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Rocks Reserve

Home > Adelaide > Day Trips | Outdoor | Parks | Picnic Spots | Walks
by Steve Hudson (subscribe)
Inspired by Australia's natural, developing and fun environments. Join me. Get some inspiration.
Published August 9th 2016
Time to watch the world go by in wonderment
In a near flat region of the Adelaide Plains where hay and wheat are the staple crops, it is hard to believe that enough water would gather, flow and carve out a path through a series of tough rocks to create a beautiful series of rock pools for locals to enjoy. But that is exactly what has happened at the Rocks Reserve, near Balaklava.

Rocks Reserve, Wakefield River, Balaklava, Picnics, Adelaide Plains
River flows - Steve Hudson


The Wakefield River is an ephemeral river that usually flows only when there are significant rains. It rises above Mintaro, flowing southward, passing the towns of Watervale and Auburn, where it is fed by several small creeks, and then curves to flow westerly past the town of Balaklava into the head of Gulf St Vincent at Port Wakefield.

Rocks Reserve, Wakefield River, Balaklava, Picnics, Adelaide Plains
Carved ways - Steve Hudson


It is at that curve that significant flows of water, many thousands of years ago, removed the soft soils exposing a series of rocks and created a series of rock pools. Today's rains are nowhere near the volume of those initial days, but the Wakefield River continues to be a significant distribution outlet for many of the smaller creeks of the Clare Valley and the surrounds, thus ensuring that these rock pools continue to hold water for at least 6 months of the year.

Rocks Reserve, Wakefield River, Balaklava, Picnics, Adelaide Plains
Rock pools - Steve Hudson


The Rocks Reserve was first established as camping spot for pioneers travelling north, and has allegedly been involved with some mysterious disappearances, before becoming a popular destination for locals looking for somewhere to swim, fish or relax in the cool shade of a grove of gum trees. Today the reserve is a 12 hectare property complete with picnic and toilet facilities. Various paths take walkers alongside the Wakefield River past the carved rocks and the well-established river redgums.

Rocks Reserve, Wakefield River, Balaklava, Picnics, Adelaide Plains
Gums - Steve Hudson


The Rocks Reserve is located 12 km southeast of Balaklava. Signs on the Balaklava-Owen Road direct visitors to the Reserve along an all weather gravel road. The Reserve is open all year round, with water flowing typically between April and November.

Rocks Reserve, Wakefield River, Balaklava, Picnics, Adelaide Plains
Shady Trees - Steve Hudson
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Why? Relaxing spot by the river
When: Any time
Where: Rocks Reserve, Balaklava
Cost: Free
Your Comment
These excellent photos entice me to visit here....knew this reserve existed...once spoke to a local who did not give the reserve a great deal of praise..this was many years ago...it seems I have missing out on a delightful spot and now would be a good time to visit;especially as it has been a winter with above av. rainfall.I think children would really enjoy this area and adults as well.Sometime it is these "secret" spots that one enjoys the most.
by noelp (score: 3|1180) 769 days ago
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