Para Wirra Recreation Park
The name ‘Para Wirra’ is a Kaurna phrase meaning ‘river with scrub’. The first moves to protect the area came in 1950 but it was 1962 before Para Wirra National Park was gazetted, making it South Australia’s second national park after Belair.
Para Wirra National Park was changed to a recreation park in 1972 and is now one of the main recreational reserves in the north Adelaide area.
The South Para River runs through the north of the park. The vegetation includes long-leafed box, pink and blue gum, golden wattle, grasstrees and heath. You can often spot western grey kangaroos in the early mornings and late afternoons. Short-beaked echidnas, brushtail and ringtail possums and eastern and central bearded dragons are also found here. There are more than 100 bird species including rosellas, lorikeets, galahs, fantails and wrens, and watch for emus lurking about the picnic area, especially around lunchtime. There are picnic shelters, barbecues, sporting facilities, walking trails and horse riding on designated tracks. Walking trails are well signposted and range from an easy 800-metre stroll to a 7.5-kilometre walk.
In 1868 gold was discovered and the rush of people to the area saw the birth of the town of Barossa. Old mine shafts and tunnels are relics of the mining days and bushwalkers should take care especially in Hamlin’s Gully and the South Para valley. The trailhead for the Barossa Goldfield Trails (1.2 km or 5-km loop walks) is 10 minutes’ drive from the kiosk in the northern end of the park.
Although there are no camping facilities in the park, gas barbecues are provided. Dogs allowed on leash.
Location and access
40 km north-east of Adelaide via Main North Rd, Black Top Rd, One Tree Hill
- Parks SA (08) 8204 1910
- Parks SA Para Wirra (08) 8280 7048
Barossa 1300 852 982