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Field River

The Field River is located in Marion's south and sits between the border of the Marion and Onkaparinga Council areas. The Field River catchment covers around 50km2 and includes the suburbs of Hallett Cove, Reynella, Sheidow Park, Trott Park, Happy Valley and Woodcroft.

Ownership of the land surrounding the Field River varies and includes some large areas of land in private ownership which are not open to public access. The Field River forms part of a proposed open space network referred to as the Great Southern Urban Forest (formerly called the Greenbelt).


It is thought that the Field River was named after Royal Navy Lieutenant W.G. Field who served under Colonel Light on his journey to South Australia in 1836 aboard the brig Rapid and discovered the river in 1837 while surveying the area.

The Field River is one of the few places in the world that has such a comprehensive evidence of its history. It includes:

  • The Worthing Mine, a Cornish style copper mine established in the 1840's,
  • Indigenous cultural artefacts from the Kaurna people,
  • 70,000 year old fossilised remains of the world's largest marsupial - the Diprotodon,
  • Howchin's anticline - a neatly section geological record that stretches back for 600 million years


The majority of the Field River has been modified due to clearance for agriculture and mining. In recent times there has been significant additional degradation due to illegal access by four wheel drives and trail bikes and increasing infestation by weeds such as olives and ash trees.

Despite this damage to the natural environment, there are still some areas containing remnant indigenous vegetation and habitat for animal life. These small pockets of vegetation are vulnerable to further losses and efforts are made by community groups such as the Friends of Lower Field River along with the City of Marion and the State Government to protect and restore these environments where possible.

Illegal activities and infringements

Large areas of the Field River upstream of Lonsdale Highway are not open for public access.

For reporting unauthorised access and activities - information from the public can remain anonymous - details such as number plates, make and model of vehicles, location, type of activity and any other helpful information can be taken and referred to the relevant phone numbers below.

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