I am an Australian natural history writer and photographer. My aim is to encourage people to venture outdoors and enjoy the natural beauty of our planet.
Visit my blog naturallysouthaustralia.com
Published January 18th 2018
I am standing in the car park on the corner of South Terrace and East Terrace at the southern edge of Victoria Park. Well defined gravel and paved tracks snake out in every direction from this location. Some cut through the parklands while others follow the edge of the old Victoria Park racetrack. Each pathway has its own unique character and the massive red gums, acacia bushes, creek beds and open grassland habitats are home to a remarkable range of wildlife that inhabit the fringe of central Adelaide.
The trail that leads towards Greenhill and Fullarton roads is close to a creek that flows in the wetter months. Amongst the trees and bushes, there are fallen logs and branches. These have been deliberately left to provide wildlife refuges and I decide to peel back a small amount of bark that has almost sloughed off a log. A large huntsman spider scuttles out from its refuge and wedges its flat body in a nearby crack.
The impressive river red gums that are a feature of this area also provide a home for many species. Holes in the trunks from fallen branches provide ideal nesting sites for musk and rainbow lorikeets as well as the ever-present rose-breasted cockatoos (galahs). In the late spring and early summer, mating pairs of all these species are often seen disappearing into the tree cavities to prepare nesting holes or feed their young.
Along the pathway that parallels East Terrace, there is a well-lit bitumen pathway which is dominated on both sides by huge eucalypts. An evening walk along this tree-lined avenue with a torch and powerful flash set-up will often reveal brushtail possums in the branches. On their nightly excursions, they can be found foraging for fruit and the other niceties that the urban fringe provides.
Whichever way you look at it, this wonderful park provides some lovely walking and riding trails combined with the opportunity of encountering a wide range of wildlife in close proximity to the city centre.