Eaglehawk Waterhole (SA)

Background Information on the property:

On the 20th December 2013 – thanks to the generous financial support of the Native Vegetation Council and Nature Foundation SA Inc. – Eaglehawk Waterhole became Nature Glenelg Trust’s first Habitat Restoration Reserve,

Eaglehawk Waterhole is a 684 ha private property in the Upper South East of South Australia, situated approximately 2 km west of the Little Desert National Park and state border with Victoria.

Although partly protected under conservation agreements, the vast majority of the property (510 hectares) has been farmed (grazed by sheep), but retains significant established tree, shrub and understorey cover, and a range of important biodiversity values that will respond favourably to protection, restoration and conservation management.

The property forms part of a general area (the Bangham district) with higher native vegetation remnancy that was highlighted as a priority zone for conservation activities in the Biodiversity Plan for the South East (Croft et al 1999). The property also retains important, currently unprotected habitat for species and communities listed under the EPBC Act 1999, such as the South-eastern Red-tailed Black-cockatoo and (the newly listed) Seasonal Herbaceous Wetlands of the lowland plains.

This project will:

  1. enable perpetual protection & restoration of 510 hectares of grassy woodland, heathy woodland, heathland and wetland habitat in a strategic district where increasing landscape connectivity is a priority activity,
  2. grow the National Reserve System (NRS) estate in an under-represented bioregion,
  3. contribute to the recovery of EPBC Act listed species and communities, and
  4. provide a community hub and strategic demonstration site for the public to experience, learn about, & become involved in, large-scale habitat restoration.

The property satisfied several criteria that make it a high priority for restoration, namely:

  • Size: 510 hectares of the total property size (684 ha) will directly benefit from stock removal, natural regeneration and revegetation works as a result of this project. This will  constitute one of the largest restoration projects ever undertaken in the South East region.
  • Location: it is strategically located within a district of high quality reserves in SA and Victoria, and improve landscape connectivity and ecological function between them (Bangham and Geegeela CP’s in SA and Little Desert NP in Victoria);
  • Existing condition: the current state of the property is highly conducive to full ecological recovery in a more rapid timeframe than would ordinarily be possible for a restoration project in an agricultural district, due to the level of remnant tree, shrub and understorey cover across the grazed portions (510 hectares) of the property. The remaining 174 hectares of the property are already fenced and in excellent condition, serving as reference areas, and providing a natural regeneration and revegetation seedbank.
  • Habitat complexity: the site includes a range of habitats and ecotones between each, including grassy woodland, heathy woodland, heathland and wetland habitats. It is unusual (but highly desirable) for a restoration project to cover such a diversity of soil and habitat types.
  • Biodiversity values: it retains biodiversity values (including EPBC Act listed species and communities) that will be significantly enhanced and improved through habitat restoration;
  • Heritage Agreement: the entire property will be suitable for inclusion in the National Reserve System (by being perpetually protected under Heritage Agreement).

The future:

Updates on the project will be posted on the NGT blog and linked to this project page (see below) – we hope you will take an active interest in our efforts to restore and manage this important property over the months and years ahead…!

This property is proudly supported by:


  • A Bush Stone-curlew is back at Eaglehawk Waterhole, Bangham SA 27/05/2024
    As I write this story, I have only just got off the phone from Andy at NGT’s Eaglehawk Waterhole Restoration Reserve. Andy said he has been hearing the Bush Stone-curlew for the past two nights, calling around camp. This is such a relief as a Bush Stone-curlew was heard calling for the first time at ...
  • Reflecting on NGT’s ‘Grand Tour’ and an epic month of sharing stories of ecological restoration success 30/10/2023
    As you may have gathered from some of the other articles this month, the last four weeks have been a bit of a whirlwind, personally taking me from north to south, right across this vast continent. As well as attending the SER2023 conference in Darwin, I was invited to give presentations on NGT’s wetland restoration ...
  • Repairing the Past at private land conservation sites: Part 4 28/11/2022
    The Repairing the Past project is a collaboration between NGT and three other landholders in the Upper South East of South Australia, plus Burrandies Aboriginal Corporation, Limestone Coast Landscape Board, and other community members and organisations to repair the impacts of past land management actions across four reserves (including NGT’s Eaglehawk Waterhole). Key actions of the ...
  • Repairing the past at private land conservation sites – Part III – burning and culture 23/08/2022
    It has been six months since we last wrote to you about the ‘Repairing the Past’ project, so we have lots to report! You can catch up on previous posts from November 2021 and January 2022. Several actions have gone ahead in leaps and bounds, with walks on country, burn plans completed, dam decommissioning commenced and ...
  • Back to where the story of NGT’s Reserves began – Reflecting on a great day out at Eaglehawk Waterhole! 26/07/2022
    It was way back almost nine years ago when Eaglehawk Waterhole was purchased, becoming NGT’s first Restoration Reserve. For a little trip back through the blog archives, here is the story of the announcement, which we shared in December 2013 just a month before NGT’s 2nd birthday. Needless to say, now that we care for ...
  • Some great news to mark NGT’s 10th Year! – Come and join us to celebrate a big expansion of our first reserve, Eaglehawk Waterhole 14/06/2022
    In some fantastic news ahead of our planting day and open afternoon at Eaglehawk Waterhole this coming Saturday (18th June 2022 – more details below), we’re proud to announce that the reserve has recently been officially expanded by 200 hectares! Considering that Eaglehawk Waterhole was our first reserve, established almost nine years ago in late ...
  • Repairing the Past at private land conservation sites – Part II 27/01/2022
    Last month we introduced a new project to you, which aims to collaboratively repair impacts of past land management across four reserves in the upper South East of South Australia. Project partners have been busy lately, connecting with people and information and walking on country to plan the next steps (for more detail on the ...
  • Repairing the past at private land conservation sites in the upper South East 15/12/2021
    NGT has teamed up with three other landholders in the Binnum-Bangham district (the Jones, Baulderstone, and Brewer families), plus Burrandies Aboriginal Corporation, Limestone Coast Landscape Board, and other community members and organisations to repair the impacts of past land management actions across four reserves in the upper South East of South Australia (including NGT’s Eaglehawk ...
  • NGT’s environmental education around the Limestone Coast: water bugs, scorpions, stingybarks, and more! 23/11/2021
    Over the past month we’ve been busy with a whole heap of environmental education events around the South East, from Eaglehawk in the north to Hutt Bay in the south. On 5th November, thanks to the support of the Coast Protections Board’s Community Participation Grant, I headed to NGT’s Hutt Bay Wetland with a group of ...
  • Geegeela Biodiversity survey results and webinar 24/06/2021
    The Scientific Expedition Group recently assisted Nature Foundation SA and Nature Glenelg Trust to undertake a biological survey in a new nature reserve in the South East of South Australia. Geegeela Nature Reserve is a 100 acre patch of diverse woodlands, donated to Nature Foundation SA, adjoining the Geegeela Conservation Park, 45 km south of ...


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