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To-do-list for a Great Day Out in Bridgewater

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by Cecelia (subscribe)
Cecelia's articles are illustrated by Allan who enjoys photography. Cecelia is also the author of: "Silver Springtime", "All for Love", "Mystic Evermore" and the new release: "Faith and Love". https://creativearts2009-picturefiles.blogspot.com/
Published August 6th 2016
Enjoy a day amongst the hills and nature
Bridgewater, Cox Creek, Ghost town
Minature bridge over water - Photo by Allan


The hilly town of Bridgewater is located approximately 21 km SE of Adelaide and can be accessed via the M1 Highway and South Eastern Freeway. The township is small but picturesque and offers some fun things to do on the weekend.

1) Eat at the Bridgewater Old Mill.

Personally, I would save lunch or dinner here for a special occasion – like that anniversary! Winter menu entrees start at $19 for Cauliflower fritters or $20 for Pear Waldorf. Mains include Gnocci at $34 Venison at $38, Braised Pork Hock at $35 and Snapper at $37.

Sharing platters are cheaper and appear ideal for a romantic couple, with Baked Cheese for two at $25. The Veggie Patch platter is full of exotic vegetables and costs around $40. It also serves two. The Miller's Lunch has pork and cheese and pickles and sourdough enough for two people at $50.

Coffee and cake combinations are available all day from 11:00 am.

2) Visit the ghost town of Cox Creek

Bridgewater, Cox Creek, Ghost town
Cox Creek memorial sign - Photo by Allan


According to memorial signage at the site, the original township was intended to be at Cock's Creek. This was named after the explorer Robert Cock, but became abbreviated to "Cox Creek". However, the road was built nearer to the current town of Bridgewater, causing development to occur in that direction. The establishment of the Mill also favoured the Bridgewater site. A memorial stone commemorates the original Cox Creek Hotel.

Cox creek Hotel, Ghost town, historical
Marker for the original pub - Photo by Allan


3) Walk through fairy-land

If you walk from Deanery reserve ghost town (starting at the Cox Creek car park) towards the freeway you pass a number of trees which feature tiny doors. Children appear to leave flowers and small figures here as part of a fairy display. The toadstools, however, are real! I am sure this helped inspire the fairy idea.

Fairy display, Bridgewater
Small door set into tree - Photo by Allan


I suspect a fire has damaged some of the larger displays in the woodlands, but you can still find the occasional streamer hanging from a tree, or small door carved into the bark. If you keep your expectations simple, the display is satisfying and the walk is interesting.

A tunnel leads beneath the freeway. This looked like fun to go through, but we had walked far enough for one day, so we saved that for another experience.

4) Hike up Deanery Hill

This area is managed by the Arbury Park Outdoor School, but is accessible to the public via a walking entrance next to the main gate. The ground is stony, so please wear good quality walking shoes.

Deanery Hill
Deanery Hil - Photo by Allan


5) Tour Arbury Park Outdoor School

In addition to being a functional school, Arbury park offers educational programs and camping to other schools. Community groups that contribute to the education and well-being of children and young people can also book camp-sites on the weekends.

When I visited, it appeared that the general public could enter certain parts of the campus and view educational set-ups such as mini-lakes for ecology study from the road on weekends. The Heysen trail also passes through part of the school lands and is accessible to the public.

A caretaker lives on campus and children may well be present, so please treat the area with respect and stay away from any fenced or private areas.

6) Visit St. Githa's Garden

St Githa's Garden is located in Rosewarne Crescent, Bridgewater. An old stone cottage operates as a bed and breakfast and function centre, which is popular for weddings. The surrounding gardens have won awards for their lawns, roses and seasonal floral displays.

7) Relax and picnic in a park

Below the old Mill is a park with children's play equipment and a historic wheel from the old mill. The Lions Park at Bridgewater also offers a playground, barbeques, bike tracks and toilets. There is also a park near Bridgewater Primary School.

Toadstools - Photo by Allan
Toadstools - Photo by Allan


References:
aussietowns.com.au/town/bridgewater-sa
thebridgewatermill.com.au www.arburypark.sa.edu.au/weekend_bookings.htm
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Your Comment
Plenty to explore thanks
by Seafarrwide (score: 3|1856) 1196 days ago
great article, so much to do when you slow down and take your time to explore
by Paula McManus (score: 3|3415) 1191 days ago
I like this area as well...the Fairyland..well.I was there less tan 12 months ago...the fairies have left...the Bridgewater Inn next to the Old Mill was once a very popular spot for jazz on weekends..alongside the creek..outdoors and next to the downstairs dining room;where the meals were ok.Have not been there for a while now,so I do not know if this is still the case.
by noelp (score: 3|1199) 1194 days ago
Informative!
by J.D.Wen (score: 2|368) 1191 days ago
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