Walking in a winter wonderland at Woorabinda
Whatever the time of year there are lots of activities to spoil your senses in the Adelaide Hills including fabulous wine, gourmet food, bushwalks, wildlife, art and history and the recent Woorabinda Winter Walk combined many of them into one fabulous event.
The Adelaide Hills is well known for its stunning naturally beautiful walks and nestled among homes just west of the centre of Stirling. The Woorabinda Bushland Reserves, a series of four bush parks covering 34 hectares all linked by four kilometres of enchanting walking tracks, is among the most spectacular.
The centrepiece of these large areas of natural bushland is the Woorabinda Lake which was the focus of the recent Winter Walk at Woorabinda – a fabulous community event designed to encourage as many people as possible to enjoy the reserves at any time of the year, but particularly on a fine winter’s day.
AHC Events Officer, Stephanie Murgatroyd, says while the Winter Walk was designed to encourage everyone to enjoy the beauty and tranquillity of the Woorabinda Bushland Reserves during the colder months, it is the perfect location to explore - whatever season we are in.
“The Winter Walk brings people into the beautiful Adelaide Hills when the weather is a little colder because we know there are plenty of events over summer, spring and autumn but no matter the time of year the Woorabinda Bushland Reserves offer a huge range of gorgeous walks,” Stephanie says.
“For the Winter Walk this year local residents, and visitors alike, enjoyed free guided walks with members of the Friends of Woorabinda, nature play for the young and the young at heart provided by Hunter Gatherings and then free warming tea, coffee and yummy homemade soup supplied by the wonderful Hut Community Centre at Aldgate.”
The Hut Community Centre staff and volunteers are passionate about the Adelaide Hills and the volume and quality of the soup and cake on offer was testament to their hard work and dedication.
The Hut Community Development Manager, Bernadette Reading, and Friends of Woorabinda volunteers ensured no-one was left hungry after enjoying a chat and a brisk walk around the spectacular lake and bushland.
“This collaboration with the Adelaide Hills Council is a fantastic way of getting people together during the cooler months and so when we were asked to provide some free soup, tea and coffee for the walkers we jumped at the chance,” Bernadette says.
“These kinds of events bring people together to enjoy the outdoors while socialising and learning new skills and walkers and families then warm up with a lovely cup of pumpkin or minestrone soup lovingly made by Hut volunteers and provided free of charge by the Adelaide Hills Council.”
Chair of the Friends of Woorabinda Bushlands Reserves, Brian Donaghy, says the heritage listed reserve is a unique and special place that offers walking tracks for all abilities whatever the season.
“The walking tracks around the lake are easy to access so everyone can enjoy the spectacular scenery and birdlife and dogs are welcome as long as they are kept on a lead,” Brian says.
“Woorabinda Bushland Reserves is a valuable community asset, and the Adelaide Hills Council is wonderfully supportive when it comes to helping to maintain the biodiversity through grants to help control weeds and encourage natural flora and fauna to flourish.
“The easiest walks are around the lake because the terrain is flat and so families with young children and prams can easily get around but for the more adventurous there are some more rugged walks to explore.
“The woodland of stringy bark eucalypts and other native shrubs provides wonderful shelter so that even at the height of summer it is nice and cool due to the shady walks along dozens of paths waiting to be explored.”
Frequent walker Merilyn Brown agrees and says the walks are always interesting and so quiet all you can hear are the birds.
“There are numerous access points to the reserve so if you enjoy walking regularly you can actually give yourself a whole heap of walks by simply coming in different entrances and leaving by different exits and doing it all in reverse of course,” Merilyn says.
Woorabinda Bushland Reserves includes four areas - Stirling Park, Woorabinda, Hender Reserve and Madurta Reserve with Woorabinda extending over 10 hectares with a man-made lake as the centrepiece of the landscape.
Whatever day of the week or season it is visitors can take a self-guided walk around the lake and to the top of the Aldgate Creek with a brochure available to help make the most of the walk.
Local Adelaide Hills resident, Lynda Allen, enjoyed the Winter Walk event but also meets up with her city-based friends every Sunday morning to enjoy the serenity of the Woorabinda Bushland Reserves while exercising and sharing the news of the week.
“We do big walks and it’s beautiful – we just like being outside at Woorabinda Bushland Reserves whether it’s winter or summer,” Lynda says.
“We start from the Stirling Organic Market and Café after grabbing a coffee and wander to the Woorabinda where we do a couple of laps walking and talking – we love it.”
Woorabinda Bushland Reserves is located at Woorabinda Road Stirling and is open every day between sunrise and sunset.
A Woorabinda Trails Map is available via the link below and if you would like to get involved and help maintain the Bushland Reserves you can become a Bushcare Volunteer and check out the regular newsletter about the activities of the Friends group.
Hear about Woorabinda Winter Walks from volunteers and Council staff in the video below.
Interested in becoming involved in the bushcare or biodiversity conservation space with other passionate, like-minded volunteers? There are a number of community led organisations that are active in the region. Find out more via the link below.