Surrounded by residential land, Wadmore Park, or Pulyonna Wirra, is situated in the suburb of Athelstone approximately 14km northeast of Adelaide. Accessed from Maryvale or Addison Roads, car parking is available at both entrances as well as street parking along two boundaries of the park.
A friendly magpie in Wadmore Park. Photo: Hazel Cochrane
Covering around 30 hectares, the dog friendly park has a network of walking trails through a bushland setting, just minutes from local homes, sporting fields and Black Hill Conservation Park. Named after Edward Royal Wadmore, who served on the council for 21 years, including eight years as Mayor, Wadmore Park is conamed Pulyonna Park meaning Black Forest, in recognition of the Kaurna people, the original inhabitants in the area.
Lorikeets peek out from the trees in Wadmore Park. Photo: Hazel Cochrane
On the Maryvale Street side of the trail, whistles from the football match nearby give way to the sounds of sulphur-crested cockatoos, galahs, magpies and Adelaide rosellas. Rainbow lorikeets peek out from branches as people pass by. Birdhouses sit among the higher branches of several trees in the broad woodland area providing an excellent environment for smaller birds such as the New Holland honeyeaters and Willy wagtails.
Originally a sprawling woodland of yellow gum, the area was cleared for housing in the 1960s. Since 1994, the park has undergone significant planting through the working partnership between the Campbelltown Landcare group and the local council. Today, a rich diversity of vegetation is found in Wadmore Park, where the face of the Adelaide Hills intersects with the Adelaide Plains. Native plants such as the Silver Banksia, which provides nectar for wattlebirds and lorikeets, while the parrots and cockatoos feed on the seeds from the woody cylindrical cones. Blue gums with dense acacia undergrowth give way to pink gums and sheaoks as the trail travels through the park. River red gums stand tall along Fifth Creek, which runs through the South Western corner of the park
Th Avenue of Honour, Wadmore Park Photo: Hazel Cochrane
The Addison Road entrance is the site of the Avenue of Honour, an area dedicated to acknowledging the military history of the area and those from the community who enlisted and served in war. Using indigenous tree species the Campbelltown Landcare, Campbelltown Council and Campbelltown Historical Society developed the Avenue in 2014-15. Deputy Mayor Marijka Ryan officially opened the Avenue, placed along the original access road to the site of the former military hospital, in September 2015
The Avenue of Honour lies on the original path to the military hospital. Photo: Hazel Cochrane
Wadmore Park was used as a training ground by a wide range of rifle clubs and military units when World War II began in the late 1930s, then as the site for the military hospital from 1942 to 1946. Known as the 123rd Australia Special Hospital, the temporary hospital was made up of 20 prefabricated huts and almost 100 tent sites. Patients and staff established a garden with fishponds, a rockery and an avenue of Chinese Elms.
Butterflies just love the park. Photo: Hazel Cochrane
Although trail signs are infrequent, it's unlikely you would get lost as the roads are within sight most of the time. Travelling along any of the narrow paths and wide fire tracks provide plenty of birdlife and wildlife to interest the children and an ideal place to walk your dog on a lead. There are minimal areas of incline and just a few steps in one section, meaning the trail is suitable for any level of fitness. For those who need more of a challenge Black Hill Conservation Park is a short walk away. Wadmore Park is open at all hours.