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Humbug Scrub Wildlife Sanctuary

Home > Adelaide > Animals and Wildlife | Day Trips | Easter | Family | Outdoor
by Paula McManus (subscribe)
Photography obsessed writer and urban explorer. Lover of nature, art and long weekends. Adelaide, South Australia.
Easter Weekend Family Fun
When was the last time you visited the Humbug Scrub Wildlife Sanctuary? For me, it's been a very long time. Long enough that today's visit felt like the first time.

Tom Bellchambers cottage Humbug Scrub
Thomas and Eliza Bellchambers cottage at Humbug Scrub Wildlife Sanctuary (©paula mcmanus)

I was welcomed at the gate by several emus. Then more emus, then a few more. I counted (at one stage) 36 emus, just wandering around. I've never seen so many emus in place before.

The volunteers were busy in the shed - they were cutting up huge amounts of fruit for the birds and animals. The emus were constantly shooshed from the shed - those early birds certainly did not get the fruit.

Emus, Humbug Scrub
Emus, Humbug Scrub Wildlife Sanctuary (©paula mcmanus)

I literally had the place to myself. Mine was the only car in the carpark and it was a great feeling to know that I wasn't one of hoardes of people to jostle with on the walking paths. It was serene and so very quiet. I felt like I was in the middle of nowhere.

The sanctuary was established in 1905 by Thomas Bellchambers - a naturalist and conservationist who emigrated to South Australia in 1874. He bought the land at Humbug Scrub in 1905 with the vision of protecting the native flora and fauna. He married Eliza, they had 10 children and the sanctuary, all these years later, is still run by the Bellchambers family.

Tom Bellchambers cottage Humbug Scrub
Thomas and Eliza Bellchambers cottage at Humbug Scrub Wildlife Sanctuary (©paula mcmanus)

Once a year, each year for the past decade, the wonderful team of volunteers put on a Family Fun Day.

In 2014, the Fun Day will be held on Easter Monday, the 21st of April, from 10am to 4pm

There will be lots for the whole family to do. You can wander around the many native bushland trails and take in the beauty of tall gum trees and lakes. Or you can enjoy the wares from the stalls that will be there.

Wallaby (©paula mcmanus)

Some of the stalls that will be at the Sanctuary Family Fun Day include:

Baked Potatoes
Tea, Coffee and Cold Drinks
Cakes, Biscuits and Slices
Ice Cream
Face Painting
Treasure Hunt
Story Time
Raffle Basket
and more.

Entry is by gold coin donation, children under 5 years old get in for free.

The Humbug Scrub Wildlife Sanctuary is the oldest wildlife sanctuary in South Australia.

Kangaroos, emus and many native bird varieties come and go from the park as they please. Other animals are in enclosures, for example Annabelle the Koala. Annabelle is a rescue koala and is unable to go back into the wild, so she is kept in loving care for her own protection.

Annabelle, the rescued koala
Annabelle, the rescued koala (©paula mcmanus)

On site at the Sanctuary is the original homestead cottage, built in 1905. The house didn't get electricity connected or had running water until the 1970's. It's now a museum and, although it consists of only 2 rooms, it's packed full of interesting photos and memorabilia. Tom and Eliza's Cottage is on the Sanctuary grounds and it's free to go in and have a look.

Humbug Scrub Wildlife Sanctuary is situated in native bushland approximately 35kms north east of Adelaide in the Mount Lofty Ranges. Follow the signs from One Tree Hill to Para Wirra National Park. Humbug Scrub is approximately 3kms past the Para Wirra entrance.

Lake Chowilla, Humbug Scrub Wildlife Sanctuary
Lake Chowilla, Humbug Scrub Wildlife Sanctuary (©paula mcmanus)

You can visit the Sanctuary every day of the year, from 10am to 5pm.


Adults: $4
Children: $2
Family: $10
Yearly Pass: $20

There is no kiosk or souvenir shop, so bringing your own food and drink is a must.

Toilet facilities are limited. There is only 1 toilet; a portable one inside a shed. Hand washing water is supplied via a portable water container. The toilet facility is not suitable for the disabled. There are no baby changing facilities

Pathways are fairly easily navigated. Closed walking shoes are highly recommended.

Recent heavy rains have damaged the road in to the Sanctuary from the main road. In places there are deep ruts, use caution when driving.
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Why? Visit South Australia's oldest wildlife sanctuary
When: Open every day, Family Fun Day is 21st April
Phone: 08 8280 7246
Where: Humbug Scrub Road, Humbug Scrub
Cost: Normally $4 per adult. Entry for Family Fun Day is by gold coin donation
Your Comment
Your title/date says 6/10/14 but states it is easter Monday. A bit confusing. Also, although only 1 loo on most days, there is a second one for Family Fun Days. And the road has been re graded so the comment is no longer valid.
Thank you for your article. Love the photos.
by julie (score: 1|21) 2397 days ago
Hi Paula. I am on the sub committee to run the next Fun Day, Easter Monday, at Humbug Scrub Wildlife Sanctuary. Thank you for awesome write up. 2 inaccurate facts: we hold 2 Fun Days per year (the other is October long weekend Monday) and hopefully, this week we are getting the road graded to remove those terrible ruts. My email is and I am a local Humbug Scrub ite if you wish to contact me for further details.
by julie (score: 1|21) 2570 days ago
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