Bundaleer Forest, SA

By Jacqueline Outred 20 June 2014
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The birthplace of Australian forestry is a tranquil spot to take a walk, cycle or have a picnic

BUNDALEER FOREST IS where Australia’s first commercial forestry plantation began in the 1870s. Today, 10km south of the country community of Jamestown, it is a serene and shady retreat that can be explored by horseback, bicycle or on foot.

Bundaleer Forest is a mix of exotic and native trees. This is thanks to early settlers planting a variety of species in their quest to find the perfect plantation tree. Timber from Bundaleer is still used and replanting is done annually.

Due to a bushfire in early 2013, Curnow’s hut and the surrounding forest at the southern end of the reserve are temporarily closed to the public. Entry to the Conservator’s hut, as well as the picnic areas, has not been affected. Trails have been rerouted.


Walking: There are four trails within the forest. The longest walk is a 4.6km return loop that takes about 90 minutes. A half-hour sculpture walk has artwork, including a giant sundial, dotted along the track.

Hiking: Parts of South Australia’s 1200km Heysen Trail run through Bundaleer Forest. There are magnificent views from higher points and sunrises on the trail are spectacular.

Mountain biking: The 900km Mawson Trail, through remote, rural SA, cuts through the forest. This challenging, scenic track has been rerouted due to the fires that wiped out much of the forest’s southern end.

Wildlife: Look for western grey kangaroos, rock wallabies, echidnas and birds, including kingfishers, whistlers and kookaburras.

The Essentials

Location: It is 10km south of Jamestown, which is 220km from Adelaide.

Accommodation: Everything from farm stays and caravan parks to hotel and luxury heritage accommodation may be found in and around Jamestown.

Food/drink: Stock up in Jamestown for a forest picnic.

Points of interest: The Conservator’s hut – where the Conservator of Forests once lived – is on the Conservator’s Trail.

Maps: From Forestry SA.

More info: www.visitjamestown.com.au/bundaleer-forest