Picnic in the park at Morialta

Picnic in the park at Morialta

In 2015 Mori­al­ta Con­ser­va­tion Park cel­e­brates 100 years of pro­vid­ing a nature escape for city dwellers.

To mark the occa­sion, a spe­cial com­mu­ni­ty pic­nic is being held at Mori­al­ta this Sun­day, 8 Novem­ber. Guid­ed walks and face-paint­ing will keep the fam­i­ly enter­tained and a selec­tion of his­tor­i­cal images will be auc­tioned on the day.

The images show­case the his­to­ry of this much loved South Aus­tralian park and cel­e­brate the impor­tant role it con­tin­ues to play in the community.

Most kids grow­ing up in Ade­laide would be famil­iar with Mori­al­ta Con­ser­va­tion Park. The fam­i­ly would be packed into the mus­tard coloured Kingswood or 180B with a pic­nic lunch and advised to wear sen­si­ble shoes’.

Before you knew it, you had left the sub­urbs and were in the mid­dle of a deep gorge sur­round­ed by insect nois­es and hav­ing flash­backs to when your par­ents forced you to watch Pic­nic at Hang­ing Rock. Only this was more fun. And with lunch not far away, there was more of a plot line too.

For those of us who remem­ber that far back, it may seem like a hun­dred years ago. Which is a nice coin­ci­dence, con­sid­er­ing we are now cel­e­brat­ing the centenary.

Picnic in the park at Morialta

Three things we didn’t know as kids:

  • Mori­al­ta derives its name from a Kau­r­na word Mori­at­ta’ mean­ing ever flow­ing’ or run­ning water’
  • local pas­toral­ists John Bak­er and John Smith Reid donat­ed the land for use as a nation­al reserve in the ear­ly 1900s
  • Mori­al­ta was declared a Nation­al Plea­sure Resort’ in 1915.

The three water­falls along Mori­al­ta Gorge are named First, Sec­ond and Third Falls respec­tive­ly. The creek along the base of the gorge is… wait for it… Fourth Creek. Despite their util­i­tar­i­an names, the Mori­al­ta Falls cre­ate a beau­ti­ful back­drop and sound­track for a day out with fam­i­ly and friends.

Over the years flood­ing and bush­fires dam­aged much of the orig­i­nal work on the park. Flood­ing in 1980 and again in 2005 caused dam­age to paths and walk­ways. But the park has always recov­ered and is alive with bush­walk­ers, rock-climbers, sight­seers and pic­nic par­ties just as it’s been for as long as we can remember.

What are your favourite mem­o­ries of Mori­al­ta Con­ser­va­tion Park? Tell us in the com­ments below.

Main pho­to:

While in Ade­laide for the 1920 Peace Exhi­bi­tion, Hen­ry Mob­s­by was with a group of peo­ple who vis­it­ed The Mori­al­ta Con­ser­va­tion Park near Ade­laide. Hen­ry Mob­s­by was the Depart­ment of Agri­cul­ture offi­cial artist and pho­tog­ra­ph­er. He made the first cin­e­mato­graph films’ of agri­cul­tur­al prac­tices in Aus­tralia and was a pio­neer in edit­ing films. Source: Nation­al Library Aus­tralia with permission.

This con­tent was pro­duced in part­ner­ship with  Good Living