Para Wirra consists of 2000 hectares of largely intact native vegetation, with high conservation value, situated north of Adelaide. The Park offers many attractions for a day in the Adelaide Hills, and is just 40 minutes from the city and 20 minutes from Elizabeth, Gawler and Golden Grove. Opening at 8 am and closing at sunset (closed Christmas Day), it is a must for locals, interstate and international visitors alike.
Para Wirra was originally dedicated in 1962 as a National Park. It is a beautiful native bushland area, with shady trees and many well-visited walking trails, including The Knob, Lizard Rock, Devil’s Nose and Hissey Loop. There are also scenic drives, picnic areas, two ovals for kicking a footie and a playground, as well as free gas BBQ’s in several accessible but natural settings including the Lake. Although no swimming etc is allowed at the Lake (due to breeding native wildlife in and around the water), you can walk right around it and enjoy the different views as well as have your BBQ or picnic on the shore.
Kangaroos, Koalas, Emus and many smaller birds can be seen if you walk quietly along the tracks, and inquisitive native ducks may also come to the Lake shore while you picnic there. It is a wildlife and wildflower photographer’s heaven, and several photography clubs visit regularly, as do bushwalkers, school groups, Scouts and Orienteers.
Bring your picnic lunch and enjoy a day out in the fresh air and stunning scenery at Para Wirra!
In 1989 the Friends of Para Wirra formed from a public meeting at One Tree Hill, and met regularly with the Ranger of the day at Tipperary Lodge, a house just inside the gates of the park. In the early days a small native plant nursery was built there, and members learned seed collection and preparation, plant propagation and planting, and placed local native trees and shrubs where needed.
Since then, the Friends of Para Wirra have learned much and assisted Para Wirra in many different ways. We meet in the Hughes Conference Centre, central Park Office building, on the first Thursday of every month, with a morning working bee in the beautiful surroundings and fresh air, and every third Saturday of each month, usually with another working bee, followed by lunch and a general meeting.
Members can take part in control of weeds such as boneseed, olive and bridal creeper; wildlife and flora research and monitoring; revegetation; information and fundraising stalls at local events; guiding school groups; checking trails; walking trail design; education; historical research and of course assisting and encouraging park staff, with whom we have a great relationship.
We are a friendly, hard-working and fun group of varying ages who: