Adelaide International Bird Sanctuary

About the bird sanctuary

The Adelaide International Bird Sanctuary is a unique safe haven for shorebirds, many migrating each year between Australia and the northern hemisphere. It is now officially recognised as a globally significant site as part of the East Asian-Australasian Flyway network.

The bird sanctuary offers a landscape where local communities, volunteers, government, non-government organisations, and land managers can work together towards shorebird conservation, enhancing community and ensuring that tourism is also protecting this valuable place.

For many years activity in this area has ranged from traditional Aboriginal land use practices to salt production and farming alongside landscape conservation.

A northern section of the bird sanctuary has recently been proclaimed and is the state’s first new national park in a decade. Learn more about Adelaide International Bird Sanctuary National Park - Winaityinaityi Pangkara on our national parks page or download the interim management statement.

Visiting the bird sanctuary

Just a 30 minute self-drive from Adelaide, a wonderful natural experience awaits you from the bird sanctuary’s Northern and Southern gateways.

At the Southern gateway the St Kilda foreshore is a food bowl for many shorebirds and at times can draw in over 3000 foraging banded stilts. The Northern gateway gives you access to kilometres of pristine coastline including samphire and intertidal mudflats.

For ideas on what else you can do and see in the bird sanctuary, including printable leaflets and maps, visit Adelaide International Bird Sanctuary National Park - Winaityinaityi Pangkara.

Bringing people together

People are driving the establishment of the Adelaide International Bird Sanctuary through a new way of working together and achieving shared outcomes – an approach called Collective Impact.

This approach recognises that many people have a role to play in making an impact for things that matter, in this case protecting shorebirds and creating opportunities for people.

Collaborating for a better future depends on genuine community participation in decision-making throughout the design, implementation and ongoing management of the bird sanctuary.

Using a Collective Impact approach has created an innovative leadership group, ‘The Collective’, which is currently a partnership of 35 groups, people and organisations that are creating a shared vision for the bird sanctuary and the communities around it.

The Collective has provided strategic leadership and a representative voice for local, state and national communities. It is not a committee; it is a coming together for action.

The Collective has defined a vision and four focus areas for long term sustainable action for the bird sanctuary that everyone agrees will make the sanctuary a success for people. The focus areas delivering this vision are:

Focus area one: Establish and sustain the Adelaide International Bird Sanctuary Protected Area for native species, in particular migratory shorebirds and species that are endangered.

Focus area two: Facilitate opportunities to stimulate the local and state economy through activating economic pathways while protecting the range of ecosystem, recreational and cultural services that the Adelaide International Bird Sanctuary provides.

Focus area three: Enhance the wellbeing of visitors to the Adelaide International Bird Sanctuary by creating places for people to engage with, be active, explore, learn about nature and share experiences with other people.

Focus area four: Cultivate partnerships locally and across the globe to share scientific and cultural knowledge and support the growing movement of global flyway conservation.

The Collective works together to feed information and expertise into the bird sanctuary initiative and then back out into their communities. Take a look at the video below on how Collective Impact works.


Events and opportunities

We are always looking to partner with people interested in the Adelaide International Bird Sanctuary from the local area and across the globe.

If you would like to become a partner, and discuss how your work can align or support the bird sanctuary there are many avenues for participation. Email us for more information.

Read about the bird sanctuary’s history in our story so far.

Have your say

With the national park in place we are now embarking on developing a management plan for the whole of the sanctuary. Join the conversation about a management plan for the sanctuary to help shape the future use and enjoyment for the area.

For more information about how you can have your say visit the yourSAy website.

Sign up to our monthly e-newsletter to stay up to date with this process.

Stay up to date

To keep informed about the progress of the Adelaide International Bird Sanctuary and for opportunities to be involved, sign up to receive the newsletter.
Phone: (+61 8) 8463 7131
Facebook: Adelaide International Bird Sanctuary
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Natural Resources Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges