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Mt Barker's Wild Side

Home > Adelaide > Animals and Wildlife | Outdoor | Parks | Picnic Spots | Walks
by Barry Silkstone (subscribe)
I am an Australian natural history writer and photographer. My aim is to encourage people to venture outdoors and enjoy the natural beauty of our planet. Visit my blog naturallysouthaustralia.com
Published March 7th 2019
Geckos and Galahs
It is, perhaps, more polite to call these colourful little creatures push me-pull me bugs or even love bugs but in truth they are a pair of mating stainer bugs. The amorous duet is just one example of the numerous insects that I am encountering as I walk along the perimeter of The Keith Stephenson Park in Mount Barker.

South Australian wildlife, South Australian tourism, Wildlife photography Wildlife stories, Mt Barker, Adelaide Hills, Parks, Picnics, Mount Barker Council, Adelaide Hills
Stainer Bugs


Just a twenty-minute drive up the South Eastern Freeway from Adelaide this rapidly growing hills city is a great place to spend some time exploring the local region, shopping, or having a picnic in the park and enjoying the abundant wildlife.

South Australian wildlife, South Australian tourism, Wildlife photography Wildlife stories, Mt Barker, Adelaide Hills, Parks, Picnics, Mount Barker Council, Adelaide Hills
Lakeside view


South Australian wildlife, South Australian tourism, Wildlife photography Wildlife stories, Mt Barker, Adelaide Hills, Parks, Picnics, Mount Barker Council, Adelaide Hills
Corella line up



From the car park where I have been watching the bugs consummating their relationship, I walk along a curving pathway with a creek on one side and playground on the other. Massive red gums border the creek and a wide variety of bird song is emanating from them; peeping rosellas, raucous lorikeets and even the twittering of smaller birds such as silver eyes and honeyeaters. Glancing up, I catch sight of a quartet of corellas crammed precariously on a branch. In the tree alongside a pair of galahs have commandeered a knot hole for a nesting site.

South Australian wildlife, South Australian tourism, Wildlife photography Wildlife stories, Mt Barker, Adelaide Hills, Parks, Picnics, Mount Barker Council, Adelaide Hills
Galah real estate




The pathway leads to a man-made lake which is the centrepiece of the park. The expanse of water and pockets of reeds around the edge provide a suitable selection of habitats for a range of water birds. Ducks, coots and moorhens are paddling out near the middle and several ibises are foraging along a muddy bank. I chat to some locals sitting by the water and they tell me that there are sometimes swans and pelicans use the lake depending on the time of year.

South Australian wildlife, South Australian tourism, Wildlife photography Wildlife stories, Mt Barker, Adelaide Hills, Parks, Picnics, Mount Barker Council, Adelaide Hills
Ibises foraging along the banks


I decide to walk back to the car park along the other side of the creek and fossick around in the scrub in search of more reclusive animals. The going is a little rugged but eventually, I uncover a marbled gecko hiding beneath some bark and get a reasonable shot of a monarch butterfly resting in the leaf litter.

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Marbled gecko


It has been a short and fruitful stroll around this lovely hills park and I am keen to visit it in more detail in the future.

Additional notes
This is an easy walk/drive which is quite suitable for families and seniors with public toilets, barbecues, parking and other facilities nearby. It is dog-friendly.
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Why? Nice country town with lots to do including the wildlife
When: All year round
Where: Mount Barker
Cost: None
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