Cleland Conservation Park and Wildlife Park

Just 12 km from Adelaide City centre, Cleland Conservation Park conserves a vital area of natural bushland on the Adelaide Hills face and includes the internationally popular Cleland Wildlife Park, the viewing platform of Mt Lofty Summit (50Kb PDF) and scenic Waterfall Gully. The area has a rich history of Aboriginal occupation and European settlement.


What's New!

Numbats on Public Display
Cleland Wildlife Park has scored a coup with its new numbat enclosure, the first time the marsupials will be on display in a South Australian wildlife park or zoo since their local extinction sixty years ago.

Environment and Conservation Minister, Gail Gago said the two four year old females were settling into their new home after arriving from the Perth Zoo where they were part of a captive breeding program.

"Numbats became extinct in SA in the 1940s due to a combination of factors, including habitat clearance and predation by foxes and cats," Minister Gago said.

Speaking on World Environment Day, Minister Gago said visitors to Cleland would now have a unique opportunity to see the numbats in an enclosed area because unlike most Australian marsupials, they were active during the day.

"Numbats are listed as endangered in our state and vulnerable nationally. A population has been re-established in the State's Murray Mallee region at Yookamurra Sanctuary near Swan Reach and another is being established within the Arid Recovery Reserve near Roxby Downs.

The role of the numbats at Cleland is to educate the public about the species' status and ongoing conservation programs. The first two currently on display are no longer breeding, but Cleland plans to obtain breeding animals in the future to assist the broader reintroduction program, as well as to maintain an exhibit within the park.

The numbats are about the size of a guinea pig with a long nose and long brushy tail.


Ocean to Outback Interpretive Centre

Interpretive centre
Experience...... South Australia's unique landscapes, from the coast to the Outback - and even the backyard - on display today in a new exhibition which has opened at Cleland Wildlife Park.


Thrilling and informative, "Ocean to Outback" is interactive, taking the visitor on a journey through South Australia, delivering a taste of what to expect when visiting the diverse landscapes of South Australia.


Walk on boardwalk over ancient beach sand, view vistas of dynamic South Australian coastal systems and be enlightened and thrilled by the tail luring of the Death Adder while journeying the coast and islands landscape of 'Ocean to Outback'.


Marvel at the antiquity of the Flinders and Gammons ranges, while feeling the Ediacaran fossil impressions, embedded in the rocks of the Ghost bat cave. Delight at viewing the fat tailed Marsupial Mice through their hollowed log window while carefully lifting the bark panel to reveal the geckos living beneath the timber of South Australia's arid ranges landscapes.


On the boardwalk
Enter the desert at dusk and view the Woma pythons emerging from their daytime burrow to search for food. Wonder at the transformation from parched landscape to breath-taking beauty as the desert landscapes of South Australia respond to rain but take care to be prepared for changing conditions and take care of the landscape.


Step into your own backyard and be amazed that Adelaide backyards account for almost 14000 ha of landscape and the area we know as metropolitan Adelaide was once the richest in biodiversity of any landscape in South Australia?


Use our multimedia screens to see how you can establish your own 'Backyard for Wildlife' using plants, local to your area and assist in providing habitat for butterflies, bats, possums, lizards, frogs and birds.


What's Happening?
Daily Animal Feed Presentations
Join Cleland staff daily for friendly & informative sessions as they feed some of our resident wildlife. Visitors will gain a fascinating insight into Australia's wildlife by participating in one of these sessions.


Daily feed times are:


Lorikeets 12.30 pm
Tasmanian Devils 2 pm
Dingoes 2.30 pm
Swamp aviary birds 2.45 pm
Pelicans/waterbirds 3 pm
Bush birds 3.15 pm
*Snakes/reptiles 1.30 pm *Sundays only


Koala Close-up Experience
Come face to face with a koala, one of Australia's most unique animals, by joining one of our daily "Koalas in Close up " sessions.


These hands on information sessions are available daily: 11 am to 12 noon & 2 pm to 4 pm


Koala Handling Experience

Koala handling

A popular experience when visiting Cleland Wildlife Park is the koala handling opportunity. Cuddle a koala whilst being professionally photographed making a memorable experience. Presented in a special folder, the photo makes a great souvenir of your visit.


This service is available daily between 2.30 pm and 3.30 pm with an extra session on Sundays between 11am until 12 pm.


Nightlife @ Cleland - Every Friday Fortnight
Nightlife @ Cleland is an exclusive 90 minute guided tour exploring the park's nocturnal wildlife. Huddle up tight and discover by torchlight small mammals such as bandicoots, bettongs and potoroos at their most active. Experience complete forest darkness while listening, feeling and adjusting to a nocturnal environment. Feed wild possums and search for bats and learn how to create habitats for nocturnal animals in your own backyard. Discover Cleland's new 'Ocean to Outback' Interpretive Centre and enjoy a warm cuppa with your Cleland Tour Guide and a local furry resident.


*Please call (08) 8339 2444 to confirm the next scheduled Nightlife @ Cleland tour. A minimum of 12 persons are required for the tour to occur. Bookings essential.


Time: 6.45 pm for 7 pm start


Cost: Adults $22 / Children $13.50/ Discount available for groups of 20 persons or more.


Guided tour

Cleland Wildlife Park offers guided tours (1hour duration) for groups wishing to receive a more informative experience. Tours run for 1 hour and a guide can accommodate 20 persons.


Tour Guide Cost: $63.00 (Weekdays & Saturdays) & $126.00 (Sundays & Public Holidays)



Driving from the city, take Glen Osmond Road to the South Eastern Freeway. Exit at Crafers and turn left at the roundabout. Follow Summit Road (Mt Lofty Scenic Route) to the Cleland turn-off.


To travel by bus catch the 164F (Monday-Friday) and the 165 (Saturday & Sunday) 'park and ride bus' from the city to Crafers and link with the 823 service which stops at the Cleland Wildlife Park. The bus trip takes about 40 minutes. There are four services daily (check with Adelaide Metro for details).


Entry fees for Cleland Wildlife Park apply.


Natural Attractions
Within its 1,000 ha, Cleland Conservation Park offers visitors a variety of walking trails that provide fascinating insights into the diverse wildlife and cultural heritage of the area. Vegetation on the higher slopes is predominantly stringybark forest with a complex understorey of small trees and shrubs. The lower woodlands on the northern side of the Park contain significant stands of Blue Gum and Manna Gum which give way to open grasslands.


Cleland Wildlife Park is a must-see attraction and photo opportunity for visitors from all over the world. Here you come face-to-face and hands-on with Australia's unique wildlife and can join animal attendants on the animal feed runs or discover the world of nocturnal animals on a guided nightwalk. The Yurridla Trail, offers a chance to hear Aboriginal guides bring to life their Dreaming stories and explain the inseparable relationship between Aboriginal culture and Australian wildlife. Bookings (61 8) 8339 2444 are essential for nightwalks which are generally conducted on the third Saturday of each month.


Picturesque Waterfall Gully offers visitors a variety of bushwalking opportunities, spectacular waterfalls and ideal picnic spots. There is also a chalet kiosk and café.



Sir John Burton Cleland
Cleland Conservation Park has been a protective haven for native flora and fauna since 1963, but the impacts of a long history of timber felling and agriculture are still evident in the Park. Many large forest trees were logged from the 1830s, leaving a network of trails used to haul timber down to the city. Farming activities included sheep and cattle grazing, which resulted in significant erosion, and many of the lower slopes were cleared for market gardens, vineyards and olive groves.


There had been some protection of the areas of Waterfall Gully and Mt Lofty Summit (50Kb PDF) by the National Pleasure Resorts' Advisory Board since 1912, but it was not until 1945, when the South Australian Government purchased the land at public auction, that the remaining area received some level of protection, thanks to 20 years of lobbying by Sir John Cleland.


In 1963, the land transferred to the National Parks Commission. It became Cleland Conservation Park in the 1970s, when the land surrounding Waterfall Gully and Mt Lofty Summit were added to the reserve.


The Kaurna Aboriginal people of the Adelaide Plains know the area as Yurridla. Their Dreaming stories tell of Yurrebilla, the creator ancestor of the Kaurna people. His fallen body forms the Mt Lofty Ranges, with his ears being the twin peaks of Mt Lofty and Mt Bonython. Today, the spirit of Yurrebilla looks down from the hills and protects all forms of life along the plains.


The Friends of Cleland volunteer group may be contacted through the Department for Environment and Heritage's Cleland office on (61 8) 8339 2444.


Cleland Conservation Park has a visitor centre, souvenir shop, kiosk, two cafés and gas barbecue facilities in the bush area surrounding the wildlife park. Tracks in the wildlife park are all accessible by wheelchair.


Throughout the year, the park presents various wildlife displays, educational presentations and school holiday programs.


The Cleland Wildlife Park - Further information is available by telephone: (61 8) 8339 2444 or e-mail


Further information on the Cleland Conservation Park is available from the Department for Environment and Heritage's Cleland office on (61 8) 8339 2444.


For information relating to Volunteer programs, contact Cleland Wildlife Park's Coordinator of Volunteers on (61 8) 8130 9008.


Information for this National Park has been supplied courtesy of The Department for Environment and Heritage (DEH)



Copyright © 2010-2019 New Realm Media
Web Design by New Realm Media