Para Wirra - Gold Diggers

Published: May 2nd 2006
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The taller trees form the canopy under which the smaller trees grow


This week's walk was at Para Wirra Recreation Park which is just south of the Barossa Valley. It is walk number 10 in George Driscoll’s book “50 real bush walks around Adelaide”, called “Gold diggers”. To be accurate, the walk was not within the main Park, but on the opposite side of Humbug Scrub Road. This is significant because to enter into the main park there is an entrance fee, but to do this walk, there is no additional cost.

You can find out more about Para Wirra Recreation Park at the South Australian Park web site.

How to get there ...

From the city take Main North Road past the Old Spot Hotel until you get to Black top road. Turn right onto Black Top Road and head to One Tree Hill. Shortly after the One Tree Hill township you come to a T junction. Turn left and stay on this road (Humbug Scrub Road). When you see the entrance to the Para Wirra Park, drive past it and take the road that runs along side of the park instead. About 1 km on there is a car park on the right hand side of the road. When we went

First milestone, passing the Hostel on your left
there on Sunday, there was a gate closed across the car park entrance, but we opened it and went in (and closed it after us as well).

What happened ...

The walk took 2 1/2-hours and was enjoyed immensely because, for most of the time we were in a wind-protected gully, sheltering us from an otherwise wind-swept day. Half of the walk follows a small bush trail along “Mack Creek” and the other half of the walk follows a fire track. Milestones along the way included dams and some amazing trees.

Although we saw very little flowering in the bush, George wrote about there being many orchids and flowers around in August and September -so we have made a mental note to go back again later to check these out. Another reason to go back is that Peter thought that this was one of the best walks he had been on - very high on the serenity scale!

Dan says…

Hello Readers,

This is a good walk for a beginner because it is a nice flat track, not too long (if you have done a lot of leg exercising). The sign says to allow 3 hours - but we did it in 2 1/2 - anyway, you might take it slower, or faster, but who cares, bush walking is a sport that you can decide the pace. Unless, of course, you are with my Dad, who forces us to go fast all the time. I don't think this is fair because I like to look at the things around me and I don't want my body to go into over drive.

We didn't see any gold on this walk (perhaps we were walking too fast), but we did see golden-coloured fungi, great trees and waterholes. We also saw some back-swimmers in the water hole - that is a type of underwater bug. There were lots of birds and we saw Wedge tail eagle up close, a flock of emus and Mum saw a rabbit too.

This week's joke:
Q: What do you get when you cross a tiger with a kangaroo?
A: A striped jumper.

Additional photos below
Photos: 19, Displayed: 19


Mack creek signMack creek sign
Mack creek sign

Second milestone, veer left at the Mack creek sign
First damFirst dam
First dam

Third milestone, a small dam. Pass on the left and then follow the trail along the creek for 1-2 km
Mack creek erosionMack creek erosion
Mack creek erosion

There was a little bit of water in Mack creek, but there were signs that the water level can be much higher.
Yellow top mushroomYellow top mushroom
Yellow top mushroom

A lone fungus
Giant river red gumGiant river red gum
Giant river red gum

Fourth milestone: A significant tree growing in the creek, now dead, and recently a large part of the trunk appears to have snapped off.
Same treeSame tree
Same tree

Showing it's roots in the creek
Dan near river red gumDan near river red gum
Dan near river red gum

It was an enormous tree
Orange fungiOrange fungi
Orange fungi

Growing on a tree trunk
Messy bushMessy bush
Messy bush

The next section of the walk had many of these bendy trees over the path which made the bush appear messy
Lunch spotLunch spot
Lunch spot

Fifth milestone: this large dam made for a lovely lunch spot
Small white flowersSmall white flowers
Small white flowers

These flowering plants were found lining the path on the southern end of the park
Stripey gumsStripey gums
Stripey gums

These trees (on the path following Humbug scrub road) caught my eye because of the unusual bark pattern
Flowering gumFlowering gum
Flowering gum

On the Humbug scrub road trail
Bee on flowersBee on flowers
Bee on flowers

Another brave bee photo on the flowering gum

Peter picking out the trail

2nd May 2006

I like to thank you all , now that I,m on broadband I can really enjoy everything I read everything and learned a lot of Adelaide so Thanks again
3rd May 2006

Up to speed
Hi Tiny and Peter, Thanks for your comment. We agree - Broadband is great! It was good to hear that you are enjoying the stories and can now appreciate them without waiting too long for our images to download. All the best, Diana, Peter and Dan

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