Cobbler Creek Recreation Park

Cobbler Creek Recreation Park

Cobbler Creek Recreation Park is a conservation and recreation park north of Adelaide, South Australia in the suburb of Gulfview Heights. Originally part of the lands of the Kaurna aboriginal people, it was farmed from European settlement of South Australia until the declaration of the park in 1989.

The park provides an open space barrier between Golden Grove and the suburbs of Salisbury, has dams to mitigate flooding and is a significant site for both public recreation and native flora and fauna conservation. It is bounded by main roads and bisected by a four-lane main connecting road.

Structure and climate

Cobbler Creek Recreation Park is a public recreation and conservation park north of Adelaide South Australia within the suburb of Gulfview Heights. The park is bounded by Bridge and Smith roads, and Green Valley Drive. The Grove Way, a major divided road, runs through the park with a pedestrian underpass connecting the two park sections. The park is open to the public and includes three formed walking trails and two ruins. The remains of William Pedler's home "Trevalsa" and another's called "Teakles House" lie next to one of the trails. There are no public facilities except for benches, signage and picnic tables. "Kelway House", originally belonging to the Kelway Park farm that occupied much of the park, remains as a National Parks and Wildlife Service work centre.

The park lies on the border between the dry northern Adelaide Plains and the wetter Mount Lofty Ranges. Based on climate measurements for nearby Parafield Airport, the park has an average rainfall of , an average winter daily temperature range of 6.2—15.6 degrees Celsius and a summer range of 16.5—29.7. Due to the risk of flooding after heavy rain, the park’s waterways have been dammed, though they are dry for much of the year. The park’s topography ranges from steadily sloping in the west, to hilly in the east. Its lowest point, on the western edge along Bridge road, is above sea level, rising to in its southeastern corner at the Para Trigonometric Point. Flat land on the western side has red-brown soil with the remainder having Terra Rosas, Redzinas and fine-textured mallee soils.


After European settlement the land was used for farming. William Pedler (1850-1916), emigrant to the colony in 1838 and shoemaker to the colony's Governor, was one of the first to farm the area. His profession gave both the creek that passes through the northern part of the park, and the park their names. Pedler's farm occupied the flatter, western area of land near Bridge Road. Much of the park was a farm known as "Kelway Park"; a homestead of the same name remains in the park’s south-west.

Investigations have found no evidence of land use prior to European settlement, although the park forms part of the traditional lands of the Kaurna aboriginal people. It is likely that the Kaurna used the area during winter for food and shelter, moving to the coast to escape summer heat.

In a 1962 government report, the park’s area was identified for use as future open space. A golf course was proposed, as were other sporting facilities. The course was re-proposed in 1981 and again in the 1990 management plan. The park was purchased by the Government of South Australia in 1970, as part of a program preserving open space for recreation. The park's location was chosen to provide a development-free buffer between the existing suburbs of Salisbury and the proposed Golden Grove development. It was owned and managed by the State Planning Authority until 1982 when control passed to the National Parks and Wildlife Service. Cobbler Creek was declared a recreation park in 1989, at which point some of the land remained leased for agriculture. The Golden Grove Indenture Act (1984) committed the government to build certain access roads to the new suburb of Golden Grove. Based on the provisions of section 7A-1 in the act, in June 1987 cabinet approved the building of Grove Way. The road is a 4-lane divided connecting road, begun in September 1988 and completed in 1990.

Cobbler Creek Recreation Park is administered and maintained jointly by the City of Salisbury, and the Department for Environment and Heritage. A volunteer group, Friends of Cobbler Creek, was formed in 1990 and works with rangers to improve and maintain the park.

Flora and fauna

While sections of the park have are cleared (owing to past land uses), other areas feature grassland, River Red Gum(Eucalyptus camaldulensis), and Mallee box(Eucalyptus porosa). The park contains some of the last remaining Mallee Box grassy woodland in Adelaide. Amongst the woodlands, plants like the blue-flowering Flax Lily are common.

Most of the lower, western parts of the park were cleared for pasture and cropping. While there is remnant vegetation on higher ground, introduced pasture grasses and associated weeds dominate much of the understorey. Perennial native grasses, such as kangaroo grass (Themeda triandra), have been used as part of the park's revegetation. Many of the introduced grasses dry in summer and pose a greater fire hazard than the regrowth. To combat this hazard, and protect surrounding residential areas, annual burns are held particularly around the park's margins. These burns also serve to encourage native vegetation to dominate over introduced weeds.

Due to the park's perceived modest conservation values, the 1990 management plan called for specific control only of proscribed weeds rather than concerted eradication of all introduced species. Cobbler Creek park has a wide range of native plants including Quandong, Ruby Saltbush (Enchylaena tormentosa, Desert Cassia (Cassia eremophila), Weeping Pittosporum and Umbrella Wattle(Acacia ligulata).

Native fauna species have been greatly reduced by past agricultural practices and the introduced rabbit is now common. Eastern Bearded Dragons, White's Skink, Eastern Brown Snake, and Sleepy Lizard reptile species are seen; a total of twenty species have been seen within the park. Black-shouldered Kites and Nankeen Kestrels hunt over the grasslands. Red-rumped Parrots and Crested Pigeons are seen feeding on the ground and Wattlebirds, Musk Lorikeets, Noisy Miners and Honeyeaters in the flowering gums and along creeklines.



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