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Published October 25th 2013
A great place to relax less than an hour's drive from CBD
Adelaide is just so lucky to have easy access to so many beautiful natural parks, reserves and walking trails. Belair National Park is only 13 km south – east of the Central Business District, and is accessible by car and public transport – or by bicycle.
Belair National Park has played a big part in the lives of South Australians for many years. Formerly known as Belair Recreation Park, it was in 1891 the first National Park in South Australia, and the second in Australia (Royal National Park in Sydney was proclaimed in 1879). It boasts magnificent recreation facilities, including tennis courts, playing fields, bike trails, walking trails and riding trails. The walking trails range from a stroll around Playford Lake to hikes of 3 – 6.5 km. The Adventure Playground is a great place for the kids to play. They'll want to check out the big wooden fort, go through the tunnels, and play hide and seek in the hollowed out gum tree. There are picnic areas and barbeque facilities, which are free. Dogs are welcome but please keep them on a lead.
Peripitus / Wikimedia Commons
While you're hiking and taking in the beautiful surroundings (the waterfall and creeks are wonderful), you might see some Shingleback Lizards on a warm day, or even the shy Southern Brown Bandicoot if you have a keen eye.
A large part of the park was originally a Government farm, on which Old Government House was built. This House was the Summer residence of the Governors of South Australia. Now it is open to the public – a museum with some wonderful gardens.
The State Flora Nursery stocks over 1800 species of native plants specifically grown to meet the South Australian conditions. You can make some great buys and get some quality advice.
So there you have it. Check out this park, especially if it's been a while since you've been. It was established for you. But please, for everyone's enjoyment, observe park regulations and especially fire bans.