Walking is a great way to be physically active, and there are so many places right here in our beautiful state of South Australia where you can just put on a comfortable pair of shoes and start exploring. One of them is the Lacy Coral Lichen Loop Trail at Aldinga Scrub Conservation Park.
This easy one-kilometre trail provides you with the opportunity to explore unique plant life such as the rare colony of lacy coral lichen. Being an organism, and not actually a plant, the lichen consists of a fungus and an algae living together. It gets its nutrients not from roots, since it has none, but from the air. It has a spectacularly intricate lacy structure and grows in well-draining sandy soil among dense vegetation which protects it from trampling and strong winds. A viewing platform allows you to observe and admire these beauties.
Along the trail, you will also see other varieties of plants including the clasping goodenia, sea box, pink gum, drooping sheoak, flame heath, grass tree, silver banksia, cone bush, prickly cryptandra, spiny wattle, and native apricot. The native apricot shrub has long green leaves that droop down on its branches. Its fruit is orange in colour and shaped like an egg. In spring, there are plenty of colourful wildflowers to enjoy too. All these vegetation play host to a number of bird, butterfly and insect species within the park, so keep your eyes open for them as you walk.
For those after a view, at certain spots along the trail, you can actually catch glimpses of Myponga Beach and the Willunga escarpment as well as Primary Dune and Aldinga Bay. There is also a dedicated lookout, from where the Willunga Hills can be seen to the east.
A series of green markers has been installed to help guide you along the trail. With a smartphone, you can actually download the Friends of Aldinga Scrub brochure to ease identification of the different plant types! All you need to do is hover your camera over the QR code on the markers.