Kaiserstuhl Conservation Park

Where is it?: Kaiserstuhl Conservation Park is located approximately 80 kilometres north-east of Adelaide and approximately 12 kilometres south-east of Tanunda along Tanunda Creek Road, in the northern Mount Lofty Ranges.

Owner: Department of the Environment, Water and Natural Resources

Property summary: Total area 402 hectares – Hundred of Moorooroo – Sections 531, 623, 730, 732, 733, 736, 737, 844, 848, 859-862 and 910

Natural Resources Management Region: Natural Resources Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges

History: In February 1978, Mr M.A. Picard, Project Officer with the Nature Conservation Society of SA, presented a report to the Society on the conservation value of land known as the Pohlner Estate, situated in the vicinity of Kaiserstuhl. When the area became available for sale, a portion was purchased at auction with funds provided by Mr Leo Waken Nicholls, who left the sum of $30,000 to the Field Naturalists’ Society of SA Inc in a bequest. A small plaque in the park is dedicated to the memory of the late Mr Nicholls (21 July 1894–24 August 1971), who was a keen bushwalker.

The park was first proclaimed on 3 May 1979 (Sections 531,  623, 730, 732, 733, 736, 737, 844, 848) and named after the nearby prominent hill, Kaiserstuhl. Sections 859-862 were added on 3 December 1987 and Section 910 on 5 June 1986.

The park is important for the conservation of local flora (of which a significant number of species are rare or endangered), for its value as wildlife habitat and for the protection of the headwaters of Tanunda Creek. It is also noteworthy as a collecting area of a number of Barossa Range plants collected by Drs Ferdinand von Mueller and Hans Herman Behr from 1844 to 1851.

Habitat: Native vegetation in Kaiserstuhl Conservation Park is very diverse, with numerous vegetation communities present. Four main vegetation associations are found within the park.

  • Forest: The main forest association is Brown Stringybark (Eucalyptus baxteri), often with South Australian Blue Gum (E. leucoxylon), Drooping Sheoak (Allocasuarina verticillata), Golden Wattle (Acacia pycnantha) and Yacca (Xanthorrhoea semiplana ssp. semiplana). This is the northernmost limit of brown stringybark in South Australia. In places, drooping sheoak forms low, open forest, with occasional Rough-barked Manna Gum (E. viminalis var. cygnetensis) over a yacca and grassy understorey.
  • Woodland: A River Red Gum (E. camaldulensis) woodland association occurs along creek lines and floodplains, often with Silver Banksia (Banksia marginata) creating the midstorey. Other trees forming woodland associations are South Australian Blue Gum, rough-barked manna gum and Drooping Sheoak. In most of these woodland habitats, Golden Wattle and/or Yacca form the major component of the understorey.
  • Shrubland: The smaller patches of shrubland include those dominated by Wallowa (Acacia calamifolia), Wirilda (A. retinodes), Yacca, Tea-trees (Leptospermum continentale, L. myrsinoides) or the less common Prickly Tree violet (Hymenanthera dentata).
  • Sedgeland, Herbland and Grassland: Sedgelands border streams in places and include a range of sedge and rush species (Lepidosperma spp., Isolepis spp., Cyperus spp., Chorizandra spp. and Eleocharis spp.). Herblands include open patches with sundews (Drosera spp.) and New Holland Daisy (Vittadinia sp.) or consist of moss beds with herbs on rocky outcrops. Native grassland vegetation in open areas appears to be in decline and exotic weeds such as Salvation Jane (Echium plantagineum) have become more widespread. It is thought that this may be due to the grazing pressure of rabbits and what is considered to be an artificially large population of kangaroos.

More information: DEWNR

Total Species Recorded to Date: 138 (non-passerines 72, passerines 66)

Common Species: Superb Fairywren, Yellow-rumped Thornbill, New Holland Honeyeater, Yellow-faced Honeyeater, White-naped Honeyeater, Crescent Honeyeater, Grey Shrikethrush

Less Common Species: Australian Owlet-nightjar, Cockatiel, Yellow Thornbill, White-browed Scrubwren, Southern Whiteface, Black-capped Sittella, Jacky Winter

Download the bird list