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Hender Reserve

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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 November 21st 2012
Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee
bio diversity, woorabinda, hender reserve, native fauna, nature reserve, wildlife, monarch butterflies, koalas, butterflies, australian trains
A Trio of Ducks Stared Insolently as I Walked by


Like the three other reserves in the 34 hectare Stirling Linear Park, the Hender Reserve is accessible from Woorabinda Lake. All of the reserves also have other access points, and all have their own unique flavour.

Having visited the stringybark bushland of the Madurta Reserve, the aquatic wildlife of Woorabinda Lake, and the lush green waterways and colourful flora of Stirling Park, my only remaining place to explore was the Hender Reserve.

I had seen an Adelaide Hills Council report that rated its total bio-diversity value as high, so it was time to find out if it lived up to its promise.

bio diversity, woorabinda, hender reserve, native fauna, nature reserve, wildlife, monarch butterflies, koalas, butterflies, australian trains
Foraging for Food


Once again I started at Woorabinda Lake, but this time I walked anti-clockwise around the lake. The water here is shallow and muddy, and the ducks seem to like it best as they forage for food.

bio diversity, woorabinda, hender reserve, native fauna, nature reserve, wildlife, monarch butterflies, koalas, butterflies, australian trains
The Bird Hide on the Left


After passing the bird hide on your left, be on the lookout for a green pole marking the start of the Hender Trail.

bio diversity, woorabinda, hender reserve, native fauna, nature reserve, wildlife, monarch butterflies, koalas, butterflies, australian trains
Hender Trail Marker


Again it is quite narrow, meandering through the scrub to the railway line for South Australian trains heading to Melbourne. Use the pedestrian crossing safely by checking for trains, and continue on past the marker and up the hill.

bio diversity, woorabinda, hender reserve, native fauna, nature reserve, wildlife, monarch butterflies, koalas, butterflies, australian trains
Australian Trains Travel Interstate Here


I continued past the Rossiter Trail turnoff to the right (see map), and suddenly became aware of a few butterflies dancing around my head.

bio diversity, woorabinda, hender reserve, native fauna, nature reserve, wildlife, monarch butterflies, koalas, butterflies, australian trains
A Monarch Butterfly Waits for Me to Move


It was very like my experience in the Madurta Reserve where it almost felt that they were teasing me. Like before, one butterfly stayed and settled down near me. When I moved, it also flitted to a different place. Very curious indeed.

bio diversity, woorabinda, hender reserve, native fauna, nature reserve, wildlife, monarch butterflies, koalas, butterflies, australian trains
Another Butterfly Blends in Better


The terrain was more like straggly low trees with a lot of fern undergrowth, quite unlike any of the other local parks.

bio diversity, woorabinda, hender reserve, native fauna, nature reserve, wildlife, monarch butterflies, koalas, butterflies, australian trains
A Clearing with Possible Sign


Soon I reached a clearing where there appeared to be a few paths diverging. Something resembling a sign board had Woorabinda misspelt on it, but the map showed that I would have to cross the railway line again, and I wanted to use the pedestrian crossing.

bio diversity, woorabinda, hender reserve, native fauna, nature reserve, wildlife, monarch butterflies, koalas, butterflies, australian trains
More Ferny Forest


Continuing on past the sign in roughly the same direction as previously, I passed more ferny forest and more bold butterflies.

I was reminded of something I read about Hender Reserve on the informative Parks For Us All website: Right now the flowering shrubs are looking wonderful, the most colourful I have seen in the last 24 years.

Perhaps that helps explain the number of butterflies I encountered?

bio diversity, woorabinda, hender reserve, native fauna, nature reserve, wildlife, monarch butterflies, koalas, butterflies, australian trains
Bold Butterflies Are Back


Before long I had arrived at the Hender Rd entrance to the reserve.

bio diversity, woorabinda, hender reserve, native fauna, nature reserve, wildlife, monarch butterflies, koalas, butterflies, australian trains
Hender Rd Entrance to Reserve


A shady clearing nearby contained a stand of tall gums

bio diversity, woorabinda, hender reserve, native fauna, nature reserve, wildlife, monarch butterflies, koalas, butterflies, australian trains
Gums in a Clearing on Hender Rd


There were still signs of blackberries here - a chronic Hills pest.

bio diversity, woorabinda, hender reserve, native fauna, nature reserve, wildlife, monarch butterflies, koalas, butterflies, australian trains
Blackberries Run Rampant


On my return I pondered how lucky Stirling is to have such a comprehensive and diverse group of parks. We owe a great deal to groups such as Friends of Stirling Linear Park for spending long hours maintaining the environment, and Parks For Us All for raising community awareness about them.

bio diversity, woorabinda, hender reserve, native fauna, nature reserve, wildlife, monarch butterflies, koalas, butterflies, australian trains
Dead, But Some Animals Still Call it Home

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Why? Each reserve in the Stirling Linear Park is different
When: Anytime
Where: Woorabinda Drive, Stirling, South Australia
Cost: Free
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