Counting down our top parks

Counting down our top parks

Met­ro­pol­i­tan Ade­laide offers a sur­pris­ing array of nation­al parks each with its own spe­cial secrets and highlights.

A recent sur­vey asked peo­ple to indi­cate the nation­al parks in the greater Ade­laide area that they had vis­it­ed recent­ly. Over two weeks we will count down their Top 10. Did your favourite park make the list?

10. Anstey Hill Recre­ation Park and Onka­paringa Riv­er Nation­al Park

It was a tie for the num­ber 10 spot in the sur­vey between two parks rep­re­sent­ing the north and south of the city respectively.

The first is Anstey Hill Recre­ation Park, locat­ed 16 kilo­me­tres north-east of the city. Anstey Hill’s steep gul­lies, creek lines and city views pro­vide a spec­tac­u­lar back­drop for vis­i­tors. The exten­sive net­work of walk­ing trails show­case a vari­ety of plant species includ­ing rare veg­e­ta­tion. Anstey Hill is home to echid­nas, brush-tailed pos­sums, west­ern grey kan­ga­roos, koalas, and an amaz­ing 145 species of native birds. Vis­i­tors can also explore his­toric ruins that date back to ear­ly settlement.

In equal 10th posi­tion was the Onka­paringa Nation­al Park, sit­u­at­ed 35km south of the city and incor­po­rat­ing the Onka­paringa Riv­er Recre­ation Park. Kayak­ing enthu­si­asts can pad­dle along Onka­paringa riv­er, which enters the park in a steep-sided val­ley and flows into the mag­nif­i­cent gorge with cliffs up to 50 metres high and per­ma­nent rock pools. Onka­paringa Gorge is known for its rugged scenery and array of walk­ing trails for all lev­els. There are also a num­ber of trail options for cyclists.

9. Cob­bler Creek Recre­ation Park

The ninth spot on the sur­vey went to Cob­bler Creek Recre­ation Park , locat­ed 19km north of Ade­laide. Vis­i­tors to this park can dis­cov­er the ruins of one of the area’s first Euro­pean farms. Cob­bler Creek’s wood­lands and open grass­lands can be explored by foot or bike via the net­work of shared-use trails. Birds of prey, such as the Aus­tralian kestrel, and oth­er bird species such as red-rumped par­rots, crest­ed pigeons and lori­keets can be spot­ted there.

8. Black Hill Con­ser­va­tion Park

Mak­ing an appear­ance at num­ber 8 on the list was Black Hill Con­ser­va­tion Park. This park is sit­u­at­ed 10km north-east of Ade­laide and has an exten­sive net­work of walk­ing trails over its 684 hectares. The park gets its name from the low sheoaks, with foliage that matures to an almost black colour over sum­mer. Black Hill also fea­tures a wide vari­ety of flo­ra and a land­scaped wild­flower gar­den that dates back to the 1940s.

7. Hal­lett Cove Con­ser­va­tion Park

Land­ing at Num­ber 7 on the sur­vey was Hal­lett Cove Con­ser­va­tion Park, home to one of Australia’s most out­stand­ing geo­log­i­cal and archae­o­log­i­cal sites. More than 1700 Abo­rig­i­nal arte­facts have been found on the site, sit­u­at­ed 22km south of Ade­laide. Vis­i­tors can fol­low the inter­pre­tive walk­ing trail to see evi­dence of an Aus­tralian ice-age some 280 mil­lion years ago includ­ing glacial pave­ments that are of inter­na­tion­al significance.

6. Para Wirra Recre­ation Park

Com­ing in at Num­ber 6 in the Top 10 was Para Wirra Recre­ation Park. This park, locat­ed 40km north-east of Ade­laide in One Tree Hill, offers a beau­ti­ful bush­land set­ting with many recre­ation­al facil­i­ties and wildlife spot­ting oppor­tu­ni­ties. Para Wirra Recre­ation Park has many bush­walk­ing trails and west­ern grey kan­ga­roos and emus are fre­quent vis­i­tors. The park also fea­tures a sports oval, per­fect for a game of crick­et or footy.

Stay tuned for next week’s post when we count down the top 5 and unveil the most vis­it­ed nation­al park in SA.

Head­ing pho­to: Par­ra Wirra Recre­ation Park. Pho­tog­ra­ph­er: Shane Reid.

This con­tent was pro­duced in part­ner­ship with  Good Living