Onkaparinga River Wetlands, Adelaide

Water Body · Hidden Gem · Nature / Park
Onkaparinga River National Park is a protected area in the Australian state of South Australia located about south of Adelaide city centre. It extends over the floodplain of the Onkaparinga River east of Main South Road.
Most of the land now dedicated to the national park was purchased in the period 1973 to 1977 by a former SA government agency, the State Planning Authority. The purpose of the land acquisition which included land along the full length of Onkaparinga River was threefold. Firstly, it was ‘to provide open space for recreational purposes’, secondly, ‘to preserve the natural character of the landscape, including the native flora and fauna’ and thirdly, ‘to function as a buffer between areas of urban and rural land.’ In 1982, the majority of the land was transferred to the then Department for Environment and Heritage which established the Onkaparinga River Recreation Park in 1985. In 1993, all of the land east of Main South Road (known as the gorge section’) was reclassified as the Onkaparinga River National Park. For managerial and administrative purposes, the recreation park and the national park are known collectively as the ‘Onkaparinga River Reserve’.
The lower reaches of the Onkaparinga River were inhabited by the Kaurna Aboriginal people, and the name of the river is taken from the Kaurna name meaning chief. European settlement and farming in the district began about 1840 leading to the rapid displacement of the Aboriginal inhabitants. Kaurna people still have strong ties to the area through cultural practices and religious beliefs. The town of Noarlunga (renamed Old Noarlunga) was the service centre with farm produce being transported down river to Port Noarlunga.
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Onkaparinga River Wetlands reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.0
18 reviews
  • enjoyed walking around wetlands, good boardwalks and well maintained tracks. signposting was good . Even though it is quite dry at the moment we saw plenty of birds and it looks like an ideal spot.....  more »
  • Stand up paddle boarding on this river is a must when visiting the area. $30 for an hour rental and they also have kayaks to hire.  more »
  • Beautiful spot for safe, easy kayak along a lovely lazy flowing river through sandstone canyons and along popular sand beaches, getting right out to the Sea!  more »
  • Great little spot
  • Beautiful

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