Belair National Park
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|Belair National Park|
|Managing authorities||Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources|
|Official site||Belair National Park|
Belair National Park (formerly known as Belair Recreation Park) is a national park in South Australia (Australia), 13 km south of Adelaide, covering an 835ha area. It was proclaimed in 1891 and was the first National Park in South Australia, second in Australia (after Sydney's Royal National Park which was proclaimed in 1879) and the tenth in the world. The park lies within the Adelaide Hills and Mitcham council area, and forms part of a chain of national park reserves located along the Adelaide Hills Face Zone. The Belair National Park is administrated by the Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources.
The Belair National Park has excellent recreation and social facilities within on outdoor environment. There are many areas of interest within the park, including Old Government House, the park Nursery, Playford Lake and the Adventure Playground. It has numerous tennis courts and ovals, and has walking, bike and horse-riding trails. The park has an outstanding presentation of the State’s native fauna, attracting visitors, showcasing the State’s park system and contributing to the community awareness of the natural environment. Some species of fauna commonly encountered in the park include the Southern Brown Bandicoot, Tawny Frogmouth, Brown Tree Frog and Shingleback Lizard.
The first European people traversed the Belair area in 1837. In 1840, Governor Gawler raised a government farm on which sick horses and bullocks from government departments could be agisted. In 1881, a proposal was put forward for small agricultural holdings and also, the park was dedicated, making it the first National Park in South Australia. Many exotic and non-indigenous plants were introduced and are now found in the park as weeds. Numerous native plants, such as Cootamundra wattle, have become environmental weeds after being introduced into areas outside their natural range.
The Belair National Park has suffered major disturbance to its natural ecosystems and natural vegetation communities through the accidental invasion of non-indigenous plants as well as the deliberate introduction of exotic and non-indigenous plants to certain zones within the park.
- Wood Duck Dawdle
A short circuit around Playford Lake.
- Lorikeet Loop Walk
A 3 km circuit walk from the main car park to the Adventure Playground.
- Valley Loop Walk
A 3 km circuit walk to Long Gully.
- Microcarpa Walk
A 4 km circuit departing from near Playford Lake.
- Waterfall Hike
The park's best walk. A 6.5 km circuit that visits the park's waterfalls and travels to the higher areas away from the recreation areas.
- Yurrebilla Trail
The first 5 km of the Yurrebilla Trail is in the Belair National Park. It begins at the Belair railway station and continues toward the Lower Waterfall before departing the park at the Sheoak Road boundary.