10 things to see and do at Belair National Park

10 things to see and do at Belair National Park

There’s so much to dis­cov­er at this his­to­ry-rich park. Let these insid­er tips guide you on your next adventure.

Belair Nation­al Park was estab­lished in 1891, mak­ing it South Australia’s old­est nation­al park, sec­ond in Aus­tralia, and eighth in the world.

Locat­ed only 13 kilo­me­tres south of Adelaide’s city cen­tre, it makes for the per­fect daytrip, offer­ing plen­ty to see and do for every­one – even your dog.

The park has a rich his­to­ry, brim­ming from all cor­ners of the park. There’s Old Gov­ern­ment House, fire scars on ancient trees, and Abo­rig­i­nal tree carv­ings – all serv­ing as win­dows to the past.

The Kau­r­na peo­ple are the orig­i­nal cus­to­di­ans of this area and have a strong con­nec­tion to the land. They refer to Belair as Piradli, which means bald­ness’, and is in ref­er­ence to the area’s appear­ance when look­ing south from the Ade­laide Plains – bald like the moon’.

Peo­ple love to vis­it Belair Nation­al Park to ride bikes or hors­es, have pic­nics or bar­be­cues, use the sport­ing facil­i­ties – there are 39 ten­nis courts! – and explore the incred­i­ble landscape.

There are wood­lands, water­falls, lakes, creeks and geo­log­i­cal for­ma­tions to dis­cov­er, trails to suit every fit­ness lev­el, recre­ation­al facil­i­ties avail­able for hire, an adven­ture play­ground for the kids, and open spaces for group celebrations.

Bright­en up your day and explore some of what Belair has to offer. Here are 10 ideas to try on your next vis­it, pre­pared for you by the park’s pas­sion­ate rangers and Nature Play SA.

  1. Have a fam­i­ly pic­nic at Long Gul­ly and ven­ture to the cave-like Amphithe­atre Rock. After it rains, it has water trick­ling from the rocks above.
  2. Explore the top of the park via Sad­dle Hill Track, where you may get a glimpse of a short-beaked echid­na as it for­ages for ants, or see an echid­na train’ as the males search for a mate.
  3. For fam­i­lies with expe­ri­enced young hik­ers, ven­ture along the 6.5km Water­fall Hike where you’ll see pic­turesque rock escarp­ments around the water­falls. Note: Low­er Water­falls is fenced and more suit­able to fam­i­lies, while Upper Water­falls is unfenced with a steep cliff-face.
  4. If you’re keen for an adven­ture and want to get active, there are ori­en­teer­ing and geo­caching oppor­tu­ni­ties in the park. You can find these online or ask staff at the entrance.
  5. Head out along Lori­keet Loop, a gen­tly slop­ing trail fea­tur­ing nat­ur­al and her­itage sites. Pass old red gums and blue gums, as well as endan­gered ecosys­tem of grey box woodland.
  6. Have a pic­nic around Play­ford Lake, fol­lowed by a relax­ing stroll along Wood Duck Walk, which takes about 30 min­utes for a return trip. As the name sug­gests, there are often Aus­tralian wood ducks to see along this trail.
  7. Have a fam­i­ly pic­nic at Kar­ka pic­nic-ground, explore the flow­ing creek and find out which nat­ur­al mate­ri­als float. Keep an ear out for the high-pitched weep-eep-eep’ of the brown tree frogs that call the creek home.
  8. On a chilly morn­ing, rug up, put your gum­boots on, grab a cam­era and explore the trails as the mist drifts through the trees. See which wildlife you can pho­to­graph or sketch.
  9. Explore the Micro­carpa Hike and keep an eye out for colonies of dwarf green­hoods and mos­qui­to orchids as they begin to flower.
  10. Select a part of the Adven­ture Loop Trail to explore, and see how many wild­flow­ers and native wildlife you can spot.

Park of the Month

Through­out the month of April, Belair Nation­al Park is being cel­e­brat­ed as one of Nation­al Parks and Wildlife Ser­vice’s Parks of the Month. 

There are heaps of events and activ­i­ties to get involved in to help you explore the park. Check the web­site for all the details.

(Main image cour­tesy of Jason Tyn­dall, Nature Play SA.)

This con­tent was pro­duced in part­ner­ship with  Good Living