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:


  • Geegeela Biodiversity survey results and webinar June 24, 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 ...
  • Eaglehawk Waterhole Restoration Reserve: update from caretaker Andy January 21, 2021
    Andy Lines was our live-in caretaker at Eaglehawk Waterhole for over three years from 2016 to 2019. After some time away, late last winter he returned to the site and has an update for us below.Andy writes:My arrivalArriving in early August 2020, the weather was mostly cold and wet along with a few foggy mornings. ...
  • Eaglehawk Waterhole Update July 2020 July 31, 2020
    It’s been roughly a year since we’ve had an update from Eaglehawk Waterhole, NGT’s first Restoration Reserve located near Frances, SA. Over the past 12 months, we’ve managed considerable community interest in spending time at Eaglehawk Waterhole on a range of activities, including: bird watching and surveys, camping, volunteering, school activities and NGT staff trips for ...
  • NGT volunteers update & don’t forget our free BBQ and Clean Up Australia Day Event February 20, 2020
    The year may have only just begun, but NGT volunteers have already been actively involved in a range of projects and activities around the region. A number of volunteers have been doing a fantastic effort in helping Ryan manage the native plant nursery as part of the Fieldwork Fridays program. The nursery is quickly filling up with ...
  • 20 Million Trees going in the ground August 29, 2019
    Wouldn’t it be nice to say you’ve planted 20 million trees!! Well we haven’t managed to do that yet, but we have contributed to the overall target with 13,000 in the ground so far this planting season, thanks to the massive effort of our amazing volunteers and the equally awesome NGT crew. The main aim ...
  • We want you! (To help us plant 13,000 seedlings) July 26, 2019
    Planting season is here, and we have two large community planting events coming up. We would love to see lots of you come along!First up is our annual planting and camping event at Eaglehawk Waterhole on the 1st, 2nd and 3rd of August 2019. This year we will be planting 7,000 seedlings over three days ...
  • Liberating hundreds of trees at Eaglehawk Waterhole June 7, 2019
    Squished and triangle-shaped Banksias are free to grow after they were removed from the confines of their tree guards at Eaglehawk Waterhole. It was our final National Volunteer Week event on Saturday 25th May, and despite the constant rain and cold weather, our NGT staff and volunteers managed to remove 400 tree guards from trees ...
  • Eaglehawk Waterhole – a great place to be this Saturday May 23, 2019
    We have had a fantastic National Volunteer Week catching up with volunteers, meeting new people, and doing what we do best – conserving the environment! We have celebrated our volunteers at the NGT Mount Gambier Open Day, searched with keen eyes for the Orange-bellied Parrot, and listened to the sounds of dusk while surveying for ...
  • Food, flora, frogs and fun during National Volunteer Week – 20th to 26th May May 9, 2019
    To prepare for National Volunteer week (20th to 26th May), NGT is publishing a series of posts dedicated to volunteers! They feature some great opportunities to volunteer with NGT in the lead up to, and during National Volunteer Week, as well as celebrate and highlight the amazing contribution and achievements of our volunteers. So come and ...
  • A day out at Eaglehawk Waterhole May 9, 2019
    Eaglehawk Waterhole is a big and beautiful place in the Upper South East and NGT’s first habitat restoration reserve. Join us at Eaglehawk for a fun day out in nature, meeting new people and learning new skills. We will be liberating young trees from their tree-guards, checking tile grids for reptiles, and looking at the ...


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