I’m one of those people who is always itching to explore new things. Top of the list is usually cultural events, but I also like exploring the great outdoors too. I read somewhere that Adelaide is one of those places that you have to reach out and engage with; it’s not just going to grab you.
With that in mind and the sun shining, we decided to explore the Mount Lofty Summit in the Adelaide Hills. It’s a twenty minute drive from the city and is well set up for visitors. There’s everything the weary explorer needs, including a visitor centre, a gift shop and even cafe. But what you really go for it is the amazing view. Mount Lofty is more than 710 meters above sea level with panoramic views across the the city all the way to the coast.
There is also an interesting monument to Matthew Flinders at the summit, which caught my eye. It’s a big white obelisk and a door on the outside got me wondering what it’s like inside. Flinders (1774 – 1814) was an English navigator and cartographer, who was the first to circumnavigate Australia and identify it as a continent. He explored and surveyed the southern Australian coastline in 1802, in his ship ‘Investigator’.
Portrait of Captain Matthew Flinders. State Library of South Australia (B 16400)
A plaque on the side on the monument reads:
In honour of Matthew Flinders commander of the Investigator who from Kangaroo Head, Kangaroo Island discovered and named Mount Lofty on Tuesday 23rd March 1802
This tablet was unveiled and the column named by his Excellency Lord Tennyson, 22nd March 1902
Mount Lofty is set in the beautiful Cleland Conservation Park, which protects a significant area of natural bushland. Throughout the park are trails for walking and cycling where you can enjoy the natural wildlife. As someone who has only been in Australia for six months, I get pretty excited about the idea of being in the ‘bush’. It’s one of those things that’s so typically Australian. The unfamiliarity of the plants and trees make everything seem more interesting than in the UK. For me, the natural environment is one the the biggest reminders I’m living on the other side of the world. I wore the wrong shoes for bushingwalking on the day we visited (typical!) but were still able to do a little bit of exploring. I didn’t see any koalas, but I know they live in these parts. Next time, I’ll be going for a longer walk (in the right shoes) and hopefully I’ll spot one!
It seems to be mushroom season here in South Australia; every time I head out of the city I spot them growing. I couldn’t resit talking a photo of these little mushrooms blooming from a dead tree stump. As well as enjoying the view from the summit and the beautiful bushland, I also spotted a digital conservation project from the University of Adelaide and the South Australian Government. I’m always keen to see digital projects engaging with the public. Stay tuned for more about that in my next post.
Bye for now…