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Adelaide Botanic Garden's First Creek Wetland

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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. Please click the link to Like my articles, and subscribe to see more. adelaideunearthed.blogspot.com.au
Published February 24th 2014
A work of art in a plant paradise
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Interpretive Signs in Adelaide's Botanic Gardens First Creek Wetland - a Work of Art


The First Creek wetland in Adelaide's Botanic Gardens is a triumph of form and function. While its primary purpose is water conservation, its uniquely colourful yet practical design makes the wetland habitat and surrounding area a destination to see in its own right.

Designed to ensure that the Adelaide Botanic Gardens is self sufficient for its water supply, the First Creek Wetland diverts a small portion of the water from First Creek as it flows down to the River Torrens in Botanic Park near the historic Speakers Corner.

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Boulders Depict Cracked Earth Against a Backdrop of the Bicentennial Conservatory & Storage Pond


At each stage of the wetland process there is an explanatory sign and at least one work of art, making it a pleasure to follow the trail of the water as it meanders on its travels. It's ideal for families and kids, and the trail is both educational and fun. You even pass by a bit of Adelaide Botanic Gardens history - the former Lunatic Asylum Morgue - now used as a storage shed.

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The Settling Pond Allows Particles to Sink to the Bottom


After an initial filtration process underground, the water is held in a settling pond where clay and other particles can drop to the bottom. The pond is located quite close to Hackney Road, south east of the grand Bicentennial Conservatory.

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The Kaurna Cultural Presentation


A Kaurna cultural presentation in a work of art nearby explores the meaning of water to local indigenous people, and its impact on their lives and the native animals that live in a wetland habitat. This thoughtful presentation was completed by the same group responsible for Kaurna art at the Pennington Gardens Reserve, once the site of the Pennington Migrant Hostel.

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The Filter Pond in the First Creek Wetland


The cleaner water flows on to a filter pond, where native plants and microscopic life remove pollutants, viruses and bacteria from the water. Beautifully illustrated translucent panels explain what plants are used in the First Creek wetland, and how this stage of filtration contributes to effective purified water conservation.

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The Stunning Viewing Platform Adjacent to the Filter Pond


After a final mechanical filtration the water is pumped 100 metres underground and stored in a rock aquifer. When it is needed, the clean water is pumped back to a storage pond at ground level ready for use.

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Interlinked Themes - Plants - Water - People


I didn't see any wetland animals, unlike at Urrbrae and Apex Park wetlands, but perhaps over time that will change.

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This Viewing Platform Overhangs the Ponds


A stylish viewing platform allows visitors to survey the entire wetland habitat from above, with interpretive signs and seats to enjoy the art works. This part of the First Creek wetland is truly attractive and both its form and function are elegantly executed. I think in time the wetland will become a landmark addition in the Adelaide Botanic Gardens history, like the Bicentennial Conservatory has already become.

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Adelaide Botanic Gardens First Creek Wetland - A Triumph of Design
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Why? Wetlands are wonderful
When: See website
Phone: (08) 8222 9311
Where: Hackney Rd, Adelaide
Cost: Free
Your Comment
GORGEOUS!
by Jenny (score: 3|1647) 1722 days ago
It's a lovely area. I really like how everything is designed and set out.
by Bryony Harrison (score: 4|12075) 1722 days ago
Great description Dave and your pictures tell a thousand words. As a volunteer in the Botanic Gardens Information Centre I am treated to the peace and beauty of the gardens on every visit.
by jenny (score: 1|18) 1721 days ago
Looks excellent!
I'm off for a look
by Paul Arguile (score: 2|133) 1722 days ago
Great article Dave. Good piccies too! :)
by Paula McManus (score: 3|3053) 1722 days ago
Really great article
by jenny (score: 1|18) 1718 days ago
Look great , I must admit it has been many years since I have wandered around the botanic gardens . Always to much to do . After seeing these pictures I must make an effort and do more in and around our beautiful city .
by sylvi (score: 2|295) 1722 days ago
Excellent article and photos. Will check it out on my day off!
by johns (score: 1|15) 1714 days ago
Hello Dave! Thank you for the great article! I am working for the Adelaide Botanic Gardens on an interpretive trail in the wetland. I wanted to ask if I could use one or two of your images within the trail? That would be great!

Thank you!
by rekaf (score: 0|5) 1713 days ago
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