Subscribe      List an Event or Business      Invite a Writer      Write for WN      Writers      Other Locations
list an event      1 million Australian readers every month      facebook

Port Adelaide's Wild Heritage

Home > Adelaide > Animals and Wildlife | Nature | Outdoor | Photography | 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 blogs naturallysouthaustralia.com and www.wildlifemomentssa.com/
Published August 16th 2016
Dolphins, Seabirds and Latte
The family on the bridge seem quite excited. A little girl rugged up against the chill wind points at the open stretch of water almost immediately below us. "Whales," she cries.

"No sweetie they're dolphins," replies her father.

And he's sort of right; as we watch a pair of Port Adelaide's renowned bottle nosed dolphin pod, break the surface in unison. They disappear below the water only to surface again some fifty meters further on, with a whoosh of spray from their blowholes. Dolphins are actually the smallest members of the toothed whales, but it's a fine point and nowhere near as important as the thrill of seeing these beautiful creatures so close to a major city.

South Australian wildlife, South Australian tourism, Wildlife photography Wildlife stories, Port Adelaide, Seabirds, dolphins,
Bottle nosed dolphins


I can see the dolphins from the far side of the Birkenhead Bridge as I walk towards Port Adelaide. When I reach the centre of this classic centre opening drawbridge, I look over the side and scan the huge uprights posts that support some complex wooden frameworks, perhaps the remnants of an older wharf or bridge. There are silver gulls perched on top of the posts and a closer look through the telephoto reveals that they are nesting. One suddenly flies off and in the few seconds before its mate returns to tend the nest I catch a glimpse of both a young chick and an unhatched egg; a rare moment.

South Australian wildlife, South Australian tourism, Wildlife photography Wildlife stories, Port Adelaide, Seabirds, dolphins, silver gull
Silver gull on nest


South Australian wildlife, South Australian tourism, Wildlife photography Wildlife stories, Port Adelaide, Seabirds, dolphins, silver gulls
Silver gull chick and egg


I am walking around the wharves and old streets of the 'Port Adelaide State Heritage Area' checking out the wildlife that lives in and around this region that was so important to the state's early settlement. Apart from watching for seabirds, dolphins and other marine life there are many other fascinating activities and places to investigate. Along Lipson Street near the Maritime Museum there is a wonderful little marine images shop called Sea Witch. Nearby the Jackalope Gallery gallery specialises in SW American and Mexican arts and crafts as well as hosting many local and overseas art and photographic exhibitions. There are also several markets in the area including the extensive mixed market at Fisherman's Wharf opposite the historic red lighthouse.

South Australian wildlife, South Australian tourism, Wildlife photography Wildlife stories, Port Adelaide, Seabirds, dolphins, Jackalope
Jackalope Gallery near Lipson Street


Having crossed the bridge I turn left and walk along the top of the wharf. There is still a faint smell of tar, salt and things fishy left over from the days when this was Adelaide's main link to the outside world. On the edge of the docks, where the tall ship the 'One and All' is often berthed, a pair of pigeons are 'billing and cooing' with amorous intent. Breeding season is obviously not too far away for pigeon-kind.

South Australian wildlife, South Australian tourism, Wildlife photography Wildlife stories, Port Adelaide, Seabirds, dolphins, pigeons
Amorous pigeons


I watch the pigeons for a few minutes then stroll further along the wharves towards the hulk of the 'City of Adelaide'. In the process of restoration, it is the oldest remaining clipper ship in the world and carried passengers, copper and other cargoes between South Australia and London between 1864 and 1887.There are cormorants sitting on the mooring lines of the barge that support the ship and a group of jellyfish are pulsating their bell-shaped bodies in the water below.

South Australian wildlife, South Australian tourism, Wildlife photography Wildlife stories, Port Adelaide, Seabirds, dolphins, underwater, jellyfish
Jellyfish by the wharf


History and wildlife have surrounded me on this short walk around the Port's docks and historic precinct. But now it is time for refreshments and there are plenty of choices on or next to the wharves. I decide on the Folklore Cafe, near the start of the Port Adelaide Loop Walk, for a coffee and light meal. It seems like a good place to contemplate my next adventure when the spring arrives.
Help us improve  Click here if you liked this article  81
Share: email  facebook  twitter
Why? To enjoy wildlife and history on a short walk
When: All year round
Where: Port Adelaide wharves
Cost: None
Your Comment
There's nothing like walking around an area to get to know it well, to take the time to see the wildlife, to notice the age, texture and history of the buildings and to just take in the sounds and smells of a place. Whenever I'm travelling I like to walk the streets of the towns we visit and get to see them face to face.
by Gayle Beveridge (score: 3|6642) 1102 days ago
Port Adelaide: my most favourite place to be, especially with my camera in my hand. Great article Barry
by Paula McManus (score: 3|3319) 1101 days ago
A fascinating tale with splendid photography, thanks Barry.
by Dave Walsh (score: 4|11225) 1101 days ago
What a lovely outing, Barry - I particularly love the photos that you managed to take - you were truly fortunate to catch the dolphins and the chick.
by Elaine (score: 3|6486) 1102 days ago
I love the Port Adelaide area and enjoyed your article, Barry. Wonderful photos, especially the gull chick and egg.
by Marie Vonow (score: 1|14) 1096 days ago
Articles from other cities
Featured
Foodi Photoh Classie
Top Events
Popular Articles
Categories
Lists
Questions