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The St Peters Billabong

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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. Please click the link to Like my articles, and subscribe to see more. adelaideunearthed.blogspot.com.au
Published September 19th 2012
This place isn't just for the birds
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Overlooking St Peters Billabong


As a boy, I can remember singing Waltzing Matilda while I wondered what a billabong actually looks like.

Until today, I still didn't know.

A suddenly sunny spring day was the catalyst for me to find out. I'd seen the St Peters Billabong mentioned online as a South Australian attraction in some travel forums, and it was time to explore it.

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Water Birds Abound at the Billabong


The local Council lists the Billabong as one of Saint Peters' parks, but gives little information about exactly where to find it. Fortunately the Friends of the Billabong website is far more useful and gives specific directions and a lot more information.

Armed with my trusty camera and a Spicy Pulled Pork sandwich*, I set off to explore my childhood dream. The only sound as I entered the Billabong park area was the wind sighing in the trees and honking which probably came from the moorhens.

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Path to Billabong and Perriam Memorial Oval


The Billabong is reached by a short walk down a path that leads to the LG Perriam Memorial Oval, then turning off down steps on the left before you reach the oval. At the bottom of the steps the ground was damp, and I suspect that this area may get waterlogged when water levels are high. I spotted several water birds in the reeds a few metres away.

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A Duck and Moorhen Shelter Near the Path


Continuing along the path brings you to an open cleared area with seats overlooking the Billabong. There are no other facilities here, although there are toilets, a barbeque area, tables, and a water tap at the oval.

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A Peaceful Setting for a Picnic


The area is very quiet and peaceful, with bees buzzing between flowers while ducks lazily swim around. There were several water birds that I couldn't identify preening themselves on the river banks.

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A Water Bird Preening


It was very pleasant strolling around the banks of the Billabong, and apart from a pair on young lovers on a seat, there was no life to be seen other than an increasing variety of birds.

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Look at Me!


I was surprised to find that the Billabong is very near to two other places of interest, the somewhat scary Swinging Bridge and the popular Dunstan Adventure Playground.

This area would make a great school holidays day out, and if you're a little wary of the Dunstan Adventure Playground then the Linde Reserve and Playground has recently been upgraded and is only a few minutes drive (or bike ride) away.

The Billabong probably would be busier on weekends, but I don't think the area's natural tranquillity would be diminished much. Take a look at this unique South Australian attraction sometime, and see what you think.

*Pulled Roast Pork recipe
Mix cumin, coriander seed, garlic powder, smoked paprika, and some salt. I used about 2 teaspoons of the first three spices, and 1 teaspoon of the last two.

Some people marinate the pork overnight first in a ziploc bag containing a solution of a portion of the spices, but I didn't bother.
Pat the pork shoulder dry. Rub spice mix all over the meat and pop in the oven @ 220 for 15 minutes uncovered.

Lift the meat in the roasting tin onto a couple of sprigs of rosemary, although you could use celery sticks or onion rings to raise it off the pan bottom.

Put a bit of water or white wine in the bottom, cover with aluminium foil and make sure it is well sealed to prevent moisture escaping.

Cook for at least 5 hours at 120 degrees. When I tried to lift the roast out of the pan, mine just fell apart.


Pulled Pork Sandwich
Put some of the shredded pork on some nice bread, perhaps wholemeal or multigrain. Put a slice of tasty cheese on the other side. Add chopped coriander or rocket, whatever is fresh in your garden. Sprinkle with sweet chilli sauce and it's ready to assemble and eat.
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Why? Have you ever seen a billabong?
When: Anytime
Where: 23 River St St Peters SA 5069
Cost: Free
Your Comment
For some reason, I always thought billabongs would be found in a remote area. Maybe camping by a billabong brought that idea along. Should have taken a photograph of your pulled pork sandwich.
by Yin-Yin Ow (score: 3|1596) 2244 days ago
My kids love this area. Family picnics have been held here often. It often amazes me just how much nature is hidden in the backstreets of Adelaide, something I think that makes our city quite unique.
by Retired Writer 185368 (score: 2|168) 2195 days ago
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