Chowilla Game Reserve and Regional Reserve

Campfire Caravan Fishing Pets Swimming Toilets Watersports Wildlife Camping area Information Picnic area Ranger Walking


The flood plain and wetland protected within Chowilla Game Reserve and Regional Reserve is on the Ramsar List and is also part of the Bookmark Biosphere Reserve. This semiarid environment is one of the few parts of the lower Murray flood plain that has not been used for irrigation. Massive stands of magnificent river red gums and mallee, black oak and bluebush shrublands provide a dramatic backdrop to the reserve, and habitats for birds such as parrots, Major Mitchell cockatoos, malleefowl and the very rare and endangered black-eared miner. Reptiles are common, with 45 recorded species, including the marbled velvet gecko, which is rare in South Australia.

Before the arrival of Europeans, the permanent water supply and abundance of food made Chowilla (Tjowilla or ‘place of spirits and ghosts’) a bountiful home to the Maraura and Ngintait people and important trading routes crossed through the area. The local Aboriginal community retains its connections with the region. After white settlement, Europeans established stock routes that utilised the water resources.

This region has the largest remaining native riverine forest in South Australia. The Border Cliffs Customs House Wetland Trail (4 km circuit, 1½ hrs, easy), starting at the Customs House carpark, is a meandering loop walk past huge river red gums, river cooba (Acacia sp.), dryland tea-tree and native pines. A bird observation point is located 350 metres off the trail. Numbered markers correspond to information in a brochure. Camping is possible and campfires are permitted between May and October but fuel stoves are preferred. Activities include picnicking, swimming, fishing, canoeing and bushwalking.

Fact file


Campsites at Chowilla, Little Gums and Littra House; fees apply


280 km north-east of Adelaide; 30 km east of Renmark via Murtho Rd; or 37 km via Wentworth Rd

Park information

  • Parks SA (08) 8204 1910
  • Parks SA Berri (08) 8595 2111


18 000 ha

Visitor information

Renmark (08) 8586 6704


Border Cliffs Customs House camping area

Spend the night camping by the mighty Murray River, accessed along Murtho Rd. You need to be self-sufficient with wood and water.... Find out more

Chowilla camping area (bush camping)

Off Renmark–Wentworth Rd, 32 km north-east of Renmark, this reserve has many sites along the Murray River for self-sufficient campers. Access may vary depending on river levels.... Find out more

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