Getting involved in biodiversity

photo-icon Morgan Sette

Visit our amazing biodiversity sites, or create your own.

There are many ways you can experience biodiversity in Adelaide. It’s easy and enriching. A great place to start is in the Adelaide Park Lands, where you can visit four different ecosystems in our biodiversity areas. You could try some of our simple steps to bring birds and butterflies into your own backyard, or get involved as one of our volunteers. Why not try them all!

Places to visit

It couldn’t be easier to get amongst the amazing biodiversity in the Adelaide Park Lands. Visit our Key Biodiversity Areas, look at our projects, hike one of our biodiversity trails and more.

Victoria Park/Pakapakanthi contains an area of Grey Box (Eucalyptus microcarpa) Grassy Woodland and Derived Native Grasslands. Once widespread across the southern part of the Adelaide plains and known to early colonists as ‘The Black Forest’, this ecosystem is now so rare that it is listed as a threatened ecological community under the Commonwealth Government’s Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.

Open closed biodiversity graphic

Head on over to Victoria Park/Pakapakanthi, where the grass is greener. The Victoria Park Grasslands Biodiversity Trail is a short trail with interpretive signs, showcasing one of our most important biodiversity sites. Make the most of the spring sunshine and discover some of the rarest species found in Adelaide, including the Chequered Copper Butterfly (Lucia limbaria) and Swollen Spear-grass (Austrostipa gibbosa).

You’ll find the trail in the fenced area at the southern end of Victoria Park/Pakapakanthi. During spring, the trail is signposted for a special activity for children - making it the perfect school holiday adventure! The kids will love the blend of nature and history, where they can explore one of Adelaide’s most unique natural habitats.

Download the activity booklet before you go or pick one up at The Stables, Commissary, Velo Precinct, the South Australian Museum, Hutt Street Library or the City of Adelaide Customer Centre.

Areas within Bonython Park/Tulya Wardli were once a thriving River Red Gum woodland. You can still see River Red Gums (Eucalyptus camaldulensis) and Blue Gums (E. leucoxylon), with a diverse plant mix found beneath. Reeds and rushes such as the Common Reed (Phragmites australis) and Narrow-leaf Bulrush (Typha domingensis) line River Torrens /Karrawirra Pari and its feed-in channels.

Bunyip trail biodiversity

On the Bunyip Trail, you’ll see how Council has improved local biodiversity in the area, participate in activities from the Bunyip Trail Activity booklet and experience how the environment might have been before urbanisation.

You’ll find the start of the trail in Bonython Park/ Tulya Wardli. The Bunyip Trail is officially open from 9:00 am to 7:00 pm, October to March, and closes at 5:30 pm between April and September. The trail is closed from May to August due to the risk of localised flooding in the area and therefore should not be used on days of heavy rain.

GS Kingston Park/Wirrarninthi is home to two unique trails and the Community Education Hub.

It is a great example of a Mallee Box woodland, where Mallee Box (E. porosa) would have been the dominant canopy tree species. Other characteristic plants may have included Drooping Sheoak (Allocasuarina verticellata), Christmas Bush (Bursaria spinosa), Golden Wattle (Acacia pycnantha), Purple Shrub-pea (Hardenbergia violacea) and Kangaroo Grass (Themeda triandra). As little clearing was done in this area, it’s one of the most important areas of remnant vegetation.

Malleebox woodland wirrarninthi biodiversity
photo-icon Tristain O'Brien

The Wirrarninthi Interpretive Trail is a nature/art trail that highlights the interesting biodiversity stories of this section of the park. It’s a fun place for children to explore and reconnect with nature.

The Bush Tucker Trail will take you on a short food-filled journey in the west Park Lands, where you can find iconic examples of ‘Bush Tucker’, such as Ruby Saltbush (Enchylaena tomentosa). It’s to the north side of GS Kingston Park/Wirrarninthi

The Park also hosts the Community Education Hub, a multi-use space for community events and education and is home to a Native Bee hotel on Cemetery Road.

You’ll find GS Kingston Park/Wirrarninthi off Catholic Cemetery Road, just off Sir Donald Bradman Drive in the west Park Lands.

DIY biodiversity

It’s easy to bring healthy nature back into your local neighbourhood and encourage native animals like birds into your backyard. This helps to pollinate local plants (including your veggie patch!) and contribute to a healthier local ecosystem.

Planting a range of indigenous plants in your garden allows native pollinators, such as bees and honeyeaters, to stay in your area year-round. It means plant populations can reproduce in the future and allows our neighbourhood plants to flourish.

Consult the native plant selector for plants that are indigenous to your area or visit one of the great nurseries that specialise in native plants. The NRM Education Butterfly Garden Fact Sheet has information about how to attract butterflies into your backyard.

There are over 300 species of native bees around Adelaide and the Mt Lofty Ranges alone, ranging from a tiny 2mm to an amazing 2.5cm in length. Most native bees are solitary (they don’t live in colonies) and are not aggressive, so you don’t have to worry about being stung.

You can encourage native bees into your gardens by planting bee food, saving places where native bees make their homes such as dead wood and branches, gaps between rocks, the open stems of some plants, and by not using pesticides or other synthetic chemicals in your garden. Why not make a bee hotel?


Volunteering

Did you know the City of Adelaide has a 150-strong team of volunteers who regularly contribute to important biodiversity projects? Volunteering is fun, rewarding and anyone can do it. You don’t need to have any prior knowledge or experience before you join one of our fantastic teams completing inspiring work on the ground. Register your interest now.

Other opportunities include Trees for Life where volunteers work in three Bush for Life sites across the Adelaide Park Lands, Conservation Volunteers Australia (CVA) who work alongside the City of Adelaide in community-based projects in the Park Lands, and Butterfly Conservation SA (BCSA) whose volunteers have been integral in developing management actions to ensure the survival of native butterflies, particularly the rare Chequered Copper Butterfly (Lucia limbaria) in Victoria Park/Pakapakanthi.