Gawler Ranges National Park

Scenic landscapes, rocky ranges and ancient nature

The Gawler Ranges National Park is a beautiful retreat in Outback South Australia. Return to nature and refresh your batteries.
The park is located in the southern Gawler Ranges. It was established in 2000 after the South Australian Government purchased Paney Station, one of the oldest pastoral properties in the area. Parts of Scrubby Creek station where added to the park in the following year.

Red rocks looking like organ pipesThe Organ Pipes formation in the park

The rolling hills are covered with spinifex, and salt bush in the north, and mallee bush in the south.
The ancient volcanic landscape developed more than 1,500 years ago. The Gawler Ranges are famous for the volcanic rhyolite columns which abound in the park.

Protection of this special area and developing responsible tourism has been the aim ever since the Gawler Ranges National Park was established.

Gawler Ranges National Park - Facts and Attractions

Nukey Bluff is the highest hill in the park, many others are over 400 m as well.

Places of interest are historic sites like Old Paney Homestead, Policemans Point & Pondanna Outstation.

Natural features include the Organ Pipes & the Kolay Mirica Falls. It is a rare event to see much water there, but the falls are framed by beautiful rhyolite columns.

The Organ Pipes (pictured above) are definitely worth a visit. A short walk of 500 m over rocky terrain is required to see the huge stone columns.

View from a lookout over a hazy plain.Superb view from the Conical Hill Track

A scenic landmark amongst others is certainly Conical Hill. When you drive from the east, the views on top over a plain towards ancient sand dunes are stunning.
We had quite some fun, it was a nice 4 WD drive experience.

A sign explaining the unique landscape

The park is home of threatened wildlife species like the yellow-footed rock-wallaby, the malley fowl and Major Mitchell's Cockatoo.
Some plants are locally endemic and very special as well. In spring you can see carpets of wildflowers.

Water is scarce in the park. Creeks are running through rocky gorges and gullies seasonally only. Rainfall is unreliable and on average 295 mm per year.
Whenever you visit, bring your own water for drinking and cooking.

Kangaroo watching our stepsKangaroo watching our steps

Gawler Ranges National Park - Useful Information

Entry Fees apply for almost all national parks and conservation reserves in Australia. The entry fee for the Gawler Ranges National Park is $ 10.00 per vehicle. This is a once only fee, regardless how long you are staying in the park.

Additional camping fees per night apply for camping in the park. Costs per night are $ 12 at the moment.

Basic sites for bush camping in the park are at Scrubby Peak, Waganny, Yandinga, Chillunie, Mattera and Kolya Hut.
These camp sites have toilets and picnic tables. Camp fires are permitted outside the fire ban season.

If possible bring your own fire wood, or use a gas stove. Don't cut any trees or bushes. Even dead wood lying on the ground provides a habitat for small animals and insects. Bring plenty of water.

Basic bush camp site Gawler RangesScrubby Creek Camp

Important Notice

National Parks in South Australia are closed about once or twice a year for a couple of days. The closure is for visitor's safety during a pest control and monitoring program.
Please check on South Australia's National Parks website before you go to avoid disappointment.

Additionally, the old "honesty box" for payments is not an option to pay your fees any more. Visitors are asked to pay park entry and camping fees online before their visit. If you are unable to pay in advance, here is a list with agents throughout South Australia who take bookings & payments.

Getting around
A 4 wheel-drive car with high clearance is required to explore the national park.
Please see the Visitor Information section on the Gawler Ranges main entry for more information.

Last but not least, enjoy yourself and the beautiful nature in the Australian Outback.

Sandy roadMattera Track

Discover the secrets of the Gawler Ranges

The articles below will help you prepare your journey