10 things to see and do at Anstey Hill

10 things to see and do at Anstey Hill

Try some­thing new in one of Adelaide’s most pop­u­lar parks this autumn, with these ideas from our park insiders.

Anstey Hill Recre­ation Park has some­thing for every­one – much-loved by fam­i­lies, bush­walk­ers, his­to­ri­ans, nature-lovers, geol­o­gists, bird­watch­ers and artists.

Locat­ed just 16 kilo­me­tres north-east of Ade­laide, it’s an eas­i­ly acces­si­ble met­ro­pol­i­tan park with a rich his­to­ry and nat­ur­al trea­sures to discover.

Take some time to reflect on Adelaide’s ear­ly set­tle­ment by explor­ing the old ruins that are dot­ted through­out the park, like Ellis Cot­tage and Newman’s Nurs­ery, which date back to the 1800s.

Anstey Hill’s net­work of trails will lead you through a vari­ety of beau­ti­ful land­scapes, such as wood­lands, gul­lies, ridge tops, creeks and look­outs where you can see native wild­flow­ers and but­ter­flies in almost any colour.

With almost 300 species through­out, the park is a sanc­tu­ary for rare native veg­e­ta­tion that was once wide­spread through­out the Ade­laide and Mount Lofty Ranges region. Keep an eye out for the huge range of ani­mals that call the park home – west­ern grey kan­ga­roos, tawny and beard­ed drag­ons, yel­low-tailed black cock­a­toos and short-beaked echid­nas just to name a few.

If you’re keen to expe­ri­ence the park for your­self, autumn is a mag­i­cal time to vis­it. Here are 10 ideas to explore on your next adven­ture, pre­pared for you by the park’s pas­sion­ate rangers and Nature Play SA.

  1. Explore Water Gul­ly Track after an autumn rain and take some time to observe new growth, lush moss and bright lichen and droplets of rain on fern leaves, and notice the smell of damp earth.
  2. Walk down to the Geo­log­i­cal Hike from Gate 8 and find the tow­er­ing quar­ry rock face that was used as a venue for per­for­mances by the Fes­ti­val of Arts in 1980 and 1988. Take notice of how many trees, shrubs and grass­es have slow­ly returned to the once bare area.
  3. From the pic­nic area at Lit­tle Quar­ry Loop, head up to Kau­r­na Way where you’ll walk through grassy wood­lands occu­pied by graz­ing west­ern grey kan­ga­roos. Take a moment to imag­ine how the Kau­r­na peo­ple used the gul­lies, trees and wildlife around you.
  4. Walk along Water Gul­ly Track on a sun­ny day lis­ten­ing for kook­abur­ras and spot­ting the dif­fer­ent coloured fun­gi. Look out for dye ball and col­lared earth­star fun­gi that grow on the ground, or turkey tail and spec­tac­u­lar rust fun­gi that grow on fall­en logs, branch­es and at the base of trees.
  5. Look­ing at the park map and start­ing from Gate 1, cre­ate your own hike using the net­work of trails through­out the park.
  6. Walk the Quar­ry Views Hike in late autumn and spot the glis­ten­ing leaves of the insect-eat­ing scent­ed sun­dew as they begin to emerge. The leaves are sticky and trap insects when they land. They can also be seen through­out win­ter and spring.
  7. Map your own route to Sil­ver Mine Loop where you’ll dis­cov­er old mine shafts from 1853, and keep an eye out for ant mounds – they are very sen­si­tive and pro­vide impor­tant homes for large fam­i­lies of ants.
  8. Take a stroll along the Wednes­day Loop, named after the day that the Friends of Anstey Hill Recre­ation Park com­mit to con­serv­ing the park through weed­ing, reveg­e­tat­ing and mon­i­tor­ing flo­ra and fau­na. Look out for signs of this hard work as you make your way along the trail.
  9. Chal­lenge your­self on a sun­ny day by tak­ing a hike along the Pink Gum Loop, incor­po­rat­ing the Wild­flower Wan­der which is reserved for walk­ers only, and Ridgetop Track. Keep an eye out for tawny drag­ons, the com­mon stumpy lizard and if you’re lucky you may spot the rare Cunningham’s skink.
  10. Head to the near­by Angove Con­ser­va­tion Park and extend your nature expe­ri­ence by explor­ing one of the last remain­ing stands of droop­ing sheoak.

Park of the month events

Anstey Hill Recre­ation Park is fea­tured as Nation­al Parks SA and Nature Play SA’s Park of the Month for March, bring­ing with it a range of fun activ­i­ties you can take part in:

  • Ade­laide Festival’s The Secret Riv­er – var­i­ous per­for­mances from Thurs­day 2 March to Sun­day 19 March
  • Anstey Hill Friends of Park Work­ing Bee – Wednes­day 15 March, Wednes­day 22 March and Wednes­day 29 March
  • Anstey Hill Dis­cov­ery Day – Sun­day 26 March
  • Guid­ed Walk­ing Tour of Newman’s Nurs­ery – Sun­day 26 March
  • Ranger Guid­ed Walk­ing Tour – Thurs­day 16 March
  • Moun­tain Bike Anstey Hill Trails – Sun­day 19 March and Fri­day 24 March

For all the details includ­ing ses­sion times, vis­it the Nation­al Parks SA web­site.

Anstey Hill Recre­ation Park has plen­ty to see and do all year round. Check outNature Play SA’s brochurefor the per­fect selec­tion for every season.

For more ideas of things to look out for in oth­er South Aus­tralian parks, be sure to type 10 things to see and do’ in the search option at the top of this page.

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

This con­tent was pro­duced in part­ner­ship with  Good Living