The park is 57,969 hectares and was reserved in March 1977 for the purpose of protecting mallee land systems following the purchase of Mallee Cliffs Station. The park protects extensive areas of flat to undulating red sandy plains and sand dunes and is significant for protecting mallee and other semi-arid ecosystems of southern Australia which are poorly represented in the reserve system.
The park is in the Murray Darling Depression Bioregion which experiences a moderately harsh semi-arid climate, with an annual mean rainfall of only 290 millimetres. Mallee Cliffs is part of an important network of parks which protects native ecosystems that are greatly diminished in extent or degraded by grazing and other landuses in the broader landscape. The other parks include Mutawintji, Sturt, Mungo, Kinchega, Paroo-Darling and Toorale national parks, and Nocoleche and Tarawi nature reserves.
In 2017, the Reintroduction of Locally Extinct Mammals project under the Saving our Species program will commence in the park. The project will be implemented under contract to the Australian Wildlife Conservancy for an initial period of 10 years. This plan of management provides for the project and associated infrastructure, in addition to research, monitoring, visitation and park management activities.
Mallee Cliffs National Park Draft Plan of Management: Planning considerations (2017). The planning considerations is a supporting document that includes detailed information on park values (e.g. threatened species and cultural heritage) and threats to these values. A summary of this information is provided in the plan of management.
Existing adopted Mallee Cliffs National Park Plan of Management (1998).