Take some Mad March time out in South Australia’s beautiful parks

Date posted: 04 March 2016

Minister Ian Hunter

Minister for Sustainability, Environment and Conservation

Weary festival-goers can take a break from March madness this year by getting back to nature in South Australia’s national parks and marine parks.

Sustainability, Environment and Conservation Minister Ian Hunter said Parks Week 2016 will run from this Saturday until the 13th of March, with a wide range of outdoor activities on offer.

"This is a tremendous annual event that promotes the importance of parks to our health and helps remind everyone what special places they are to visit," he said.

"Research shows communities with access to green, open space have better physical and mental health.

"Throughout Parks Week, there will be activities including guided walks, junior ranger challenges, snorkelling tours, and even an outdoor Pilates session in Mt Remarkable.

"The week will wrap up on Sunday, 13 March with free vehicle entry for parks across the state and the launch of a year of celebrations to mark Belair National Park’s 125th anniversary.

"There is also a special camping offer, with half-price stays in selected campgrounds in August for everyone who books online during Parks Week.

"You can choose from some amazing parks including Innes on Yorke Peninsula, Mount Remarkable in the Southern Flinders Ranges, Deep Creek on the Fleurieu Peninsula, and Little Dip on the Limestone Coast.

"We are looking forward to seeing people enjoying themselves during Parks Week, but we also want to encourage everyone to go to parks throughout the year.

"There are special things to enjoy in a park every season – whether it’s wildflowers in spring, waterfalls in winter or fascinating animal behaviour like the giant cuttlefish aggregation in the Upper Spencer Gulf Marine Park in autumn.

"Travelling in non-peak times not only affords more of the peace and tranquillity that parks offer, but it also helps support our regional economies."

South Australia has more than 300 national parks and reserves covering just over a fifth of the state, and 19 marine parks protecting our ocean environment.

The state’s parks will play a major role in the South Australian Government’s recently-announced nature-based tourism strategy, "Nature Like Nowhere Else", which aims to add 1000 new tourism jobs and $350 million to the local economy by 2020.

The State Government already has a number of projects under way to help achieve this, including the Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail, establishing the Mount Lofty Ranges as an international mountain bike tourism destination, and a $10.4 million investment in infrastructure projects in parks and reserves in the Adelaide metropolitan area.

For a list of Parks Week activities and more information on half-price camping in August, visit www.environment.sa.gov.au/parks/get-involved/parks-week-2016