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February - Onkaparinga River Parks

You’re invited to celebrate Onkaparinga River National Park and Onkaparinga River Recreation Park this February.

Located on Adelaide’s doorstep in the southern suburbs, Onkaparinga River National and Recreation Parks preserve the natural river corridor from the ranges to the sea. With the rugged cliffs and gorge of the national park to the peaceful wetlands and estuary, these parks offer something for everyone.

Join in the fun and join the activities including rock climbing, kayaking, ranger guided bushwalks.

Find out which parks are featuring as Park of the Month next or even host your own event.

Wildlife Recovery Fund

Park of the Month events are usually free to enjoy, but in light of the devastating impact bushfires have had on South Australia’s wildlife we ask that when you register for an event, you consider making a donation towards the Wildlife Recovery Fund.

This fund has been established in partnership with Nature Foundation SA to re-establish habitat for wildlife in SA’s bushfire affected landscapes. Your donations will also be directed to restore habitat in fire-devastated national parks – particularly on Kangaroo Island.

What's on

Friends of the Heysen Trail walk

Date and time: 

 Wednesday 5 February, 8:00 am – 10:00 am 

The experience:

Join the Friends of the Heysen Trail on a morning meander in Onkaparinga National Park. 

A relatively gentle morning wander through eucalypt, acacia and remnant box to look out across the gorge. Usually bird and wild life around. 

Bookings: For further information and bookings contact The Friends of the Heysen Trail

Willunga Basin Trail Hike

Date and time: 

Sunday 9 February, 9:00 am - 1:00 pm 

The experience:

Join National Parks and Wildlife Service rangers and the Willunga Basin Trail group on a guided hike through Onkaparinga National Park. The hike forms part of the 100 km Willunga Basin Trail and takes in a new section of trail through the park. 

The hike is graded hard and requires a good level of fitness, as there will be some steep sections and uneven ground. As this is a linear route we will be providing a minibus shuttle service. 

Please note that the event will be cancelled in the event of severe weather or if the day is declared a Total Fire Ban.

What to bring:

  • small day pack
  • waterproof jacket
  • hiking boots, preferably with ankle support
  • long, baggy trousers or shorts with long socks
  • long-sleeved light cotton or similar shirt
  • warm, long-sleeve top if the weather is cool
  • sun hat
  • sun glasses 

Meeting point: Gate 18, Whitings Road, McLaren Flat

Bookings: This event is FREE but registration is essential. In light of the devastating impact bushfires have had on South Australia’s wildlife we ask that you consider making a donation towards the Wildlife Recovery Fund.

Climb at the Gorge

Date and time:

Saturday 15 February, 9:00 am - 12:00 pm
Saturday 15 February, 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm - Fully booked

The experience:

Join the qualified climbing instructors from Outgrow on a family adventure climb and abseil at Onkaparinga River National Park. No climbing experience is required and all safety equipment and tuition will be provided on the day. The sessions are open to children aged 8 and above.

Please note that the event will be cancelled in the event of severe weather or if the day is declared a Total Fire Ban.                                                                                                   

What to bring:                                                                                                                                                         

  • loose fitting clothes appropriate for the weather
  • lace up shoes
  • warm jumper and rainproof jacket just in case
  • hair net or hair ties if you have long hair
  • sun hat
  • sun glasses
  • sunscreen and insect repellent
  • minimum 1 litre of water. 

Meeting point: Gate 15 car park, Chapel Hill Road, Blewitt Springs.

Bookings: This event is FREE but registration is essential. In light of the devastating impact bushfires have had on South Australia’s wildlife we ask that you consider making a donation towards the Wildlife Recovery Fund.

Yoga at the Bowl

Date and time:

Sunday 16 February, 9:15 am - 11:45 am - Fully booked

The experience:

Join us at Punchbowl Lookout for a get back to nature yoga session with the stunning Onkaparinga Gorge as backdrop. We will meet at the Punchbowl car park and walk 1 km down to the lookout for a 60 minute yoga session with yoga instructor Lisa Bungey. 

Please note that the event will be cancelled in the event of severe weather or if the day is declared a Total Fire Ban.                                                                                                

This event is perfect for beginners or those new to yoga and is suitable for ages above 10.

What to bring:                                                                                                                                                         

  • yoga mat
  • small day pack
  • waterproof jacket
  • footwear comfortable for walking on uneven surfaces
  • warm, long-sleeve top if the weather is cool
  • sun hat
  • sun glasses
  • sunscreen
  • minimum 1 litre of water.

Meeting point:  Punchbowl Car Park, Piggott Range Road, Onkaparinga Hills.

Bookings: This event is FREE but registration is essential. In light of the devastating impact bushfires have had on South Australia’s wildlife we ask that you consider making a donation towards the Wildlife Recovery Fund.

Kayak at the bend 

Date and time:

Saturday 22 February, 09:30 am - 11:00 am - Fully booked
Saturday 22 February, 11:30 am - 1:00 pm - Fully booked

The experience:

Come and kayak along the Onkaparinga River with a chance to see local wildlife from the water. All safety equipment is provided and we will use stable 2-person kayaks. The event is open for children aged 7+ and no kayaking experience is needed. 

We will have a National Parks and Wildlife Service pop-up ranger station at Perry’s Bend car park and the Friends of Onkaparinga will have a sausage sizzle. So please join us before or after the kayaking and biking. 

Please note that the event will be cancelled in the event of severe weather or if the day is declared a Total Fire Ban. 

What to bring:                                                                                                                                                         

  • loose fitting clothes appropriate for the weather
  • old running shoes or sandals that may get wet (no black soles on shoes)
  • warm jumper and rainproof jacket just in case
  • towel and spare cloths just in case you get wet
  • sun hat
  • sun glasses
  • sunscreen and insect repellent
  • minimum 1 litre of water.

Meeting point: Kayak launch, Onkaparinga River Recreation Park, River Road, Noarlunga Downs.

Bookings: This event is FREE but registration is essential. In light of the devastating impact bushfires have had on South Australia’s wildlife we ask that you consider making a donation towards the Wildlife Recovery Fund.

Bike at the bend 

Date and time:

Saturday 22 February, 10:00 am - 11:30 am
Saturday 22 February, 12:00 am - 1:30 pm - Fully booked

The experience:

Join National Parks and Wildlife Service Rangers on a guided family bike tour of Onkaparinga River Recreation Park. The tour will be on wide tracks with no difficulties apart from the occasional gentle gradient. There will be stops along the way where the rangers will share their knowledge of the local fauna and flora. 

The event is open for children aged 7+.

We will have experienced bike leaders from Bike About to provide any assistance if required and all bikes and helmets will be provided.

We will have a National Parks and Wildlife Service pop-up ranger station at Perry’s Bend car park and the Friends of Onkaparinga will have a sausage sizzle. So please join us before or after the kayaking and biking.

Please note that the event will be cancelled in the event of severe weather or if the day is declared a Total Fire Ban.

What to bring:                                                                                                                                                         

  • clothes appropriate for the weather
  • running shoes
  • warm jumper and rainproof jacket just in case
  • sun glasses
  • sunscreen and insect repellent
  • minimum 1 litre of water. 

Meeting point: Perry’s Bend car park, Onkaparinga River Recreation Park, River Road, Noarlunga Downs. 

Bookings: This event is FREE but registration is essential. In light of the devastating impact bushfires have had on South Australia’s wildlife we ask that you consider making a donation towards the Wildlife Recovery Fund

Ochre Play

Date and time:

Saturday 22 February, 10:30 am - 11:30 am - Fully booked

The experience:

Ochre play; this unique experience allows all the family to embrace Aboriginal art using ochre (traditional Aboriginal paint resources). Kaurna used ochre, as did all Aboriginal tribal groups on their bodies, weapons and through their story telling (paintings). This is an interactive activity and you will crush the ochre, making paints and then painting a picture using an Aboriginal symbol to tell a story that is special to you. 

We will have a National Parks and Wildlife Service pop-up ranger station at Perry’s Bend car park and the Friends of Onkaparinga will have a sausage sizzle. So please join us before or after the event. 

Please note that the event will be cancelled in the event of severe weather or if the day is declared a Total Fire Ban.                                                                                                    

What to bring:

  • loose fitting clothes appropriate for the weather
  • sun hat

  • sun glasses

  • sunscreen and insect repellent

  • minimum 1 litre of water. 

Meeting point: Perry’s Bend car park, Onkaparinga River Recreation Park, River Road, Noarlunga Downs. 

Bookings: This event is FREE but registration is essential. In light of the devastating impact bushfires have had on South Australia’s wildlife we ask that you consider making a donation towards the Wildlife Recovery Fund

Kaurna history and landscape of Onkaparinga

Date and time:

Saturday 22 February, 10:00 am - 11:00 am - Fully booked
Saturday 22 February, 11:45 am - 12:45 am - Fully booked

The experience:

Join Southern Kaurna Elder, Buster and learn about the history and landscape of Onkaparinga River and its significance to Kaurna. Buster will talk through Kaurna history for the site and about the surrounding landscape including the river. 

We will have a National Parks and Wildlife Service pop-up ranger station at Perry’s Bend car park and the Friends of Onkaparinga will have a sausage sizzle. So please join us before or after the event. 

Please note that the event will be cancelled in the event of severe weather or if the day is declared a Total Fire Ban.

What to bring:                                                                                                                                                         

  • loose fitting clothes appropriate for the weather

  • warm jumper and rainproof jacket just in case

  • sun hat

  • sun glasses

  • sunscreen and insect repellent

  • minimum 1 litre of water 

Meeting point: Winnaynee Horseshoe Inn Reserve, Patapinda Rd, Old Noarlunga. 

Bookings: This event is FREE but registration is essential. In light of the devastating impact bushfires have had on South Australia’s wildlife we ask that you consider making a donation towards the Wildlife Recovery Fund.

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