Frequently Asked Questions
Hiltaba Nature Reserve; photo Bill Doyle
Bookings and Payments
Do I have to pay an entry fee to visit the Reserve?
There is no entry fee for the Reserve. However, fees are payable if you want to stay on the Reserve or do a Nature Drive.
How do I book a campsite or accommodation?
Please visit our online booking system to book and pay for accommodation. Accommodation and tours are subject to operational requirements (researchers on site are given accommodation priority). Please read the conditions of entry to the Nature Reserve and the Terms and Conditions prior to making a booking.
What do I have to pay for?
Accommodation, whether camping or in rooms or cottages, and Nature Drives incur a fee. The fees you pay for Nature Drives and accommodation help fund the on-going management and conservation of our Nature Reserves.
How much does a Nature Drive cost?
Nature Drives cost $60 per day, or $80 for two or more days.
When do I pay for Nature Drives?
You can prepay Nature Drives when you book your accommodation, or you can pay the Rotational Manager when you get to the Nature Reserve. EFTPOS or cash is accepted at the Nature Reserve.
Can we add extra people to our booking when we arrive?
Yes, and you will need to pay the additional fee through our online booking system or to the Rotational Manager when you arrive. EFTPOS or cash is accepted at the Nature Reserve.
What’s the best time to visit the Nature Reserves?
Spring is the best time for wildflowers. At Witchelina birds are plentiful if there has been summer rain.
How long should we stay for?
You can visit for a day’s drive or stay for a week, depending on your interest and other travel plans. If you enjoy walking, you can spend a few days at Hiltaba taking in the various trails. Both reserves have several drives that you can spend a number of days exploring as well. And if you want some time to relax and enjoy the reserve, add another day or two.
Can I do a Nature Drive if I don’t have a 4WD?
Some of the Nature Drives are accessible to AWD vehicles. Check with the Rotational Managers which of the Nature Drives are suitable for your vehicle.
Do I need keys to unlock gates on the Nature Drives?
At Witchelina Nature Reserve you will need keys for:
- Ridge Top Nature Drive – pick up and return to Witchelina Homestead
- Bungarider Nature Drive - pick up and return to Witchelina Homestead
- Dunes-Wildflower Nature Drive – pick up and return to Witchelina Homestead
- Marree-Old Mt Nor'West Gorge Nature Drive – pick up and return to Marree Hotel, or Witchelina Homestead
- Farina-Old Mt Nor'West Gorge Nature Drive – pick up and return to Farina Homestead, or Witchelina Homestead
At Hiltaba Nature Reserve you will need keys for:
- Pine Well - Narlaby Nature Drive – pick up and return to Hiltaba Homestead
- Mt St Mungo Nature Drive – pick up and return to Hiltaba Homestead
Accommodation and Campsites
How many people can camp in the campsites?
|Pretty Point campground
Can I bring my pet to the Nature Reserve?
Pets are not allowed on the Nature Reserve. This is for the protection of native wildlife and your pet. Baiting programs are undertaken on the Reserves.
Can you accommodate RVs?
What are the check in and check out times for accommodation and camping on the Nature Reserves?
Check in at 2pm on the day of arrival. Please check in with the Rotational Managers at the Homestead. Check out by 10am on the day of departure unless otherwise negotiated.
Can we camp anywhere on the Nature Reserve?
No, only in the designated campgrounds.
If we camp at Pretty Point can we access showers?
Yes. But you will need to drive to the Shearers Quarters, approx. 7kms. (fees apply). If these are not available you will be directed to the Jackaroo's atco showers by the Rotational Manager.
How far is Old Mt Nor’West (OMNW) Homestead and Campground from Witchelina Homestead?
Approximately one hour’s drive.
Do we need to bring linen if we are staying in the accommodation?
Yes. You will need to bring pillows, bed linen, either blankets/quilt/sleeping bag and towels for all our accommodation.
How far is the Governess Cottage from the ATCO kitchen and bathroom facilities?
Approximately 75 metres.
Do you have an RV dump?
Can we top up our water tanks when we leave?
Drinking water may be available, subject to availability but no non-potable water is available.
Is there mobile phone coverage on the reserve?
Patchy Telstra coverage may exist, but it is not widespread or reliable.
Is there internet access on the Nature Reserve?
Yes. There is very limited internet access available for visitors. No attachments, downloads etc possible.
Are fridges and freezers available in the kitchens?
Yes. At Hiltaba both the Shearers Quarters and the ATCO kitchens have fridges and freezers. At Witchelina, Old Mt Nor’West Homestead has a basic kitchen, and the Shearers' Quarters, The Cottage and Overseers House have fridges and freezers.
Do the kitchens have cutlery, crockery and basic appliances?
Yes, all the kitchens on the Nature Reserves have crockery, cutlery and basic appliances that guests can use.
Can I have a campfire on a reserve?
You can use the fire rings at our camping and accommodation sites for campfires. Please ensure that you extinguish your campfire whenever you are not attending to it. Observe fire restrictions (no wood and solid fuel fires usually 1 November to 15 April – Dept for Environment and Water). No fires are permitted outside the fire rings on the Nature Reserves.
Is firewood available on the reserve?
“Cleanwood” firewood is available for purchase from the Rotational Managers for $24 per 16 kilogram box. Otherwise you can bring your own wood. Do not forage for, or cut down, wood on the reserves or outside the reserves. Dead and fallen timber is important habitat for birds, animals and insects.
Can we use fire pigs/webers/gas stoves?
Can I dispose of rubbish on the reserves?
Where possible bring a few garbage bags and take your rubbish with you when you leave. We collect 10 cent containers. Compost bins are provided.
Is fuel available on the reserves?
No. The closest fuel available at Witchelina is at Marree or Lyndhurst. The closest fuel available at Hiltaba is at Mt Ive or at Wirrulla.
Can I charge my electric vehicle on the reserves?
The reserves generally do not have facilities to charge electric vehicles from our solar powered systems. Charging may be possible if or when the generator is running at the Shearers Quarters.
Is food available on the reserves?
No. There is a general store at Wirrulla 70 km from Hiltaba. Mt Ive Station has limited supplies. The closest stores to Witchelina are at Marree, the Copley bakery, Hawker store and Blinman.
Is power available in the accommodation?
| ATCO hut (kitchen/bathroom)
| Shearers Quarters
| Shearers Quarters
||yes - generator
What are the roads like for AWD, 4WD, towed campervans, trailers and caravans?
The roads into the Nature Reserves are AWD and 4WD accessible (subject to weather conditions). Some of the Nature Drives are not accessible to AWDs. Depending on your off-road experience with towed campervans and trailers, they may be able to be towed into the Nature Reserves. Please check road conditions for caravans. The roads to the Nature Reserves may be closed due to recent rain and at these times there are additional restrictions on vehicles and/or towing. For information on road closures phone Transport SA on 1300 361 033 or visit their website http://www.dpti.sa.gov.au/OutbackRoads.
What’s the best way to get to the Nature Reserves from Adelaide by road?
4WDs are recommended for travelling to Witchelina and Hiltaba Nature Reserves. Some of the Nature Drives require high clearance 4WDs. Recent or impending rain will significantly impact access to and from Witchelina and Hiltaba, and your safety while there. Weather conditions can be checked at http://www.bom.gov.au/sa/forecasts/map.shtml for weather in the Northwest Pastoral District. Check road conditions before travelling and be aware that significant penalties apply for travelling on a closed road. To check whether the roads are open phone Transport SA on 1300 361 033 or visit their website http://www.dpti.sa.gov.au/OutbackRoads. Check Marree to Lyndhurst Road and Farina to Mulgaria Road. You can also phone Witchelina Homestead on 08 8675 2001 to check road conditions into Witchelina or Hiltaba Homestead on 08 8648 1885 to check road conditions into Hiltaba.
How do I get to Witchelina?
- Allow a total driving time of 8-10 hours.
- Take the Outback Highway to Leigh Creek and continue 38km to Lyndhurst [sealed road all the way to Marree]. It is recommended that you fuel up here at the Roadhouse. If the road north is closed, accommodation is available at the Lyndhurst Hotel. Lyndhurst is the last reliable phone coverage. If possible, phone the Witchelina homestead from here so that your arrival is expected.
- Continue 25km to Farina.
- Turn in to Farina Township and drive through towards the campground on a well-maintained UNSEALED ROAD. There is a sign pointing to the Witchelina Road.
- Distance to Witchelina is 27km of well-maintained UNSEALED ROAD. Road conditions can vary. Please use detours where necessary and drive with caution.
Note: the Witchelina marked on many maps is the old railway siding and not Witchelina Homestead so follow directions carefully and not your GPS road guide. There is no fuel available at Witchelina, so we recommend that you fill up at Marree or Lyndhurst. Food and fuel is also available in Marree. For information about approaching Witchelina from other directions, please call the Adelaide office on 08 8340 2880 Monday to Friday 9am-5pm.
How do I get to Hiltaba
- Via Mt Ive: From Adelaide the total distance is approx. 650km (310km sealed road to Pt Augusta, 69km to Iron Knob and approx. 250 km of well-maintained UNSEALED ROAD from Iron Knob to Hiltaba). The last fuel stop is Mt Ive which has unleaded and diesel fuel, open 7 days. Phone 08 8648 1817.
- Via Wirrulla: From Adelaide the total distance is approx. 750km (680km sealed road to Wirrulla and 70km good UNSEALED ROAD from Wirrulla to Hiltaba). Wirrulla general store has unleaded and diesel fuel, open 7 days. Phone 08 8626 8038.
There is no fuel available at Hiltaba, so we recommend that you fill up at Mt Ive or at Wirrulla. For information about approaching Hiltaba in from other directions, please call the Adelaide office on 08 8340 2880 Monday to Friday 9am-5pm.
Are the roads open at the moment?
To check whether the roads are open phone Transport SA on 1300 361 033 or visit the website https://www.dpti.sa.gov.au/OutbackRoads
Emergency contact information
Hiltaba Homestead Rotational Manager
Phone 08 8648 1885 UHF 06 duplex or UHF 11 simplex
Hiltaba Medical advice
Streaky Bay Hospital Phone 08 8626 1127
Royal Flying Doctor Phone 1800 733 772 (doctor on call 24/7)
Police or other emergencies
Wirrulla Police Station Phone 08 8626 8011
Witchelina Homestead Rotational Manager
Phone 08 8675 2001 UHF 03 duplex or UHF 20 simplex
Witchelina Medical advice
Marree Health Service Phone 08 8675 8345, 43-44 First Street, Marree
Leigh Creek Hospital Phone 08 8678 6022
Royal Flying Doctor Phone 1800 733 772 (doctor on call 24/7)
Police or other emergencies
Leigh Creek Police Station Phone 08 8675 2004
Please call the Nature Foundation’s Adelaide office on 08 8340 2880 Monday to Friday 9am-5pm for any concerns.
Who’s the rostered Rotational Manager?
Call Nature Foundation’s Adelaide office on 08 8340 2880 Monday to Friday 9am-5pm to find out.
What should I bring?
Sturdy, covered shoes are recommended for walking in the nature reserves and around the accommodation. Layered clothing is recommended as the temperatures can be warm during the day and cold at night. Waterproof clothing is useful if rain is forecast. Insects (flies and/or mosquitos) may be present so flynets, long sleeves and trouser legs may be useful. As no external lights are present, a torch can be helpful when moving around at nighttime.