Calperum Station is a nature reserve located deep in the mallee scrublands of South Australia, within a large protected area known as the Bookmark Biosphere. Adjacent to well-known Gluepot Reserve, it is a renowned hotspot for Australia’s threatened mallee birdlife. Basic but comfortable accommodation is available at the Oakbore Shearer’s Quarters for our exclusive use. The vast reserve is criss-crossed by driveable bush tracks and walking trails. Our field program is focused on immersing you into the beauty of the place slowly observing or photographing its wonderful bird- and wildlife.


The Reserve

Calperum Station is a large nature reserve about an hours’ drive on bush tracks from Renmark in South Australia, comprising a total of 335,000 hectares of predominantly open mallee bushland and Murray River floodplains and wetlands. It forms part of the Bookmark Biosphere Reserve, a name derived from the Aboriginal word Pukumako meaning flint stone axe or sandstone grit hole. The Biosphere protects unique “mallee” (semi-arid eucalypt woodlands) in many large reserves including Gluepot, Calperum and Chowilla. Many specialised bird species are found here and a unique flora and fauna is adapted to the harsh conditions. Located 3-4 hours from Adelaide, the area’s relative accessibility means it is one of the few areas in Australia where birders can observe otherwise hard-to-find species. The Murray river meanders through this area and is fringed with wetlands and gnarly old gum trees.

Birds & Wildlife at Calperum

Calperum is important locally, nationally and internationally because of its intact mallee eucalypt woodlands and the presence of several threatened bird species. Supporting over 200 species of native birds species, the property forms critical habitat for the endangered Black-eared miner and the nationally vulnerable Malleefowl as well as other key mallee species such as Major Mitchell’s Cockatoo, Mulga Parrot, Red-lored Whistler, Striated Grasswren, Chestnut Quail-thrush and Shy Heathwren.

Our birdwatching and bird photography program at Calperum Station

Our field programs at Calperum are focused on immersing you into the beauty of the place, taking daily trips to various corners of the property by vehicle and on foot, slowly wandering around observing its wonderful bird- and wildlife or sitting at the waterhole to see what comes in. If you like, pursuing your photographic interests is an option – there are great opportunities for bird and landscape photography here.

Typically our program begins with a pick-up from Adelaide or Mildura airport and you’ll be transferred to the sanctuary. We’ll stay in individual, basic rooms in what’s known as the ‘shearers quarters’ – an old weatherboard house. There are communal indoor and outdoor seating areas. Bathroom facilities are shared and meals will be cooked for you by your guide in the communal kitchen. You’re welcome to participate in the preparation of meals if you like. We’ll spend 3 days, 2 nights on the property to fully immerse ourselves into its fantastic ambience. The program of activities can be as busy or relaxed as you like and will be determined in consultation with your guide. Sitting on a sand dune watching the sun set over the endless expanses of mallee scrub with a drink in your hand, is definitely one of the highlights.

Scheduled dates

Our field programs at Calperum are conducted on request. Please contact us for a full program and pricing.

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