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Natural Areas in the Greater Adelaide Region

Updated: Apr 15, 2022

So you’re ready to contribute to the City Nature Challenge 2022: Greater Adelaide but aren’t sure where you should go to make observations? Check out the long, but hardly exhaustive, list of great natural areas in the Greater Adelaide region below.

The City Nature Challenge 2022: Greater Adelaide project covers a significant section of the most populated areas in the state. The area referred to as “Greater Adelaide” covers a total of 9,000 square kilometers with a population of around 1.5 million amassing approximately 85% of the population of SA. It includes all the Metropolitan Local Government Areas plus the District Council of Yankalilla, City of Victor Harbor, Alexandrina Council, The Rural City of Murray Bridge, Mount Barker District Council, Barossa Council, Light Regional Council and Adelaide Plains Council.


This area encompasses the Southern Mount Lofty Ranges, considered one of only 15 National Biodiversity Hotspots across Australia. There are an extensive range of natural areas to discover, most of which are open to the public with varying levels of accessibility. Local suburban parklands and trails, beaches and rocky reefs, conservation parks and reserves, river trails and wetlands.

Bassett Street Reserve, Willunga

Bassett Street Reserve, Willunga

You don’t have to travel far to find biodiverse areas. Local suburban and regional parks and waterways support many wild species. A visit to any of these can be a quick way to take a few dozen observations. Don’t forget to record the introduced species which can often be found in abundance in suburban areas, and can help to build up the total species recorded for the challenge. A small selection of interesting parks are listed below. Some of these have links to associated iNaturalist Collection projects where you can see all the observations that have been made at that location.

Oaklands Wetland and Reserve, South Australia

Oaklands Wetland & Reserve

There are many wetlands and river trails to choose from in the Greater Adelaide region. A visit to any of these will offer a good range of waterbirds to record and wetland plants. (Although as the focus for iNaturalist is ‘wild’ organisms, best to avoid recording plants known to have been planted, or if doing so make sure to mark them as Casual observations).

Place Name (Number of observations uploaded) (Number of species recorded) Aldinga Washpool Hart Road Wetland Laratinga Wetlands Brodie Road Wetland Madeira Drive Wetland

Aldinga Reef

Aldinga Reef

The Greater Adelaide region includes a long coastline, with large stretches of beachfront near Metropolitan Adelaide and at locations around the Fleurieu Peninsula. There are numerous shore accessible reefs and dive spots. The list below covers just some of the most biodiverse coastal sites in the Greater Adelaide region.

Place Name (Number of observations uploaded) (Number of species recorded) Aldinga Reef Noarlunga Reef Second Valley Rapid Bay Aldinga Beach Coastal Reserve Moana Sands Coastal Reserve Sellicks Beach Coastal Reserve South Port Noarlunga Dunes Hallett Cove rocky shore & Field River Mouth Kingston Park Rock Pools Thompson Beach St Kilda Mangroves Oliver’s Reef, Victor Harbor

Mount Lofty Botanic Garden Banner

Mount Lofty Botanic Gardens

Botanic Gardens and Zoos can also offer great opportunity to record various species. Skip recording the captive Animals and cultivated Plants, but anything else is up for grabs (including THIS little Skink if you can find it).

Place Name (Number of observations uploaded) (Number of species recorded) Adelaide Botanic Garden Mount Lofty Botanic Garden Wittunga Botanic Garden Waite Arboretum

Heysen Trail, Kyeema

Heysen Trail, Kyeema

The Greater Adelaide region includes a number of long hikes which pass through a diverse range of environments offering opportunities to record many different species.

Backyards can also be unexpectedly biodiverse, particularly with regard to invertebrates. In April some groups of invertebrates may be a little harder to find, but introduced Plant species should be abundant. Record any Plants that have sprouted naturally. Birds are ever present, and don’t forget the nocturnal species. The Grey Headed Flying Foxes in the Adelaide colony head out each night frequently foraging up to 20km from the roost, but can occasionally be found up to 50km away, so may be present throughout much of the Greater Adelaide region.

Onkaparinga River NP Banner

Onkaparinga River National Park

There are many protected parks within Greater Adelaide worth a visit during the City Nature Challenge. Recreation Parks, Conservation Parks, National Parks, Forestry Reserves. Most of which are a great place to spend a day discovering what the natural world has to offer. Try standing in one spot and see how many species you can find within visual range. Every one is worth recording and uploading to iNaturalist.

All the below protected parks can be found in the umbrella project Protected Parks of South Australia.

Place Name (Number of observations uploaded) (Number of species recorded)

  1. Talisker Conservation Park

  2. Deep Creek Conservation Park

  3. Congeratinga Native Forest Reserve

  4. Springs Road Native Forest Reserve

  5. Waitpinga Conservation Park

  6. Eric Bonython Conservation Park

  7. Kalumunda Native Forest Reserve

  8. Newland Head Conservation Park

  9. West Island Conservation Park

  10. Granite Island Recreation Park

  11. Pullen Island Conservation Park

  12. Ratalang (Basham Beach) Conservation Reserve

  13. Mount Billy Conservation Park

  14. Spring Mount Conservation Park

  15. Myponga Conservation Park

  16. Yulti Conservation Park

  17. Nixon-Skinner Conservation Park

  18. Stipiturus Conservation Park

  19. Hesperilla Conservation Park

  20. Scott Conservation Park

  21. Currency Creek Game Reserve

  22. Lawari Conservation Park

  23. Tolderol Game Reserve

  24. Nurragi Conservation Reserve

  25. Bullock Hill Conservation Park

  26. Cox Scrub Conservation Park

  27. Mount Magnificent Conservation Park

  28. Aldinga Scrub Conservation Park

  29. Coorong National Park (Partial)

  30. Kyeema Conservation Park

  31. Christmas Hill Native Forest Reserve

  1. Knott Hill Native Forest Reserve

  2. Mt Panorama Native Forest Reserve

  3. Manning Flora & Fauna Reserve

  4. Onkaparinga River National Park

  5. Onkaparinga River Recreation Park

  6. Moana Sands Conservation Park

  7. Scott Creek Conservation Park

  8. Ferries McDonald Conservation Park

  9. Monarto Conservation Park

  10. Monarto Woodlands Conservation Park

  11. Kinchina Conservation Park

  12. Ettrick Conservation Park

  13. Mount Barker Summit

  14. Totness Conservation Park

  15. O’Halloran Hill Conservation Park

  16. Marino Conservation Park

  17. Hallett Cove Conservation Park

  18. Sturt Gorge Conservation Park

  19. Shephards Hill Recreation Park

  20. Waite Conservation Reserve Loop

  21. Cleland Conservation Park

  22. The Knoll Conservation Park

  23. Mark Oliphant Conservation Park

  24. Mylor Conservation Park

  25. Eurilla Conservation Park

  26. Mount George Conservation trail

  27. Kenneth Stirling Conservation Park

  28. Charleston Conservation Park

  29. Lobethal Bushland Park

  30. Porter Scrub Conservation Park

  31. Giles Conservation Park

  1. Horsnell Gully Conservation Park

  2. Morialta Conservation Park

  3. Black Hill Conservation Park

  4. Montacute Conservation Park

  5. Coralinga Native Forest Reserve

  6. Cudlee Creek Native Forest Reserve

  7. Cromer Conservation Park

  8. Wiljani Conservation Park

  9. Little Mount Crawford Native Forest Reserve

  10. Hale Conservation Park

  11. Tower Hill Native Forest Reserve

  12. Warren Conservation Park

  13. Watts Gully Native Forest Reserve

  14. Mount Gawler Native Forest Reserve

  15. Kersbrook Native Forest Reserve

  16. Cudlee Creek Conservation Park

  17. Anstey Hill Recreation Park

  18. Angove Conservation Park

  19. Cobbler Creek Recreation Park

  20. Kaiserstuhl Conservation Park

  21. Kaiserstuhl Native Forest Reserve

  22. Para Wirra Conservation Park

  23. Port Gawler Conservation Park

  24. Mutton Cove Conservation Reserve

  25. Tennyson Dunes Conservation Reserve

  26. Ferguson Conservation Park

  27. Sandy Creek Conservation Park

  28. Torrens Island Conservation Park

  29. Adelaide International Bird Sanctuary National Park

If you know of any other locations you’d like to recommend, please let us know in the comments section below.

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