Important COVID-19 update: Whilst national parks are invaluable for our mental health and wellbeing it is important to follow all current Government guidelines around social distancing. National Parks SA has up-to-date information on the status of National Parks, Wildlife Parks and Botanic Gardens. Check the SA Health website for the latest on COVID-19 in South Australia and the Australian Government Department of Health website for movement and travel updates.



National parks are not only sanctuaries for plants and animals but also special places for children to explore, experience and engage with the natural world. With old growth forests, wind-swept coastal cliffs, wetlands, towering sand dunes, deep gorges, and a network of family-friendly trails, South Australian Parks are well equipped for childhood. Here are some resources to help make the most of your time exploring National Parks.

25 things to notice in marine parks and along the SA coastline


From sandy shorelines and rolling dunes to cliff tops and rock pools there are so many things to notice along the SA coastline and marine parks. See how many of these you can find – you never know what else you may encounter!


20 things to notice in national parks, botanic gardens & other natural spaces


National parks, botanic gardens and other natural spaces are ideal places for our curiosity and imagination to run wild. See how many things you can notice in nature – you never know what you may find!


Nature Play SA’s National Park Brochure series


In conjunction with the National Parks and Wildlife Service SA we have developed a suite of brochures that collectively feature over 600 activities to undertake across sixteen different National Parks around South Australia.

Each brochure has 40 things to do with strong themes of physical activity, connection to green spaces, Aboriginal culture, European history, wildlife and environmental stewardship.


Plants and Wildlife of Glenthorne National Park-Ityamaiitpinna Yarta


Glenthorne National Park-Ityamaiitpinna Yarta is on Kaurna Country. Once a teeming woodland, the park was cleared after European settlement. Today many volunteers, park rangers, and experts are restoring it back to a healthy eco system that supports a diverse range of plants and wildlife.


The Return of the Chequered Swallowtail


Over a hundred and fifty years ago the area that is now Glenthorne National Park-Ityamaiitpinna Yarta started to degrade as a result of extensive land clearance. Over the years many plants and wildlife have been lost, but things are now beginning to change. Wildlife such as the Chequered Swallowtail, are starting to return.


Chequered Swallowtail Poster


The Chequered Swallowtail, (papilio demolus sthelenus) is a striking butterfly with a wingspan of 7.5cm. When first hatched they resemble bird droppings before turning green as they mature. These butterflies only occur in areas where their host plant grows such as Tall Scurf-pea  (Cullen australasicum), as it’s the only plant their caterpillars eat,


Butterflies of Glenthorne National Park-Ityamaiitpinna Yarta


Glenthorne National Park-Ityamaiitpinna Yarta is home to a diverse range of plants and wildlife including some of the butterfly species that now call the park home.


Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo


As one of Australia’s largest cockatoos these birds depend on ancient tree hollows to nest and raise their young. Many old trees that once stood throughout the landscape have been cleared – leaving very few hollows for those who need them. Learn more about this species by downloading this wildlife poster.


National Parks and Wildlife Service SA


The National Parks and Wildlife Service SA website features up-to-date information on camping, park closures, fire ban season, park maps, recommended walks, lookouts and other handy hints for visitors. You can also learn a lot about parks through their Good Living Blog – a family friendly blog full of interesting things to see, learn and do. In addition they have Junior Ranger Program ideal for children from 8 to 14 years of age that guides children through journaling activities aimed at building a stronger connection to nature. If you are feeling inspired to make a difference in National Parks consider joining a Friends of Parks group who look after the park through weeding, planting and surveying.

Walking SA


Walking SA is a not-for-profit organisation with a vision of seeing ‘more people walking more often’. With over 600 trails detailed on their website they have some great family-friendly lists and themes that incorporate national parks including 50 short walks and hikes for kids, 50 pram and wheelchair accessible walks, and 60 best dog walks in Adelaide.

Natural Resources, Adelaide and Mt Lofty Ranges NRM Board


If you are looking to learn more about plants and animals in National Parks the Education program within Natural Resources, Adelaide and Mt Lofty Ranges NRM Board has some great identification charts to take along with you: Bushland Birds of the Adelaide Hills, Butterflies of the Adelaide regionFrogs from the Mt Lofty Ranges, Common Waterbugs (macroinvertebrates), fish, Native plants of the Adelaide Hills, Fungi of the Adelaide Hills, Orchids of the Adelaide Hills, and Ants of the Mt Lofty Ranges. They also have great resource titled ‘Life in our Bioregions’ featuring facts sheets on threatened plants and animals across South Australia.