City Nature Challenge 2022: Greater Adelaide – Places to Visit

The City Nature Challenge 2022 starts in 30 days. The Greater Adelaide region will be participation for the third year running.

If you’re participating for the first time, check out the City Nature Challenge rundown by Ferox Australis and this previous post on Epistemic Curiosity.

Before the challenge starts, head over to iNaturalist and join the City Nature Challenge 2022: Greater Adelaide project, and the global City Nature Challenge umbrella project.

Check out previous results from 2020 and 2021 to see what species were found in previous years.

To participate, you don’t need to travel far and wide searching for rare species. You own backyard holds an amazing array of species. But if you’re looking for somewhere interesting to visit, check out the list below.

The City Nature Challenge 2022: Greater Adelaide project covers a significant section of the most populated areas in the state. The area referred to as “Greater Adelaide” covers a total of 9,000 square kilometers with a population of around 1.5 million amassing approximately 85% of the population of SA. It includes all the Metropolitan Local Government Areas plus the District Council of Yankalilla, City of Victor Harbor, Alexandrina Council, The Rural City of Murray Bridge, Mount Barker District Council, Barossa Council, Light Regional Council and Adelaide Plains Council.

This area encompasses the Southern Mount Lofty Ranges, considered one of only 15 National Biodiversity Hotspots across Australia. There are an extensive range of natural areas to discover, most of which are open to the public with varying levels of accessibility. Local suburban parklands and trails, beaches and rocky reefs, conservation parks and reserves, river trails and wetlands.

Bassett Street Reserve, Willunga

Bassett Street Reserve, Willunga

You don’t have to travel far to find biodiverse areas. Local suburban and regional parks and waterways support many wild species. A visit to any of these can be a quick way to record a few dozen observations. Don’t forget to record the introduced species which can often be found in abundance in suburban areas, and can help to build up the total species recorded for the challenge. A small selection of interesting parks are listed below, some of which have associated iNaturalist projects.

Happy Valley Reservoir

Many of the Greater Adelaide reservoirs have been partially opened up to the public in recent years. Intended for recreation, these often have great facilities and wide gravel tracks in addition to lots of nature. A visit to any of these during the City Nature Challenge should net you some interesting observations, and provide a good spot for a picnic or coffee.

Oaklands Wetland and Reserve, South Australia

Oaklands Wetland & Reserve

There are many wetlands and river trails to choose from in the Greater Adelaide region. A visit to any of these will offer a good range of water birds to record and wetland plants. (Although as the focus for iNaturalist is ‘wild’ organisms, best to avoid recording plants known to have been planted, or if doing so make sure to mark them as Casual observations).

Aldinga Reef

Aldinga Reef

The Greater Adelaide region includes a long coastline, with large stretches of beachfront near Metropolitan Adelaide and at locations around the Fleurieu Peninsula. There are numerous shore accessible reefs and dive spots. The list below covers just some of the most biodiverse coastal sites in the Greater Adelaide region.

Mount Lofty Botanic Garden Banner

Mount Lofty Botanic Gardens

Botanic Gardens and Zoos can also offer great opportunity to record various species. Skip recording the captive Animals and cultivated Plants, but anything else is up for grabs (including THIS little Skink if you can find it).

Heysen Trail, Kyeema

Heysen Trail, Kyeema

The Greater Adelaide region includes a number of long hikes which pass through a diverse range of environments offering opportunities to record many different species.

Onkaparinga River NP Banner

Onkaparinga River National Park

There are many protected parks within Greater Adelaide worth a visit during the City Nature Challenge. Recreation Parks, Conservation Parks, National Parks, Forestry Reserves. Most of which are a great place to spend a day discovering what the natural world has to offer. Try standing in one spot and see how many species you can find within visual range. Every one is worth recording and uploading to iNaturalist. From the Eucalypts above your head to the Mosses on the ground below. You can find over 450 parks in the Protected Parks of South Australia iNaturalist project. For the City Nature Challenge, stick to visiting those within the Greater Adelaide.