Belair National Park Fungi Walk
Review by Claire Davill
How would you like to go on an adventure to find magical looking mushrooms? During Autumn and Winter, there’s a short walk in Belair National Park where you will be rewarded with a huge variety of fungi and lichens to spot, including impressive blue “pixie parasol” fungi.
Where to find the fungi/mushrooms in Belair National Park:
To find the secret fungi path, to spot magical mushrooms you’ll need to enter Belair National Park (entry fees apply) drive up the main valley road, past the adventure playground and railway dam, then veer right along Melville Gully road, that takes you past the Long Gully picnic area. At the Karka Pavillion, turn left onto Cherry Plantation Road and drive to the end, where there is a gate blocking the road and a small carpark. This is where you need to park your car.
Just beyond the carpark is a bridge over the creek (see picture). Cross the creek here and then follow the slightly overgrown path to the right, along the creek.
The path is mostly flat and runs between the creek and a steep hillside, which shades the path making it dark and damp – perfect for all sorts of fungi! You’ll need to keep your eyes peeled to spot the often small fungi. Look in dark places along the earthbank, along the many fallen logs and branches, and in the leaf litter. You’ll find all sorts of different mushrooms and lichen in all sorts of colours like brown, white, yellow and yes, blue! You could easily imagine fairies living here!
The path peters out after a few hundred metres, and you’ll need to return the way you came – this is a short out-and-back walk.
Very Important Note:
Please take care around the fungi. It is important to appreciate nature without harming it. Make sure your kids know not to touch them, especially the potentially poisonous fungi and take care not to trample or disturb the fungi. Leave the area as you found it for everyone to enjoy! (We tell our kids they are ALL poisonous so they don’t touch them.)
This is an opportunity to teach children about how important nature is, to respect it, and make them excited about outdoor adventures. You can see wonderful pictures on the internet but there is nothing like experiencing it in real life. Children who are nature lovers are the people who will care for their environment as adults.
Things to consider:
- You will need to pay to enter the park by car, unless you want a very long walk or bike ride – this trail is deep inside the park. At the time of writing, the fee is $12 per car or $10 for concession card holders
• Although the path is short and flat, it’s not suitable for strollers. It is slightly overgrown in places, with blackberry and gorse bushes on either side of the path. Small children will be able to navigate the overgrown areas, with some help. We recommend gumboots for the walk and long sleeves and pants to help avoid prickles.
• Take a camera. Some of the fungi are spectacular! You will need a camera that deals with low light conditions –some sections of the trail are very dark, even on sunny days.
• Consider making this walk part of a day out at Belair to get your money’s worth. There’s the adventure playground, a cubby building area (you will pass this on your way to this walk), native plant nursery and lots of other things to see and do in the park.
For more information about entry fees, tennis court hire or venue hire see the National Parks SA website here.
While you’re visiting, make sure you take the kids to visit the Belair National Park Adventure Playground.
Find general information about Belair National Park here.
For more information and all enquiries please visit the Belair National Park website
What: Belair Fungi Walk
When: 8am to sunset all year round, except Christmas Day where the park is closed.
Where: Belair National Park | Upper Sturt Road, Belair – end of Cherry Plantation Road
Who: Fungi fans and fairy hunters
At Play & Go Adelaide we make every effort to provide accurate information to the best of our knowledge at the time of publication. We recommend confirming times, dates and details directly before making any plans as details may be subject to change.
Image Source: All photos by Claire Davill for Play & Go
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