Opening up a spectacular piece of South Australian landscape – the Onkaparinga River Gorge for public viewing



The nationally significant Onkaparinga River National Park and Recreation Park will become a whole lot more accessible to the public.


Currently, accessibility is highly limited. But this hidden gem will soon have visitor facilities including a new lookout to the Onkaparinga River Gorge, upgraded rock climbing facilities, new bush camping areas and installation of kayak launch ramps.




Facing challenges such as steep terrains at the Onkaparinga River Gorge and the site being a high environmental conservation area, ASPECT Studios and the Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources (DEWNR) focused on utilising sustainable and durable materials and integrated the new facilities along with a new trail network. The design inspiration for viewing structures were drawn from the site specific characteristics, seeking a minimal design aesthetic that sits lightly in the environment. The measured use of natural materials with high performance and durable structural components allows the elements to seamlessly connect with the natural setting.


The Onkaparinga River National Park and Recreation Park is less than an hour’s drive from Adelaide’s CBD and is adjacent to the premier tourist destinations such as the MacLaren Vale Wine region, scenic southern beaches and the historic Old Noarlunga. The parks are expected to have a rapid increase in visitation after reopening in July 2017.


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About Onkaparinga River National Park and River Recreation Park


Onkaparinga River National Park and River Recreation Park provide visitors with outdoor activity opportunities such as fishing and hiking and also an important conservation area providing habitats for endangered migratory birds and other native wildlife with extensive tracts of intact remnant vegetation.


An important site in the Tjilbruke Dreaming story, the Onkaparinga River (Ngangkiparinga) is one of the key trails (along with the River Torrens (Karrawirra Pari) and Sturt River (Warripari) used by ancestors of the Kaurna People for migrating from the hills to the sea.


To link to the official Onkaparinga River National Park and River Recreation Park website click here.

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