3 things to do outdoors in parks when it’s raining

3 things to do outdoors in parks when it’s raining

There’s no need to take a raincheck on parks when the weath­er is wet. Some of the best adven­tures in South Australia’s nation­al parks can be had when it’s rain­ing. Be pre­pared with the right gear, check con­di­tions before you go and you might even spot a rainbow.

Second Falls at Morialta Conservation Park
Sec­ond Falls at Mori­al­ta Con­ser­va­tion Park

1. Vis­it your favourite waterfall

After heavy rain, water­falls spring into life, so put on your rain jack­et, pack an umbrel­la and explore some of the state’s best water­falls in these parks.

Deep Creek Nation­al Park

Deep Creek Nation­al Parks sea­son­al water­fall is tru­ly spec­tac­u­lar, with a large rock pool locat­ed at the base. You can enjoy the seren­i­ty by tak­ing walk­ing trails from either the Tapanap­pa Look­out carpark or Trig camp­ground carpark.

Mori­al­ta Con­ser­va­tion Park

Locat­ed 10 kilo­me­tres from the Ade­laide CBD, Mori­al­ta Con­ser­va­tion Park offers 3 water­falls, each with stun­ning views. 

To see all three fol­low the linked hik­ing trails and come pre­pared for a 7.5km hike, which will take approx­i­mate­ly 4 hours. 

If you’re short on time the First Falls are the most spec­tac­u­lar, with 30 metres of water tum­bling from the top.

Sturt Gorge Recre­ation Park

To see the pic­turesque three-tiered water­fall with­in Sturt Gorge Recre­ation Park you’ll need to pull on your hik­ing boots and fol­low The Riv­er Trail.

Rec­om­mend­ed for expe­ri­enced bush­walk­ers with an aver­age lev­el of fit­ness, the gen­tle flow of the water­fall will leave you feel­ing relaxed and pro­vide a wel­come hik­ing break. Geol­o­gy buffs will mar­vel the rock for­ma­tions sur­round­ing the water­fall, believed to be 800 mil­lion years old.

Cleland National Park
Cle­land Nation­al Park

2. Take a rain walk

Got a rain­coat, umbrel­la and boots? Then you can get out on a rain walk. These low­er-gra­di­ent trails have good tree cov­er and are great for mind­ful walk­ing where you can sim­ply focus on the sounds of rain on the leaves.

Cle­land Nation­al Park

The gen­tly-slop­ing Steub Trail at Cle­land Nation­al Park is in the vicin­i­ty of one of Adelaide’s favourite walk­ing trails, the Water­fall Gul­ly to Mount Lofty Sum­mit hike. There’s one big dif­fer­ence between the 2 trails – the gra­di­ent. Where Water­fall Gul­ly to Mount Lofty is known for its pun­ish­ing final ascent, the Steub Trail gen­tly climbs though the for­est wood­land on its way to Mount Lofty sum­mit.

It was designed to pro­vide an alter­na­tive for fam­i­lies with small chil­dren or peo­ple with reduced mobil­i­ty to trav­el between the 2 sites. The return trail is 7.7km long and takes about 3 hours to walk. You might even spot a bandi­coot, echid­na, yel­low-tailed cock­a­too or kangaroo.

Deep Creek Nation­al Park

The Stringy­bark Loop Walk at Deep Creek Nation­al Park is short and rel­a­tive­ly flat, wind­ing through old-growth stringy­bark for­est over 1.5km. Through­out the 30 minute loop you’ll see del­i­cate ferns and yac­cas and birds nest­ing in the trees. Remem­ber to clean your shoes at the pro­vid­ed clean­ing sta­tion when you begin the walk so you can help pro­tect this for­est from phy­toph­tho­ra, a fun­gus which is killing our native vegetation

Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park
Ikara-Flinders Ranges Nation­al Park

3. Take a road trip

There are 358 parks in South Aus­tralia, which means it’s always sun­ny some­where! Use the find a park tool on the Nation­al Parks and Wildlife Ser­vice web­site to map out a park with a sun­ny outlook.

When the weath­er around Ade­laide is wet con­sid­er a trip fur­ther afield to areas such as the Eyre Penin­su­la, Flinders Ranges and Out­back or upper River­land and Mur­ray­lands regions. And if you’re already a local in those areas, you’re in business!

Vulkathun­ha-Gam­mon Ranges Nation­al Park

Vulkathun­ha-Gam­mon Ranges Nation­al Park in the Flinders Ranges and Out­back region is home to rugged wilder­ness that’s a haven for many rare and endan­gered plants and ani­mals. Dri­ve about 8 hours from Ade­laide and you can explore many hik­ing trails and 4WD tracks. Nation­al Parks and Wildlife Ser­vice rangers rec­om­mend hik­ing through Wee­t­oot­la Gorge, home to 800 mil­lion-year-old rocks or trekking past an aban­doned cop­per mine on the Monarch Mine Hike. If you’ve got a 4WD you can explore the Wor­tu­pa Loop Track in your 4WD for views of Mount McKin­lay, The Wall, and the chasms of Blue Range.

Dang­gali Con­ser­va­tion Park and Wilder­ness Pro­tec­tion Area

About 5 hours’ dri­ve north-east of Ade­laide, Dang­gali Con­ser­va­tion Park and Wilder­ness Pro­tec­tion Area is known for its vast open spaces where red earth con­trasts with blue skies. There’s very lim­it­ed phone recep­tion so if you’re look­ing for a tru­ly remote expe­ri­ence you can enjoy camp­ing, star gaz­ing and walk­ing trails that fea­ture relics of pas­toral his­to­ry. The park is a haven for wildlife includ­ing rare mallee fowl, small rep­tile species, red and west­ern grey kan­ga­roos and echid­na. Camp or stay overnight in the Cano­pus Quar­ters, which offer self-con­tained accom­mo­da­tion for up to 12 people.

Ikara-Flinders Ranges Nation­al Park

Ikara-Flinders Ranges Nation­al Park is home to the vast amphithe­atre of moun­tains that is Wilpe­na Pound. You can see native wildlife, explore rich cul­tur­al her­itage, impres­sive geo­log­i­cal fea­tures and go walk­ing, 4WDing, bird watch­ing and moun­tain bik­ing. Nation­al Parks and Wildlife Ser­vice rangers say that their favourite expe­ri­ences in the park include admir­ing Adnya­math­ana rock etch­ings at Per­awurtina cul­tur­al her­itage site and vis­it­ing Brachi­na Gorge in the late after­noon to view a colony of yel­low-foot­ed rock wal­la­bies at Scree Slope.

Stay safe in parks

Make the best of your time in parks by under­stand­ing that the nat­ur­al envi­ron­ment can be unpre­dictable and by prepar­ing ahead to stay safe. Do your research on the places you’ll be vis­it­ing – for exam­ple, by check­ing the parks web­site for park clo­sures and the Bureau of Mete­o­rol­o­gy for weath­er con­di­tions – and always take direc­tion from our park rangers as they have the great­est knowl­edge of local conditions.

Look­ing for more spring activ­i­ties to enjoy in parks? Check out Your guide to enjoy­ing Moth­er Nature’s best this spring and the Top 3 Ade­laide parks for your tod­dler to enjoy mud, glo­ri­ous mud.

This con­tent was pro­duced in part­ner­ship with  Good Living