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A Walk at Nantu Wama: Adelaide Parklands

Home > Adelaide > Animals and Wildlife | Exhibitions | Outdoor | Walks
by Kat May (subscribe)
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Published May 8th 2016
A very easy walk and easily accessible
All the parklands, reserves and playground areas in the inner city Adelaide Council region, have now been given an aboriginal name. This makes it a little confusing as each green space now has two names and are referred to by both the Aboriginal and the original name. This parkland area, is now called Nanto Womma according to the sign at the start of the walk. However on Google Maps and on the Adelaide Council website, the spelling is Nantu Wama. Perhaps someone needs to change the sign. Most of us who live here would simply know it as the North Adelaide horse paddocks.

This has been a reserve since Adelaide was first settled. The land was set aside for parklands by Colonel William Light who designed the layout of the inner city. The gentry who lived in North Adelaide would have kept their horse here, and horses still have a home here today. The park is a short distance from Melbourne Street, North Adelaide and stretches up towards Robe Terrace at the northern end. Many of us would have driven by this area many times, but it is actually a pretty and interesting walk.

Nanto Womma Adelaide Parklands
Such a gentle soul. Horses to talk to at Nanto Womma Parklands. Image by Out and About.

On this walk you will see some nature, animals, birdlife and fantastic views over Adelaide. In fact it is hard to believe you are so close to a large city. There are good views towards the Adelaide Hills and over the city. A good place to start is to park your car or catch the many buses to Melbourne Street. Alternately get bus 98A to stop 5 on Kingston Terrace or walk from O'Connell Street shopping area.

From Melbourne Street, walk up north and you will soon see the parklands edged by grand old homes. There are walking paths for the start but not all the way, so perhaps not good choice after rain, as some parts could be muddy. It would be best to wear enclosed shoes for this walk as there are many sticks and small rocks along the dirt track and you could trip. So not such a suitable walk for a baby stroller.

Nanto Womma Adelaide Parklands
The entry sign to the walk. Nanto Womma at North Adelaide Parklands. Image by Out and About.

The first thing you come across is a sign showing you a map of the area. Here you can make a choice to walk to the right or the left around in a big loop. My guide notes here are directing you to walk to the left. Next you will most likely see and hopefully greet the many friendly horses at the North Adelaide horse paddocks. Horses have been kept here since colonial times as there was easy access from the city and the houses of North Adelaide.

Nanto Womma Adelaide Parklands
Stop and say hello to the friendly horses. Image by Out and About.

On sunny afternoons the horses stand under the shady trees on the left or western side of the horse paddocks. In the mornings they are more likely to be at the northern end waiting for feeding time and their owners to come. But you are sure to see around 20 horses at some point on the walk.

Glover Playground at Nanto Womma Adelaide Parklands
The popular Glover Street playground is on the walk. Image by Out and About.

Next you will come to the Glover Playground. The path continues around the back of the playground and there is no entry gate here. If you have kids you may like to walk around to the front and have 10 minutes play time and a toilet stop. But don't stay too long as there is a lot of walking to do yet.

Glover Playground North Adelaide. Image by Out and About.
Glover Street playground. Image by Out and About.

Continue back on the track north past the horse paddocks, and follow the fencing. Then when you reach the northern section head towards the east along the top of the paddocks. There are many native trees and shrubs along this top part and some may be in flower.

Nanto Womma Adelaide Parklands
Gumnuts by Out and About.

Soon you will come to the large green spaces. These are used by Wilderness School for sports, but if not in use at the time you can run around here or lie on the grass for a break. By now you may be needing a rest stop and a drink. Here is an ideal spot to fly a kite as there is a large space without any trees.

Nanto Womma Adelaide Parklands
The walk extends around the tree line seen in this photo, around the horse paddocks in the centre. Image by Out and About.

To extend the walk you could head down across the oval to the intersection of Robe Terrace and Northcote Terrace. Here you will find a large area of old growth olive trees. Then go to the eastern end of Melbourne Street, and walk back along and look at the shops, cafes and restaurants.

Otherwise, continue back through the trees towards the housing on the eastern side of the horse paddocks. Here you can divert into the heritage streets of North Adelaide close to Melbourne Street or continue back to the starting point. You won't get lost, as you are basically going in a big loop around the fenced paddocks, so just keep the fencing to your side as you go.

There are no toilets along this walk apart from the playground near the start. There is an oval at the start of the walk which is free to use and no booking is required. Perfect for a cricket game or footy with some mates.

The walk took me about an hour and a half as I continued on via some of the historic housing and found my way to Melbourne Street. This walk would be suitable for visitors staying in the area who need some exercise, or locals who would like to explore a part of Adelaide. This is an easy walk and mostly all flat ground. I would recommend this walk for children over six years.

Nanto Womma Adelaide Parklands
Adelaide Parklands horse paddocks Image by Out and About.

Nanto Womma Adelaide Parklands
Extend this walk into the heritage side streets of North Adelaide. Image by Out and About.
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Why? A good walk that is close to the city.
When: Anytime
Where: Entry point near Kingston Terrace (western end) in North Adelaide
Cost: Free
Your Comment
I see what you mean re: signage of correct Aboriginal name and ensuring consistency - just looked up the Aboriginal name for Bonython Park and it's both Tulya Wardli (source: and Tulya Wodli (! Kinda discourages a writer from attempting to respect the traditional owners by using the traditional name.
by Jenny Pickett (score: 3|1720) 1804 days ago
Long a resident of nearby areas and never thort to do this walk.
I would keep to the left too.
by (score: 2|555) 1807 days ago
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