We invite you to visit and join us on this journey of conservation and education, as world-leading researchers continue to explore the ancient sea floor that lies within the Ediacara Hills, and as we develop the programs to make these discoveries accessible for generations to come.
TAKE A TOUR OF THIS LIFE-CHANGING SITE
MAKE A BOOKING, FOSSIL FANS
When Sir David Attenborough was granted special access to Nilpena to film First Life, he nominated South Australia’s deservedly famous Flinders Ranges as one of his favourite places on earth. Now, beginning 28 April 2023, you can gain the same access. Discover for yourself the remarkable ancient sea floor fossils that provided such added insight into the origins of early animal life that they prompted the declaration of a new geological period, named for the nearby Ediacara Hills. This unique fossil trove is located some 550 kilometres north of Adelaide. Absolutely nowhere else in the world would you be privileged to view these delicate imprints up close and to learn about the lives of these 550 million-year-old creatures. Nilpena is integral to Australia’s upcoming bid for a Flinders Ranges World Heritage listing.
A World-Class Fossil Exhibit in the Blacksmith’s Shop
We know that, for various reasons, not everyone who comes to visit the new Nilpena Ediacara National Park will be able to see these fossil treasures in the ground. Paths and terrain may be difficult for some to negotiate and weather conditions can be capricious. However, the historic Blacksmith’s Shop at Nilpena has been extensively restored and re-purposed to serve as a brilliantly immersive and interpretive experience. It now houses one of the world’s great fossil beds, known as Alice’s Restaurant Bed (where you can get anything you want), which showcases the beginnings of animal life on earth. This building is an outreach centre to inspire everyone, especially school children, to investigate a unique and mysterious part of our planet’s history and to learn more about the natural world.
The new Nilpena Ediacara National Park is managed by National Parks and Wildlife Service South Australia. A Google search will show you that it lies 30 minutes north of Parachilna and 40 minutes south of Leigh Creek – click here.
SLIDE ON THE IMAGE BELOW TO WITNESS THE TRANSFORMATION!
Visit parks.sa.gov.au – click here to book the Ediaca Experience Tour on Wednesdays and Saturdays, generally between the months of March and November.
There are currently two public tours per week on Wednesdays and Saturdays (both departing at 10am) and more tours may become available if demand for tours increase. Other tourism business may also start to offer tour packages of the park as they become accredited to undertake tours in the park.
- Ediacaran Experience Tour
includes a fully guided tour of the pastoral precinct, the Blacksmith’s Shop interpretive centre and the Woolshed – $80 per person. This includes vehicle transfers from the Nilpena Ediacara National Park entrance. The tour lasts about 2 hours – please bring all provisions.
- Family packages and concessions are available on request, please ask.
- Fossil Field Exploration Tour
this is an extended viewing of the fossil beds and for 2023 is only available through Nilpena Ediacara Tours (Prairie Hotel). To express your interest in a tour please email email@example.com
Please note that the tour is currently being developed so the opportunity to undertake a tour of the fossil site in 2023 will be limited.
- Please be aware that the park is closed from 1 December to 15 March due to extreme hot weather.
Visit the Ediacara fossils gallery at the South Australian Museum
If you want to learn more about the Ediacara Fossils now and can’t get to the Flinders Ranges, you can learn from other sources. Children, parents and school groups can visit the impressive Ediacara fossils gallery at the South Australian Museum to explore fossil specimens, view animations and fossil models to gain an understanding of how these creatures may have moved and lived on the sea bed 550 million years ago – click here.
Visit Australia’s newest national park, the Nilpena Ediacara National Park
A number of schools have embraced teaching Ediacara and are planning excursions to the new national park. The Blacksmith’s Shop is the core visitor and education experience. And once this has been experienced visitors can view further fossils in the field at an active research site in order to gain greater understanding and knowledge.
Ediacaran resources for teachers are being developed
The Foundation is working with the South Australian Science Teachers Association and the University of South Australia plus University of California, Riverside to produce education and learning resources for teachers that follow national curriculum guidelines.