An undulating hike for nature and history enthusiasts alike
By chance, I came across the Alamanda Walking Track in Scott Creek Conservation Park in the Mount Lofty Ranges. The first encounter was an entrance gate on Frith Road which had been closed off to the public due to a Phytophthora outbreak. Phytophthora is a fungus that causes root-rot and kills affected plants. Due to the severity of this fungus, access to some parts of the trail is limited. It's important to practice good hygiene throughout the park by using footbaths if present and cleaning off hiking and camping gear before going off-site to limit the spread of the pest.
Alamanda Mine engine house chimney
However, other parts of the Alamanda Walking Track are accessible and are steeped in history. Alamanda got its name when the area was being mined for copper and silver from the 1850s to 1887. Remnants of buildings, a chimney and mine shafts still exist. Sadly, there are people through time since then that have not held such relics in any kind of regard and have vandalised them with graffiti. Interpretive signs at the entrance to the Alamanda Track from Dorset Vale Roadshow what the place would have looked like back in the day and what structure was what. There are also numerous other mineshafts along Alamanda Track and Mine Shaft Track.
Area for the flywheel in the Alamanda Mine engine house
Like any of South Australia's conservation and national parks, bird-watching is an easy delight with wrens hopping about in the undergrowth searching for their meal. Animals are a bit harder to find though with such dense bush in some areas, I'm not surprised.
Camping is not permitted in this park though it is open every day except for Christmas Day and catastrophic fire danger days. Mobile phone service is quite dodgy with it working fine in some places and not others. Much of the track goes up and down hills, so sturdy shoes are a must as well as a hat and plenty of water.