Adelaide Living
Ramblings in the Adelaide Park Lands
Lord Mayor Martin Haese hosts a community ramble through the North Park Lands

Adelaide Park Lands Rambles

Adelaide is renowned for its beautiful Park Lands and one of the best ways to explore them is on foot.

2018 sees the return of a series of relaxed Sunday morning community strolls through these historic open spaces, led by Lord Mayor Martin Haese.

Botanic Park
Botanic Park | Image by Nathan Denny

The first Adelaide Park Lands Ramble for the year is on Sunday 25 March (9am – 11am) and will explore the natural landscape surrounding the Adelaide Zoo, including the River Torrens and Botanic Park. There will also be a chat about the local colony of Grey-headed Flying Foxes.

On Sunday 27 May, Bonython Park Kiosk  is the meeting point for a walk upstream along the River Torrens to the Weir and then across to the North Adelaide Golf Course where guests will learn a little about the history of the area from a Kaurna perspective.

The South Park Lands will be the location for the third ramble on Sunday 26 August. As well as getting the Lord Mayor’s insights into the creation of the new Adelaide-Qingdao Rose Garden in Veale Gardens, guests will also wander through the Mirnu Wirra / Golden Wattle Park to explore the remnant native plants growing there.

Song of the Wind statue
Song of the Wind statue in Adelaide-Qingdao Rose Garden

All the rambles are free, but please click the individual dates above to register your attendance.

Did you know?

Many locals will be aware that the Adelaide Park Lands exist thanks to an astute plan by Surveyor-General, Colonel William Light – but here’s a few things you may not have known.

August Wilhelm Pelzer, City Gardener
August Wilhelm Pelzer, City Gardener | ACA LS0012 (City Archives)

By 1839, the surrounds of the city ‘square mile’ were becoming spoilt by timber cutting, rubbish dumping, squatting and grazing. The police department then employed a ‘Keeper of the Park Lands’ who led a team of up to six rangers who patrolled the area.

Since 1852, the Park Lands have been managed and maintained by Council. However, it wasn’t until the turn of the 20th century that Adelaide saw major progress with plantings and landscaping.

The City Gardener, August Wilhelm Pelzer, worked tirelessly over his 33-years with the Council to beautify the Adelaide Park Lands, something we can all be thankful for today.

The Park Lands have long been used for recreational purposes and events.

  • The first football game took place in 1860, such a popular activity the Park Lands are now home to 21 football ovals.
  • The public could ride their bicycles on the paths within the city’s green belt for the first time in 1908. Modern day cyclists can now explore over 150kms of paths throughout the Park Lands.
  • In 1919 one of the first play spaces in the Park Lands was established. Glover Playground on South Terrace (pictured below in 1928 & present), is the legacy of former Adelaide Mayor, Charles R.J. Glover. He went on to build two more at his own expense on Lefevre Terrace and East Terrace. The Adelaide Park Lands are now home to 12 wonderful playgrounds.
Old photography of Glover Playground on South Terrace
Glover Playground on South Terrace | Image courtesy of City Archives

Today the Park Lands cover 760 hectares (over half the city) and are visited around 10 million times each year for sport and recreation, festivals and events.

For inspiration on other historic walks you can take around the city and North Adelaide, visit

Melanie Stewart

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