Marino Conservation Park is a small park situated within the southern suburbs of metropolitan Adelaide. The Mt Lofty ranges form the eastern backdrop of Adelaide, but in the south, they curve towards the coast at Marino Rocks. Here, on the last high point before the sea, is the Marino Lighthouse. Marino Conservation Park covers about 30 hectares just north of the Lighthouse. It was proclaimed as a conservation park in 1989, but has always been Crown Land. Since European settlement, most of it has only been used as grazing land, though a deep gully was used as a garbage tip by Marion Council, and has since been covered by landfill. From the crest near the lighthouse, there are magnificent views over the city, and along Adelaide’s metropolitan beaches.
Marino Conservation Park is bounded on the west by the Adelaide/Noarlunga railway, on the north by Bundara Road, on the east by Park View Terrace and on the south by a pastoral property. The carpark at the end of Nimboya Road is the best point of entry to the park. You can get to Marino Conservation Park by catching a train to Marino Rocks railway station and then walking to the top of Nimboya Road .
There are two quite different types of vegetation in the park. The westerly section adjoining the rail corridor, is covered with coastal heath. This was the predominant vegetation along the Metropolitan coastline, but few examples have survived the spread of urbanisation. This area of some 8 hectares is the best remaining example of coastal heath vegetation in the Metropolitan area and was the main reason for proclaiming it a conservation park. The remainder of the park other than a second smaller patch of heath on the eastern slopes, would have been open grassy woodland of drooping she-oak, mallee box and elegant wattle.
Low growing coastal heath