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Nature-based Tourism

Co-investment Fund

From the Minister

Message from the Minister for Environment and Water, David Speirs MP

What is the co-investment fund?

The Nature-based Tourism Co-investment Fund is a pilot grant program designed to assist eligible businesses and organisations to partner with the South Australian Government to deliver sustainable, quality tourism experiences in South Australia.

The $5 million Nature-Based Tourism Co-investment Fund is part of the $130 million Parks 2025 strategy and will provide the stimulus and support that businesses need to activate or build on existing ecologically sensitive tourism offerings in the state’s national parks, reserves, botanic gardens, and Crown land.

We are actively exploring new partnerships to expand our range of nature-based tourism offerings to help position South Australia as a world-class eco-tourism destination, especially as we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic and a summer of devastating bushfires.

We’ve already got some amazing experiences in this state but we believe there are still untapped opportunities and we’re seeking outstanding, world-class eco-tourism proposals to reaffirm South Australia as a ‘must-see’ destination once our borders reopen.

The Nature-based Tourism Co-investment Fund is now taking applications and will be open until June 2022 (or until the fund is exhausted). Applicants can seek grants from $20,000 to $1 million and are expected to contribute at least half of the total financial costs of their project.

Latest updates

Since launching the Nature-based Tourism Co-investment Fund, a number of sites have experienced a high level of interest from potential applicants. DEW has set application timeframes for high interest sites like Myponga Reservoir Reserve, in order to assess applications together.

Interested parties are asked to submit their fund applications for Myponga Reservoir Reserve by 5pm Friday 30 April.

Applicants are encouraged to consider information contained in the additional guidance provided by SA Water and the Myponga Development Approvals Factsheet in preparing their applications.

For further site-specific information contact the Nature-based Tourism Co-investment Fund Support Service.

Find out more

For assistance with your application, read the Guidelines and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), tap into our support service or book in for a workshop for assistance on your application.

The Guidelines and other important information on this website may be updated from time to time. To stay up-to-date with updates like these, scroll to the bottom of the page to subscribe to news and updates.

Fund objectives


Deliver positive benefits for the conservation of South Australia's nature, parks and places.


Deliver sustainable tourism services that benefit and are supported by local community and visitors.


Deliver a clear economic benefit for SA by creating new sustainable jobs and economic growth

Understanding the process in applying to the fund

Keeping conservation at the forefront

When it comes to enabling SA’s natural places to cater for nature-based tourism, conserving the environment comes first.

Our nature-based tourism approach aims to conserve and enhance the local environment and heritage. It also encourages people to look after the natural and cultural values that attract them to the region.

In developing new experiences, operators will contribute to conservation programs such as restoring habitats, revegetation and rewilding projects. Through such partnerships, the use and enjoyment of our natural places will be increased, and revenue generated would be reinvested into critical conservation programs

New nature-based tourism experiences will create opportunities for visitors to develop a sense of personal connection that will see them become life-long supporters and advocates of nature and heritage conservation.

To learn more read the guiding principles, the Friends of Parks South Australia Engagement Charter and the case studies.

Applying for funding

Before you apply:

  • Read the Guidelines to learn more about the fund, eligibility requirements, assessment criteria and the information you need to supply when submitting an application.
  • Read the Frequently Asked Questions and the suite of resources and workshops to help develop your idea.
  • Seek further support from the Nature-based tourism Co-investment Fund Support Service. The Support Service is available to provide high-level guidance and advice about your proposal, including information about potential environmental regulations, engaging with stakeholders, and land tenure.

More support

To help you develop sustainable nature-based tourism experiences, check out these workshops and resources:

*session will be recorded and made available online post-event

These resources are provided by the Tourism Industry Council South Australia (TiCSA). For more information or to register for a session, visit the TiCSA website.

Snapshot: Tourism in national parks

South Australia has more than 340 national parks, which cover more than 20 per cent of the state across eight tourism regions.

Each one provides the perfect setting for tourists to connect with our unique natural environment.

Learn more about the tourism market and business opportunities for each of these regions, including the region’s performance and visitor profile, as well as the performance of parks and nature based opportunities within those regions.

Regional snapshot

The Adelaide region is the top destination for international visitors to South Australia. As part of its regional tourism strategy, it aims to promote its accessibility to nature-based tourism and urban parks.

Regional snapshot

The Adelaide Hills region, nestled in the scenic Mount Lofty ranges, aims to capitalise on its proximity to Adelaide through collaboration and partnerships, as well as convert more visitors to stay overnight and increase visitor spend.

Regional snapshot

The Barossa and Clare Valley regions lie within South Australia’s Mid North and Yorke agricultural district. Both are characterised by their unique mix of gourmet food, boutique wine experiences, breathtaking scenery and rich heritage, and both are aiming for increased overnight stays.

Regional snapshot

With 2000 kilometres of coastline, the Eyre Peninsula region aims to capitalise on its pristine nature, immersive wildlife experiences and coastal lifestyle to drive increased overnight stays.

Regional snapshot

The Fleurieu Peninsula is the place to go for coastal thrills, secluded beaches, adventurous tours and unspoilt wildlife. The region aims to increase the spend of day-trippers and convert some into overnight stays, as well as encourage year-round visitation and drive visitor yield.

Regional snapshot

Five hours north of Adelaide is the Flinders Ranges and Outback region, home to some of SA’s most wondrous landmarks. The region’s tourism strategy is to increase overnight visitation via greater regional and cross-regional collaboration around touring routes and events.

Regional snapshot

Kangaroo Island is Australia’s third largest island and is home to unique natural beauty, an abundance of wildlife and plenty to keep visitors busy. Many visitors to South Australia see Kangaroo Island as an essential part of their itinerary.

Work is underway to improve and expand visitor services and allow the island to recover from the devastating 2019-20 summer bushfires that swept across the island.

The island’s tourism strategy aims to deliver on its brand proposition, grow visitor yield and dispersal, and manage the sustainable development of tourism.

Regional snapshot

As SA’s most easterly tourism region, the Limestone Coast is a drawcard for South Australians and Victorians alike. One of the goals in the region’s tourism strategy is to develop hero tourism experiences and events, and convert existing day-trippers to stay overnight.

Regional snapshot

South Australia’s Murray River, Lakes and Coorong region stretches from Murray Bridge in the west to the Victorian border in the east. The region is predominantly a self-drive visitor market and its tourism strategy is to leverage existing touring routes and promote and develop events and hero tourism experiences to increase overnight visits.

Regional snapshot

Centring on the majestic River Murray, the Riverland region aims to grow its events, create new visitor experiences, increase business collaboration and support operators, all in an effort to increase visitation and length of stay.

Regional snapshot

Yorke Peninsula is the ultimate weekend getaway, renowned for its relaxed atmosphere and laidback lifestyle. The region’s tourism strategy is to increase its tourism market by promoting existing experiences and developing new ones that play to the strengths of its coastal lifestyle, wildlife and nature.

Stay informed

Stay up-to-date about the Nature-based Tourism Co-investment Fund by signing up to receive news and updates.