A freelance writer and traveller who likes to explore the spiritual, literary and hidden gems of Adelaide and beyond.
Published August 18th 2015
Dedicated to the diversity of the Australian bush
Nangawooka Flora Reserve is a demonstration native plant garden developed by community groups, including the Fleurieu Peninsula sub-goup of the Australian Plant Society on Adelaide Road just north of Victor Harbor. Having driven past a number of times over the years, I finally made the time to stop off and have a wander.
The reserve is a five acre fenced area on the outskirts of Victor Harbor on the corner opposite Urimbirra Wildlife Park. Nangawooka is an Aboriginal word meaning 'place of springs', and is a haven for Australian flora and fauna. The best time to visit is in winter and spring, so right about now is perfect.
There are so many plants in flower, including beautifully intricate grevilleas, banksias and acacias. Most of the plants are labelled, which is very helpful. Australia has over 15,000 flowering plants of which 12,000 are found nowhere else in the world. Nangawooka contains a staggering 2,000 plus plants.
Nangawooka is an Aboriginal word meaning 'place of springs'
There are many bench seats and a gazebo in the reserve but dogs are not allowed here. Most of the paths are wheelchair accessible, as is the toilet. It is a council public reserve and everyone is most welcome to use it either as individuals or for group activities such as weddings.
To assist with funds to maintain the reserve, the Fleurieu Group of Australian Plant Society conducts plant sales in Spring and Autumn at the Lutheran Hall, just down Adelaide Road towards Victor Harbor.
It was established in 1982 on land made available for a Native Flora Reserve by the Victor Harbor Council and founded by the Zonta Club of the Fleurieu Peninsula with assistance from the local Council. Many other groups have since become associated and have assisted to design, plant, maintain and manage the reserve. More recently, a volunteer group, Friends of Nangawooka, has been formed to assist in this very large task. There is also a Facebook site with pictures and info.
In addition to picnic areas, benches, a toilet and gazebo there is a bird hide for viewing of the native birds. Over 60 species of birds have been recorded here, including Superb Blue Wrens, Rainbow Lorikeets and Black-chinned Honeyeaters.
Nangawooka is a delightful place to explore and take the time to sit and reflect among nature. It is open every day during daylight hours. The only drawback of the reserve is that it is located near a busy road, so traffic noise intrudes. Perhaps more plantings nearer the road could exclude some of this.
Friends of Nangawooka and The APS Fleurieu Group are now holding the plant sale and open days at Nangawooka, so that people can appreciate the gardens, and see many of the plants available for sale in their mature form. The next Open day and plants sale will be on Sunday, October the 4th. These days have been really successful, with only one so far having bad weather conditions.
Put that date on your calendar if you are a native plant lover, you will be after visiting this Flora Reserve.
Thanks Jenny! Just to let you know since 2013 The Friends of Nangawooka and APS Fleurieu have been holding the Open Day/Plants sales at Nangawooka, so that people can appreciate the garden more, and see mature, flowering specimens of some of the plants they are able to buy. Thank you so much for the promotion, it is a beautiful place.