Anstey Hill Recreation Park

  • Picnic Areas
  • Toilets
  • Dogs on Lead
  • Walking Trails
  • Bird Watching
  • Cycling
PDF Park Brochure
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Anstey Hill Recreation Park state map

Anstey Hill Recreation Park provides a spectacular backdrop of creeks, ridgetops and views of Adelaide city for all to experience and enjoy.

Explore the Pink Gum and Long-Leaf Box plant communities and Blue Gum Grassy Woodlands of Anstey Hill by bike and on foot using the 25km network of shared use trails.

About

Families, walkers and those looking for a new fitness challenge can design their own adventure using the extensive network of walking trails.  

Discover this park's unique features, including ruins of the original Newman’s Nursery, abundant bird life, western grey kangaroos and koalas. Many animals call this area home and the park conserves rare vegetation which was once widespread throughout the Adelaide Plains and Mount Lofty Ranges.

Tag your Instagram pics with #ansteyhillrecreationpark to see them displayed on this page. 

Opening hours

Open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

This park is closed on days of Catastrophic Fire Danger and may be closed on days of Extreme Fire Danger.

Listen to the local area radio station for the latest updates and information on fire safety. 

Contact details

Natural Resource Centre - Gawler

Phone: (+61 8) 8523 7700
Email: DEWNR.AMLRGawlerOffice@sa.gov.au

When to visit

Anstey Hill can be explored at any time of year.  Winter and spring bring a fabulous display of wildflowers including spider-orchids and wax-lip orchids on the steep slopes overlooking creeks.  Enjoy a refreshing morning walk along Water Gully during summer, or an autumn sunset from the ridgetop trails. 

Getting there

The park is located approximately 16km north east of Adelaide. Popular access gates are located off North East Road (near the old Tea Tree Gully Village), Perseverance Road and Range Road South.

If you're in your own vehicle, you can find this park on the map.

There is also public transport to this park from the Adelaide city centre. 

Pets in parks

You and your dog can enjoy this park providing you keep your dog on a lead and under your control at all times. Don't forget to bring your disposable 'doggie-doo' bag to clean up after your dog.

Facilities

We have recently completed a $750,000 upgrade in Anstey Hill Recreation Park.

Upgrades include:

  • New and improved car parks around the boundary of the park.
  • Public toilets.
  • Improved trails for both walking and cycling.
  • Better signs to help you enjoy the park, including park and trail information.
  • New grassy area for picnics with trees for shade and shelters with seating.

Useful information

Pests and diseases

Phytophthora (fy-TOFF-thora), otherwise known as root-rot fungus, is killing our native plants and threatens the survival of animals depending on plants for food and shelter.

This introduced fungus can be found in plant roots, soil and water. Help stop the spread by using hygiene stations, staying on tracks and trails and by complying with all Phytophthora management signs.

Traditional owners

Anstey Hill Recreation Park is part of Kaurna (Gar-na) Country, which includes the Adelaide coast, plains and foothills and continues to be culturally significant today. Historically, the foothills provided an abundant seasonal source of food, water, shelter and medicine. To better understand and appreciate Kaurna culture, visit the Living Kaurna Cultural Centre at Bedford Park

Aboriginal South Australians are the first peoples of our State and have occupied, enjoyed and managed these lands and waters since the creation. For SA's First Peoples, creation ancestors laid down the laws of the Country and bestowed a range of customary rights and obligations to the many Aboriginal Nations across our state. 

Aboriginal peoples' oral histories and creation stories traverse the length and breadth of Australia’s lands and waters, including South Australian Parks. These stories interconnect land and waters with complex meaning and values and hold great cultural significance. We recognise and respect Aboriginal people's ownership of their stories and that they hold rights and obligations to care for Country. It is through these rights and cultural obligations and a shared goal to protect the environment for generations to come that DEWNR is committed to meaningful collaboration and involvement with Aboriginal peoples in the management of our shared parks.

History

Anstey Hill Recreation Park was dedicated in 1989 and was named after George Alexander Anstey (1814–1895), a local viticulturist. Evidence of early colonisation can be found throughout the park, including the restored Ellis Cottage, Rump's Bakehouse and the extensive ruins of Newman’s Nursery, one of the first commercial nurseries in the Adelaide area, exporting worldwide.

Dolomite and quartzite was mined in the park for many years. Stone quarried at Anstey Hill is featured in the Adelaide War Memorial on North Terrace, Adelaide Town Hall, St Peters Cathedral and Adelaide General Post Office. 

See and do

Rangers recommend

We have picked the brains of our park rangers to find out what they would recommend you see and do whilst visiting this park.

  • Design your own walk from Ellis Cottage to the lookout using one of many trail options.
  • Wander along Water Gully and visit the Newman's ruin in spring when some of the original plantings are in flower.
  • Grab at bite to eat at a local eatery and then soak up some historic atmosphere with a visit to Rump's Bakehouse, Ellis Cottage and the nearby National Trust Museum. 
  • Go and find out what the gun emplacement is really all about (boggles the mind).
  • Grab your phone and try your hand at geo-caching.
  • Check out Nature Play SA's 40 things to do in Anstey Hill Recreation Park

Bushwalking

Our trails cater for all levels of fitness and adventure and our classification system makes it easy to select an experience suitable for you. The tracks and trails identified are suggested routes only. Create your own route by following any of the designated tracks, including the link trails and maintenance tracks.

Moderate walks

  • Little quarry loop (650m)

A short and easy trail for people of all abilities. Suitable for prams and limited mobility access. Look out for fun little off shoots for children to explore. This trail features a gravel surface with many easy but optional trail obstacles and features. Try this trail before venturing onto the intermediate trails in the wider park.

Moderate hike

  • Geological hike (1 hr return, 1km return)

This trail offers superb views of Adelaide and visits the Geological feature known as ‘The Gun Emplacement’. Interpretive signage is available to explain this ancient remnant feature. No riding permitted.

The trail starts at Gate 9 off Lower North East Rd.

  • Quarry views hike  (1 hr return, 1km return)

Quarry Views Hike takes walkers high above the quarry bowl offering great views of the area. These steep slopes are home to many native birds and reptiles, keep an eye out for lizards basking in the sun including the tawny dragon and eastern striped skink. It is best travelled in a clockwise direction. No riding permitted.

Hard hikes

  • Wildflower wander (1.35km)

Incorporating some steeper sections Wildflower Wander is very rewarding. Offering amazing views over the Adelaide Plains and Gulf St Vincent as well as opportunities to discover native orchids along the way. The dense native vegetation in the gullies is ideal habitat for a variety of small birds including the chestnut-rumped heathwren that is now critically endangered. No riding permitted.

  • Yellow-tailed loop (6.2km return)

The Yellow-tail Loop is Anstey Hills’ most popular route for both groups and individuals. It explores many of the park features including the Newman’s Nursery ruins. Taking in a variety of excellent bird habitat many of the resident species can be found including the yellow-tailed black cockatoo, which feeds on the drooping sheoak and Hakea that can be found in this area. The Yellow-tail Loop makes use of wide fire tracks, which is great for having a chat amongst friends.

  • Silver mine loop (2.5km return)

Traversing many of the old quarry tracks including rosella, ellis and newman tracks, the Silver Mine Loop passes historic mine shafts and old quarries.

  • Wednesday loop (3.4km return)

The Wednesday Loop is a great trail for keen hikers and mountain bikers alike. It traverses a variety of landscapes and showcases areas of weed control carried out by the Friends of Anstey Hill. It is best travelled in a clockwise direction.

  • Bursaria loop (4km return)

Bursaria Loop takes visitors to some of the more remote areas of the park. Throughout this trail Bursaria can be found flowering throughout the summer months. Recommended for the experienced hiker and mountain bike rider seeking adventure.

  • Pink gum loop (3.15km loop)

A challenging loop most suited to hikers and trail runners. Pink Gum is now rare in South Australia and can be found throughout this trail in association with other threatened plant species including the Pale Leek-orchid and Slender Greenhood. Try it in both directions but beware, it has large loose rocks in sections.

Mountain biking

Explore the Pink Gum and Long-Leaf Box plant communities and Blue Gum Grassy Woodlands of Anstey Hill by bike and on foot using the 25km network of shared use trails.

This network uses fire tracks and trails, which have been upgraded to accommodate a variety of activities.

Visit the Old Quarry, which has easy trails for children and novices, or head further into the park to explore some of the more difficult trails where you’ll be rewarded with amazing views of the Adelaide Plains.

The tracks and trails below are suggested routes only. Create your own route by following any of the designated tracks, including the link trails and maintenance tracks. Please obey signs, including sections where walking or cycling is not permitted. Observing the classification system will help ensure you select trails suitable to your ability.

Easy

  • Little Quarry Loop (650m)

A short and easy trail for people of all abilities. Suitable for prams and limited mobility access. Look out for the fun little offshoots to explore. This trail features a gravel surface with easy but optional trail obstacles and features. Try this trail before venturing onto the intermediate trails in the wider park.

Intermediate

  • Yellow-tail Loop (6.2km)

The Yellow-tail Loop is Anstey Hills’ most popular route for both groups and individuals. It explores many of the parks features including Newman’s Nursery ruins. The loop follows wide fire tracks, which is great for having a chat amongst friends.

  • Silver Mine Loop (2.45km)

Traversing many of the old quarry tracks including Rosella, Ellis and Newman Tracks, the Silver Mine Loop passes historic mine shafts and old quarries.

  • Wednesday Loop (3.4km)

The Wednesday Loop is a great trail for keen hikers and mountain bike riders alike. It traverses a variety of landscapes and showcases areas of restored vegetation carried out by the Friends of Anstey Hill. It is best travelled in a clockwise direction.

  • Bursaria Loop (4km)

The Bursaria Loop takes visitors to some of the more remote parts of the park. Recommend for the experienced hiker and mountain bike rider seeking adventure.

  • Pink gum loop (3.15km)

Pink Gum is now rare in South Australia and can be found throughout this trail in association with other threatened plant species including the Pale Leek-orchid and Slender Greenhood. Try it in both directions but beware, it has large loose rocks in sections.

Advanced

  • Grand Canyon downhill (1km)

One way downhill. The Grand Canyon Downhill trail has a great variety of features including jumps, drop offs and technical terrain. No walking permitted.

  • Wildside downhill (1.2km)

One way downhill. The Wildside Downhill trail makes great use of the lay of the land and features natural rock gardens, bermed corners, drop offs and sections of technical single track. No walking permitted.

Teach and learn resources

If you are looking to visit Anstey Hill Recreation Park for educational purposes, you might like to check out our Educational Pack tailored to Anstey Hill. This pack was developed for schools and families by park rangers and the Natural Resources Adelaide and Mt Lofty Ranges’ NRM Education team.

Stay in the park

Camping is not permitted within this park.

Flora

This park's range of different landforms support many diverse habitats for birds and other animals. Pink gum and long-leaf box plant communities, now rare in the Adelaide Hills, dominate the stoney slopes across the park. Button daisies, pussytails, needle bushes and silky guinea-flowers are found in their understorey. The important red and blue gum grassy woodlands are feeding grounds for local birds, and can be found near the Silver Mine. Rough-barked Manna gums, a favourite of the local koalas, are commonly seen between 'The Lookout' and Newman's Nursery ruins.

Fauna

A keen observer will certainly encounter some of the many birds, reptiles, frogs and mammals that live in this park. Some of the more commonly seen animals include the Superb Fairy Wren, Western Grey Kangaroos and koalas. Brown Tree Frogs and common froglets can be heard along creeks, and Bearded Dragons can be seen basking on sunny days. The park is also habitat for the endangered Chestnut-rumped Heath Wren.

Volunteering

 

Want to help?

To find out how you can help in this park or nearby, please visit Natural Resources Adelaide and Mt Lofty Ranges – Volunteering.

Want to join others and become a Park Friend?

To find out more about Friends of Parks groups please visit Friends of Parks South Australia.

You could join others to help look after a park. You can take part in working bees, training and other events.

Safety

Bushwalking

Ensure that you:

  • when hiking, wear sturdy shoes, a hat and sunscreen
  • be aware of weather conditions and avoid walking during the hottest part of the day
  • make sure you have appropriate weather proof clothing
  • carry enough water to be self-sufficient
  • please be respectful of other users at all times
  • stay on the designated trails and connector tracks for your own safety, and prevent the spread of declared weeds to other areas in the park
  • ensure someone knows your approximate location and expected time of return
  • take appropriate maps.
  • Walk, hike or trek - what's the difference?

Mountain biking

To protect the surrounding environment and to ensure the safety of all riders and shared trail users, please be aware of the international Trail Users Code of Practice when using shared trails. Important points to remember include:

  • plan your ride
  • comply with all signs
  • ride only on formed tracks/trails
  • share the trail - obey give way rules
  • avoid riding in wet, muddy conditions
  • ride lightly and leave no trace or rubbish
  • control your bike within your limits
  • clean your bike to avoid the spread of weeds or plant diseases
  • carry sufficient food and drinking water
  • respect the rights of others
  • tell others about the code

Fire

This park is closed on days of Catastrophic Fire Danger and may be closed on days of Extreme Fire Danger.

Listen to the local area radio station for the latest updates and information on fire safety. 

Fire restrictions

  • Wood fires, gas fires and solid fuel fires are prohibited throughout the year.
  • Ensure you are familiar with the fire restrictions for this park.

Know before you go

Every national park is different, each has its own unique environment, it is important to be responsible while enjoying all the park has to offer.

Please ensure that you:

  • keep your dog on a lead at all times and check if there are areas of the park where dogs are not allowed
  • do not feed birds or other animals, it promotes aggressive behaviour and an unbalanced ecology
  • do not bring generators (except where permitted), chainsaws or firearms into the park
  • leave the park as you found it - place rubbish in the bins provided or take it with you
  • abide by the road rules (maintain the speed limit)
  • respect geological and heritage sites
  • do not remove native plants
  • are considerate of other park users.

  • Important: Collection of firewood within National Parks is prohibited.

Maps

Park maps

Maps on your mobile

If you have a smartphone or tablet you can download the free Avenza PDF Map app and have interactive national park maps on hand when you need them.

The app uses your device's built-in GPS to plot your real-time location within the park onto a map. The app can be used without a network connection and without roaming charges. You can also measure area and distance, plot photos and drop placemark pins. 

How to get it working on your device:

1. Download the Avenza PDF maps app from the app store whilst you are still in range (its free!).
2. Open up the app and click the shopping cart icon.
3. Click ‘Find’ and type the name of the national park or reserve you are looking for.
4. Click on the map you are after and install it (all our maps are free).
5. You will now find a list of your installed maps on the home page of the Avenza app.
6. Use our maps through the Avenza PDF map app while in the park and never take a wrong turn again.

Fees

Entry fees

Come and enjoy this park for free. 

Park pass

This park is not included in the park pass system. 

Camping and accommodation

There is no camping or accommodation available within this park. 

Other fees and permits

There are no other fees or permits associated with this park. 

PDF Park Brochure