Area: 414 hectares
Location: 20 kilometres south of Burra, about 200 kilometres north of Adelaide
Consisting: ridgeline tussock grasslands and mallee
Management: Worlds End Conservation Pty. Ltd.
Hallelujah Hills is a beautiful surprise of a property nestled in the last hilly range between the grasslands and grassy woodlands of South Australia’s Mid- North and the semi-arid mallee shrublands of the Murray River flats.
The map shows the location of the entry gate to the property. It is located 10 kilometres north-west of Robertstown and 20 kilometres south of Burra in the mid-north of South Australia, about 200 kilometres north of Adelaide.
The land is part of the Murray Darling Basin as creeks of the Hallelujah Hills flow out into Burra Creek, which then flows into the River Murray at Morgan.
Environmental Values of Hallelujah Hills
Hallelujah Hills has a wonderfully varied landscape and a wide range of plant communities within its boundaries. It includes unique ridgeline habitat with rare grasslands interspersed with ephemeral creeks.
The Hallelujah Hills property is a relatively large block in its own right but more importantly, it is part of a larger expanse of native vegetation on a number of conservation parks and private land in the area.
Conserved areas of native vegetation to the north of Hallelujah Hills include the Read Creek Hills property, also owned by Worlds End Conservation, Hopkins Creek Conservation Park and Worlds End Gorge (also known as Burra Creek Gorge).
To continue to expand and protect the habitats for native plants and animals in the region Worlds End Conservation is hoping to purchase areas of good quality native vegetation to link Hallelujah Hills to its Read Creek Hills property. World End Conservation is always keen to encourage neighbours to conserve good bush on their land and to participate in district wide weed and feral animal control measures.
Historically, Hallelujah Hills has been part of a larger farming and grazing property. However, the land has had minimum sheep grazing as the terrain is steep and water was not available over most of the block.
Because of its rare grasslands Hallelujah Hills has been included in Australia’s National Reserve system, a framework designed to ensure that all the geographically distinct bio-regions in Australia are adequately conserved. It is formally recognized as a protected area under a South Australian Heritage Agreement.
The importance of protecting Hallelujah Hills is illustrated by the extremely low percentage (5.5%) of native vegetation conserved within in its bio-region (Flinders Lofty Block IBRA Region), with less than 0.2% native vegetation conserved in its sub-region of Broughton. This makes Hallelujah Hills a very high priority as a protected area at State and national level.
Hallelujah Hills will be managed mainly to conserve the range of ecosystems and flora and fauna species present and will provide biological survey and monitoring opportunities to increase understanding of their environmental values.
Plants and plant communities on Hallelujah Hills
The ecosystems being protected on our Hallelujah Hills property include the nationally threatened ecological communities of Lomandra effusa (iron grass) tussock grassland; wallaby grass and spear grass temperate grasslands and Peppermint Box and SA Blue Gum grassy low woodlands. Adding to the diversity are Mallee Box and Native Pine open woodlands along drainage lines, Red Mallee and Gilja mallee on its hilltops and ridges and Red Mallee and Yorrell open mallee on the flats and lower slopes.
In addition, there is Acacia spilleriana shrubland on the lower slopes and ridges of the property, and Acacia shrublands with Dodonaea, Senna and Bursaria on the saddles of the hills.
There are a number of rare plants found on Hallelujah Hills, including the nationally vulnerable Silver Daisy-bush (Olearia pannosa ssp. pannosa,), and the Round-Leaf Mulga-Bush (Acacia spilleriana) considered vulnerable at the State level.
For a more detailed description of the rare plants found on Hallelujah Hills you are welcome to read our Interim Management Guidelines that underpin the property’s inclusion in the National Reserve System.
Wildlife on Hallelujah Hills
Hallelujah Hills contains an area of important habitat for several species of threatened fauna.
There are a number of animals that are vulnerable or endangered in South Australia and sometimes nationally that are found or are likely to occur on the property.
Reptiles include the Carpet python and the Adelaide pygmy blue tongue lizard. Vulnerable birds include the Plains Wanderer and the Diamond Firetail and rare fauna includes the Common Dunnart.
Threats to the conservation values of Hallelujah Hills
Threats to the conservation values of this property are:
1. Grazing pressure from introduced animals, including deer, and over-abundent native herbivores. This may be preventing the natural regeneration of sensitive species including the Drooping Sheoak, Allocasuarina verticillata, and native grasses in the mallee box grassy woodlands in the valleys and along the drainage lines.
2. Predation of native animals by foxes and cats.
3. The presence of pest plants including boxthorns and horehound competing with native vegetation.
4. Damage caused by unauthorised access to the property and damage from firewood collection, recreational off-road vehicles, trail bikes and stray sheep.
Social and educational values
Worlds End Conservation continues to encourage research on the property by appropriate groups and agencies. Access to the property for research is by appointment or invitation for the implementation of baseline monitoring programs, the protection of sites of significance and natural attributes, and to address any risk issues inherent within the property.
Worlds End Conservation organises regular field days and working bees on Hallelujah Hills for those interested to take part in nature-based activities such as bird watching, nature photography, and low impact bush-walking.
We are also interested in gathering any local knowledge of the cultural history of the property and wherever practical to use this to both improve our management of the property and increase the appreciation of neighbours and others for this special place.
The objectives for managing Hallelujah Hills are described in its Hallelujah Hills Management Guidelines. Our current priorities are to protect it from human and agricultural impact by fencing the property, ridding the land of feral plants and animals, and allowing the land regenerate in a natural manner. We can already see success, particularly in the regeneration of Native Pines (Callitris preissii).