About our region
The Hills and Fleurieu
The Hills and Fleurieu landscape is the most biologically diverse region in South Australia. Home to half of the state’s species of native plants and three-quarters of its native birds, it also has some of the most productive primary industries supplying local and international markets.
Covering 6700 square kilometres of land and sea, the region is home to around 130,000 people and stretches along the Mt Lofty Ranges from Cape Jervis to Birdwood and the South Para River, and from the coastal waters of Gulf St Vincent and Willunga across to Mount Barker, Goolwa and Victor Harbor.
The region’s primary industries contribute more than $400 million in value to the South Australian economy each year, with other industries including tourism and retail. Grazing accounts for more than 45 per cent of land use. Apple, pear and cherry production, together with viticulture, wine making and seafood production, are also significant rural industries.
Larger towns in the area include Mount Barker, with more than 30,000 people, Victor Harbor at about 15,000 people and Strathalbyn at about 6000. Large areas of the region are also home to people who have chosen a rural lifestyle on small holdings.
The region is dominated by the southern Mt Lofty Ranges and features significant water resources. Other natural assets include grassy woodland habitats, rare vegetation such as the Mt Compass oak-bush and the threatened Southern Mt Lofty Ranges emu wren. Along the southern coastline, little penguins are a focus of both public attention and conservation effort. Similarly, efforts to protect habitat for endangered shorebirds such as the Hooded Plover are also an important conservation focus.