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Hiking Through Para Wirra Recreation Park

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by Steve Hudson (subscribe)
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Published September 28th 2014
Looking for native, and finding dams and ducks
The Para Wirra Recreation Park, about 40km NE of Adelaide, is a natural bush land providing a safe habitat for indigenous flora and fauna. Our hike today was to encompass two of the more popular loops, being the Wirra Loop and the Devils Nose Loop. Unfortunately poor planning on our part meant that we arrived earlier than the scheduled opening time of the main park entrance, thus meaning we needed to start hiking from outside the park. We parked on Bassnet Road, near the western entrance of the park, and commenced our hike by heading south along the Wirra Loop.

Para Wirra Recreation Park
Fields of Acacias in bloom

The loop soon turned inland whereby we were greeted by two dams, both of which were glistening in the morning sun.

Wirra Loop Dam
Ducks in the Dam

Para Wirra Dams
Duck in a Tree

We continued hiking on the Wirra Loop, and crossed the main road in to the centre of the park on to a narrow single trail track that ultimately led to the main Para Wirra lake. Again, the glistening sun provided stunning reflections across the lake and amongst the towering gum trees.

Main Lake Para Wirra
Reflections across Main Lake

From the lake we ventured a few hundred metres along the road before entering the Devils Nose car park, and then commencing our walk towards Devils Nose. This walk was initially along a fire track at a small gradient before becoming a bit more challenging as we walked the last 500m to the Devils Nose itself. Some excellent views in all directions were from this highest point within the Park.

Devils Nose Views
Farm in the Northeast

From the Devils Nose, the paths are all downhill, but which ones. We chose the one that headed southeast from where we were, and after a steady descent, the path looped back upon itself and headed down towards the fire track in the gully.

Para Wirra Descent
Single trail amongst wildflowers

Turning left on the fire track takes you to the Barossa Goldfields, an area which we had assumed been over-fossicked, so we headed right and along the fire track and up a small hill to the Knob lookout. From here there were commanding views across to the Devils Nose, and of the surrounding valleys.

After leaving the Knob lookout it was a short walk back along the main Park road, before re-joining the Wirra Loop trail for the final kilometre back to the car.

Para Wirra Loop
Large Gum Tree

Para Wirra Recreation Park is open daily from 8am, and has numerous short and loop walks. Full BBQ and toilet facilities are available at numerous places within the Park.
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Where: Para Wirra Recreation Park, Humbug Scrub Road
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