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

Randell Park, Mitcham

Home > Adelaide > Dog Friendly | Family | Free | Fun Things To Do | Parks
by Dave Walsh (subscribe)
I enjoy writing about Adelaide and its many attractions. If you think Adelaide is boring, the problem is not with Adelaide. If you like my articles, please subscribe and click the link to Like them. adelaideunearthed.blogspot.com.au
Published June 30th 2013
A Walking Trail on the Wild Side
walking, mountain bike, park, quarry, trail, trails, walking trail, randell park, entrance
Entrance to Randell Park on Braemar Road


Unfortunately the phrases hidden gem and Adelaide's best kept secret pop up so often in articles that they are virtually meaningless. Normally encountering those phrases is enough to make me stop reading and move on to something else.

But I have made a few discoveries that have surprised me. Some friends were unaware of the Stirling Linear Park even though they only lived a kilometre or two away for years.

And mea culpa, I had never heard of Randell Park in Mitcham even though I lived a few kilometres away from it too. It was only after I Googled for somewhere different for me to walk my dog that I stumbled across this huge park just down the road from Scotch College.

walking, mountain bike, park, quarry, trail, trails, walking trail, randell park, exotic trees
Council Workers Poison Exotic Trees


It is a large park that stretches from Mitcham in the west to Belair in the south and east. It is hilly in most areas, although not all steep. It's easy to take a walk around the lower areas without working hard, although the higher areas tend to be steeper.

For a couple of years around 2002 Randell Park was popular with mountain bike riders, but Mitcham Council banned bikes in the park after complaints from residents. It was also found that the bikes were causing too much erosion on steeper hills.

However that may be about to change - it seems that the council is working to provide bike access trails in the park soon.

walking, mountain bike, park, quarry, trail, trails, walking trail, randell park, koala
Spot the Koala


At the moment the Randell Park is mostly used by locals either jogging or walking their dogs.

I entered the park at the Braemar Road entrance and followed the fire track to the right up a gentle slope. A few hundred metres in some council workers were clearing undergrowth to reduce fire risk, and they helpfully told me more about the park layout.

walking, mountain bike, park, quarry, trail, trails, walking trail, randell park
Small Quarry at the End of the Fire Trail


The fire trail ends at a small quarry a little further on, but a narrow walking trail then winds its way upwards around the quarry, exposing walkers to some great views of Glenelg to the west and the city to the north. About 10 minutes walk further the path comes alongside the top of a much larger quarry which is fenced off. The views are not as good here, being blocked by trees.

walking, mountain bike, park, quarry, trail, trails, walking trail, randell park, glenelg
The View Towards Glenelg


I was told that it is possible to walk around the larger quarry to the Anderson Road entrance, or deviate to the right and reach Burnell Drive in Belair. (Access on Burnell Drive is through a pedestrian-only gate to prevent mountain bike riders from using the park). Unfortunately the Mitcham Council website gives no information about trails in the park, but talks a bit about the geology and history.

The Mitcham Heritage Research Centre also has an informative publication about the history and previous settlement of the park which I recommend - find it here.

walking, mountain bike, park, quarry, trail, trails, walking trail, randell park, rainbow lorikeets
Busy Rainbow Lorikeets


On retracing my way down, I didn't hear as many bird calls high on the hill than I did in the flatter area. Predictably each time I tried to record them on a video, the birds quietened. I did find a colourful pair of rainbow lorikeets busily working on their nest in a hollow though.

The next day I came back to explore the western part of the park near Anderson Avenue, but climbing uphill there led to private property and a guard dog. The middle section of the park was more rewarding, although it became fairly steep and a little rocky.

walking, mountain bike, park, quarry, trail, trails, walking trail, randell park, hill
A Narrow Walking Trail Winds Up the Hill


I had hoped to see some archaeological remains mentioned in this Flinders University survey by Will Hocking, but had no luck.

walking, mountain bike, park, quarry, trail, trails, walking trail, randell park, guard dog
Noisy Guard Dog


As I returned to the car a Trees For Life volunteer was spraying nasturtiums to prevent their spread in Randell Park. He was just near a drystone wall which may have been used to dam the watercourse, or as part of the quarry workings.

walking, mountain bike, park, quarry, trail, trails, walking trail, randell park, trees for life
A Trees For Life Volunteer in Randell Park


There are no facilities in the park, but stacks of free firewood are left around by council workers - a bonus for winter visitors. Both the dog and I really enjoyed the park, I let him off leash as there were no signs indicating otherwise, and nobody else near me.

walking, mountain bike, park, quarry, trail, trails, walking trail, randell park, free firewood
Free Firewood is Available Sometimes


It was a really pleasant place to visit on a winter day. The sun was shining most of the time, and the exercise was enough to warm me up quickly. Check it out - you will like it.

walking, mountain bike, park, quarry, trail, trails, walking trail, randell park, ruins
Ruins in Randell Park
Help us improve  Click here if you liked this article  130
Share: email  facebook  twitter
Why? Enjoy nature in the suburbs
When: Anytime
Where: Randell Park, Mitcham, SA
Cost: Free
Your Comment
What a wonderful find Dave and written with such thoroughness. I will be sure to pay this park a visit.
by Yin-Yin Ow (score: 3|1590) 1814 days ago
Great article Dave. LOVED the archaeological survey - very comprehensive and added terrific detail to one of Adelaide's little hidden gems that you've uncovered for us.
by Keryn James (score: 1|38) 1816 days ago
More Adelaide articles
Articles from other cities
Featured
Foodi Photoh Classie
Top Events
Popular Articles
Categories
Lists
Questions