Adelaide City Parks and Wildlife
Surrounded by parklands
wine and food will always be great reasons to come to Adelaide. But once you experience our
parks and wildlife, you’ll have more excuses to return.
can feed kangaroos and hold koalas; swim with dolphins and marvel at migrating whales.
The bonus is there’s hardly any travel involved.
Along with more than 300 species of animals at the Adelaide Zoo, see its star attractions Wang
Wang and Funi - the only giant pandas in the southern hemisphere. Book exclusive
tours or stay for the 'wild nights' overnight experience.
Zoos and wildlife parks
Just an hour’s
drive from Adelaide up the South Eastern Freeway, you'll find animals from Africa and Asia roaming around
Monarto Zoo - a massive conservation park and the largest open range zoo in Australia. It's home to South
Australia's first ever southern white rhinoceros and Australia's largest giraffe
Head to the Adelaide Hills and venture into Cleland Wildlife Park where animals roam freely across 35 hectares of native bushland. Feed a kangaroo or hold a koala and have your photo taken.
monkeys, meerkats, alligators and otters, the mix of animals at Gorge Wildlife
Park is exotic to say the least. All your favourite Australian animals are also there including wombats, dingoes,
echidnas and Tasmanian devils.
Go wild with a wildlife tour
For a magical wildlife experience, head to Kangaroo Island and tour this amazing place by coach, four wheel drive (4WD), foot, boat or
helicopter. Join a guided tour at Seal Bay Conservation Park and walk among a colony of Australian sea lions as they bask in the sun.
At Victor Harbor, an hour’s drive south of Adelaide, watch endangered southern right whales as they migrate to the Great Australian Bight, off Eyre Peninsula's far west coast, to breed and calve.
Closer to Adelaide, head to Glenelg beach and join Temptation Sailing for the chance to swim with dolphins - or just sit back and watch these magnificant mammals frollick in the water.
city's botanic gardens, you can do so much more than smell the roses.
Enter the Adelaide Botanic Garden from North Terrace through a spectacular
avenue of Moreton Bay fig trees.
Inside, buildings like the 1877 glass Palm
House and Amazon Waterlily Pavilion complement the glory of nature, which is spread across 16 hectares and features Australian natives, exotics and ornamental plants. On a sunny
day, there’s nowhere better.
Sit and relax on the cool grass, under the shade of a tree. Bring a picnic rug and hamper and stay for lunch.
Garden at Mount Lofty is heritage listed. This botanic garden also boasts magnolias, camellias and rhododendrons, which are simply stunning when in bloom. Several picturesque walking trails take you up and down the garden's
seven valleys, including Fern Gully - home to one of the richest collections
of ferns in Australia.
The Wittunga Botanic Garden in
Blackwood shows the close relationship between Australian and South African
shrubs and trees.
Adelaide - superb gardens and wonderful wildlife parks.
Words by Jane Howard
Jane Howard is a freelance culture writer based in Adelaide. She started her blog No Plain Jane in 2009, and has written for ABC Arts Online, the Adelaide Review, City Mag, Real Time, un Magazine and the Victorian Writer. She is also a regular contributor to The Guardian Australia.
Also by Jane: Cultural Capital
From cliffs practically made for rock-climbing to oceans teeming with sea
creatures and inner-city parks populated by rare butterflies - Adelaide works
hard to earn its title as one of the greenest cities on earth. Wander through the Adelaide Botanic Garden on any warm day and you’re likely to see the grass dotted with friends and families sharing a picnic; bikes laying on their side; a frisbee spinning through the air.
The CBD and North Adelaide are encircled by parks. They’re home to sports fields, playgrounds, fitness circuits, gardens and sculptures – and the Botanic Garden and its neighbour Botanic Park are particular favourites.
In March, Botanic Park comes alive with the sounds of WOMADelaide, and the rest of the year you’ll probably hear the quiet calls of animals from the nearby Adelaide Zoo. At the zoo, Australian natives find their home alongside animals from around the world. If you really want to get personal with the Australian animals, you’ll want to go up to Cleland Wildlife Park to hold a koala and have a kangaroo eat directly out of your palm.
In Cleland and the other national parks surrounding the city, koalas, echidnas and wombats live close to the paths and can occasionally be spotted through the native vegetation. The same keen eye might even be able to see someone scuttling up a cliff face. Yuri Zineko, a local climber, says: “The Adelaide climbing scene is so unique because there are multiple crags within a 15km radius of the CBD, and you’re sure to see a familiar face half way up a climb wherever you go”.
For those who prefer the ocean to the bush, dolphins and seals are occasionally spotted in the water off Adelaide’s beaches. But if you do have time to travel a bit further afield, you can see some truly spectacular creatures. From the cliffs of small seaside towns like Victor Harbor, Port Elliot and Middleton, or out on the water on a sightseeing cruise, keep an eye out for common and bottlenose dolphins, New Zealand fur seals, and Australian sea lions.
But it’s perhaps the southern right whale, swimming through the region every winter, that people get the most excited about. During this season, the granite rocks of the shore at Encounter Bay are always dotted with people grasping cameras and binoculars. Even the coordinator of the South Australian Whale Centre, Leah Pippos, who sees the whales every year, is still excited by the sight of them. “Watching mothers and calves interacting is one of nature’s most beautiful things,” she says.
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Things to do
Here are some great ideas and useful links for your visit to Adelaide.
There are plenty of events on in Adelaide. Here are some ideas you might like.