Market Square was once the site of a livestock and produce market. Such markets are no longer held here, instead the large grassy area has been established as a park with shady trees, play equipment, barbecues and park benches. It is perfect for a family outing.
The park is found in the middle of Old Noarlunga, which as the name suggests is one of the oldest towns in the area, established in 1840. In fact, much of the main street is heritage listed and the small town has managed to retain a village-like quality.
Market Square Park is set on the bank of the Onkaparinga River, which loops through the town in the shape of a horseshoe. Enormous gums and firs border the park and provide plenty of shade. The mature trees are thought to be 130 years old.
There is an abundance of bird life in the trees and on the river. Ducks are often seen waddling through the park, no doubt hoping to score some picnic leftovers.
The square itself is spacious, flat and grassy. It is a great area for a game of chasey or to kick the footy around. There is a colourful playground equipped with slides, swings and all the things kids love to climb on.
There are electric barbecues and plenty of park benches, some that are undercover and others that are not. If you do get hungry but didn't come prepared for a barbecue or picnic, you can head across the road to the Horseshoe Deli or Old Noarlunga Hotel for refreshments.
Dogs can enter the park provided they are kept on a leash and the park is kept clean with the doo-doo bags provided. Near one of the barbecues is a tap with a bowl underneath so your four-legged friend can rehydrate.
Other amenities include public toilets located behind the Institute Hall and rubbish bins found on the outskirts of the park.
The Princess Diana memorial fountain is a lovely feature of the park erected in tribute to the late Princess of Wales. The paved area with a small trellis gazebo and rose garden is a nice place for relaxation and reflection.
On the peripheries of Market Square are community notice boards that display council meeting minutes, upcoming events and a guide to the significant sites of Old Noarlunga. Similar guides can be found at the ONCARA (Old Noarlunga Commercial and Residents Association) website with details and maps of walks of historic and environmental interest.
There is ample parking available adjacent to Market Square on Patapinda Road and Market Crescent. The bus stops in front of the park where there is still a public telephone.
Turn from Main South Road onto Patapinda Road and you will find Market Square Park next to the imposing Noarlunga Institute that was built in 1881. A plaque informs us that over the years the hall has been used as a library, picture theatre, social centre and, of course, the office of the district council before it relocated to Noarlunga Centre.
There are historic sites like this in every direction of Old Noarlunga. Sitting high on Church Hill Road is the Church of St. Philip and St. James that has overlooked the town since 1850. The ruin of the Horseshoe Inn, which was built in 1840 and ravaged by fire in 1988, is now the informative Winnaynee Horseshoe Inn Reserve. Old stone cottages, shops and a school with a 300 year old gum tree can also be found nearby.
Head to Market Square Park any time of the year. It is the perfect place for kids to play and families to gather for a barbecue. You can relax with a book under the shade of a gum tree or just sit on a park bench near the river to enjoy the tranquility and charm of Old Noarlunga.