Photo: Kate Hill/SA Life

Nilpena Ediacara National Park

  • YEAR: 2019
  • STATE: South Australia
  • FOCUS AREAS: Growing Parks/SDG 15: Life on Land

FNPW, the Flinders Ranges Ediacara Foundation and the South Australian Government are working together to create a new national park on the western edge of the Flinders Ranges that is like no other on Earth. It contains what retired South Australian Museum palaeontologist, Professor Jim Gehling, describes as “… the rarest and the oldest fossils on Earth that you can see with the naked eye.”

FNPW support

This project was funded through generous donations from FNPW supporters across Australia and beyond.

Project overview

The Foundation for National Parks & Wildlife is working with the South Australian Government and the Flinders Ranges Ediacara Foundation to purchase 60,000 hectares of Nilpena Station to become part of the Ediacara Conservation Park to conserve its globally significant fossils. As part of this purchase, some 60,000 hectares of diverse land systems, including dune country and creeklines adjoining the eastern shore of Lake Torrens, will be included, with permanent and semi-permanent water. This will conserve an under-represented ecosystem in South Australia’s park system. The land has been conservatively stocked for the last thirty years, resulting in a generally good condition with few weed issues. A historic woolshed precinct will also provide an essential base for research and visitors to the site.

The land will be added to the existing Ediacara Conservation Park, which is the original location where Reg Sprigg first discovered and recognised the fossils as being the precursor to the Cambrian fossils, hence solving “Darwin’s Dilemma” of what preceded the Cambrian geological period.
Photo: Kate Hill/SA Life


FNPW supports projects across Australia. In the spirit of reconciliation, we acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the Country (Adnya­math­anha people) and recognise their continuing connection to land, waters, and culture.

Photo: Kate Hill/SA Life


This project was funded by FNPW in 2019.

Dickinsonia fossil by Department for Environment and Water


SA Department of Environment and Water is the lead organisation for this project.

Further information about our project partner can be found on their website:

Latest news on this project.

Nilpena is a new National Park

We are thrilled to announce that Nilpena Ediacara National Park in South Australia has now officially been established! It will replace the existing Ediacara Conservation Park and add nearly 60,000 hectares of extra protected land, protecting fossil beds that are over 500 million years old. 

Thanks to our generous supporters, FNPW was able to help fund the acquisition of Nilpena Station in 2019. This acquisition extended the Ediacara Conservation Area in South Australia to preserve the fossil record of some of the world’s earliest animal life forms. 

This new national park will also play a key role in South Australia’s bid to have the Flinders Ranges World Heritage listed. 

Click here for more information on the announcement


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