Meandering along Brownhill Creek valley, you can enjoy shaded areas of old European trees and sections of threatened grey box grassy woodland along the Wirraparinga Trail. River red gums of more than 300 years old line the narrow creek which flows through a steep-sided valley. Blue gum woodland climbs the valley slopes.
Called a scrub and camping place (Wirraparinga), this area was once the gathering ground of as many as 150 Kaurna people. It is believed that the hollow trunk of a river red gum provided shelter for both the indigenous and the colonists with several even giving birth inside the tree.
At the end of the 2.3-kilometre walking path, you will find a horse arena and old manure pits. These concrete pits were built to store horse manure for market gardening in the 1840s. Gardeners would call at horse stables to collect manure to use as fertiliser. However, as a full cartload could not be pulled up into the hills, some of the load was left behind to be collected later. Storing manure in the pits, rather than by the roadside, prevented pollution of the creek. Other points of interest along the trail include a monument, historic weir, quarry, historic drinking fountain, bridge, historic stone pines and historic wagon loading site.
Although the lack of toilet facilities, there are a few picnic areas just off the trail. The most convenient I think would be the Mitcham Lions Club picnic area which is easily accessible from a nearby car park. Parking is also available at several different locations on the trail.
That brings back memories. Brownhill Creek was a favourite place for the Warradale Girl Guides to camp way back in the 1950's. I know, because I was one of them! I only have vague memories of the place, and am sure it is much different now. Thank you for reminding me.