South Australian’s love our doggos almost as much as we like our coffee-flavoured milk. Luckily we’ve also got some pretty spectacular scenery in which to take our four legged pals for walkies. Fritz put together a shortlist of SA’s best dog-friendly parks, walks and hikes for you and your pooch.
Onkaparinga National Park
Onkaparinga River National Park has a bunch of diverse hiking trails to walk your fur baby. Gate 12 takes you to cliff tops and magnificent views with kangaroo and echidna sightings a highlight – you can even clamber down to permanent rock pools teeming with life. Take the Echidna Trail and walk in a clockwise direction for a fairly easy adventure for you and your canine buddy. If you or the pooch are long of tooth, you can also do the more leisurely Nature Hike.
Belair National Park
This local beauty is a mere 25-minute drive from the city centre and is dog-friendly – as long as you keep the lead on and bring your own doggy-doo bags. With natural bushland, numerous picnic areas, tennis courts (doggo is sure to find an old ball) and walking trails, Belair National Park is an ideal place to get active with the pup.
Sturt Gorge Recreation Park
Walking in Sturt Gorge Recreation Park can feel like taking a step back in time. This area is of great geological significance, home to a unique rock formation, known as sturt tillite, that is believed to have been formed from glacial material dropped from ice floating in the ocean that covered South Australia 800 million years ago. It’s also a conservation area for the nationally threatened greybox grassy woodland vegetation, which was once abundant across southern Australia. You and your (leashed) pup will share the trail with bike-riders, horses and plenty of natural fauna. Spring is the best time to visit, as the park comes alive and your pooch will have plenty of new scents to explore.
This is the perfect park to immerse yourselves in nature – walking, picnicking, and observing native animal life. Home to the Barossa Goldfields, where you can discover the ruins and the history of a once thriving mining operation. Be aware, if your doggy is more of a hunter, the natural wildlife here is abundant and might send you flying as they pull on the lead. There are over 100 species of birds and animals in the park including emus, kangaroos and lizards.
Coast Park Path along Adelaide’s Beaches
The Coast Park Path is a 70-kilometer walking and cycling path along the Metropolitan Adelaide coastline, from North Haven through to Sellicks Beach. The walk is practically unobstructed, the only exception being around the former Port Stanvac oil refinery. It’s handy to note that you can take your pup on the sand, as long as they are on a leash (some parts of the day can be off lead). There are five beaches that are lead-free 24/7: O’Sullivans Beach, Christies Beach, Henley Beach, Grange-Tennyson Beach, Seaford-Moana, and Sellicks Beach.
Blackwood Forest Recreation Park
Blackwood Forest Recreation Park is a protected area located in Hawthorndene, about 12-kilometres south of Adelaide city. The park is treasured by the local community and is popular for walking, jogging and dog exercising. There is a superb pine forest and gorgeous creek, with historical buildings dotted around the park. Best of all, doggies can explore off the lead, as long as they are controlled.
Coonalpyn Dog Exercise Park
The Coonalpyn Dog Exercise Park is one of only a few dog parks on the Dukes Highway. It was specifically designed to be a spot for families travelling with their canine mate, to give the pups somewhere to stretch their legs after long car rides. The park was opened in 1995, and it is a must for anyone travelling with their dog. Be aware – the park’s gate does not have a latch and it’s rural SA so always be on the lookout for grass seeds, spiders and snakes.
Pooch Park in Playford
This park is Playford’s first (and only) off-leash, fenced dog park. The parking is limited because it was designed to be accessed by foot for the residents of the development. There is no shelter at the park so hot or rainy days can be tricky. Water near the park means it is bee heaven.
DOG-FRIENDLY EVENTS IN ADELAIDE
The Corporate Cup
CC is pet-friendly and you can walk or run with your pup on a lead at four locations over the next 16 weeks – Adelaide, Mawson Lakes, Somerton Park and Port Adelaide.
Wednesday 2 August to Wednesday 1 November. Various locations.
RSPCA Million Paws Walk
An event for dog lovers across the nation. It encourages them to join together to help fight against animal cruelty.
Sunday 21 May 2018. Various locations.
The festival for pups and their owners, held during the Fringe time is billed as Adelaide’s dog-friendly mini-music festival.
Fringe Festival. Orphanage Park.
Got any amazing SA places to walk the pooch? Let us know in the comments, below.