Yurrebilla National Park
The Mount Lofty Ranges are much more than just the backdrop to the Adelaide plains, they contain valuable wildlife habitat, cultural history, industry, water supply, recreational opportunities and residence for all of its inhabitants whether they are a Southern Brown Bandicoot or one of the many people living and working in the Adelaide Hills.
Southern Brown Bandicoot
Residents of the Adelaide plains rely on the Hills catchment water and are frequent visitors to the region for relaxation and enjoyment.
About the Parklands introduces the concept of The Greater Mount Lofty Parklands - Yurrebilla and outlines the scope of lands contained within it.
From iconic parks such as Belair National Park and Cleland Wildlife Park to the well recognised Forest Reserves of Mount Crawford and Kuitpo, and Adelaide's much valued Water Reserves such as Mount Bold and South Para Reservoirs, the Parklands stretch 90 km north to south across the Mount Lofty Ranges.
The Greater Mount Lofty Parklands contain around 40,000 ha of lands managed by the Department for Environment and Heritage, ForestrySA, SA Water and Planning SA.
This "second generation" of Parklands further enhances the City of Adelaide's reputation for parks and wide open spaces. It will protect the natural and cultural values of the Mount Lofty Ranges while providing areas for public recreation, enjoyment and education.
Origin of the Parklands name
Mount Lofty Ranges looking towards the city Yurrebilla, ('Yurr-ee-bill-a) is the name used for The Greater Mount Lofty parklands in recognition of Kaurna ('Gar-na) culture and heritage.
Yurrebilla is a Kaurna name which identifies Mount Lofty and Mount Bonython as the "two ears" of Nganno ('Nar-na). Nganno is a Kaurna ancestral being who journeyed across Kaurna land, lying down to die following a battle, his body formed the Mount Lofty Ranges.
The Kaurna are the first people of the Adelaide Plains and the surrounding ranges.
Welcome to The Greater Mount Lofty Parklands - Yurrebilla.
Adelaide's parks and wide-open spaces are essential to our unique lifestyle and the ambiance of our city.
The creation of The Greater Mount Lofty Parklands as the "second generation" of parklands surrounding metropolitan Adelaide continues Colonel Light's founding vision of parklands surrounding the City of Adelaide.
Programs within the Parklands will be coordinated by Department for Environment and Heritage, ForestrySA, Planning SA, SA Water and the Office of Recreation and Sport in cooperation with key community stakeholder groups.
South Australia has a long and proud history in recognising the social, cultural and economic values of our natural heritage. The Greater Mount Lofty Parklands continues the collaboration between the State and Local Government, indigenous communities, private landholders and community groups in keeping this heritage alive for future generations.
A Second Generation of Parklands
Black Hill Conservation Park
Reaching from Cox Scrub Conservation Park (50Kb PDF) and Kuitpo Forest in the south to Kaiser Stuhl Conservation Park (50Kb PDF) and Mount Crawford Forest in the north, The Greater Mount Lofty Parklands will incorporate a mix of publicly owned land and voluntarily nominated privately owned areas.
Over a twenty year period, links will be developed from as far south as Aldinga Scrub and Kuitpo through parks such as Cleland, Belair and Morialta to Sandy Creek and Kaiser Stuhl in the north creating a continuous corridor across the ranges fulfilling the vision of establishing The Greater Mount Lofty Parklands.
The land contained within The Greater Mount Lofty Parklands is critical to the survival of many threatened plants, animals and ecological communities found nowhere else in the state.
The Greater Mount Lofty Parklands will unite these important reserves providing enhanced protection and representation of the native flora and fauna unique to the area.
The Greater Mount Lofty Parklands program will also support a diversity of initiatives that will contribute to the protection and enhancement of the natural values of the Mount Lofty Ranges.
The Greater Mount Lofty Parklands management strategy has been designed to work with existing programs such as the Urban Forest Biodiversity Program, Catchment Water Programs, Bushcare and Recreation Trail Management initiatives.
State Government Agencies, Local Government, community groups, indigenous and private landholders are part of the management structure through a key Stakeholder Management Group.
Each State Government Agency involved will be assigned responsibility for key aspects of an integrated program. This will ensure that a consistent framework of policy, planning and implementation is applied to the Parklands.
Trail at Ambers Gully
A dedicated network of trails will directly link local areas to the Parklands network. These corridors will provide increased opportunities for the community to access a diverse range of recreational, educational, spiritual and cultural activities in different locations throughout the Parklands.
The Greater Mount Lofty Parklands will become a premier lifestyle resource of this State and complement other initiatives under the Parklands 2036 strategy.
Reserves within the Parklands
For information on the reserves within the Parklands, contact:
Department for Environment and Heritage
Belair District Office
Upper Sturt Road
Belair SA 5052
Phone: (61 8) 8278 0001
Fax: (61 8) 8278 8587
Opening Times: 8.30 am - 4.30 pm Monday - Friday
9 am - 4.30 pm Saturday, Sunday and Public Holidays
Walking in the Parklands
Most Mount Lofty Ranges parks are ideal locations for bushwalking, however some of the most popular parks are those with a comprehensive network of marked walking trails to cater for different areas of interest, levels of fitness and the walk time available. Try Belair National Park for a range of walks ranging from a 15 minute stroll around the lake to an arduous three and a half hour climb along the Waterfall Trail, or Onkaparinga River National Park (50Kb PDF) for a choice of gorge climbs or estuary meanders.
And here are some of the many other great walking parks to check out:
Kaiserstuhl Conservation Park (50Kb PDF) has two looped walks (2.4 km and 6.5 km) through scenic bushland overlooking the Barossa Valley.
Morialta Conservation Park, on the outskirts of Adelaide, with its towering cliffs and waterfalls.
Scott Creek Conservation Park (50Kb PDF) which has an extensive network of walking trails and an old silver mine to explore.
Anstey Hill Recreation Park (50Kb PDF), another popular walking park with good views over Adelaide and some substantial relics of early European occupation.
Para Wirra Recreation Park, one of the major recreation parks of the greater Adelaide metropolitan area.
Picnicking in Belair National Park
Two favourite picnic spots in the Mount Lofty Ranges are the cool, picturesque pine forests of Kuitpo and Mount Crawford. For picnicking in native bushland, you should also try:
Belair National Park, which has 10 picnic grounds and 18 barbecues available for hire, as well as numerous informal picnic areas.
Mark Oliphant Conservation Park, (50Kb PDF) a pleasant spot in the Adelaide Hills near Stirling.
Para Wirra Recreation Park, one of the major recreation parks of the greater Adelaide metropolitan area which has a spacious picnic ground suitable for large functions.
Camping at Rocky Creek
Camping facilities are available for much of the year in the Kuitpo and Mount Crawford Forest Reserves but restrictions apply during summer months. Other parks suitable for camping include:
Cox Scrub Conservation Park, (50Kb PDF) where camping is allowed at Coles Crossing, and Kyeema Conservation Park (50Kb PDF) which has designated camping areas. Camping is not permitted in either park during the fire season (1 November to 30 April).
For group camping, check out the Mark Oliphant Conservation Park (50Kb PDF) which has YMCA camp accommodation, with dormitories, camp kitchen, hall and toilet/shower facilities available for hire and ideal for school or other group camping.
Many parks in the Mount Lofty Ranges have tennis courts for hire with associated facilities. Both Belair National Park and Para Wirra Recreation Park have numerous courts available, while the Loftia Park section of Mark Oliphant Conservation Park (50Kb PDF) has a good selection of courts with shelters and barbecue facilities.
Ovals available for hire for a range of sporting and social events will be found at Belair National Park, the Para Wirra Recreation Park and in the Loftia Park section of Mark Oliphant Conservation Park (50Kb PDF).
Cycling is permitted in the Kuitpo and Mount Crawford Forest Reserves. You can ride into O'Halloran Hill Recreation Park (50Kb PDF) on a bicycle veloway which runs through the park on either side of the Southern Expressway. For the younger generation, Shepherds Hill Recreation Park (50Kb PDF) has a very popular BMX bike jumps track. Bike riding is also allowed on sealed public roads in Belair National Park.
Horses at Kuitpo Forest Reserve
Horse riding is allowed in the Kuitpo and Mount Crawford Forest Reserves, but a permit is required. Belair National Park, Para Wirra Recreation Park and O'Halloran Hill Recreation Park (50Kb PDF) also permit horse riding and there is a horse exercise area at Brownhill Creek Recreation Park (50Kb PDF).
The two most popular parks for abseilers and rock climbers are Onkaparinga River National Park (50Kb PDF) and Morialta Conservation Park which both have spectacular gorge areas set aside for these pursuits.
Fossicking is permitted only in the Kuitpo and Mount Crawford Forest Reserves. Mount Crawford is situated in an historic mining area of the Adelaide Hills, making fossicking for gold, diamonds, opal, garnet and other gems a favourite activity for visitors.
Facilities for Hire
Forest huts, stone buildings and sheds are available for hire at the Kuitpo and Mount Crawford Forest Reserves. Early booking is advised (up to a year in advance) as these facilities are very popular. Kuitpo also has youth hostel accommodation, while Mount Crawford has a study centre with electricity, showers etc.
Mark Oliphant Conservation Park (50Kb PDF) has YMCA camp accommodation with dormitories, camp kitchen, hall and toilet/shower facilities. This facility can be hired and is ideal for school or other group camping. Visitor accommodation at Para Wirra Recreation Park can be arranged though the Youth Hostels Association on (61 8) 8231 5583 or the Para Wirra Study Centre on (61 8) 8281 8277.
Hallet Cove Conservation Park
Hallett Cove Conservation Park , on Adelaide's southern coast, is one of Australia's most outstanding geological sites, recording an Australian ice age some 280 million years ago.
About 500 million years ago the region was squeezed by massive earth movements which folded rocks and formed them into mountain ranges. Such folds are clearly seen at the southern foot of Black Cliff and along the wave cut platform to the north. Four main periods of the geological history of Hallett Cove are described along the park's interpretative walking trails.
Sturt Gorge Recreation Park (50Kb PDF) is also internationally recognised as an area of geological significance. In 1946, Australia's Antarctic explorer, the geologist Sir Douglas Mawson, wrote to the owner of the gorge: 'The occurrence of an extremely ancient glacial deposit on your land makes this locality of outstanding interest to scientists'.
Another area of interest to geology enthusiasts is the Mount Crawford Forest Reserve which is situated in an historic mining area of the Adelaide Hills. Fossicking for gold, diamonds, opal, garnet and other gems is a favourite activity for visitors here.
Onkaparinga River National Park
All the Mount Lofty Ranges parks feature a diverse range of native flora and are well known for their colourful displays of wildflowers in spring, however a number of parks are particularly noted for their special contribution to flora conservation.
Aldinga Scrub Conservation Park (50Kb PDF) protects several rare plant species in a coastal setting of sand dunes, sand blows (mobile dunes), mallee scrub, remnant red gum forests and closed heaths. The park contains a diverse range of plant communities and includes among its rare species lacy coral lichen, nardoo, hairy sedge and several species of orchids.
The special significance of Black Hill Conservation Park's flora was recognised as early as 1860 when a four hectare government reserve was established. Today the park contains some 300 species of native plants, including a number of rare and vulnerable species.
At Anstey Hill Recreation Park (50Kb PDF) you will find many plants which are now rare on the Adelaide Plains, including button daisy, Pussy Tail, needlebush, Silky Guinea-flower and Black Rapier Sedge, while Kaiserstuhl Conservation Park (50Kb PDF), in the Barossa Valley, supports some 356 plant species, of which almost 100 are rated endangered, threatened, vulnerable or rare.
Western Grey Kangaroo
The Mount Lofty Ranges parks provide vital protection and much needed habitats for the many varied species of animals and birds that make up the hills wildlife. Many are resident in the parks, others visitors passing through. Here are some parks that play a special role in providing sanctuary for our wonderful animals, reptiles and birds.
The tiny suburban Angove Scrub Conservation Park (50Kb PDF) provides specialised habitat for a small number of animal species requiring dense and closed vegetation to survive. Nineteen species of reptile, including two geckos, two dragons and eight skinks can be found.
The diverse understorey and the presence of species such as silver banksia make Cromer Conservation Park (50Kb PDF) an important habitat for honeyeaters. Recorded movements of these birds within the Mount Lofty Ranges indicate that Cromer is part of the honeyeaters' regional habitat pattern.
Anstey Hill Recreation Park (50Kb PDF), in Adelaide's north-eastern suburbs, is home to some 35 species of reptile and amphibians who live in the Park together with 145 species of native birds. Echidnas, Brush-tailed Possums, Koalas, Western Grey Kangaroos, bats, carpet snakes and the rare Cunningham's Skink may also be seen.
The Cleland Wildlife Park section of Cleland Conservation Park is a must-see attraction and photo opportunity for visitors from all over the world. Here you come face-to-face and hands-on with Australia's unique wildlife and can join animal attendants on animal feed runs or discover the world of nocturnal animals on a guided nightwalk.
Information for this National Park has been supplied courtesy of The Department for Environment and Heritage (DEH)