Two young girls inspect a small crab in someone's hands at a beach.

Published on 26 September 2023

Get back to nature

Worms, birds and bats. Night walks and beach hunts. Old trees, orchids and more.

There are so many great experiences you can enjoy at this year’s Nature Festival running from 1 to 15 October.

The City of Onkaparinga is supporting 11 local events to entice everyone into the great outdoors.

Children can be beach detectives at Aldinga or become Mother Earth caretakers through art and creative play in Willunga.

Gardeners keen on reducing their carbon footprint and saving money can learn how to make their own compost, recycle plastic plant pots, repair garden tools and put worms to work. They can find out how to nurture orchids and care for older trees.

Adventurers can capture bats and possums in the torchlight on a night walk through Woodcroft's Tangari Regional Park. Or they can discover water and bush birds at the Byards Road Wetlands in Reynella East.

For those looking more to relax, there’s a mindfulness session in Willunga's Wirra Creek Community Garden or a gentle walk through the Wash House Garden in Port Noarlunga.

“Nature is critical to our wellbeing," says Tracy Fulton, City of Onkaparinga’s Sustainability Project Officer

"We're pleased to work with partners such as the Willunga Environment Centre to support local events that are, for the most part, free to the community.

“Nature Festival events are always popular, so get your tickets now. Some events already have waiting lists.”

See the Sustainable Onkaparinga Facebook page for a full list of council-supported events.

Sustainable Onkaparinga events

Tend to Yourself
Wirra Creek Community Garden, St Lukes Street, Willunga
1, 2, 4, 8, 9 and 11 October 2023, 3pm-3.30pm
Host: Willunga Environment Centre
Cost: free

Dr Dinosaur, a retired, GP will lead you in a session of mindfulness in a beautiful garden setting, with Celtic harpist Ilona Weir helping soothe your senses.

Birds of Byards Road Wetlands
Byards Road Wetlands, Byards Road, Happy Valley
Monday 2 October 2023, 8am-10am
Cost: free

Join Hugh Possingham to explore the birds that call the wetlands home. The wetlands cover 21 hectares and are home to around 100 different water and bush bird species.

Little Caretakers of Mother Earth
Wirra Creek Community Garden, St Lukes Street, Willunga
Tuesday 3 and Tuesday 10 October 2023, 10am-12pm
Cost: free

In this unique workshop by Naomi and Maureen, the ‘Caretakers of our Mother Earth’, children will take part in music, storytelling, painting, and bark and ochre play.

Beach Detectives at Aldinga [sold out - join waitlist]
Snapper Point, Aldinga
Tuesday 3 October 2023, 12.30-2pm
Cost: free

Get exploring at the beach. Children detectives, accompanied by adults, discover the animals, plants and other sea life that call Aldinga’s amazing coastline home.

Nature by Night at Tangari [sold out - join waitlist]
Tangari Regional Park, Pimpala Road, Woodcroft
Thursday 5 October 2023, 7pm-8.30pm
Cost: free

We’re going on a night hunt. We’re not scared! We’re hunting bats, frogs and all those other creatures that come out after dark. Bring a torch.

Care of Older Trees
Wirra Creek Community Garden, St Lukes Street, Willunga
Saturday 7 October 2023, 10am-12.30pm
Cost: free

Bob Amezdroz shares his knowledge about caring for older trees, maintaining them for future generations. This is an opportunity to walk and talk under beautiful local trees.

Gardening with Orchids
Wirra Creek Community Garden, St Lukes Street, Willunga
Saturday 7 October 2023, 12.30-2pm
Cost: free

Trevor Garard leads this hands-on workshop on how to grow orchids. Receive a single cane of the Dendrobium orchid and learn how to nurture it back home.

Repurpose and Renew Garden Tools
Wirra Creek Community Garden, St Lukes Street, Willunga
Saturday 14 October 2023, 11am-12pm
Cost: free

Tool renovator Larry Wakely imparts his knowledge on repairing garden tools – and when that old shovel is finally beyond repair.

Plastic Pot Recycling and More
Wirra Creek Community Garden, St Lukes Street, Willunga
Saturday 14 October 2023, 1.15-2.30pm
Cost: free

Recycle plastic plant pots, make your own potting mix and propagate cuttings. Bring your old plastic pots, a bucket, and compost (if you have some). All else is supplied.

Habitat Chat at the Wash House Garden
Sauerbier House, Wearing Street, Port Noarlunga
Saturday 14 October 2023, 2-3pm
Cost: free

Join Nikola Manos for a habitat chat in the Wash House Garden on the western side of Sauerbier House. This garden is a work of love by artists and volunteers.

Wiggly Wonders
Saturday 14 October 2023, 2.30-3.30pm
Wirra Creek Community Garden, St Lukes Street, Willunga
Cost: $25 adults, $15 concession, First Nations free

They squiggle and squirm, and squillions of them are good for your garden. Learn all you need to know about worms, worm farms and home composting at this event.