Ranger tips: Belair National Park

Ranger tips: Belair National Park

Get insid­er tips on the best places to vis­it and must do’ activ­i­ties from the park’s Senior Ranger Brent Lores.

Locat­ed 13 km south of Adelaide’s CBD, Belair Nation­al Park is an ide­al place to get active or enjoy a fam­i­ly pic­nic in the great outdoors.

There are wood­lands and lakes to explore, walk­ing and moun­tain bik­ing trails to suit all lev­els of fit­ness, plus ten­nis courts and crick­et pitch­es avail­able for hire.

This is South Australia’s old­est nation­al park, and is home to Old Gov­ern­ment House – a sig­nif­i­cant her­itage build­ing. The park is also home to State Flo­ra, the old­est plant nurs­ery in South Aus­tralia, and it’s still going strong today.

The park remains one of the few rel­a­tive­ly undis­turbed areas of native veg­e­ta­tion in the Ade­laide Hills region, mak­ing it an impor­tant refuge for native plants and animals.

We’ve picked Senior Ranger Brent Lores’ brain, ask­ing for some tips for your next vis­it. Here’s what he had to say:

What’s your favourite walk­ing trail in Belair Nation­al Park?

With a lot of vari­ety on offer, it’s hard to choose just one trail, but one of my favourite places to walk in the park is the Micro­carpa Hike – it’s 4 km long and takes about an hour and 45 mins to complete.

Head­ing along Lodge Track you pass through nation­al­ly sig­nif­i­cant grey box wood­land and you start to feel like you’re more iso­lat­ed than you real­ly are.

If you want to change things up each time you vis­it, there are a num­ber of fire tracks that con­nect with the loop, includ­ing Carawatha, Moorowie and Brady Gully.

Ranger tips: Belair National Park

What’s the park’s best kept secret?

One of paths less trav­elled in the park is the RSL walk, which begins at the his­toric Japan­ese cher­ry plan­ta­tion that was plant­ed from 1922 as a memo­r­i­al to sol­diers who served in the First World War.

The trail mean­ders through Sparkes Gul­ly and fin­ish­es at the sequoia plan­ta­tion, which was plant­ed in 1962 as a memo­r­i­al to Aus­tralian and Amer­i­can forces who served in the Sec­ond World War and Korea.

Ranger tips: Belair National Park

What’s your favourite activ­i­ty to enjoy in the park?

As a run­ner, I nev­er get tired of get­ting out on the trails and fire tracks for some cross-coun­try run­ning. There’s plen­ty of vari­ety to choose from depend­ing on whether I feel like tack­ling hills or not! I also enjoy tak­ing my dog Roy with me for a walk or run on-lead.

Where’s the best view in the park?

In my opin­ion it’s a tie between the view­ing plat­forms at Low­er Water­fall, and Vera’s Seat along Queens Jubilee Dri­ve that faces west look­ing out to the ocean – great for sunsets!

Ranger tips: Belair National Park

What ani­mals can we expect to spot in the park?

Koalas and kan­ga­roos are pret­ty much a giv­en, espe­cial­ly around dawn or dusk, and you might also be lucky enough to spot an echid­na or an emu.

The park is home to a wide vari­ety of birdlife includ­ing rain­bow lori­keets, kook­abur­ras, tawny frog­mouths and square-tailed kites, just to name a few.

With­in Belair we are also lucky enough to have a pop­u­la­tion of nation­al­ly endan­gered south­ern brown bandi­coots. You might spot one along the Val­ley Loop Hike and the RSL walk.

Ranger tips: Belair National Park

Park of the Month 

Through­out the month of April, Belair Nation­al Park is being cel­e­brat­ed as one of Nation­al Parks and Wildlife Ser­vice’s Parks of the Month. There are heaps of events and activ­i­ties to get involved in to help you explore the park. Check the web­site for all the details.

Pre­fer to explore at your own pace? Check out these 10 things to see and do at Belair Nation­al Park for more insid­er tips to take on board for your next visit.

This sto­ry was orig­i­nal­ly post­ed in Octo­ber 2018.

This con­tent was pro­duced in part­ner­ship with  Good Living