10 things to see and do in Shepherds Hill Recreation Park

10 things to see and do in Shepherds Hill Recreation Park

Try one of the many activ­i­ties on offer in this pic­turesque urban sanc­tu­ary with some ideas from our park insiders.

Shep­herds Hill is a pop­u­lar and acces­si­ble recre­ation park locat­ed just 11 kilo­me­tres south of the Ade­laide CBD. Its con­ve­nient loca­tion allows you to eas­i­ly escape from busy sub­ur­ban sur­rounds, relax, and take in 360 degree views of the Ade­laide coast­line, hills and plains.

The park is a recre­ation lover’s par­adise and it’s easy to see why. It’s well-known amongst moun­tain bik­ers – and with 16km of moun­tain bike trails, there is a track suit­able for every lev­el of rid­er exper­tise. Horse rid­ers can enjoy the shared-use trails and join the pony club locat­ed in the park. Archers can take aim by join­ing the local archery club, which has clu­b­rooms and a can­teen onsite.

A high­light for many vis­i­tors is the park’s endan­gered grey box grassy wood­land, one of the few of its type remain­ing in South Aus­tralia. These mag­nif­i­cent trees are a haven for a vari­ety of birdlife, pro­vid­ing hours of enter­tain­ment for bird watch­ers. Lots of oth­er wildlife species also call this park home – look for west­ern grey kan­ga­roos, koalas, shin­gle­back lizards, bats, pos­sums and short-beaked echidnas.

This sub­ur­ban retreat is the per­fect set­ting for a fam­i­ly daytrip – pack a pic­nic and let the kids run free, explore, and con­nect with nature. Why not enjoy one of the park’s many beau­ti­ful bush­walk­ing trails, which are suit­able for the whole fam­i­ly, includ­ing your four-legged fam­i­ly mem­bers.

Don’t for­get to pack your cam­era, espe­cial­ly in autumn. After sum­mer, the park is fill­ing with new life from fun­gi, frogs, moss, wild­flow­ers and flow­ing creeks.

If you are keen to expe­ri­ence the park for your­self, here are 10 ideas for your next adven­ture, pre­pared for you by the park’s pas­sion­ate rangers and Nature Play SA.

  1. In the evening, head up to Seav­iew Loop to find the Mag­gy Rag­less seat and watch the sun­set over the Ade­laide plains and coastline.
  2. Chal­lenge your­self by tak­ing a hike along the Grey Box Loop, and keep an eye out for the rare Cunningham’s skink.
  3. Walk along a sec­tion of the Grey Box Loop and spot the white flow­ers of the old grey box trees. For a greater chal­lenge walk the 2.8 km loop in full.
  4. Go for an ear­ly morn­ing walk to lis­ten and spot the many birds that call the park home, such as the Ade­laide rosel­la which you may see nest­ing in old tree hollows.
  5. After heavy autumn rains head out for a walk along Riv­er Red Gum Loop and spot the dif­fer­ent types of moss and lichen as they come to life.
  6. On a clear autumn evening head to the Seav­iew Loop and find a place to watch the sun­set as it sets the sky alight with colour.
  7. In late autumn, explore the link trails around the creeks and lis­ten out for the crick-crick-crick’ of the com­mon froglet.
  8. Go on a scav­enger hunt along Riv­er Red Gum Loop and look for dif­fer­ent shaped rocks, colour­ful feath­ers, fall­en gum tree flow­ers, and oth­er nat­ur­al trea­sures – just remem­ber to put them back before you head home.
  9. Depend­ing on your moun­tain bike skill lev­el: try your train­ing wheels at the Kids’ Zone, get some air at The Bowl, or chal­lenge your­self and try the Diag­o­nal Ascent and the Inter­me­di­ate Downhill.
  10. On a sun­ny autumn day stroll along the Seav­iew Loop and see if you can spot mobs of west­ern grey kan­ga­roos on the ground, or Nan­keen kestrels in the sky.

Park of the month events

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

Ranger Guid­ed Walk – Sat­ur­day, 20 May (2 sessions)

Friends of Shep­herds Hill Park Work­ing Bee – Sat­ur­day, 6 May and Sat­ur­day, 20 May

Friends of Hey­sen Trail Sun­day Walk –Sun­day, 28 May

Intro­duc­tion to Night Moun­tain Bik­ing – Wednes­day, 10 May and Fri­day, 26 May

Core Skills Moun­tain Bike Course – Sat­ur­day, 6 May 

Inter­me­di­ate Moun­tain Bike Skills Course – Sat­ur­day, 27 May

For all the details includ­ing ses­sion times and how to book, vis­it the Nation­al Parks SA website.

Shep­herds 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 activ­i­ties 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