Before we begin ... 

Winter Wetlands 

A private sanctuary for native flora and fauna

The Winter Wetlands are a small wetlands built around the dam in the south corner of Forest Gate Farm. They are at their most beautiful in Late Autumn - Winter, when the dam is full to overflowing. 

The Winter Wetlands is a project that has been built to provide a sanctuary for native birds and wildlife, either within the many many native trees, shrubs and grasses that have been planted, or within the small radiata pine plantation. Over 60 different species of birds have been seen at Forest Gate farm. 

Guests can enjoy a picnic amongst the trees in a small sheltered picnic area, or roast marshmallows over the fire on the top of the dam wall overlooking the vista (out of fire-ban season).  The radiata pine plantation also serves as a perfect wedding photography venue. 

Nightwalks can be enjoyed within the sanctuary itself or in the Kuitpo forest across the road. Make sure to bring a torch to light the way. Nightime wildlife that can sometimes be seen include koalas, bandicoots, antechinus, ringtail and brushtail possums, tawny owls and frogmouths. In the evening, there are always many kangaroos to be found nearby.

BIG NEWS!!! The Winter Wetlands will be available for overnight vigils in 2024!!!!

In 2024 the Winter Wetlands will be available for small/medium sized self contained RV campervans with their own toileting facilities. Guests are welcome to stay for overnight vigils, night walks, and local wildlife experiences. Sites will cost $25 per van, per night. Unfortunately, we cannot accept caravans. The nature of the vegetation limits manoeuvrability throughout the little sanctuary. 

Overnighting in the Winter Wetlands sanctuary is strictly for adults. Children and pets are not allowed due to insurance policy.

At this stage we are using Hipcamp for all bookings for the Winter Wetlands. 

Click on the icon to be redirected to their site. 

Winter Wetlands - follow our story

The dam in the Winter Wetlands is now full and overflowing. 

Tuesday 27/06/2023

The Wetlands have finally come to life! The dams are full, the frogs are out, and it finally feels like the peaceful Wilderness that Alan envisaged when he started this project all those years ago. 

The small island in the middle of the dam is now completely surrounded by water. 

When it stops raining, the campfires are ready to keep campers warm on these cold winter nights. 

After weeks of rain, the dams are full and the Wetlands have come to life. The frogs and birds sing in chorus as they make the most of it

The undercover picnic shelter has been very handy while during the rains of the past few weeks. 

A small pink Nerrine has found a home, nestled within bark under an old tree, beside the dam

The young native trees are growing steadily, and feeling the benefits of the rain. 

Looking across the dam. A beautiful reflection of trees.

Monday 1/05/2023

Fire ban season is over. Alan spent the day burning off all the fire piles that have built up over the Summer. He also got to test out the fire place at the top of the dam. It was hard work, but he 'took one for the team', and tested the fire place by lighting it, and resting on one of the logs with a cup of tea enjoying it's warmth. He assures me it works fine. We'll test the other fire place out together this weekend. 

Thursday, 27/04/2023

Renovations are coming along well, and it looks like the Winter Wetlands will be available for campers in 2024! 

We have almost finished preparing sites, planting trees, making public areas safer with fencing, arranging posts so that people can navigate into / out of sites safely, and putting up gates. Now, all we need to do is put up a few directive signs and get insurance finalised, and we are all set to go!! 

The small pine plantation next to the RV sites provides habitat for local fauna, and also provides campers with shade on hot days, protection from weather, and privacy from the rest of the world. 

The proposed sites for people to stay are big enough for a small / medium RV. 

When you first enter the Winter Wetlands, there is a small picnic wilderness to your left, and RV sites on the right as you continue to drive up the road. 

The proposed sites for people to stay are big enough for a small / medium RV. 

There are two camp fire locations for guests to use. One at the top of the dam, that looks out across the water, that can be used on fine nights (above). 

The other is closer to the RV sites, and has a shelter for guests to sit under (below). 

Wednesday, 15/3/2023

The young native trees are growing happily and enjoying todays sunshine.

Thursday, 16/03/2023

A new safety fence has been installed around the dam. 

Once upon a time there was a paddock...

Once upon a time the South paddocks at Forest Gate Farm were near useless. Every winter they would 'bog up'. It was impossible to grow hay or keep stock there because the ground was too wet. It was turning into an unkempt, useless piece of land. 

So, Alan started to plant trees and shrubs there. 

He also started a little pine plantation that grew very tall. 

After many years, the trees grew tall and healthy. They were dense enough and strong enough to provide habitat for possums, koalas, eagles, hawks and other wildlife that he had not seen around the paddocks before. 

Alan decided that it was time to add another dimension to the small pine plantation - he added a dam to catch the water that flowed off his other paddocks. 

The dam was built, and extended, and extended, and extended again. It seemed that he was always down at the dam, moving dirt so that it could hold more water in the Winter months. 

In Winter, Alan would often come down to the South paddocks to find MORE water built up on the wrong side of the dam. So, he'd dig a little more... 

Eventually, he was done. With the dam full and lined with reeds, Alan had built the beginnings of a small Winter Wetlands. 

He decided that he wanted to share it with the public. So went about modifying the land so that it was more user friendly. This included building a road, formalizing the entrance and putting a fence around the dam. And that is where the story begins.... 


address: 506 Brookman road, Meadows, SA, 5201