5 treasures of Para Wirra Conservation Park

5 treasures of Para Wirra Conservation Park

Just 15 min­utes from Gawler, Para Wirra is a bush­land gem. Here’s some tips to get the most out of your next visit.

Para Wirra Con­ser­va­tion Park north of Ade­laide cov­ers 1500 hectares of bush, and it’s the per­fect place for hik­ing, pic­nics and bar­be­cues, cycling and nature play. But what to do first?

1. The lake

With a beau­ti­ful water view, gas bar­be­cues, pic­nic tables and a 1.6‑kilometre loop trail acces­si­ble for wheel­chairs, prams and bikes, the lake is the per­fect spot for an after­noon out­side. Dogs are allowed in Para Wirra on a leash, so it’s a great spot for the whole fam­i­ly to enjoy.

Two new rock plat­forms have been built at the water’s edge to allow easy access to the water, so why not get a buck­et and see what sort of water bugs live there? Look out for cub­bies made from fall­en branch­es dot­ted around the park – the kids will love them.

5 treasures of Para Wirra Conservation Park

2. Gawler View and Lizard Rock

Gawler View is anoth­er ter­rif­ic place to base your­self for an after­noon, with an oval for kick­ing the footy or throw­ing the Fris­bee, gas bar­be­cues, pic­nic tables and shel­ters, acces­si­ble toi­lets, and plen­ty of trees for shade.

There’s also the brand new nature play for­est, fea­tur­ing a nature dis­cov­ery walk and ter­rif­ic fly­ing fox. And the great news is the fly­ing fox is rat­ed for up to 140 kilo­grams, so the adults can have a go too.

If you’re look­ing for a way to walk off your lunch, the Lizard Rock Hike is the per­fect choice. It’s fair­ly easy – 1.6km return start­ing near the nature play for­est, and it should take about 45 min­utes. Along the way, you’ll see Chim­ney Rock and Lizard Rock, and take in some great views out over Wild Dog Creek.

5 treasures of Para Wirra Conservation Park

3. Devil’s Nose Lookout

If you love the Water­fall Gul­ly to Mount Lofty hike and are look­ing for some­thing new, try the Devil’s Nose Hike. This is a hard, two-hour trail ide­al for walk­ing or trail run­ning. You can start from the lake or the Devil’s Nose car park, and you’ll be reward­ed with stun­ning views over the park and down into the gorge.

Don’t for­get to keep an eye out for wildlife – there are more than 100 species of birds in the park, includ­ing emus, pere­grine fal­cons, superb fairy wrens, kook­abur­ras and treecreep­ers. In spring, look for the wild­flow­ers that line the trails.

5 treasures of Para Wirra Conservation Park

4. Barossa Goldfields

Did you know there was a gold rush at Sandy Creek near the Barossa in the late 1800s? More than 5000 min­ers poured into the area, extract­ing about 1400kg of gold before it ran out.

You can learn more about the rush by fol­low­ing one of the inter­pre­tive walk­ing trails in the north­ern sec­tion of the park. They all start from the Bowden’s Cot­tage Muse­um, and you can choose from the Vic­to­ria Hill, Phoenix or Lady Pearce cir­cuit hikes, which range from 45 min­utes to four hours. Just be sure to keep to the trail as you walk, as there are dan­ger­ous mine shafts nearby.

5 treasures of Para Wirra Conservation Park

5. Camp close to home

Book­ings opened for camp­ing at Para Wirra on 1 May, and from 1 June this year, you’ll be able to enjoy overnight stays at Wirra Camp­ground. Wirra has 19 clear­ly marked sites, includ­ing six for camper­vans, and flush­ing toi­lets, bar­be­cues and a mod­ern camp kitchen.

It is the sec­ond new nation­al park camp­ground with­in an hour of the Ade­laide CBD, after Pink Gum Camp­ground at Onka­paringa Riv­er Nation­al Park in the south­ern sub­urbs, which opened in 2017.

5 treasures of Para Wirra Conservation Park

This May, Para Wirra is being cel­e­brat­ed as Nation­al Park South Australia’s Park of the Month.Check the web­sitefor a host of spe­cial events and activ­i­ties on offer through­out the month, includ­ing free park entry.

Para Wirra Con­ser­va­tion Park 

This con­tent was pro­duced in part­ner­ship with  Good Living