Adelaide’s secret natural playground Anstey Hill Recreation Park is number 85 on Australian Traveller’s ‘100 amazing places you haven’t been to yet‘. Nominated by: Nick Cleary, animator and director of indigenous film Yudum.

One of the charms of Adelaide is that everything feels so darn close, and only 16 kilometres from the CBD you’ll find an unexpected treat in Anstey Hill Recreation Park, a naturally blessed, 383-hectare playground of bush and greenery, criss-crossed with walking tracks (graded from easy to just plain nuts), and astonishing views of Adelaide city.

“I live here and I was amazed,” says Nick Cleary. “I was just surprised at how far up you actually end up here, and it’s just out of Tea Tree Gully in a totally residential area.”

This, however, is not the surprise. Actually, it is the fact that you’ll find intriguing ruins dotting the hillside dating back to the early settlement of the area, when there was a cottage, a bakery and the southern hemisphere’s largest plant nursery.

Take the one-hour Geological Hike (signposted from Gate 9) and you’ll not only see the Gun Emplacement overlooking that incredible city view, but keep going and you can discover the historic stone quarries in the hills beyond.


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