Get Amongst It
Bringing a bit of biodiversity into your life is easy and enriching. A great place to start is in our Park Lands, where you can enjoy a visit to our biodiversity areas. You can also follow some of our simple steps to bring birds and butterflies into your own backyard, or get involved as one of our eager volunteers.
Find out more about how to Get Amongst our amazing biodiversity by clicking the titles below:
Things to Do
Why not go for a short walk? Our trails will take you on an informative journey through some of the best examples of native vegetation in the city. Browse the trails below to find out where to start.
This short trail showcases one of our most important biodiversity sites and rare species found in Adelaide, including the Chequered Copper Butterfly (Lucia limbaria) and Swollen Spear-grass (Austrostipa gibbosa).
Every spring, the trail will be signposted for a special activity for children. Your kids will love the blend of nature and history, where they can explore one of Adelaide’s most unique natural habitats. You can download an activity booklet and find out more information here.
Find the start of the trail in the southern end of Pakapakanthi / Victoria Park.
If you do visit the Grasslands site, we would be interested to hear from you after your visit! Please share your feedback here.
On this trail you can find out how we have improved local biodiversity in the area, participate in activities (PDF activity booklet, 12 pages) and experience how the environment might have been before urbanisation.
You can find the start of the trail in Tulya Wardli / Bonython Park. Click here to find out more.
The Wirrarninthi Interpretive Trail is a nature/art trail that highlights the interesting biodiversity stories of this section of the park, and provides a fun place for children to explore and reconnect with nature.
Access to the trail is via Catholic Cemetery Rd, just off Sir Donald Bradman Drive in the west Park Lands.
Bush Tucker Trail
This 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).
You can find this trail on the north side of Wirrarninthi in the west Park Lands; access is via Catholic Cemetery Rd, just off Sir Donald Bradman Drive.
Kaurna Walking Trail
This self-guided tour follows important Kaurna sites around the built and natural environments in the City of Adelaide. Click here to view the trail map. (PDF, 2 pages)
Picturesque, informative and easily accessible, spending time in one of our many biodiversity areas is an enriching activity that is also great for your health. Start by visiting our Community Education Hub and then move into our Key Biodiversity Areas and Projects. Read on to find out more.
Community Education Hub
The west Park Lands plays host to our Community Education Hub, a multi-use space that features our Wirrarninthi volunteer bushland, Bush Tucker Trail and space for community events and education.
Find this area in Wirrarninthi / GS Kingston Park between West Terrace, Sir Donald Bradman Drive and Catholic Cemetery Rd.
Key Biodiversity Areas
Did you know that there were at least four distinct ecosystems in the city when the Kaurna people were the primary managers of the landscape? You can visit our Key Biodiversity Areas, which we have set aside to make sure these ecosystems are maintained into the future.
Click here to find out more about our Key Biodiversity Areas.
We are always working on exciting projects to improve the health of our local environment, such as environmental remediation or installing animal habitat. There are many diverse projects for you to visit and experience.
Click here to view our biodiversity Projects.
You can easily bring healthy nature back into your local neighbourhood and encourage native animals like birds into your backyard. This will help to pollinate local plants (including your veggie patch!) and contribute to a healthier local ecosystem.
Below you will find a few simple steps you can take to attract biodiversity around your own home.
Planting a range of indigenous plants in your backyard allows native pollinators, such as bees and honeyeaters, to stay in your area year-round. Supporting native pollinators locally is important for ensuring plant populations can reproduce in the future and allows our neighbourhood plant communities to flourish.
- SA Natural Resources Management has an excellent guide for Creating a Wildlife Friendly Garden (30 pages).
- Consult the native Plant Selector for plants that are indigenous to your area that you can find at your local native nursery.
- The State Flora Nursery provides excellent species lists for attracting birds and butterflies to your garden.
- You might also consider the NRM Education Butterfly Garden Fact Sheet (6 pages) for more specific information about how to attract butterflies into your backyard.
Native Plant Nurseries
The following nurseries in Adelaide specialise in native plant species:
0409 675 477
Belair National Park
(08) 8278 7777
(08) 8388 2777
Photo: Planting native plants encourages animals, such as birds, butterflies and native bees, into your backyard. These animals will also help to keep pest insects away from your vegetable bed and pollinate your brightest flowers.
There are over 300 species of native bees around Adelaide and the Mt Lofty Ranges with over 1600 in Australia, ranging from a tiny 2mm, to an amazing 2.5 cm in length! This diversity of native bees and other insect pollinators ensures that most plants are pollinated, can produce seed and then survive in future generations.
Most native bees are solitary (meaning they don’t live in colonies) and are non-aggressive, so we can encourage them into our backyards without fear of being stung. In return, they will help to pollinate our flowers, including those in veggie gardens. Click here (2 pages) to see examples of some bees that may take up residence in your yard.
Here are a few easy steps you can take to attract our native bees to your garden:
- Plant bee food. Click here (PDF, 2 pages) to learn what to plant and other useful tips.
- Make a Bee Hotel (PDF, 2 pages). These provide homes for bees in areas where there is little natural habitat. The aim in making a Bee Hotel is to imitate different habitat types that bees require using a variety of materials (PDF, 2 pages). Here are some tips:
- Create bundles of dry, organic tubes with one open end as an entrance. Good examples include bamboo, drilled wooden blocks, pithy stems from reeds, paper straws, etc.
- Create various sizes of holes (up to 12 mm diameter) in wood and bricks using a drill, or by poking holes in wet clay with sticks
- Keep the area covered and dry – bees don’t like soggy homes!
- Save places where native bees make their homes:
- Keep ‘structural diversity’ in your garden in the form of dead wood and branches, gaps between rocks, the open stems of some plants, etc.
- Maintain clear, un-mulched small patches of ground in your garden for those bees that raise their young in underground burrows
- Avoid using pesticides or other synthetic chemicals in your garden.
- These chemicals can be toxic in low concentrations to small animals such as bees and will decrease the likelihood of native bees surviving in your garden
Photo: The native bee hotel in Tulya Wardli / Bonython Park. A bee hotel in your backyard need not be this big!
Are you interested in joining our 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.
Volunteering with us is a great opportunity to gain experience and knowledge in bushcare techniques, revegetation, nursery activities, monitoring, plant and animal identification and more. Volunteers also express their pleasure in other unexpected experiences, such as the opportunity to work as part of a team and with people from across the community, as well as significant health and wellbeing benefits.
Continue reading below about our volunteer projects or click here to find out more about becoming a Volunteer with the City of Adelaide.
Photo: Community members learning about our Pakapakanthi / Victoria Park biodiversity site in May 2018.
Trees for Life’s ‘Bush for Life’ Sites
Trees for Life have volunteers working in three Bush for Life sites across the Adelaide Park Lands. Bush for Life volunteers look after valuable remnant vegetation and return it to health using minimal disturbance techniques to encourage regeneration of native species. This work is essential for maintaining our remnant bushland in the best possible condition and we are grateful for our Bush for Life volunteers.
Click here to see what being involved in Bush for Life means (YouTube video, 3 mins).
Hear from a Bush for Life Volunteer
Heather says that she loves “To share with other volunteers the deeply-satisfying task of helping the disappearing natural heritage of the Adelaide Plains to regenerate. Each year we see the area of native grasses, ruby saltbush, chocolate lilies and other pre-European plants (not planted but always there) expand to create a patch of bush that supports birds, butterflies, including the rare Chequered Copper, lizards, ant colonies, native bees, kookaburras and the occasional koala. [This also] gives pleasure to city residents and visitors.”
Photo: Bush for Life environmental restoration site in the south Park Lands.
Conservation Volunteers Australia
Conservation Volunteers Australia (CVA) work alongside the City of Adelaide in community-based projects in the Park Lands. Past projects have included bushland restoration as part of the Green Army program and the Green Gym program, in which elderly people helped to maintain areas of native vegetation and experienced the benefits of being active in nature, working as part of a team and meeting new people.
We are excited about our ongoing collaboration with Conservation Volunteers Australia.
Hear from a CVA Volunteer
David says: “I enjoy volunteering with CVA as I love spending time outdoors in the environment. I get to go to nice places that I wouldn’t have thought to go to myself. I also enjoy meeting and talking to other interesting volunteers. Overall, it’s a wonderful way to get out and help the local environment.”
Butterfly Conservation SA
Volunteers from Butterfly Conservation SA (BCSA) have been integral in developing management actions to ensure the survival of native butterflies, particularly the rare Chequered Copper (Lucia limbaria) in Pakapakanthi / Victoria Park.
Friends of the Chequered Copper is a BCSA volunteer group that aims to ensure the survival of the Chequered Copper Butterfly. The group will work to increase habitat in a dedicated site towards the southern end of Pakapakanthi and regularly monitor populations of this rare species.
We value the ongoing input we receive from BCSA and their efforts to conserve butterflies in the Park Lands.
Click here to find out more about the Chequered Copper Butterfly.