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Adelaide's Parkland Japanese Garden

Home > Adelaide > Animals and Wildlife | Gardens | Parks
by Barry Silkstone (subscribe)
I am an Australian natural history writer and photographer. My aim is to encourage people to venture outdoors and enjoy the natural beauty of our planet. Visit my blog naturallysouthaustralia.com
Published October 31st 2019
Turning Japanese
The lily pads are perfectly balanced to complement the stone sculpture in the middle of the pool. But if you look really carefully there is an anomaly in this almost perfect setting. Peeping out from the pads, a short-necked turtle surveys the pond while a trio of koi break the surface nearby.

South Australian wildlife, South Australian tourism, Wildlife photography Wildlife stories, Japan, Japanese Garden, parklands, Adelaide, blossoms, nature, turtle
Turtle in the lily pads


I am walking around the Japanese gardens or Himeji gardens, which were laid out in 1985 to recognise our sister city Himeji in Japan. The pool is central to the garden and a network of small paths surround the water. They pass through a variety of themes that include trees, shrubs, lawn and raked gravel. The garden is situated in the South Parklands adjacent to South Terrace between Pultney Street and Hutt Street. Signage at the entrance explains the style and purpose of the different part of the garden.

South Australian wildlife, South Australian tourism, Wildlife photography Wildlife stories, Japan, Japanese Garden, parklands, Adelaide, blossoms, nature,
Garden delights


As I walk around the pathways and across the stepping stones I keep a sharp lookout for insects. The various springtime blossoms are sure to attract a variety of butterflies, bugs and flies. I am not disappointed. Unobtrusively hiding in the shadows of a camellia bush are several shield bugs that feed on both nectar and sap.

South Australian wildlife, South Australian tourism, Wildlife photography Wildlife stories, Japan, Japanese Garden, parklands, Adelaide, blossoms, nature, bugs, shield bug
Shield bug


A pair of Pacific Black Ducks seems to be making the pool a courting ground and a variety of mating displays are on show from wing flapping to head bobbing and splashing. Eventually, the male has his way and mates with the female while pushing her head down into the water. Not the most chivalrous of birds!

South Australian wildlife, South Australian tourism, Wildlife photography Wildlife stories, Japan, Japanese Garden, parklands, Adelaide, blossoms, nature, Pacific Duck
Pacific Ducks


Leaving the gardens I walk back to my car which is parked a mere hundred metres from the entrance alongside one of the many massive gums that are common in the parklands. Even this short walk is a delightful experience with Magpies and Noisy Miners jostling for territory in the branches and a pair of musk lorikeets nesting in a hollow limb.

South Australian wildlife, South Australian tourism, Wildlife photography Wildlife stories, North Adelaide, Himeji Gardens, Japan, lorikeets
Musk Lorikeets


Without a doubt, a visit to the Himeji Garden is a worthwhile way to 'while away' a couple of hours in a wonderfully relaxing and nature rich setting.

Additional notes
This is an easy walk which is quite suitable for families and seniors.
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Why? A varied and interesting short walk
When: All year
Where: Japanese Garden South Terrace
Cost: No cost
Your Comment
It looks like these gardens are brimming with wildlife.
by Gayle Beveridge (score: 3|7712) 78 days ago
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