Wildlife Park. The scenic areas of Mount Lofty Summit and Waterfall Gully were added to the park in 1972.

Habitat: The higher slopes of the park are mainly Messmate Stringybark (Eucalyptus obliqua) and Brown Stringybark (E. baxteri) woodland with a complex understorey of small trees and shrubs. The lower woodlands on the northern side of the park contain significant stands of South Australian Blue Gum (E. leucoxylon) and Manna Gum (E. viminalis) which give way to open grasslands.

More information: DEWNR

Total Species Recorded to Date: 95 (non-passerine 46, passerine 49)

Common Species: Common Bronzewing, Laughing Kookaburra, Fan-tailed Cuckoo, Striated Thornbill, Brown Thornbill, White-browed Scrubwren, White-throated Treecreeper, Eastern Spinebill, Australian Golden Whistler, Grey Fantail

Less Common Species: Australian Hobby, White-plumed Honeyeater, Chestnut-rumped Heathwren, Rufous Whistler, Spotted Pardalote

Updated: 24/07/2021

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