The A-Z of the Park Lands
The Adelaide Park Lands are filled with action, adventure, opportunity; in fact there’s an alphabet of activities that take place in the city’s green space every day.
A – Archery
The Adelaide Park Lands are simply filled with sport. There are opportunities to be part of a team, or an individual star. Archery has been practised in the Park Lands since the 1880s, with its home in Bullrush Park / Warnpangga still a popular site for the sport. The area off Bundeys Road in North Adelaide is used by Adelaide Archery Club, and contains full-size targets with protective screens to ensure a safe environment for everyone.
B – Basketball
The Adelaide Park Lands have facilities and courts available to suit your needs, with seven free, public hard court sites where you can play basketball throughout the Park Lands, and multiple courts in each area. Most recently through the Splash Adelaide program, competitive streetball competitions have been run by Streetball Adelaide throughout summer at a variety of City locations including Blue Gum Park / Kurangga.
C – Croquet
The sport of croquet was recently put back on the map in Adelaide, with the Royal Croquet Club taking residence in Victoria Square / Tarntanyangga during this year’s Fringe. While that was more about performances and socialising, it also introduced people to the real sport, and now croquet is having its own renaissance in the Adelaide Park Lands. Croquet South Australia is currently offering beginners the chance to get involved in the sport in a fun, social setting at their base in Carriageway Park / Tuthangga. Contact Croquet SA for more information.
D – Dogs
More than just a treat for people, the Adelaide Park Lands are a fantastic resource for our four-legged friends. The North Adelaide Dog Park in Bragg Park / Ngampa Yarta, adjacent to Park Terrace, has been a huge success since being established in 2012. It all spurred from the drawing of North Adelaide Primary School student Erin O’Brien, with strong support by City of Adelaidelors. Today, two fenced areas (one for small dogs and puppies, and another for big dogs) are filled with activities and safe open space for dogs to run. Look for the community group on Facebook and stay connected for activities and updates.
E – Eat
The City’s six squares – each its own unique urban oasis – make the ideal place to eat a meal on the go. If you’re just popping out of the office or taking a break from study, there’s never a green space too far away. Even better, more often than not it will have a great café or a trendy food truck nearby ready to hit the spot. Recently the Fork on the Road food truck event has visited Whitmore Square / Iparrityi and Bonython Park / Tulya Wardli, along with other great City locations. Keep an eye out for their calendar, and look out for handy kiosks in Rymill Park / Murlawirrapurka and Bonython Park / Tulya Wardli.
F – Festivals
When Fringe greets Adelaide in February and March its attractions spill out across the whole City and draw people from all over South Australia into Adelaide’s centre. Notably The Garden of Unearthly Delights and Gluttony take over Rundle Park / Kadlitpina and Rymill Park / Murlawirrapurka in February and March, but there’s action all year. Check out what’s coming up in the City via City of Adelaide’s What’s On guide, and Splash Adelaide
G – Golf
How many cities offer you golf on their doorstep? The North Adelaide Golf Course on Possum Park / Pirltawardli, comprising the stunning South Course, more intricate North Course and the accessible Par 3, has long been a favourite for Adelaideans. Outside of being a great resource for having a hit, it’s also a beautifully landscaped area for taking a stroll – just keep an eye out for golfers! For more information visit the North Adelaide Golf Course.
H – Horses
When Already Home spoke to North Adelaide resident Tom Guerin about his life in the City, there was one thing that particularly struck him about his home just off Melbourne Street: “The horses in the Park Lands, I mean I love the horses. I don’t know why, but I think they’re great.” Lefevre Park / Nantu Wama between Robe Tce, Medindie Rd, Lefevre Tce and Kingston Tce is home to up to 20 horses for people from around Adelaide. While it’s predominantly a site for keeping horses and not riding, it provides a fantastic sight to park users and a great service for the whole City, harking back to how the Park Lands were used after Adelaide was settled.
I – Internet
Through the work of City of Adelaide, Internode and the State Government, Adelaide’s Free Wi-Fi network is being expanded significantly, and the benefits stretch much further than the limits of the square mile. When major events are taking place in the Park Lands, mobile internet will be available via mobile hotspots. Plus, when you’re in any of the City’s square, you’ll be within close vicinity to a hotspot with free, unlimited wireless internet.
J – Jogging
Really, there isn’t anywhere you can’t jog in the Park Lands. The mix of diverse terrain – from grass to gravel to dirt to bitumen and plenty in between – makes for a work out that’s both tough and interesting. More specifically though, there are several marked routes that make for a more structured run. Key sites include the jogging tracks around Bullrush Park / Warnpangga, Victoria Park / Pakapakanthi and the River Torrens.
There are also groups that get-together regularly to embrace working up a sweat around Adelaide amazing Park Lands – look for the likes of Torrens Park Run, the Adelaide Running Crew, and the Nike Run Club .
K – Kite Flying
When was the last time you or your kids went outside to fly a kite? It can be difficult to find a space that’s big, open and safe, but the Adelaide Park Lands have areas that are in fact just that. Particularly south of the City in parks like Golden Wattle Park / Mirnu Wirra and west of the City in Bonython Park / Tulya Wardli there are large grassy expanses that make the ideal setting for flying a kite, and it’s a great activity to enjoy as the weather gets a little less sunny and a bit breezier.
L – Lawn bowls
Lawn Bowls has undergone somewhat of a rejuvenation in recent years, with its notoriety growing as a fun and social activity, even for less-serious bowlers. Whether you’re up for that sort of fun on a lazy Sunday afternoon, or more serious competition, the Adelaide Bowling Club in Rymill Park / Murlawirrapurka is the Adelaide Park Lands’ home of lawn bowls. Comprising three bowling greens and a fully equipped club house, it's easily accessible via an off-street car park and sits in close proximity to the City's East End.
Did you know Bonython Park / Tulya Wardli has a pond for model boats? If you didn’t, don’t worry; the site, set back from Port Road was only refilled in 2011 after five years without water. Today it makes for a beautiful, secluded location for your boats to set sail. On Sunday mornings it often bustles with people when the Adelaide Model Powerboat Club gets together for their regular meets; it’s not unusual to see everything from sizeable warship destroyers, to quaint sailboats, to speedboats that whiz around the circular area. There are also model aircraft clubs in the Adelaide Park Lands like the Southern Soaring League in Blue Gum Park / Kurangga and South Australian Radio Controlled Helicopters in Veale Park / Walyu Yarta.
You can also fly your electric powered model aircraft in Victoria Park / Pakapakanthi.
N – Nature Play
The Adelaide Park Lands have 12 playgrounds with amazing facilities for kids, but why not also let them run free and explore amazing, natural spaces? Nature Play is a movement that promotes children spending more time outdoors in unstructured play environments, and between open spaces and areas of revegetation, the Adelaide Park Lands are full of ideal places. Nature play offers endless activities that are fun, stimulating and healthy that you can take on like climbing a tree, making and flying a kite, and jumping in muddy puddles.
O – Orienteering
Orienteering is like life-sized, fast-paced treasure hunt, with competitors or casual explorers making their way through points on a map, aided only by a compass. The Adelaide Park Lands provide a fantastic setting, with diverse terrain and a mixture of dense vegetation and open spaces.Contact Orienteering South Australia for a calendar of events.
P – Petanque
Known as a variety of boules, or bocce, petanque is a form of bowls actually very prevalent within the Adelaide Park Lands. There are five petanque pistes (or courts), concentrated mainly throughout the eastern and southern sides of the City. Keep an eye out in the likes of Rundle Park / Kadlitpina and Golden Wattle Park / Mirnu Wirra; it’s a great activity for picnics, barbeques or a competitive match up. Check out the map for a list of courts.
Q – Quiet
The hustle and bustle of the City centre against the tranquil spaces of the Adelaide Park Lands provide a perfect contrast. While many parks are filled with action and activity, there are also quiet, natural areas where you can relax completely and let your mind and body escape. In Victoria Park / Pakapakanthi, a rare remnant of native grassland has been fenced and is protected. Nearby, if you have sharp eyes you may be lucky enough to spot the rare Chequered Copper butterfly, recently rediscovered here for the first time since the 1930s. Along the River Torrens, plantings have created pockets of peaceful native vegetation along the secluded river stretches in Bonython Park / Tulya Wardli and Mistletoe Park / Tainmuntilla.
R – Ride
Whether you’re on your training wheels or a professional on two wheels, the Adelaide Park Lands provide a unique opportunity for everyone to get involved in cycling. Between grassy plains and trails of winding paths, it makes the ideal location to learn or test yourself without the hassle of cars or roads to worry about – though do look out for pedestrians. The Adelaide Park Lands trail provides a fantastic setting, and you can enjoy it easily by hiring a Free City Bike. There are plenty of pick-up points around, with the station at the Adelaide Travellers’ Inn on Hutt Street one that provides easy access to Victoria Park / Pakapakanthi.
S – Studying
When you need to concentrate and escape from the hustle and bustle of City life, the Adelaide Park Lands can provide a quiet and tranquil space to do your uni work. Whether it’s reading a book or hammering out an essay on a laptop or tablet device, taking in some fresh air and leafy surrounds can make a big difference to your work. The unique proximity that Adelaide’s city-based universities have to the beautiful Botanic Park and Adelaide Botanic Gardens plus the serene banks of the River Torrens make it easy to retreat and in no time be back in class.
T – Tennis
From hard courts to grass, there areas for tennis on each side of the Adelaide Park Lands. There are major centres that you can pay to use like Next Generation at War Memorial Drive in Adelaide Oval / Tarntanya Wama, free hard courts like those in Ityamai-itpina King Rodney Park / Ityamai-itpina and Blue Gum Park / Kurangga used frequently by the schools and clubs throughout the City, and quiet grassed courts on Mills Terrace, North Adelaide in Possum Park / Pirltawardli. Nets are provided and courts are maintained; just bring yourself, a friend, rackets and balls.
U – Ultimate Frisbee
As much as manicured gardens and fantastic facilities define many areas of the Adelaide Park Lands, sometimes you just want an open, grassy field. Ultimate Frisbee thrives on simplicity – on the social level all you need is a space, some markers, a Frisbee and some enthusiasm to get going. Getting more serious, there are various clubs with bases around the Adelaide Park Lands – you can contact the SA Flying Disc Association for information about how to get involved.
V – Vegetables
The Adelaide Park Lands in many ways are one big backyard to residents of the City centre and inner suburbs, and an important part of any garden is being able to grow plants that put food on your table. Being a part of a community garden like the one in Veale Park / Walyu Yarta or on the verges of Whitmore Square / Iparrityi is curating your very own section of the Adelaide Park Lands with friends, and then reaping the rewards when your hard work fruits.
W – Working out
If early starts and intense sweats are your sort of thing, the Adelaide Park Lands are home to plenty of boot camps and exercise groups. Popular locations include Elder Park, Brougham Gardens and many others; just head online to find one that best suits you. Alternatively, the Adelaide Park Lands have plenty of options for doing it your own way. Stroll along Victoria Park / Pakapakanthi and you’ll see permanent exercise equipment along the fitness loop, and in addition to that there are many natural features and topography that lend to plenty of opportunities for keeping fit.
X – Cyclo-cross
Once a month, the Adelaide Park Lands host a unique hybrid sport gaining momentum across the globe. Cyclocross isn’t your average bicycle ride in the park – every month over 150 people meet in Victoria Park / Pakapakanthi, Carriageway Park / Tuthangga or G S Kingston Park / Wirrarninthi to negotiate a 3km course of connected, winding bike paths over dirt, grass, mud and bitumen.
Y – Yoga
Yoga’s popularity only continues to boom – if you’re not into the standard version of the ancient physical and spiritual exercise, you might be sweating it out in Bikram Yoga or hanging upside-down in AntiGravity Yoga. Between the Adelaide Park Lands’ wide, open spaces and more secluded nooks, the green, tranquil environments make for great group and individual yoga sessions. Step into Adelaide’s breathing space and let your mind escape. Boot Camp Plus hold sessions near the Adelaide University footbridge, just call 1300 665 117 for details.
Z – Zoo
Sitting on the edge of Botanic Park, nestled on the River Torrens / Karrawirra Pari, Adelaide Zoo really is the definition of somewhere for the whole family. With significant upgrades in recent years, visiting Adelaide Zoo today is to immerse yourself in the habitats of South East Asia and discover the Adelaide Park Lands’ rare, exotic locals like Giant Pandas Wang Wang and Funi.