Park of the Month: Parks of the Northern Mount Lofty Ranges

Park of the Month: Parks of the Northern Mount Lofty Ranges

Join us each month as we showcase our amazing national parks with our Park of the Month program.

Park of the Month is a great way to gain a deeper understanding of our special natural places and to find new ways to enjoy them.

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May – Parks of the Northern Mount Lofty Ranges

You’re invited to join us in celebrating the Park of the Month in our Northern Mount Lofty Ranges National Parks:

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What’s on

Hiking Skills with Walking SA

Anstey Hill Recreation Park
Saturday 7 May, 9am – 12pm and 1pm – 4pm

Join an experienced instructor from Walking SA for a guided hike and bushwalking skills session in Anstey Hill Recreation Park. This 3-hour session will include a 2 hour hike in the park plus some time to have a chat and learn about:

  • How to prepare and plan for a hike
  • How to stay comfortable while walking
  • What equipment should I take with me
  • Navigation and map resources
  • What to do in an emergency
  • Rules about walking in parks
  • Leave no trace principles
  • Walking SA

A moderate to good level of fitness is required to complete this hike. The proposed route is on grade 3 to 4 trails and includes some uneven surfaces with moderate to steep ascents and descents. This trail, while only 4kms, requires the ability to walk uphill and downhill on a sometimes rough, slippery but safe path. Minimum age 12 years old.

Where: Anstey Hill Recreation Park – Gate 1, 1368 North East Road, Tea Tree Gully

Cost: $20 per person, $10 *concession card holders. Bookings required.
*Concession card holders will need to enter CONCESSION in the promo code during checkout to receive concession price. You will need to present your concession car on the day.

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Junior Mountain Bike Skills Sessions

Cobbler Creek Recreation Park
Sunday 8 May, Beginner 9am – 11am, Beginner Girls 9am – 11am, Intermediate 11:30am – 1:30pm

Learn skills and techniques to become a more confident mountain bike rider. Expert coaches from Head for the Hills Offroad Cycling will teach you bike handling & control skills in a 90 minute skills clinic. The course will include a guided ride so you can put your skills to use!

We will cover topics such as:

  • balance & control skills
  • body position
  • braking techniques
  • navigating obstacles

Recommended age is 9-13 years. The beginner clinics are designed for riders with little to no mountain biking experience but must be comfortable on 2 wheels. Participants who wish to use their own bike should ensure that their bike has gears, large diameter wheels (24″ or above) and is in good working order.

Where: Cobbler Creek Recreation Park – Smith Road Carpark, Salisbury East (enter from Bridge Road)

Cost: $20 per person (Bike and helmet hire available for additional $20)
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Group bushwalk with W.E.A. Ramblers

Morialta Conservation Park
Sunday 8 May, 9am

The W.E.A. Ramblers are a bushwalking club that were established 1925. The aim of the Ramblers Club is to bring together people who are keen walkers and lovers of nature. The club has program of walks - day hikes from 12 to 18km are held fortnightly on Sundays and half day hikes from 6 to 9kms are held monthly on Tuesdays. Join them for a group hike in beautiful Morialta Conservation Park. A Moderate to high level of fitness required. Walk distance is 16km over uneven terrain.

Where: Morialta Conservation Park – Meet at Norton Summit/Ashton CFS Brigade, Colonial Drive, Norton Summit

Cost: $5 per person paid on the day. No booking required.

Ranger-guided walk of Highbury Aqueduct Reserve

Highbury Aqueduct Reserve
Friday 13 May, 10am – 10:45am

Highbury Aqueduct is a 50 ha reserve located in the City of Tea Tree Gully, approximately 10 km north east of Adelaide. Hear from rangers about the history and restoration, natural assets and biodiversity of the reserve and join in a game of bush bingo.

Where: Highbury Aqueduct Reserve - Meet at the end of Freshford Avenue, Highbury

Cost: FREE. Bookings required.

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Family nature walk with Nature Play SA

Morialta Conservation Park
Saturday 14 May, 9am – 10am

Join Nature Play SA for a nature walk through Morialta Conservation Park to celebrate Park of the Month. The walk will be interactive, fun, and full of fascinating stories of the plants and animals that call the park home.

Where: Morialta Conservation Park – Mukanthi Nature Play Space

Cost: FREE. Bookings required.

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Forest Bathing and Wellness Walk

Para Wirra Conservation Park
Saturday 14 May, 9:30am – 1pm

Come and immerse yourselves in a nature-based wellness experience! Forest Bathing, or being in the presence of trees, is a Japanese practice known as ‘shinrin-yoku’. The practice of Forest Bathing involves no bathing and isn’t led by a therapist but a trained, certified guide. Many health care researchers and practitioners say that being in nature can have regenerative powers, improving mood and easing anxiety, stress, and depression. It can also help you sleep better so nature is the perfect tonic!

The 2.5 hour session will be run by Deborah from Escapegoat Adventures, who will guide you to relax and connect with the natural world via mindfulness, slow walking, grounding and the use of the senses.

Where: Para Wirra Conservation Park – Lake Picnic Ground

Cost: *$30 per person. Bookings required.
*Additional vehicle entry fee applies in Para Wirra Conservation Park and must be purchased prior to arrival in the park.

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Smartphone photography – Landscapes and Wildlife

Para Wirra Conservation Park
Saturday 14 May, 1pm – 3:30pm

Join local photographer and Friends of Para Wirra member Darren Williams, who is a talented photographer that takes stunning images from within the park. Explore late autumn time in the park through the lens of your camera, using just your smartphone. Capture the spectacular landscape and wildlife from Devils Nose track. Follow Darren’s tips and tricks and you will be confident to use your phone to take beautiful photos.

Where: Para Wirra Conservation Park – Devil’s Nose Track Carpark

Cost: *Free, Bookings required.
*Additional vehicle entry fee applies in Para Wirra Conservation Park and must be purchased prior to arrival in the park.

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Bowden’s Cottage Open Day

Para Wirra Conservation Park
Sunday 15 May, 10am – 3pm

Para Wirra Conservation Park has a significant gold mining history when gold was discovered throughout this area in the 1860’s and mining continued until the 1930’s on a very small scale. Please join the Barossa Goldfields Historical Society- a volunteer group- for an informative visit throughout the area discovering the gold mining story of the Barossa Goldfields.

The Bowden Cottage and area was restored by the group from ruins, this includes the old gaol and lots of tools and equipment used on site. You can get a small glimpse of what life would have been like for a miner as you walk through the Victoria Hill Circuit looking at the numerous mine shafts mostly dug by hand.

Where: Para Wirra Conservation Park - Bowdens Cottage, corner of Para Wirra Road and Allendale Road

Cost: Entry is with a small donation to the Barossa Goldfields Historical Society. Bookings are not required.

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An evening with Sean Willmore – Founder and Managing Director of the Thin Green Line Foundation

Para Wirra Conservation Park
Thursday 19 May, 6pm – 7:30pm

Founder of the Thin Green Line Foundation (TGLF) - Sean Willmore will bring you to the frontline of conservation around the world. Whether it's Maasai Rangers protecting elephants, rhinos, and lions on the Savannah of Africa under Kilimanjaro or Amazonian Indigenous Rangers patrolling by boat and foot for illegal forestry and mining, Sean will update you on the state of Rangers across the globe, and their efforts to protect nature through a pandemic. Drawing on his experience from visiting 50+ countries and Thin Green Line's current projects, Sean's stories are captivating, sometimes moving, sometimes hilarious and always straight from the source.

Where: Para Wirra Conservation Park – Resource Centre, Para Wirra Drive, Yattalunga

Cost: $25 per person (plus booking fee) Vehicle entry to the park will be free for event attendees.

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Guided accessibility walk to the Morialta First Falls

Morialta Conservation Park
Friday 20 May, 11am – 12:30pm

Join Yvie our Parks Access for All Coordinator for a guided walk to the First Falls. Learn how NPWS is making parks more accessible while taking a leisurely stroll or roll along Fourth Creek through the remarkable Morialta Gorge. The First Falls flows on all but the driest months of the year and is a great family walk that offers fantastic opportunities for wildlife encounters.

The First Falls Walk is rated as a Class 2 trail, is mostly flat with a hard compact surface. Trail distance from the Morialta Falls Carpark is 1.6km return.

Where: Morialta Conservation Park – Meet at Morialta Falls Carpark, Morialta Falls Road, Woodforde

Cost: FREE, Bookings required.

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Wack-a-weed with the Friends of Para Wirra

Para Wirra Conservation Park
Saturday 21 May, 9:30am – 12:30pm

Join the parks environmental warriors, the Friends of Para Wirra Conservation Park and learn about the parks flora whilst helping to target pesky boneseed.

The Friends will teach you which plant they are working on and show you how to help eradicate this weed. No experience is necessary, just a willingness to have a go and help wack–a-weed.

The Friends of Para Wirra have been working for many years tackling weeds of national significance including boneseed. Their continued weed control efforts have assisted to protect many threatened plants within the park, by reducing these weeds.

Gloves and tools will be supplied.

Para Wirra Conservation Park – Meet at the Helipad, The Knob Lookout Track

Cost: FREE, Bookings required.

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Drawing nature with Gilbert Dashorst

Para Wirra Conservation Park
Sunday 22 May, 11am – 12:30pm and 1:30pm – 3pm

Come along and be immersed in nature while being guided by Gilbert Dashorst to capture the beautiful surrounds of the park through drawing. Gilbert is a world renowned natural history illustrator specialising in the field of botany and spent 30 years at the State Herbarium/Botanic Gardens of SA as their Scientific Illustrator. One of his best known works is the beautiful and informative book - "Plants of the Adelaide Plains and Hills".

Experience the joy of drawing using pencils and the inspiration of Para Wirra Conservation Park to create an artwork that draws on the aspects of nature from rocks, animals, birds, delicate plants, trees or the beautiful landscape in front of you. Gilbert will supply you with a drawing board, paper and pencils, but you are welcome to bring your own art supplies, but keep in mind if you bring oil paints they will take a long time to dry.

Where: Para Wirra Conservation Park – Lake Picnic Area, Lake Road West, Yattalunga

Cost: *FREE, Bookings required.
*Vehicle entry fees apply in Para Wirra Conservation Park

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Historical walk to Newman’s Nursery

Anstey Hill Recreation Park
Sunday 22 May, 9am – 10:30am

Join the Friends of Anstey Hill Recreation Park for an informative guided walk to the ruins of the historic Newman’s Nursery. The Newmans Nursery was established in 1854, and the extensive ruins show glimpses into the past. At the time it was the largest nursery in the southern hemisphere. Along the way the walk will also take in other points of interest, , such as: The Crusher, Adelaide- Mannum pipeline and water trough. Your guides will also identify plants and wildlife that call the park home.

Where: Anstey Hill Recreation Park – Meet at Gate 6, Perseverance Road, Vista

Cost: Free, bookings required

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Night Creatures and Stars – First Nations Cultural Experience

Para Wirra Conservation Park
Saturday 28 May, 6pm – 8pm

Gather around the fire and walk among the stars by spending an enchanting evening with a First Nations guide on Country. Experience a cultural journey as you travel across the sky and learn how First Nations People are continuing their cultural connection on Country. You'll also get see what happens after dark in Para Wirra Conservation Park as you discover an amazing array of animals, light trails and things that glow in the dark.

Where: Para Wirra Conservation Park – Lake Picnic Area, Lake Road West, Yattalunga

Cost: *FREE, Bookings required.
*Vehicle entry fees apply in Para Wirra and need to be purchased online before visiting the park

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Highbury Aqueduct Reserve Community Planting Day

Highbury Aqueduct Reserve
Sunday 29 May, 9:30am – 12pm and 1pm – 3:30pm

Join NPWS Rangers at Highbury Aqueduct Reserve for a fun day of planting native species of plants- to increase biodiversity in the reserve, provide food and habitat for native animals and assist with weed control. There will be refreshments provided at the end of the planting session and it’s a great opportunity to talk with the Rangers that care for the reserve and like-mined people in your community.

Where: Highbury Aqueduct Reserve - Enter off Valley View Drive, Highbury and park within the reserve.

Cost: FREE. Bookings required.

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Come and try Bushcare – Olive Hill Habitat Restoration

Morialta Conservation Park
Sunday 29 May, 9:30am – 12:30pm

Join the Friends of Black Hill & Morialta for a morning of bushcare. For over 35 years volunteers have been working to restore the habitat in this incredible grassy woodland. This month we will work to remove invasive weeds and restore the hill to a native grassy woodland habitat. We are removing the weeds to restore this grassy woodland which is home to a range of woodland birds and some very large Black Mallee Box trees (Eucalyptus porosa).

Meet at the bottom of Woodford Track (runs off Morialta Falls Road just past the entrance gate) at 9:30am and wear sturdy shoes for going off track. Bring your hat, sunscreen and morning tea. We also recommend cotton long sleeved shirt and trousers to protect your legs and arms from scratches.

Where: Morialta Conservation Park - Meet at the bottom of Woodford Track (runs off Morialta Falls Road just past the entrance gate)

Cost: FREE. Registration required.

View more information and register

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What's coming for Park of the Month

Events and activities for each month are not released until close to the month. To keep up-to-date, subscribe to our mailing list, follow us on Facebook or check back here.

  • June – Adelaide National Park City
  • July – Marine Parks of South Australia
  • August – Mallee Parks of the Riverland
  • September – Parks of Lower Eyre Peninsula
  • October – Parks of the Flinders Ranges
  • November – Adelaide’s sanctuaries
  • December – Parks of Western Kangaroo Island

Host an event

We encourage community groups, schools, local business and tour operators to host engaging, fun and family-friendly events in parks as part of Park of the Month. Find out how you can host an event.