Bundaleer and Wirrabara

Forestry’s Australian birthplace

South Australia’s Bundaleer and Wirrabara Forest Reserves are located in the state’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, Conservator’s Hut 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

The Bundaleer and Wirrabara forests were reopened after bushfires in 2013 and 2014 destroyed more than 2,000 hectares of state-owned plantation. The land is now managed by a range of private enterprises, while other areas have been retained for community use.

In the Wirrabara Forest, significant conservation, heritage and recreational assets are now managed by the Department of Environment and Water including the Ippinitchie Campground and Wirrabara Forest Picnic Ground.

In the Bundaleer Forest, ForestrySA continues to manage the Bundaleer Picnic Ground and an area of community land which retains 22 hectares of land for public use. This area is managed in partnership with the Bundaleer Forest Community Areas Association.

Public access to the Heysen Trail and Mawson Trail has been retained in both forests, as well as access to the majority of former ForestrySA trails in these forest reserves.

Find out more about Mid North Forests – Future Strategy here

Map: Mid North Forests Land Use

Map: Wirrabara Forest land transfer

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. (These dates may be extended in areas where high fire danger persists).

Bundaleer Forest

The birthplace of Australian forestry

The 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.

ForestrySA continues to manage the Bundaleer Picnic Ground and a small area of land for community use. This area is managed in partnership with the Bundaleer Forest Community Areas Association.

The popular Heysen Trail and Mawson Trails and most other ForestrySA-established trails remain open to the public.

Wirrabara Forest

A place of big trees

Established in 1877, the Wirrabara Forest Reserve was one of the state’s first forest reserves, established to ensure a sustainable timber resource for South Australia.

The forest derives its name from an Aboriginal word for “a place of big trees” and is situated in the Southern Flinders Ranges, 210km north of Adelaide and just west of the Wirrabara township.

The Ippinitchie Campground, Wirrabara Forest Picnic Ground, Old Wirrabara Nursery and other parts of the former forest are now managed by the Department of Environment and Water.

The popular Heysen Trail and Mawson Trails and most other ForestrySA-established trails remain open to the public.

For more information, call the Clare Natural Resource Centre on (08) 8841 3400 or click the link below.

Find out more

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