Does My Bum Look Big in this Tree?
I have been an occasional visitor to Stirling over many years, popping in sometimes to graze on a gourmet pie bought at the somewhat unpleasantly busy shopping centre that you encounter when leaving the freeway.
If asked what the main local attractions were, I would probably say Warrawong Wildlife Park
, Cleland Park
, and Mt Lofty
But I would be completely wrong! The locals have known that Stirling Linear Park is the jewel in their crown for years, but have jealously guarded its secret. Well perhaps not guarded the secret, but it is not widely talked about to us plains dwellers.
Everyone has heard of the brilliant Torrens Linear Park
which is ideal for cyclists and pedestrians, but few would know that there is one in Stirling too. It serves quite a different group of people though, as bicycles are not permitted here.
The Stirling Linear Park is Accessible from Woorabinda Lake
The Stirling Linear Park is actually a group of nature reserves which are linked by trails - the scenic Woorabinda Lake reserve
is central, to the north is fertile Stirling Park
, to the east is Madurta Reserve
, while in the west we have Hender Reserve
across the main South Australian railway line to the eastern states.
You can download a map of the Park from the Adelaide Hills Council here
Chicks are Cute!
Wildlife are abundant in the parks - native fauna and flora are protected here, and resident animals include bandicoots, koalas, ducks, and a huge number of other birds species.
Each green space has its own distinct character, but only Woorabinda Lake has pleasant shady areas where one can sit and picnic. It's also teeming with aquatic life, especially water birds and their chicks (at the moment) in the wetlands. While I was there several families came to see the birds and let young children excitedly feed them.
You Can't Keep Kids Away from Ducks
Unfortunately only the Woorabinda Lake reserve has toilet facilities, and they were locked when I visited mid week. The nearest facilities that I know of are at the main roundabout in Stirling.
Other attractions at the Woorabinda Lake
are a bird hide with identifying charts, and the occasional friendly radio controlled boat operator from the yacht club. who is usually happy to let you play.
Dead Trees are Left as Hides for Animals
was used for market gardens for the best part of a hundred years, being well irrigated by a confluence of creeks. While it is slowly returning to natural bushland, its bio-diversity is still rich. There is also a planting of trees which koalas like in an effort to entice them to stay.
Lush Greenery Near Creeks
The Keroma Trail to the Madurta Reserve
also follows the Aldgate Creek initally, so it too is quite lush and green on one side. It passes close to the koala habitat, and I was lucky enough to spy one asleep high in a gum tree.
Further along the path becomes narrower and passes between private houses until it reaches the Madurta Reserve. Here was one of the places where I saw a cloud of Monarch butterflies as I plodded up a moderately steep section of trail.
A Butterfly Having a Nap
is reached by the relatively easy Hender Trail, and was another area where butterflies were abundant. Lizards skittered across my path as their sun bathing was interrupted by my walk.
Railway Line Next to Hender Reserve
Walking was easy along this trail, and it doesn't take long if you are walking to the Hender Rd entrance.
Whichever park you choose to visit in the Stirling Linear Park, you will have a close up and personal experience with the natural environment. The variety of plants, animals, insects and birds is huge and you are sure to see something to divert your interest.
The Bird Hide Has Great Views
Please be sure to observe fire danger warnings before visiting any of these parks, and also take plenty of water and a mobile phone to ensure your own personal safety. All of the trails are quite well signed, but it's better to be safe than sorry.
The parks are all cared for lovingly by the Friends of Stirling Linear Park
, please help them to keep these wonderful bush settings free of litter, and obey park rules. Note that dogs are only permitted on leash to protect native wildlife.
Cool and Contented
If you would like more information about parks, see the Parks For Us All website
which has a great deal of colourful imagery.
Perhaps you would consider joining and contributing.to these groups that do so much to enhance our pleasure in the Stirling Linear Park?
Can You Have Too Many Ducks?