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Published August 3rd 2018
It's time to get back to nature
National Trust of South Australia Sign at HK Fry Reserve in Crafers West
Perhaps one of the best hidden nature reserves in Adelaide is the HK Fry Reserve in Crafers West. Thousands of people pass it every day as they travel through Upper Sturt to Crafers along Waverley Ridge Road, but are completely oblivious to the 3.6 hectares of beautiful remnant stringybark forest nearby. Donated to the Trust in 1959 by Henry Fry, this secluded park is is only accessible by following a narrow signposted path between 12 and 14 Heath Road.
As I started walking down the path, a man walking past with his dog called out "take a look at the huge kangaroo which lives in the reserve". The narrow path with steps slopes down from the road into the valley behind the houses, and you can descend to the bottom or veer right to follow a fairly level path behind the Heath Road houses.
The Narrow Path Veers Behind Housing on Heath Road
The path was dry for me, but good walking shoes are handy in case it is muddy or slippery. A few large droppings were evident - probably from the local kangaroo. The trail has been recently upgraded by an enthusiastic Green Army team, and can be followed down the gully to the creek in a large circuit. It may take an hour or two, so that is something I will do next time.
Within a few minutes I was welcomed with a lovely park bench setting, a place to rest overlooking the magnificent unspoiled bushland in the HK Fry Reserve. Well done, National Trust volunteer Marcus Beresford for donating this! Apparently there are 98 plant species and 16 types of native orchids here, but it wasn't the time to get on my hands and knees to go orchid hunting. It is a lovely tranquil place to sit and experience the serenity of the reserve, listening to the occasional bird call and the wind sighing through the trees.
Dogs are not permitted in the HK Fry Reserve, and mine were patiently waiting for me in my car. The only nearby parking is on Heath Road which is quite narrow, but that probably helps keep this park more exclusive. While I didn't see any mention of mountain bikes, it's not really the place to ride them here.
Come and visit this little reserve in the Adelaide Hills - I'm sure that I have only seen part of the attractions here. I look forward to catching a glimpse of the native animals and birds that live here, largely without interference from humans. You can find more about it on the National Trust of South Australia website, where you will also find contact details on how to volunteer to work at the park.