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“Biodiversity” is used in general terms to refer to ‘nature’ and the diversity of native plants (flora), animals (fauna) and habitats. 

The parklands offer a fantastic opportunity for the reinstatement of some of the lost vegetation of the Adelaide Plains.  Many revegetation projects have occurred in partnership between Council, the State Government Million Trees program and community volunteers.  A biodiversity survey of the Adelaide Park Lands has been completed and is now available from the Council's Customer Centre.

The City and Park Lands were originally covered by diverse native woodlands which provided habitat for many native plants and animals. During early settlement, much of the original woodland vegetation that covered the City was cleared. Council is working to improve biodiversity by protecting remnant vegetation; replanting native vegetation; engaging volunteers; educating and providing incentives for native gardens; and supporting research into urban biodiversity.

Council has a highly skilled Biodiversity Team who are responsible for the management of biodiversity sites in the Park Lands and propagates thousands of native plants at Council’s nursery each year.

City of Adelaide is a founding partner and sponsor of Biocity the Centre for Urban Habitats, a university research centre aimed at increasing understanding and awareness of urban nature.

The restoration projects:

  • provide a snapshot of the original natural habitats that once existed within the Park Lands
  • preserve locally indigenous plant species of conservation significance
  • increase habitat for local native fauna.

Original flora

The main vegetation associations that would have occurred in the Park Lands  are

  • Grey Box (Eucalyptus microcarpa) – South Australian Blue
  • Gum (E. leucoxylon ssp. leucoxylon) Woodland
  • South Australian Blue Gum (E. leucoxylon) – River Red
  • Gum (E. camaldulensis) Woodland
  • Red Gum (E. camaldulensis) Woodland
  • Mallee Box (E. porosa) Mallee Woodland

Revegetation activities follow guidelines to ensure best practice and high success rates. These include:

  • planting a diversity of locally indigenous species that were once part of the site’s original pre-European vegetation community
  • establishing a variety of plant forms including tall shrubs, low shrubs, groundcovers and grasses
  • where possible, recreating the pre-European vegetation structure by mimicking the original densities
  • using local provenance seed or the closest possible seed source from a similar ecotype to produce tubestock
  • incorporating weed management practices on site that will suppress weeds but encourage the regeneration of locally indigenous species.

Bat Track

Bat track photoBat Track aims to find out more about bats in the City and provides the local community with the opportunity to record bats from their properties. Schools and residents are invited to take part in the program and record bats over the summer months.

Each species of bat has a unique high frequency call which is generally not audible to humans. By recording bat calls using a special bat detector we can determine what species are flying in the area. Bats are very unique animals and may be the most diverse and abundant native mammal in the City. 

By becoming involved in Bat Track you will learn more about these interesting animals and will play an important role in managing our City’s natural environment.

Wirrarninthi Bush Restoration

Wirrarninthi Bush Restoration is a Council initiative which engages the community in improving the natural environment of the Adelaide Park Lands. Volunteers meet each month and take part in activities including plant propagation, planting days, seed collection, weed control, animal surveys, excursions and much more.

If you would like to become involved please contact the City of Adelaide Customer centre, 8203 7203.

Tulya Wardli – Million Trees Project

Walking track in the bushThe Tulya Wardli Riparian Restoration Project site is located in the northern Park Lands in Park 27. The project site is a tract of land approximately 500m long and 100m wide at its widest point. The site encompasses a section of the River Torrens from the Hindmarsh Bridge (Port Road) east to a small weir. The site has been extensively disturbed in the past with little native vegetation remaining. The site is dominated by exotic flora species such as Ash, Dock, Nasturtium, Kikuyu and Three-cornered Garlic.

The City of Adelaide, in conjunction with SA Urban Forest One Million Trees Program, is undertaking this project. The Council has made a commitment to plant 100,000 indigenous plants within the Park Lands through the One Million Trees Program.


For Native Vegetation Grants, see Incentives.

Remnant Vegetation

Close up photo of National Tree Day - seedling plantingThe Park Lands were once covered by diverse native woodlands. Despite the level of disturbance the Park Lands have incurred they support numerous species of remnant plants.

What is remnant vegetation?

Remnant vegetation can be defined as the original native vegetation persisting in an area that has either never been cleared or has regenerated from the natural seedbank.

» Remnant Vegetation in Victoria Park / Pakapakanthi (PDF, 17Kb)


Wirrarninthi: Community transforms Park Lands back to natural state

The Wirrarninthi bush regeneration project is a Council initiative that engages the community in a hands-on way to improve the natural environment of the Park Lands.  Meetings are held monthly with activities including plant propagation, planting days, seed collection, weed control and fauna surveys. 2003

The volunteers have helped revegetate areas of the park to return it to  its original habitat of Mallee Box Woodland.

The one-millionth tree of the SA Urban Forests – Million Trees Program was planted by Premier Rann in Wirrarninthi in July 2006.

Wirrarninthi (Park 23) Interpretive TrailThe Wirrarninthi (Park 23) Interpretive Trail is an interpretive nature/art trail that passes through the area of native vegetation in the park.  The trail promotes the biodiversity values of this section of the park , providing a fun place for children to explore and reconnect with nature. The messages on the trail complement the significant work that has been done by the Wirrarninthi Volunteers to restore the park’s native vegetation through the planting of 5000 local provenance plants and tubestock.

Work has also occurred on the small wetland in the western section of the park. Weeding and revegetation has restored the wetland into a natural state resulting in the return of water birds and frogs to the park.

Tulya Wardli: Escape back to nature in the heart of the city

The Tulya Wardli Riparian Restoration Project is located along the River Torrens at the northern end of Bonython Park (insert map-because tricky to find). The project has restored the riparian zone of the Torrens River and increased the biodiversity values of the area through the removal of woody weeds (such as willows) along the banks and planting 100,000 locally occurring provenance plants.

Tulya Wardli Riparian Restoration ProjectThis area of the river has been gradually returned to a natural state resulting in a hidden natural oasis close to the heart of the city. A walk in this area will provide an insight into how the river would have looked before European settlement. Future plans for the site are to develop a walking trail with boardwalks and lookouts and interpretive signage.


Tainmuntilla (park 11)

Tainmuntilla is a multi-stage project undertaken in partnership with the State Government (Million Trees Program) to restore and revegetate the riparian zone along the River Torrens in Tainmuntilla (Park 11). Weeds have been removed and over 25,000 plants have been planted by community volunteers and Council staff over the past five years. This stretch of the river has a quiet and natural character with abundant birdlife. Native water rats can be seen swimming in this stretch of the river. 

Victoria Park/Pakapakanthi

Before settlement Victoria Park was part of a Grey Box (Eucalyptus microcarpa)Grassy woodland, a plant community that is now so rare that it is listed as threatened ecological community under the Commonwealth Government’s Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act.

Some significant patches of remnant vegetation remain in the park and are protected and managed by Council and the local community. A management plan is currently being prepared for this site (FUTURE LINK)

Species include the spear grass Austrostipa gibbosa which is of state conservation significance and other lilies such as Tiny Star and Early Nancy both of which are considered rare on the Adelaide Plains.

The southern part of the park is also home to the Chequered Copper Butterfly. The area of vegetation that is used as a feeding source for the butterfly has been protected and managed to maintain and improve habitat.

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