5 things to do at Aldinga Conservation Park in Adelaide’s south

5 things to do at Aldinga Conservation Park in Adelaide’s south

There’s always some­thing new and excit­ing hap­pen­ing in South Australia’s nation­al parks, and it’s no excep­tion down at Aldin­ga, 46 km south of Adelaide.

This area has always been home to a con­ser­va­tion park – Aldin­ga Scrub Con­ser­va­tion Park – but just this year, the park has been expand­ed to take in the neigh­bour­ing Aldin­ga Wash­pool, which has enor­mous cul­tur­al and eco­log­i­cal significance.

By con­sol­i­dat­ing the wash­pool area with the for­mer con­ser­va­tion park to cre­ate the 340-hectare Aldin­ga Con­ser­va­tion Park, it means the entire area is even bet­ter pro­tect­ed as part of the state’s nation­al park network.

Aldin­ga Con­ser­va­tion Park is just wait­ing for you to vis­it – here are 5 things you can see and do when you get there:

1. Fol­low the self-guid­ed trail

If you’re up for a lazy stroll in the sun­shine, the 1.1 km Coral lichen cir­cuit is for you.

This self-guid­ed trail is per­fect for explor­ing the local veg­e­ta­tion com­mu­ni­ties. Along the way, be sure to look out for the rare colony of lacy coral lichen (Cla­dia fer­di­nandii).

Keep your eyes out for a series of green mark­ers that will keep you head­ing in the right direction.

Top tip: Before you go, down­load this brochure cre­at­ed by the Friends of Aldin­ga Scrub vol­un­teers and take it with you as you walk – it gives you details about all the species you’re see­ing along the way.

(Image courtesy of Walking SA)
(Image cour­tesy of Walk­ing SA)

2. Explore and under­stand the landscape 

Locat­ed in the Willun­ga sub-basin, this park fea­tures an impres­sive back­drop of sand dunes, sand blows and rem­nant coastal vegetation.

The wash­pool sec­tion is par­tic­u­lar­ly spe­cial, as it’s one of Adelaide’s last remain­ing coastal fresh­wa­ter and estu­ar­ine lagoon systems. 

Pri­or to Euro­pean coloni­sa­tion, the Aldin­ga Wash­pool was an impor­tant place for Kau­r­na peo­ple to cure and dry pos­sum skins, and it remains a sig­nif­i­cant site as part of the Tjil­bruke Dream­ing Trail.

Take your time to explore the land and under­stand how spe­cial it is, both cul­tur­al­ly and ecologically.

(Image courtesy of Dennis May)
(Image cour­tesy of Den­nis May)

3. Pho­to­graph the plant life

It’s pret­ty spe­cial to vis­it a park where there’s such a wide range of plant communities. 

Here you’ll find every­thing from sedge­lands and closed heaths to pink gum wood­lands and mallee box. Then there’s the swamp plants that are of con­ser­va­tion sig­nif­i­cance, and an array of cute rare orchids that are per­fect to zoom in on with your camera.

Look out for the threat­ened coastal salt­marsh, which is nation­al­ly list­ed as a vul­ner­a­ble threat­ened eco­log­i­cal com­mu­ni­ty, and the rare lacy coral lichen, nar­doo and hairy sedge.

5 things to do at Aldinga Conservation Park in Adelaide’s south

4. Go bird watching

This park real­ly is a bird-lover’s par­adise. More than 166 dif­fer­ent bird species can be seen and heard with­in Aldin­ga Con­ser­va­tion Park, includ­ing at least 79 native species.

Among these species is three bird species of nation­al con­ser­va­tion sig­nif­i­cance – the Aus­tralasian bit­tern (Botau­rus poicilop­tilus), the Aus­tralian paint­ed snipe (Ros­trat­u­la aus­tralis) and the hood­ed plover (Thi­nor­nis rubri­col­lis).

If you watch qui­et­ly you may also spot mistle­toe birds, rain­bow bee-eaters, brown goshawks and gold­en whistlers.

Yellow-tailed black-cockatoos
Yel­low-tailed black-cockatoos

5. Spot some wildlife

Look close­ly and you might see a brush­tail pos­sum, short-beaked echid­na, bat, gecko or skink, or the area’s kan­ga­roos chill­ing in the scrub – they all call Aldin­ga Con­ser­va­tion Park home.

The park’s veg­e­ta­tion also pro­vides a love­ly envi­ron­ment for 18 species of but­ter­flies and 540 species of oth­er insects.

See how many you can spot!

5 things to do at Aldinga Conservation Park in Adelaide’s south

Cre­at­ing Aldin­ga Con­ser­va­tion Park

Now that Aldin­ga Con­ser­va­tion Park has been pro­claimed, a park man­age­ment plan is being cre­at­ed that will set the direc­tion for its future use.

This includes things like vis­i­tor ameni­ties and trails. If you’d like to know more about the work hap­pen­ing here, check out the project web­site where you can sign up to receive updates.

Love explor­ing nature in new and dif­fer­ent ways? Check out our See and Do library for plen­ty of ideas. 

(Main image cour­tesy of Den­nis May)

This con­tent was pro­duced in part­ner­ship with  Good Living