The newly established Flinders Ranges Ediacara Foundation is proud to be associated with the National Trust of South Australia to conduct this appeal towards the conservation of the historic Blacksmith’s Shop on Nilpena Station in the Flinders Ranges.

Nilpena Station is home to the world’s greatest Ediacaran fossil site recording the rise of early animal life, some 550 million years ago when the Flinders Ranges area was a shallow tropical sea. The Ediacaran fossils were first discovered in 1946 by renowned geologist Reg Sprigg who named them after the Ediacara Hills near Nilpena.

Spriggina, image provided by Flinders Ranges Ediacara Foundation

Nilpena Station is home to a number of beautiful stone pastoral buildings. The fossils on Nilpena are intimately connected with these buildings, as their discovery was prompted by the ripple rocks used as flooring for the woolshed.

The Foundation was instrumental in raising funds for ensuring these buildings and fossils are protected forever through creating a new national park. We are now seeking community support for an exciting project to conserve the Nilpena’s Blacksmith’s Shop.

The Foundation will be working to ensure the Blacksmith’s Shop is restored to its former glory and address major structural issues for its long term preservation. As part of this project, one of the most spectacular fossil beds will be installed in the Blacksmith’s Shop to create a modern immersive educational experience. Children will be able to touch the fossils and through technology see them come to life in the ancient sea. The Blacksmith’s Shop will become a destination for discovery and inspiration.

Fossil site and working party, image courtesy Dr Mary Droser


The development of the Blacksmith’s Shop will be delivered and funded by the Foundation raising $500,000 from donors, with the balance from the South Australian National Parks and Wildlife Service and the Australian Government’s Heritage Grants Program. Your support is needed for this exciting project.

Students and guide examining Nilpena fossils, image courtesy Mary Lou Simpson

As Dr Andrew Thomas AO, retired NASA astronaut and first Australian in space has stated, “South Australia is custodian of fossil evidence of some of the most stunning ancient life forms on the planet. So important is this record that the geologic epoch when they originated is named after the Ediacara formations in the Flinders Ranges. The Foundation is to be applauded in their efforts to raise awareness of this legacy and preserve these important sites”.


To find out more, visit

Donate Now

You can make a contribution to the conservation of the Ediacara Nilpena site by donating to the National Trust of South Australia Conservation Appeal. Donations of $2 or more made payable to the National Trust Ediacara Nilpena Conservation Appeal are tax deductible. You will receive a tax receipt from the National Trust for your donation if you provide a completed Appeal donation form with your donation either by post to The National Trust of South Australia, 631 Glynburn Road, Beaumont, SA 5066 or by email to


By cheque

Cheques should be made payable to National Trust Ediacara Nilpena Conservation Appeal and sent to:

Ediacara Nilpena Conservation Appeal

National Trust of South Australia

631 Glynburn Road

Beaumont SA 5066


Direct Deposit Payment

Payments can be made by direct debit to:

National Trust Ediacara Nilpena Conservation Appeal

BSB: 105-900

Account number: 140 707 240

Please include Ediacara Appeal in the reference.

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