New trail links to other paths less trodden
The City of Onkaparinga has recently added 15 kilometres to its extensive number of recreational trails that traverse the region’s beautiful ranges, reserves, waterways and beaches.
Exploring the Aldinga to Sellicks trail offers experiences not to be missed. Starting at the historic precinct of Old Coach Road you can pack trail treats from some of the region’s iconic eateries before stepping out from the Aldinga Sports Complex to the coast, via nature’s hidden gems.
Also pack your sense of adventure because this trail delivers the unexpected, the rare, and the unforgettable.
At Hart Road Wetlands you will walk beside lagoons and reed beds where White-faced Herons and Red-kneed Dotterels feed and Golden-headed Cisticolas might be spotted by sharp-eyed birdwatchers.
Stepping seamlessly from this stunning wetland you’ll enter the wonderland of Aldinga Scrub Conservation Park. This 300-hectare haven has major conservation significance because of its sand dune and coastal plant communities. Here you’ll find remnant Red Gums, Drooping Sheoaks, Yaccas and Pimeleas.
It’s worth visiting the Friends of Aldinga Scrub website before your visit for maps and information on flora and fauna. Of particular interest is the downloadable Coral Lichen Circuit brochure with its plant markers and notes on rare species. A viewing platform near the Dover Street carpark is a great place to see the lichen and other plants.
Other well-defined trails meander through the scrub past several seasonal lagoons, which for six months of the year are water logged, attracting wading and migratory birds, many of which are protected by national and international treaties. At certain times of the year expect to see Cape Barren geese and Royal Spoonbills, and keep an eye open for echidnas, bats and geckos.
Preservation of these plants and animals is due in large part to 30-years of stewardship by the Friends. Feral weeds are a continuous threat, but these dedicated volunteers hold regular weed-pulling working bees. They also monitor the health of rare plants and provide guided walks to groups such as orchid societies, bird watchers and schools, as well as coordinate a revegetation program where seeds from indigenous plants are propagated and planted in autumn and winter.
“I can’t imagine what the scrub would look like if volunteers didn’t get in there on a regular basis to control the feral plants and revegetate,” says Friends’ president, Michael Lawton
Leaving the coastal scrubland via the southern boundary leads to another significant wetland, the Washpool Lagoon, with a path that links to the Coast Park Trail. All exit points on the western boundary take you to this popular walking, cycling and horse-riding trail with its spectacular ocean scenes and beach access. Cool your feet while exploring the Aldinga Reef Aquatic Reserve, or refresh at cafes along the route while soaking in sea views and the sounds of shorebirds.
Visit Friends of Aldinga Scrub website for trail maps and fauna and fauna information.
Enquiries about guided walks or to volunteer: firstname.lastname@example.org
Adele Monia from Villa Rose Park exercises Thunder at Sellicks Beach; Southern Trails video highlights a few hidden gems; Hart Road Wetland; Onkaparinga’s coastal fauna and flora; Friends of Aldinga Scrub, John Edmeades at a weekly working bee; a jogger takes in coastal views at Silver Sands.