The property is 121.4 ha in the Eastern Mt Lofty Ranges. The land is freehold.

The land has been under a heritage agreements since June 2000 .

 Landform – Drainage

The land consists of gently to moderately undulating slopes on the eastern side, and flatter land on the western side. The elevation ranges from 215 to 278 metres ASL (Above Sea Level).

The hilly portion consists of mainly skeletal soils formed on metamorphosed sandstone of the Backstairs passage formation of the Kanmantoo group (Middle Cambrian age) in an area of pronounced metamorphism. A main feature of this area is the coarseness of the basement rocks and the resulting sandy nature of the landscape.

The lower slopes consist of pale brown sandy clays of the Pooraka formation with Loveday formation carbonate and gravel lenses. Surface drainage is from west to east into two tributaries of Gorge creek, itself of tributary of Reedy Creek which runs into the River Murray near Caloote.

Climate, Hydrology

The area lies in a rain shadow caused by the Central Mt Lofty Ranges, rainfall dropping by approximately 15 mm/km. The annual rainfall at Woodside is 830 mm and at Mannum it is 290 mm. At Rockleigh it is ca. 550 mm.

The growing season, when rainfall exceeds evapo-transpiration, is about seven months.

The rainfall is distinctly seasonal with some 70% falling in April to October. Summers are warm to hot and winters are cool to cold.

There is no good quality groundwater (i.e., relatively fresh), but the creeks have springs which have surface water all year which is important for wildlife in the area. However increasing salinity is becoming a problem in the creeks.

Near the eastern end of the property adjacent to the creek there is a small dam and a shallow well. In the past, water has been pumped from the dam to storage tanks on adjacent land where it is used for stock water. The dam has been left open and provides a variety of aquatic and riparian edge habitat with native rushes and sedges having been allowed to develop with the removal of stock.


The Rockleigh Land System is characterised by undulating to moderately steep rises and low hills with sand over clay soils, and broad flats with deep sands or thick sand over clay soils. Low fertility, water repellence and high susceptibility to erosion are the dominant features affecting land use.

There has evidently been extensive erosion in the past, by both wind and water.This has largely been arrested by improved land management practices. Waterlogging and sporadic associated saline seepage are additional problems on the flats.

The area is characterised by broad valleys within which are rises and low hills formed on basement rocks. Slopes are as low as 2% on low rises with relief to 10m, and up to 40% (but usually less than 30%) on moderately steep low hills with relief of up to 90 m. Between the highs are broad drainage depressions. Although well-defined and eroded in places, watercourses are commonly ill defined in  wet flats.

The dominant soil characteristic is very sandy texture, either as deep alluvial profiles or as course textured surface soil overlying clay subsoil, formed in either alluvium or weathering rock. The main soil groups are loamy sand over dispersive clay, loamy sand over sandy clay loam, gradational sand, thick sand over clay and deep bleached sand.