From rugged clifftops with spectacular views to wetland ponds and floodplains, the parks along Adelaide’s stretch of the Onkaparinga River must be seen to be believed.
Nestled between the southern suburbs and McLaren Vale wine region, the Onkaparinga River National Park and Onkaparinga River Recreation Park are ideal spots to escape the hustle and bustle for the day, or to even find somewhere to stay for a few nights and immerse yourself in nature.
These Onkaparinga River parks are being celebrated as the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) December Parks of the Month because, whether you want to hike, camp, mountain bike, rock climb, fish, or bird watch, these parks are the perfect place for people of all abilities to connect with nature.
NPWS Ranger William Sheridan has made it his mission to discover the best ways of enjoying the different experiences these parks have to offer, and where to spot wildlife including birds, koalas, kangaroos, and possums.
“These parks are rich in nature and history and are abundant in wildlife,” he said.
“It is a privilege to work alongside our dedicated volunteers, community groups, and rangers who protect these areas, and keep them beautiful for everyone to enjoy.
“No matter if it is your first visit to the parks, or you have been dozens of times, you will always discover something new and wonderful in these beautiful environments.”
In addition to Park of the Month activities, several inclusive events are also being offered to celebrate International Day of People with Disability on Sunday 3 December.
NPWS Access for All Coordinator Yvette Eglinton said the state’s parks and reserves were for everybody.
“It is vital that everyone is able to experience our natural environments, no matter their abilities,” she said.
“The three events we are running on Sunday 3 December are wonderful examples of ensuring our parks are welcoming for everybody.”
Family cultural and nature walk – Onkaparinga River Recreation Park
Cost: Free. Book here.
A guided experience with Nature Play SA and Uncle Tamaru, exploring the plants and animals that call the park home and its cultural significance to the Kaurna people.
Accessible Forest Bathing - Onkaparinga River Recreation Park
Cost: Free. Book here.
Nature occupational therapist Bronwyn Paynter from Nature OT is leading an immersive nature experience. Forest bathing does not involve swimming, but it is a chance to engage your senses to 'bathe' or immerse yourself in a natural environment.
Autism Friendly Snorkelling Tour of Port Noarlunga Sanctuary Zone
Cost: $19 per participant (inclusive of 1 ticket for a carer). Book here.
Experiencing Marine Sanctuaries and NPWS are hosting an autism-friendly guided snorkelling tour of Port Noarlunga Sanctuary Zone, where attendees will explore the jetty and seagrass beds, which are home to a huge diversity of colourful fish and plant life.