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Sturt Gorge Recreation Park

Sturt Gorge Recreation Park

Sturt Gorge Recreation Park is internationally recognised as an area of geological significance. In 1946, Australia's Antarctic explorer, the geologist Sir Douglas Mawson, wrote to the owner of the gorge: 'The occurrence of an extremely ancient glacial deposit on your land makes this locality of outstanding interest to scientists'. The park also protects a wide variety of habitats which can be explored via several walking trails.

Cycling Walking and Hiking trails
Location
Broadmeadow Drive
Flagstaff Hill
Facilities Park
Features
  • Dogs on-leash exercise , 
  • Horse Riding, 
  • Walking trails
 

Sturt Gorge Recreation Park is internationally recognised as an area of geological significance. In 1946, Australia's Antarctic explorer, the geologist Sir Douglas Mawson, wrote to the owner of the gorge: 'The occurrence of an extremely ancient glacial deposit on your land makes this locality of outstanding interest to scientists'. The park also protects a wide variety of habitats which can be explored via several walking trails.

Sturt Gorge is located in Adelaide's southern suburbs of Bellevue Heights and Flagstaff Hill, some 13 kilometres from the City centre. Walkers can enter the park via steep trails from Broadmeadow Drive, Bonneyview Road, The Boulevard and Black Road. There is a small car park on Broadmeadow Drive. The park may be closed on total fire ban days. Admission is free.

Some rock strata in the gorge was identified in 1901 as having glacial origins. This formation, known as Sturt tillite, holds the distinction of providing the first definite evidence of such early stage glaciation in the geological history of the world.

Sturt tillite is believed to have been formed from glacial material dropped from ice floating in the ocean that covered South Australia some 800 million years ago. It consists of stones of all sizes, boulders and mudstones.

A later formation, containing slates deposited as sediments in the deep lakes that once covered the area, overlies the Sturt tillite. Siltstones and quartzites are the oldest rocks in the park, occurring in small outcrops in the south-eastern corner.

The gorge contains a diverse range of plant communities, from grasslands to open woodlands. The steep slopes are characterised by drooping sheoak and Grey Box, while the most densely vegetated area is a tall shrubland of large twiggy daisy bush and drooping sheoak. Large River Red Gums line the Sturt River.

The park and its various walking trails also offer the opportunity to observe the diverse range of native fauna which comes to drink at the waterholes along the river.

Little information is available regarding Kaurna Aboriginal occupation and use of the land, although it is know that Aboriginal people used this natural corridor to follow traditional hunting and gathering routes. Adelaide merchant Archibald Jaffray purchased the land in 1849. From 1859 it was leased to several people as grazing land. In 1919 it was purchased as a settlement for soldiers discharged following the end of the First World War. One returned soldier, Edgar Alfred de Rose, leased the property for a 65-year term and named it Sturt Hills. He ran 700 to 800 sheep and leased out the southern section for cropping.

During the 1930s depression, timber was cut from the eastern part of the property and sold to bakeries and brickmakers. Silver, lead, zinc and copper were mined in the gorge. Sturt Gorge Recreation Park was first proclaimed in 1955.

There are no visitor facilities or amenities. Further information on the park is available at http://www.environment.sa.gov.au/parks/Find_a_Park/Browse_by_region/Adelaide/Sturt_Gorge_Recreation_Park.

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City of Mitcham -ABN 92 180 069 793
131 Belair Road, Torrens Park SA 5062
T: +61 8 8372 8888 | F: +61 8 83728101
E: mitcham@mitchamcouncil.sa.gov.au
Last date modified: 2017-11-21T11:10:37
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