Vegetation of Hallett Cove Conservation Park

The alteration of Hallett Cove’s vegetation began in the early days of South Australian settlement.

In the 1840s, surrounding areas were logged to feed the boilers at the nearby copper mines. When the mines closed, agriculture and grazing activities spread into the area and eventually only vegetation on the poorest and shallowest soils or steepest slopes remained intact and undamaged.

Car ownership brought beach usage and holiday shacks to the coast, and this in turn led to further strains on vegetation and the introduction of various exotic garden species.

By the time the Park was proclaimed in 1976, the upper slopes of the Amphitheatre and the coastal cliff tops were the only areas where remnant vegetation remained.

Since then revegetation has been ongoing, initially using only the Park’s indigenous plant species and more recently local provenance species as a seed source.

The wide variety of soil layers and types throughout the park has caused a number of different plant communities to evolve. They are broadly represented as coastal dunes, coastal heath and grassy woodland.

A revegetation and weed control program has addressed the widespread degradation and removal of original vegetation. The Friends have adopted ‘bushcare’ methods in conjunction with a planting program:

  • Removal of invasive woody weeds, such as olives and African boxthorn, and feral garden escapees is ongoing.
  • Revegetation throughout the Park, including reconstruction of the woodland, which formerly covered the inland area, is ongoing.
  • Up to 2012 approximately 25,000 plants have been planted across the Park.
  • Of the Park’s 200 indigenous plant species, about 50 have been successfully included in the program.

Fallen wood is strategically left on the ground to rot, because it returns carbon to the soil and thus improves the growing conditions for plants. It also plays a part in the food chain. Insects and fungi colonise the rotting wood; this provides food and habitat for lizards; those insects and lizards are food for birds.


Prominent plants in the vegetation zones include:

Sandy Slopes

Sandy slopes: Kunzea pomifera, Myoporum insulare, Lepidosperma spp., Dianella revoluta, D. longifolia and Kennedia prostrata.

Exposed Heath

Exposed health on the hillsides, typically sitting in heavier clays, includes: Beyeria lechanaultii, Westringia rigida, Pomaderris paniculosa, Eutaxia mycrophylla, Grevillia lavendulacea, Alyxia buxafolia, Gahnia lanigera, Lomandra effusa, and many different flowering herbs and bulbs in early spring.

Protected Gullies

Protected gullies harbour Melaleuca lanceolata, Pittosporum phylliraeoides, Myoporum insulare and Allocasuarina verticillata.

Grassy Woodlands

Grassy woodlands had been initially revegetated with an upper storey vegetation, including various eucalypts (although Eucalyptus porosa is the correct species). Acacia pycnantha, A. ligulata, Allocasuarina verticillata, Melaleuca lanceolata, and Pittosporum phylliraeoides now have an understorey of Dianella revoluta and Acrotriche patula, as well as a variety of saltbushes.

32 grass species have been identified and occur across the Park in different communities.

Maireana Aphylla

Maireana aphylla

50 of the Park’s indigenous plant species have regional conservation significance and the aim is to protect and extend their status within the Park.

Click here to access an indigenous plant list for the park.

Further Reading


Kraehenbuehl, D.N. (1996): Pre-European Vegetation of Adelaide: a susrvey from the Gawler river to Hallett Cove, Nature Conservation Society of SA Inc, Adelaide.


Turner, M. (2001): Conserving Adelaide’s Biodiversity, Urban Forest Biodiversity Program.


Hallett Cove and Marino Conservation Parks Management Plan (2010), South Australian Department for Environment and Heritage, Adelaide.