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Published: November 6th 2005
Butterfly and Salvation Jane
The park was full of butterflies, including this large wanderer
It is warm this Sunday - but in the north there is heavy rain and thunderstorms, and its heading our way! We need to head South, but not too far away and move quickly - if we can get the walk in before lunch we may stay dry. The choice was Shepherd's Hill Recreation Park - a 2.5 hour walk in George Driscoll's 50 Real bushwalks around Adelaide, and only 22 kms away from home. It is also a new one for us - which enhances the walking experience.
How to get there
This was too easy - from the city you would head out along Anzac highway and turn left onto South Road. Continue along South Road until you see the Mitsubishi factory on the right. You then take the next left on Ayliffe Road, pass the block of flats on your right and then you can spot the car park just after the flats on the right. If you click on the route map, you will see the journey we took from home, but you will have to use the slider bar on the left to move towards negative to see where the park is
Bike stunt tracks
The walk starts walking past a bike track
in relationship to the city and our home.
What it was like
This was a really good park - something for everyone - bike tracks, archery, pony club, walking paths (can take dogs on leash), creeks, caves, views, railways and railway relics - and so close to the city.
As I mentioned earlier, we had hoped to do the George Driscoll walk number 24, which he calls Shepherds Pie. By the way, the maps in this book stink - they are out of scale and distorted, and very strange markings. If you are considering doing some bushwalking around Adelaide then this is the book to get, but beware that the maps within it are (generally) awful! We missed a turnoff and ended up creating our own walk and heading in the opposite direction - no matter - it was very good regardless.
Near the car park was a bike path and later we saw guys on their bikes doing leaps which Dan was fascinated by.
The park was alive with birds - they created quite a din! We weren't sure if it was because we had an early start for our walk (9 am) or
Two riders do a leap for Dan and the camera
because the air pressure was changing with the approaching storm. We saw (and heard!) yellow-tailed black cockatoos
, new holland honey eaters
, wattle birds
Another lovely part of the park was that there were many butterflies - and not just small ones, ones that were so large that they would cover your hand easily. These are the Wanderer or Monarch butterflies
. We also had fun with hover flies
but unfortunately my photograph of it didn't work out.
We followed the Viaduct trail along the creek until we got to the Adelaide-Melbourne train line. Then it was up the Viaduct and then we doubled back to visit the old tunnel. Standing at the old tunnel and looking back over the gully you could see what remained of an old viaduct and the old pylons where the railway bridge would have been. We could also see half a dozen caves on the other side of the gully - so we went down, crossed the creek (a little way down) and headed up where the pylon block is in the middle of the creek. There were some steps but it was washed away in places and overgrown with nasty prickly wattle bushes. We took a break
Taking the gravel road
in the caves - which had been cut out (I wonder why) - and then went further up to the train line. There was another path that went along the railway that we followed and then rejoined the Ridge top trail. Fabulous views from the South to the North - we all picked a good place to build a house! From there it was an easy stroll down and back the way we came.
So if you are in Adelaide, and you have been wondering where to start with your own walking adventures - then Shepherd's Hill Recreation Park would be a good place to start!
If you thought you had to travel a long way to walk this hike - you would be wrong. It is actually very close to Adelaide. We got some good views over Adelaide.
I didn't think we were going to go walking today because of the big storm - but we did! When we got there I thought we would drive around to see where walks were - but no, we got out the car and went for a walk.
There was a little story about the old train tunnel in our walk book. Apparently when the author had done the walk, there had been a family group that unlocked the tunnel door and went in, locking the door behind them - not to be seen again! I wonder if they are still alive and living on mushrooms and drinking the dripping water.
We went up to the caves. I thought that they would be long deep tunnels but they weren't - they were just small little holes in the hill.
There were lots of insects - especially flies - we saw dragonflies, butterflies, inch ants, hover flies, moths and dead millipedes.
We also heard a lot of birds calling to each other.
The bike riders were good - they were able to leap in the air. You would need a special bike to be able to do that.
And now for this week's joke ....
Q. What did the pig say to the horse?
A. Hey fella, why the long face?
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