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Laratinga Wetlands Walk

Home > Adelaide > Family | Free | Parks | Picnic Spots | Walks
by Hazel Cochrane (subscribe)
I am a freelance writer, photographer & fitness instructor. I enjoy hiking and kayaking and writing walking. Facebook https://www.facebook.com/greataussiewalks
Published May 7th 2016
Walk in the Wetlands Sanctuary in The Adelaide Hills
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Scenic Views at the Laratinga Wetlands. Photo: Hazel Cochrane


A quick 20-minute trip from Adelaide, along the freeway to Mt Barker, home to the scenic, man-made Laratinga Wetlands, just 3.8km away on the corner of Springs and Bald Hills Road.

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Entrance to the Laratinga Wetlands from Bald Hills Road. Photo: Hazel Cochrane


Constructed in 1999, Laratinga Wetlands was designed to address the ecological impact caused by treated water flowing into the Mount Barker Creek. Named after the Peramangk meaning for Flooding Land Creek, (Lartingga-parri), the wetlands have been landscaped with indigenous plants, which have taken several years to reach a balance resembling a natural ecosystem. The project included the construction of an artificial wetland, filtering the treated water and reusing it for local irrigators, parks and gardens. The success of the project has been recognised with the District Council of Mount Barker winning the United Nations Association of Australia World Environment Day Award in 2011.

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Wetlands area in the Chestnut Teal Trail.Photo:Hazel Cochrane


Linked to the Mount Barker Linear Trail, the wetland comprises three walking trails, as well as picnic and barbecue areas and a cultural exhibition. Entering the wetlands from the Bald Hills Road Car Park, the four murals of the Batpiori Airbrushing Project can be seen in the recreation area. Young Aboriginal students from local schools, mentored by local artist Matt Jonas, completed the impressive artwork. Representing occurrences in the timeline of the original custodians of the land, the artwork was commissioned in the spirit of reconciliation on 10 December 2013.

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Batpiori Airbrushing Project Artwork by local Aboriginal students . Photo by Hazel Cochrane


Three walking trails meander through the wetlands on the family friendly paths. Boardwalks, bird viewing areas, seats and footbridges enhance the experience, providing opportunities to get closer to the resident, migratory and nomadic species of birds that visit the wetlands. Before the wetlands were established, few bird species were seen in the area. Now the wetlands have become an important habitat for over 150 species of birds, with up to 61 species present at any one time. Other aquatic residents include the several species of frogs and Common Long Neck tortoises.

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The Wetlands have become an important habitat for a range of birdlife. Photo: Hazel Cochrane


The Chestnut Teal Trail travels 0.75km around the large pond near the recreation area. The trail features a boardwalk, an ideal place for photo opportunities with a variety of birds, including the Dusky Moorhens, who frequent the pond area. A short 15-minute walk, the trail is also home to a variety of ducks.

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Ducks and Aquatic Life abounds on the Wetlands Ponds. Photo: Hazel Cochrane


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Aquatic Vegetation on the Trail. Photo: Hazel Cochrane


The 2km Rosella Trail incorporates the large pond, as well as many other areas as far as the Martindale Reserve area. Viewing areas and boardwalks feature in this 35 minute walk through the river red gums, hakeas and wattles.

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Wetlands View on the Sacred Ibis Trail. Photo: Hazel Cochrane


The longer 2.6km Sacred Ibis Trail leads walkers around all the wetland area in about 45 minutes, ultimately returning to the recreation area. Cultural art pieces and environmental sign markers located along the trail provide information to enrich the experience in the wetlands.

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Artwork on the Rosella Trail. Photo: Hazel Cochrane


The Laratinga Wetlands is an ideal place to gather the family for a picnic or barbecue, to take a leisurely stroll or to walk the dog on a leash. Plenty of seating is provided around the wetlands and level paths cater for young and older visitors.

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The Recreation Area has BBQ and Toilet Facilities. Photo: Hazel Cochrane
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Why? A wildlife sanctuary with a difference
When: Anytime of year
Where: Laratinga Wetlands in Mt. Barker
Cost: Free
Your Comment
Great to know Laratinga wetlands are dog-friendly (providing dogs are on a leash) - we've been trying to find alternative bush/wetland walks where we can take our dog.
by Jenny Pickett (score: 3|1716) 1604 days ago
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