Back in the days before you had children, you probably filled your backpack and headed out for a bushwalk or trek at every opportunity. The good news is that it doesn't have to change. There are plenty of great short bushwalks that are suitable for strollers and little legs that tire easily.
From the positive reactions and comments I have received about the Three Easy Bush Walks, Pram Walks and More Pram walks articles, it would appear there are lots of people looking for somewhere to walk that is safe, interesting and has facilities for post walk playtime with their young families, including the family dog. The interestingly named Wood Duck Walk and the Lorikeet Loop are interesting walks that are ideal for families.
The walking trails start near the entrance of the Belai National park. Photo: Hazel Cochrane
Starting from the Information Centre on Gooch Road, this 1km trail incorporates a walk around Playford Lake in Belair National Park. One of the best aspects of this walk is the variety of wildlife that live on or around the lake. From the Cormorants who like to sit on the wooden posts near the lake's edge, to the ducks sitting on the water and the koalas in the trees, there is always something new to see on the journey.
Cormorants pose for photos on the Playford Lake. Photo: Hazel Cochrane
Photo opportunities abound, especially around the island in the centre of the lake. As a sanctuary to protect birds from predators, bulrushes that provide materials for nesting, food and a shelter for a variety of reptiles, insects and birds surround the island. It's not only the birds that get hungry; walking can work up an appetite. Luckily, there are picnic facilities near the lake, along with toilet facilities and undercover shelter making this an ideal spot for some family fun. Dogs on a lead are welcome in the park too, so no one needs to miss out.
A beautiful flower near the creek on the Lorikeet Loop Trail. Photo: Hazel Cochrane
For a slightly more challenging walk, the 3km Lorikeet Loop Trail will lead you on a journey through the National Park, passing the sculptured gardens of Old Government House and the State Flora Nursery.
From the car park near the main entrance of Belair National Park, the trail follows a relatively level, predominantly sealed path suitable for prams and families. Walking the trail through the Red Gums, Blue Gums and Grey Box woodland, will lead you to an undercover barbecue and picnic area with information signs providing interesting facts about the history of the park and some of the more reclusive park inhabitants, such as bats and possums. Kangaroos can often be seen in the scrubland and koalas lounge sleepily in the trees, so wildlife sightings are a feature of this trail.
Old Government House on the Lorikeet Loop walk. Photo: Hazel Cochrane
For older children, a stop at the adventure playground will probably result in loud whoops and yells that can be heard around the park, but it's a great way to burn up any excess energy before completing the remainder of the trail. Flat rock seats situated along the trail are a great place to take a break or pause to watch the lorikeets and Rosellas that fly between the trees. The park, open from 8am to sunset, looks different from one season to the next. Rainbows of coloured wildflowers line the trails if you visit the park in spring and nectar-feeding birds can be seen feeding on gum blossom almost all year round.
Wildflowers are everywhere if you walk these trails in spring. Photo: Hazel Cochrane
With so many possibilities for fun and exploration, this trail is suitable for all ages and fitness levels, but take care not to miss the turn to complete the loop or you will end up on a 6.5km loop trail that is definitely not suitable for strollers or young children. Following the loop trail will return you to the start in around 90 minutes, depending on the number of stops you make along the way.
Belair National Park, located 13 km from Adelaide is accessed from Upper Sturt Road. You can park at the entrance or if you drive your car into the park, there is a fee of $8 per vehicle.
It's amazing how parents who walk with their young children can instill an enjoyment of exercising outdoors that passes from one generation to another. Walking with the family provides quality time in a relaxed and exciting environment that is good for everyone, so pack up the stroller, grab all the bags that you need when you leave the house with kids and head on out to start your own family adventure.
This is an ideal park for families.Best to go now before the hot summer arrives.The car park at the entrance is small and there is little room to turn your car around.(unless they have improved it in the last 2 years).For a long walk, need to take your own water and perhaps some food as well.Can get to Playford Lake by train,after reaching the end of the line...but too steep to push a pram back I feel.