Monday, June 11, 2012

Anstey Hill... Adeventures Of A Dinsosaur Hunter

Today was a beautiful Winter's Day in Adelaide... though it only reached 15 degrees (or thereabouts). It was fine, and not even a breeze. Well, as we'd all been cooped up inside for too long, we decided to go out for the afternoon. And to my surprise, L-kun wanted to go bush-walking.  I decided we'd have a look at Anstey Hill Recreation Park, one that we'd not been to before. So off we went... looking for adventure.

The park itself can be found at the end of Lower North East Road and Grand Junction Roads, in the foothills of the North East suburbs, about 18km from the city centre.

View Larger Map

There are a number of lookouts, and the view towards the city is good... though from this vantage point you might actually suspect that Adelaide was a city of trees, with the city centre perched far into the distance.

Now, whilst you can grab information from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (see link above), there's not much of a map that goes with it. The Park is about 380 hectares, and much of it used to be either quarry or (of all things) a nursery, as well as semi-rural land. It's been turned into a Recreation Park to ensure that it doesn't get developed and eventually returns to something like it's natural state. Not having been to the park before, I though the "Geological Hike" sounded interesting for L-kun... even though it was rated as a moderate bush walk... this can be reached from Gate 9 on the SW corner of the park.

Scanned imaged from Department of Environment and Natural Resources

The Park itself is quite nice, though quite different from the other parks in/around Adelaide. It has a feel of a slowly evolving rural landscape... and is a good mix of open land, and bushland, with a range of hills and valleys.

And even though the Winter's been wet, and the drought an increasingly distant memory, every where there are signs of it.

But also of the new life returning to the landscape.

For reasons I'll explain shortly, it was difficult to take photos today, and the wild-flowers hadn't really appeared in all their glory yet.

But it was still a very pleasant environment, and not at all like the thick scrub we would often walk through.

The great thing about the Geological Hike is the fact that there's a mix of views of the city, the old "gun emplacement" and the quarries to walk through. The rocks in the quarry are old - as they say - as the Hills. About 450million years ago the sands were turned into a mountain... and the park also spans the Eden-Burnside fault line which marks the transition from Adelaide Plains to Mt Lofty Ranges.

And the quarries are fun to walk around, observing through the cut in the mountainside, the history of Adelaide through a geologists eyes.

Actually, one of the unexpected things that happened during the day was that L-kun decided that he'd go Dinosaur Bone hunting/ I think he'd taken to heart a dinosaur show he'd seen on tv a while back, and all of a sudden everything he saw on the ground was a dinosaur bone. And I mean everything!

As for myself, I got into the act.... but you can also see that this wasn't the only thing that I was concerned about. I was the official baby carrier for our bushwalk adventure, and this was the first time we'd tried out the baby carrier with C-chan. So I wasn't really able to enjoy the freedom to photograph as I would like, but I like to think that it was a shared compromise, and a shared moment of peaceful togetherness. Especially as C-chan fell asleep through most of it.

We had a great time - and L-kun brought back a bag (yes, I mean a big bag) of "dinosaur bones". I don't have the heart to tell him that they were just rocks, but I figure, what do I know... somewhere in that bag was the remains of our deep deep past. Whether it was bones of long-gone animals or the bones of our world. Either way, I loved that he was so excited about it, and it certainly made for a more interesting walk.

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