Camping area near Witchelina Homestead
Camping area near Witchelina Homestead

Places to Visit – Witchelina.

Witchelina Nature Reserve, purchased in 2010 by Nature Foundation SA (NFSA) a not-for-profit environmental organisation, is working to Save, Protect, Restore and sustainably manage South Australia’s natural heritage. (They also own Hiltaba Station in the Gawler Ranges).

The Westprint Oodnadatta Map will help you get there.

Witchelina’s Traditional owners

Witchelina forms part of the Willourian Range. The Tradional Owners are The Kuyani Adnyamathanha Peoples Nation and the Arabana Peoples Nation. Witchelina contains many culturally significant sites and volunteers work with Traditional Owners towards cultural understanding. Witchelina hosts Kids on Country camps each year.

Witchelina’s threatened species.

Witchelina Station is on the Mulgaria Road, about 30kms north west of Lyndhurst and south of Marree. It covers an area of 421,000 ha, or 4219 sq km and includes a diverse range of land systems and geological formations. You can find many animals and birds on the reserve including Thick-billed Grasswren and Plains Mouse, both listed as threatened species.

Rock formations at Wichelina Nature Reserve
Some of the incredible rock formations – Witchelina Nature Reserve

Returning to native state

Before 2010 it was a working pastoral property and since purchase, NFSA has worked at reducing the impact to native plants and grasses by removing all pastoral stock (cattle) and working diligently to remove feral animals such as goats, camels and rabbits. They are also monitoring the numbers of macropods.

Reducing the impact on native wildlife by cats and foxes is an important management consideration and NFSA has been implementing a fox and cat control program since 2012.

Historic wool press at Witchelina Homestead
The ‘Portable’ Wool Press once used on the property.

How the Four Wheel Drive Community can help.

While returning the bush to its historic state is the aim, doing so provides the basis for a long-term research project studying the natural environment. There are plenty of ways 4WDers can be involved.

Nearby Farina has an incredible volunteer program and a large number of visitors. Why not extend your stay by going on to Witchelina? There are several interesting self-guided 4WD trips, and NFSA volunteers always appreciate helpers. One job we noticed that anyone could do is remove old wire fencing. Anyone who has lived on a farm, especially one that borders the bush will know just how many animals become tangled and die in wire fencing. Removing old fencing from a property of 4000 square kilometres is going to take a very long time. Accommodation is available for groups in the shearer’s quarters and other homestead buildings. Camping is available along the creek bed.

Vermin Proof fencing
Old Vermin Proof fencing

Witchelina – what you need to know before you go.

If you are camping on the station there are a few things to remember before you arrive. Bring your own firewood or purchase a bundle from the homestead. Dead wood is an important habitat for small animals and collection is prohibited. Do not bring pets as baits have been laid for feral animal control.

There is little or no mobile phone service on the property. Please make contact with the homestead before arriving. Bring your own food and fuel as these aren’t available.

Westprint Outback Maps’ Favourite Witchelina drive.

Our favourite trip is the ridge top nature drive. The drive is not difficult and some might say it’s not spectacular when compared with other ridge top drives. However, you can park at the top of the ridge, and just be still in the solitude of the bush. And once you can be still, you can begin to appreciate the incredible land formations and the bush around you.

The Ridge Top Drive
The Ridge Top Drive

Resources

Westprint Outback Central and South Australia Map

Westprint Oodnadatta Track Map

Field Guide to Birds of Australia – Simpson & Day

A Complete Guide to Reptiles of Australia

Birds of Prey of Australia – 3rd Edition

Shop here for general camping books and guides.

Have you been to Witchelina, or planning a trip? We’d love to hear from you. Email jo@westprint.com.au