Located about 15km North-East of Adelaide is the Paddocks Dog Park and Wetlands. Whether you have a dog or not, this natural park is a suitable place to visit. I would consider it ideal for families, kids, photographers, and explorers.
For those prepared to walk, there is an easy, flat trail that circles around the wetlands. It goes as far as to reach the suburban streets of Para Hills, and to run alongside the Para Hills oval. Around the wetland section, you will become acquainted with the workings of a wetland - the unusual mix of water and greenery. Trees are in abundance in the area, and there are all sorts of fauna to see and intrigue.
Various picnic spots along the trail. Image: Emma Jane Warren
The six-hectare area of land is a haven for wildlife. You'll find bugs, insects, birds, frogs, fish, and more. Bringing a couple of pieces or a loaf of bread is one way to attract some ducks/birds and get up close and personal. It's incredible that the air can feel so fresh, even though the wetland is so nearby to a major road.
The dog park, situated right next to Maxwell Road, is designed to excite and exhaust your furry friend. There are tunnels to scatter through, jumps to leap over, objects to weave between, and obstacles to challenge. This dog area is usually quieter in the morning on weekdays. However, it can be better to take your dog on a weekend so they can socialise with other dogs.
I'd suggest wearing gum boots (or at least closed in shoes). After it has been raining heavily, the dog park becomes slightly muddy. Be prepared to need to give your dog a wash once you get home. Also, a pair of binoculars can be really handy when strolling around the luscious mush in the wetland. Then you'll be able to see the animals that are near and far.
Why not take the family down to the Paddocks for a morning or afternoon of fun. You can let the dog try its hand at some tricks and obstacles in the dog park, and then go for a walk (on leash) around the green wetlands.
Look for this sign on Maxwell Road. Image: Emma Jane Warren
You can park your car on the side of Maxwell Road, near Bridge Road. Alternatively, you can park in a small car park directly across from the On The Run service station, on Bridge Road. The nearest toilet facilities are across the road at the service station, or 200m down Bridge Road at the Para Hills Oval.