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Dry Creek Linear Park

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by Dave Walsh (subscribe)
I enjoy writing about Adelaide and its many attractions. If you think Adelaide is boring, the problem is not with Adelaide. adelaideunearthed.blogspot.com.au/
Published September 30th 2013
Look out for convicts
linear park, dry creek, walk, yatala, walking trail, gaol, prisoners, history, creek
Razor Wire Visible in the Distance - A Reminder of Yatala Gaol


Dry Creek Linear Park is a secluded nature corridor running alongside the Dry Creek wetlands, between Walkleys Road and Bridge Road north of Adelaide.

It's a pleasant place for a walk or to exercise your dog, with lots of bird and animal life to see. But an added piece of interest is the historical buildings that you will find as you walk along the unpaved walking trail through the linear park.

linear park, dry creek, walk, yatala, walking trail, gaol, prisoners, history, creek
Locals Walk Dogs Along Dry Creek


Prisoners from nearby Yatala Gaol were once required to perform hard labour as part of their sentences, and this usually meant working at breaking rocks in one of the numerous quarries in this area. While nowadays prisoners are able to study for University or watch TV as they serve their sentences, life was not always that easy.

linear park, dry creek, walk, yatala, walking trail, gaol, prisoners, history, creek
The Park Entry on Walkleys Road


Entry to the Dry Creek Linear Park is easy from a small car park on the west side of Walkleys Road, just north of Grand Junction Road. A short walk brings you to Dry Creek, and the background noise of traffic quickly disappears to be replaced by the soothing sound of water flowing (in winter).

linear park, dry creek, walk, yatala, walking trail, gaol, prisoners, history, creek
Stockmen's Hut


The first old building is not far along the track, but on the opposite side of the river. It was once a hut for stockmen, when R.M Williams owned some land here from the 1950's. A derelict pump house ruins are also nearby on the river banks.

linear park, dry creek, walk, yatala, walking trail, gaol, prisoners, history, creek
A Solar Powered Light to Illuminate the Quarry


You don't have to walk much further to see the first of several quarries on the walking trail, contrasting a modern solar powered street light.

linear park, dry creek, walk, yatala, walking trail, gaol, prisoners, history, creek
A Boardwalk Across Dry Creek


A boardwalk crosses the creek as you walk further west, necessary because the creek can rise in height considerably during winter and make the ford impassable.

linear park, dry creek, walk, yatala, walking trail, gaol, prisoners, history, creek
Stone Tower Used by Prison Guards


Veering left at this point the trail passes an old stone building, probably once used as a guard observation point to watch prisoners at work.

linear park, dry creek, walk, yatala, walking trail, gaol, prisoners, history, creek
The Forbidding Yatala Gaol


Climbing onto it gives a clear view of the monolithic Yatala Labour Prison, which is never far from the Dry Creek Linear Park.

linear park, dry creek, walk, yatala, walking trail, gaol, prisoners, history, creek
Once a Blacksmiths Shop


A blacksmith's shop was restored by the City of Salisbury, but unfortunately is vandalised so remains locked. But a picnic table setting is adjacent to it, allowing walkers to rest in a shady spot for a break.

linear park, dry creek, walk, yatala, walking trail, gaol, prisoners, history, creek
A Lookout Tower in the Dry Creek Linear Park


More reminders of the penal history of the park are visible - a rusted part of the old gaol fence, and a lookout tower used by prison guards.

The last and most visible reminder of Yatala's history here is a powder magazine used for holding explosives for quarrying. Now it is highly visible because of the unsightly graffiti covering its walls.

linear park, dry creek, walk, yatala, walking trail, gaol, prisoners, history, creek
Yatala Gaol Powder Magazine


If you're needing a break, take a detour into the scenic Stockade Botanical Park here - it's a lovely place to rest in the shade near the waterfall. The park also has picnic and toilet facilities.

Otherwise continue on the last short stretch of the Dry Creek Linear Park to reach Bridge Road. You may even be following in the footsteps of escaping convicts from yesteryear.

Friends of Dry Creek Trail are a community group who are working to re-vegetate a portion of Dry Creek in Valley View. Their goal is to re-introduce native grasses and flowers to encourage songbirds back into the area. You can find out more about their activities on Facebook.

There are other linear parks in Adelaide at Stirling, on the Sturt River, and along the River Torrens. Other attractive wetlands are located at Urrbrae, at Warriparinga Nature Reserve and at West Beach.



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Why? Take a nature walk
When: Anytime
Where: Walkleys Road, Walkley Heights
Cost: Free
Your Comment
It's sad to see sites like this vandalised by graffiti.
by Bryony Harrison (score: 4|11279) 1365 days ago
Congratulations on winning first place.
by Bryony Harrison (score: 4|11279) 1351 days ago
fantastic article Dave, I cant wait to go and have a look. Terrific photos too!
by Paula McManus (score: 3|2488) 1365 days ago
Well Done on a GREAT article! Congrats on First Place.
by SocialHummingBird (score: 3|1047) 1351 days ago
Congrats fantastic article and well done on 1st place
by Anne Dignam (score: 2|859) 1351 days ago
Congratulations on your winning article. This is very informative.
by Miyan (score: 2|169) 1351 days ago
Congratulations. Well don Dave.
by Jeni Wilson (score: 3|1791) 1351 days ago
This a great site for locals thanks
by lesle (score: 0|5) 903 days ago
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