Forestry’s Australian birthplace
ForestrySA’s Bundaleer and Wirrabara Forest Reserves are located in South Australia’s Mid North.
This forest district is widely regarded as the birthplace of Australia’s forest industry and as a result, it has long been popular among those keen to explore the rich cultural heritage of the area.
Sites such as the rehabilitated Old Wirrabara Nursery and other heritage buildings offer a unique look into South Australia’s plantation forestry history, while the Ippinitchie Campground provides the perfect base for campers wanting to explore the local area, wildlife and scenery along the local mountain bike and walking trails.
Mid North Forests – Future strategy
A new future for these forests is about to be realised, after more than 2,000 hectares of plantation was lost in bushfires during 2013 and 2014.
The Bangor bushfire burnt 1,776 hectares of commercial plantations at Wirrabara in January 2014. This fire followed the February 2013 Bundaleer fire, when 427 hectares of commercial plantations were lost.
Our Bundaleer Forest Reserve is proudly known as the “birthplace of Australian forestry”, after the nation’s first purpose-planted forest was established there in 1875.
The forest is also home to two circa 1890s heritage buildings. Curnow’s Hut was the original residence built for the district’s first nursery worker, William Curnow, while the Conservator’s Hut was built to accommodate the state’s first Conservator of Forests. Both huts have been lovingly restored and are available for overnight stays.
Bundaleer is located 220km north of Adelaide, just south of the small Mid North township of Jamestown.
Established in 1877, the Wirrabara Forest Reserve is one of the state’s first forest reserves, established to ensure a sustainable timber resource for South Australia.
Interestingly, Wirrabara derives its name from an aboriginal word for “a place of big trees”.
It is situated in the Southern Flinders Ranges, 210km north of Adelaide, just west of the township of Wirrabara.
The forest is closed to the public on declared Total Fire Ban days. To report a fire, call 000.
Fire is prohibited on ForestrySA land and Forest Reserves between November 1 and April 30 in any year.
Camping is prohibited from 1 December to 31 March.