Saunders Gorge Sanctuary, Adelaide Hills, South Australia

Saunders Gorge Sanctuary is located at Sanderston, 18km east of Mt Pleasant in the Adelaide Hills of South Australia about 75km from the city of Adelaide. The Sanctuary is a private conservation area of over 1300 hectares offering bed and breakfast accommodation, four wheel drive tracks, scenic areas, picnic area and bush camp sites. The property, formerly known as Clovelly Sheep Station, has been declared a Sanctuary to protect its native fauna and flora, and is now a combination of Wildlife Sanctuary and Sheep Station.

The most significant feature of the property is Saunders Gorge, a steep rugged gorge where the Saunders Creek leaves the hills and flows onto the Murray Plains. The Creek disappears into the sandy soils before it reaches the Murray River, but it supports a ribbon of towering River Red Gum Trees that follow the underground stream. Saunders Gorge and surrounding area supports a wide diversity of Australian fauna and flora is found.


Overnight bed and breakfast accommodation is available in Boundary Cottage, Hideaway Cottage and Nature Lodges.

Boundary Cottage is a two bedroom cottage built over a hundred years ago, next to Saunders Gorge with its River Red Gum trees. At the cottage you will enjoy the bird life, and see the kangaroos that come out to feed at sunset.

Hideaway is a self contained cottage set in a tranquil valley with pleasant walks along the nearby creek. The towering Red Gums along the creek are home to a variety of bird life and kangaroos are seen around the hills.

The Nature Lodges offer twin share accommodation just a short walk over a ridge from Saunders Gorge. The lodges overlook the valley of Saunders Creek with views of the towering River Red Gums.

Wildlife at Saunders Gorge Sanctuary

The Saunders Gorge Sanctuary is home to a wide variety of Birds, Reptiles and Marsupials.

Birds seen on the property include the Barn Owl, Mudlark, Gray Butcher Bird, White Backed Magpie, White Winged Chough, Little Raven, Black Faced Cuckoo Shrike, Laughing Kookaburra, Jacky Winter, Eastern Shrike tit, Grey Fantail, Willy Wagtail, Grey Thrush, Sacred Kingfisher, Rainbow Bird, Tree Martin, Rufous Songlark, Spiny Cheeked Honeyeater, Noisy Miner, Red Wattle Bird, Peaceful Dove, Crested Pigeon, White Plumed Honeyeater, Straited Pardalote, Little Corella, White Cockatoo, Galah, Red Backed Parrot, Adelaide Rosella, Rainbow Lorikeet, Red Rumped Parrot, Blue Wren, Fairy Martin, Welcome Swallow, Diamond Firetail Finch, Australian Kestrel, Peregrine Falcon, Black Falcon, Brown Hawk, Black Shouldered Kite, Spotted Harrier, Fork Tailed Kite, Whistling Kite, Little Eagle, Wedge Tailed Eagle, White Faced Heron, Maned Goose and Black Duck.

Mammals include the Western Grey Kangaroo, Echidna, Wallaroo, Tammar Wallaby, Brush Tailed Bettong and Ringtail Possum.

Reptiles observed at the Sanctuary include Central Bearded Dragon, Goanna, Shingle Back, Tawny Dragon, Blue Tongue Skink, King Brown Snake, Red Bellied Black Snake, Tiger Snake and various geckos and small skinks

General Info

Saunders Gorge Sanctuary is located at Sanderston on the eastern slopes of the Mount Lofty Ranges (also referred to as the Adelaide Hills), and is about a 90 minute drive from Adelaide.

To get to Saunders Gorge Sanctuary from northern Adelaide, take the main north east road (B10) to Mt Pleasant. Follow the Mt. Pleasant Sedan Road for about 18km, then turn left on to a dirt road (Three Chain Road) at the Saunders Gorge Sanctuary sign. Follow the signs to the Sanctuary.

Saunders Gorge is open to the public for picnics and scenic walks on Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Public Holidays from 10am to 5pm (closed on Christmas day).

Related posts:

  1. Gorge Wildlife Park, Adelaide Hills, South Australia
  2. Warrawong Wildlife Sanctuary, Adelaide, South Australia
  3. Adelaide Zoo, South Australia
  4. Cleland Wildlife Park, near Adelaide, South Australia
  5. Urimbirra Wildlife Park, Victor Harbor, South Australia

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