Marino Conservation Park
Marino Conservation Park is located approximately 15 kilometres from Adelaide and features stunning views across Adelaide and the coastline. In good weather, sailing boats dot the water and the coast is visible to Rapid Head in the south and Outer Harbour to the north. The views can be enjoyed from the walking trails throughout the park.
The hills above Marino were once part of the lands of the Aboriginal Kaurna people. The hills represented the shoulders of the dreamtime ancestor, Tjilbruke, and Marino Rocks, his hands.
Since European settlement, the land has been used for grazing and cultivation. A deep gully to the east was quarried for stone, then used as a domestic rubbish tip, and is now covered by landfill.
The park was proclaimed as a conservation park in 1989 to help protect its remnant coastal vegetation. It is managed by National Parks and Wildlife SA. A lighthouse in the park is managed by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority.
The park is situated on the western side of an anticline or upfold of ancient Precambrian sandstones and siltstones. Millions of years of erosion by running water has resulted in the park now being crossed by a succession of bands of ancient rock generally dipping steeply (below the surface) to the west.
Nearly 20 species of native birds frequent the park, including honeyeaters, falcons, rosellas and magpies. Many native insects breed in the vegetation, and these provide food for the birds. Brown snakes and other reptiles are also present.
Many native plants survive in Marino Conservation Park including the important elegant wattle (Acacia victoriae), native spear and blackhead grasses, riceflowers and daisy bushes.
The steep west-facing hillside above the railway line contains a very significant area of remnant coastal heath vegetation. This contains many species of rare plants such as lemon beauty heads (Calocephalus citreus), pussytails (Ptilotus nobilis), shiny ground berry (Acrotiche patula), native apricot (Pittosporum phylliraeoides and about 20 other species of conservation significance.
A botanical trail exists in the park which is about 1.5 km long. Allow about 90 minutes for a gentle stroll. The path is not suitable for wheelchairs - there are 2 gentle hills to climb.
The trail features numbered guideposts which with the use of guide available from the Friends of Marino Conservation Park, describes the botanical features along the way.
The park can be accessed via Marino Rocks railway station, and bus to Jervois Terrace.
There are no toilets, picnic tables or water taps in the park. The nearest facilities are on the corner of the esplanade (Marine Parade) and Jervois Terrace, Marino (see map below).