with Stirling Park, was originally known
as 'Halliday's Gully'. It is just over 10 hectares, and contains a man
made lake and extensive bushland.
You can take a
self guided walk around the lake and the top of the Aldgate Creek. A
is available to help you make the most of your walk.
Woorabinda Lake was originally constructed by the South Australian Railways
Department in 1922 to supply water to Aldgate station for use by steam
locomotives. The additional water was required when a heavier class
of steam locomotive was introduced to the steep Adelaide Hills gradient.
Photo courtesy Jack Benlow
When diesel locomotives
began to replace steam trains during the fifties the dam was no longer
required by the railways. In 1960 the area adjacent to the railway cottage
was converted to a camp site by the then Department of Community Welfare
with transportable buildings from the Education Department and labour
from the McNally Training Centre.
The camp site was
used up until the mid nineties by the Department for Family and Community
Services as a holiday camp for disadvantaged children, families and
community groups. Local residents can remember from this period the
delight (usually expressed in Pitjantjatjara) of many groups of Aboriginal
children from the arid outback areas of South Australia as they experienced
the wonderful wetlands areas of Woorabinda; which was most fitting given
that the aboriginal word ‘woorabinda’ is understood to mean ‘a wet place’.
The property was
offered for sale to the District Council of Stirling in July 1993. The
Council agreed to take out a lease on the property in May 1994 and finalised
the purchased in June 1995. This council initiative has had enthusiastic
support from the Woorabinda Committee, Board and the Friends group,
as well as the broader community.
The lake is scenically
attractive and together with its surrounding bushland provides a habitat
for birds, fish, reptiles, animals and amphibians.
It also offers
potential for a range of activities such as picnicking, bird-watching,
other wildlife studies and just relaxing. (Swimming has been prohibited
by Council for critical risk management purposes). All activities need
sensitive control to prevent use by the public destroying the lake’s
virtues. Already the recent increase in visitors to the lake is resulting
in erosion and bushland destruction on the shore.
A high priority
for the Friends are programmes designed to reduce erosion and degradation
of the lake edge. Protection of the reed beds is vital. Dogs swimming
in the lake, chasing water birds and damaging the reeds and water weed
are causing problems due to the large number of people with dogs using
the park. Education, signage and restriction of access to some parts
of the lake edge are necessary. All
dogs within the park are required to be on leads.
become the focal point of educational activities within the Park with
groups of Primary, Secondary and Tertiary students undertaking classes
and individuals undertaking projects.
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