Pushing a stroller can make nature walks difficult, but it is possible to enjoy the great outdoors with a young family. Adelaide has plenty of stroller friendly walks, here are five to get you started.
A walk along the Port Adelaide waterfront provides an insight into a place where history mingles with modern street art, markets and dolphin sightings. One of the early settlement areas in South Australia, it also features significantly in the maritime history of our State.
Port Adelaide Lighthouse c1869. Photo: Hazel Cochrane
A prominent feature of the waterfront is the red and white lighthouse towering above the water at the end of Commercial Road. You can take a break from walking to climb the steps of the lighthouse; for the cost of $1 for adults and 50 cents for children between the hours of 10am to 2pm on Sunday and weekdays. From the lighthouse you can admire views of the coast and the Mt Lofty Ranges. For a comprehensive look around Port Adelaide, you can follow the Port Heritage Walking Trail from the Information Centre on the corner of St. Vincent Street and Commercial Road or you can start at the Lighthouse. The 60 minute trail travels along the waterfront, past the Ademella memorial, dolphin cruise boats and a variety of street art, as well as passing some of the most historic buildings in South Australia.
The trail around Mawson Lakes is ideal for strollers and is dog friendly too!. Photo: Hazel Cochrane
Named in honour of Sir Douglas Mawson, the northern suburb of Mawson Lakes has a short, easy 2.6km circuit walk around the lake ideal for strollers and wheelchairs. The trail starts from the Promenade on Mawson Lakes Boulevard. Following the boardwalk to the footbridge, the walking trail includes scenic views, a variety of birds and on weekends, model boats skimming across the lake. Crossing the footbridge, the predominantly flat trail meanders along boardwalks and cement paths, passing lakeside houses and wetland areas, before returning to the Promenade. After completing the 45-minute circuit, there are a variety of coffee shops, including the Boat Deck Café, whose staff will bring your coffee and cake or your meal right to your lakeside table.
Greenfields Wetlands has boardwalks and bridges. Photo: Hazel Cochrane
One of the more adventurous of stroller walking trails, the Greenfields Wetlands are open from 10am to 4pm every day. Hidden behind the dragonfly gates, the 1.2km circuit trail will lead you through the wetlands on a combination of boardwalks, bridges and dolomite paths, all of which are suitable for strollers and wheelchairs. Wooden seats located along the trail provide an ideal spot for a break or a chance to watch the wetland inhabitants. Children will enjoy looking out for some of the 160 bird, frog and fish species who call the wetlands home. A spur trail near the entrance of the wetlands leads to a small wooden hut designed for bird watching through the small observation windows. Identification charts in the hut will help to identify some of the birds that will approach the hut, if there isn't too much noise.
The wetlands and inhabitants make an interesting walk. Photo: Hazel Cochrane
Developed by the City of Salisbury Council to provide flood protection by diverting floodwater from Dry Creek, the Greenfields Wetlands is a popular place with families. Toilet facilities are available near the gate and car parking is located close to the entrance just off Salisbury Highway in Greenfields. A 12-metre boomerang sculpture near the car park, recognises of the Kaurna people, the original inhabitants of the area. Sculptures and information boards provide further information about the traditional owners of the land.
After exploring the wetlands, you can enjoy a meal or coffee at the Watershed Café. Meals are served indoors or you can sit outside on the veranda overlooking the water, with ducks, pelicans and other birdlife for company.
Laratinga Wetlands has boardwalks over the water for a great view of the aquatic wildlife. Photo: Hazel Cochrane
Linked to the Mount Barker Linear Trail, the Laratinga Wetlands has three family friendly walking trails with level, well marked paths that meander through the wetlands from the Bald Hills Road car park. Picnic, barbecue and toilet facilities in the wetlands make it an ideal place for walking with little ones and a stroller and the park is dog friendly too. Boardwalks and footbridges lead you through the wetlands, passing bird viewing areas and ponds in which frogs and long necked tortoises live. Seating is available along the trail, to take a break or look at some the 61 wildlife species present in the Wetlands.
Whether you choose to walk the 750-metre Chestnut Teal Trail around the small pond or the continue around the large pond on the 2km Rosella Trail, you'll experience a peaceful walk along paths surrounded by river red gums, hakeas and wattles, in the company of dusky moorhens and a variety of ducks. If you have 45 minutes, you can walk the stroller through the entire wetlands on the 2.6km Sacred Ibis Trail before returning to the recreation area which is surrounded by murals painted by local school students as part of the Aboriginal Airbrush Project.
The interesting walk along the final 3.5km of the River Torrens Linear Trail, known as the Breakout Creek Channel, can be accessed from the Henley Beach or from Tapleys Hill Road, near Sir Donald Bradman Drive. Walkers and cyclists can use the wide shared path leading to the sandy beaches of Henley Beach, where pelicans stand in the flowing water just waiting to have their photo taken. Along the way, horses paddocked beside the channel often come over to the fence for a closer look and many different species of birds can be seen beside the channel or in the trees nearby. You can bring your dog on the trail, provided they stay on a lead. If you're looking for a picnic or barbecue area, stop off at Apex Park. Located along the trail,on the southern side, Apex Park has a fenced playground, offering a good place for a break from walking.
With the increase in Linear Trails around Adelaide, there is plenty of opportunity to take the whole family out walking, so get out and enjoy our beautiful city and suburbs.
Another great article Hazel. It is so important to have children out in the open air and acquiring a liking for the outdoors at an early age. My in laws used to live in Burton and I often walked in Kaurna Park Wetlands where I was pleased to see many mums out with their strollers or toddlers on trikes.