Friends of Waite Conservation Reserve

– About the Reserve –

The Waite Conservation Reserve, in the Adelaide Hills face area, belongs to the University of Adelaide. it was dedicated for conservation and the furtherance of scientific knowledge in 1992. Today the Waite Conservation Reserve is noted as one of the largest and best surviving examples of Grey Box Grassy Woodland in South Australia – a nationally threatened plant community.

Home to more than 200 species of native plants as well as kangaroos, koalas and echidnas, it is a valuable asset of the University of Adelaide and the people of South Australia. The Reserve comprises 121 hectares, of which 110 hectares are under Heritage Agreement, protecting the native vegetation and wildlife in perpetuity.


In October 1913 Peter Waite wrote to the Premier of South Australia, Hon. A.H. Peake and the Chancellor of the University of Adelaide, the Rt. Hon. Sir Samuel Way informing them that he intended presenting his Urrbrae property of 54 hectares to the University of Adelaide. The eastern half was to be used for scientific studies related to agriculture and the western half as a public park. In 1915 Peter Waite bought the Claremont Estate of 21 hectares and 45 hectares of the foothill part of the Netherby Estate, both of which adjoined Urrbrae, transferring their ownership to the University of Adelaide.

The Reserve is of great environmental value because it:

  • Protects precious remnant vegetation
  • Is one of the best surviving examples in the Adelaide Hills of Grey Box Grassy Woodland, a depleted and poorly conserved vegetation type
  • Is home to 6 plant species listed as Rare or Vulnerable in South Australia
  • Is a habitat for native animals, for example echidnas, koalas, kangaroos, as well as butterflies, reptiles and birds
  • Is a valuable resource for ongoing research in ecology, biological control, and related fields
  • Is a valuable and accessible resource for teaching environmental management to secondary and tertiary students
  • Provides a beautiful and tranquil environment for bushwalking, birdwatching and other quiet recreation
  • Has easy access to bushland for people living in urban Adelaide.

For further details and information, please contact:

The Manager of the Waite Conservation Reserve Dr Kate Delaporte,