On the foothills behind Waite Campus, Urrbrae, the University of Adelaide's 121 ha Waite Conservation Reserve conserves an important remnant of Nationally endangered Grey Box Grassy Woodland with over 200 native plant species. It provides an accessible and tranquil environment for bushwalking and enjoying nature only 6km from the city centre. The Friends group welcomes new members to help restore this beautiful patch of bushland.
Originally used for timber, quarrying and horticulture, benefactor Peter Waite donated the land to the University of Adelaide in 1914 for agricultural research. In 1992 the area was set aside for conservation and later protected by a Heritage Agreement. The reserve protects a mixture of grey box, red gum, blue gum and drooping sheoak communities with 206 native plant species as well as echidnas, koalas, kangaroos, butterflies, reptiles and birds.
The reserve is best seen by taking the self-guided 4 km Waite Loop Walk. Pick up a guide at one of the entrances, either Hartley Grove, Urrbrae or Hillside Rd, Springfield. It provides directions as well as explaining the natural features of the reserve.Trail markers feature the Friends logo, the distinctive bright blue thistle-like flower of the Blue Devil (Eryngium ovinum) one of the threatened plants in this important woodland remnant.
The Friends group was formed in 2001 and warmly welcomes new members to participate in activities such as: