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Cleland Conservation Park

The Cleland Conservation covers a large area of the Adelaide Hills and Hills Face Zone. It includes the Mount Lofty summit and has an extensive network of walking and cycling paths. The wild animals are protected and are not as frightened of people as most wild animals. It is common to see Kangaroos grazing or browsing close to the paths.
I've also walked past a fox which was sharing the main walking path apparently unconcerned by the people walking next to him. Bandicoots are also sometimes visible, but the Foxes and Feral Cats have greatly reduced their numbers.

Cleland Wildlife Park

Cleland  Wildlife Park in the Mount Lofty ranges, on the slopes of Mount Lofty was established in 1967.  Mount Lofty is the highest point in the Adelaide Hills, but at only 710 Metres (About 2330 Feet) high, it is not a huge mountain by most standards.  It is not even the highest mountain in South Australia, but it is the highest mountain close the South Australia’s capital, Adelaide.  Australia generally is a low continent and lacks the high mountain ranges of every other continent.

Cleland Wildlife Park is within easy climbing distance of the Mount Lofty Summit; this 2.2 kilometre climb requires some endurance, but no climbing skills.

. The wildlife park is only part of the much larger conservation park.

Animals at the wildlife park include several species of Kangaroo, Koalas, Wombats, Emus, Cape Barren Geese and Tasmanian Devils; as well as a wide variety of other mammals, birds and reptiles.

There is a good café connected to the souvenir shop.  As well as the usual Chinese made ‘Australian’ toys, the shop has a good number of genuine Australian things, including many that are very educational.  There are picnic and barbeque areas.

Cleland Wildlife Park is involved with the propagation of endangered Australian Animals, and animal and conservation education; it caters for over 20,000 students each year.

Cleland Wildlife Park was set up by the South Australian Government, but is now operated as a commercial enterprise, and entry fees are charged.  Guided walks are available, and in the summer, night time tours are run occasionally.

Most of the animals in the Park are ‘free’ within the open spaces of the park, and visitors can wander among the animals.  Some of the animals are confined to smaller areas, so, for example, the deadly snakes are securely contained, and you cannot cuddle a Tasmanian Devil!

The Dingo is the wild dog of Australia.  Charles Darwin in 1859 listed the Dingo as one of the two native Australian to have been domesticated (The other one was the Budgerigar). Mr. Darwin was wrong about this and the Dingo is not a native Australian animal.  The Dingo was introduced as a domestic dog about four thousand years ago.  It has gone wild and has been part of the mainland (and some island) fauna of Australia for a long time.

Cleland Conservation Park has a colony of Dingos.  It is very securely fenced to separate the Dingos from the public.  Dingos are not totally safe with humans, and there have been cases of people being killed by Dingos.