Karrawirra, Park 12

The Park Lands are divided up into 30 named and numbered Parks and 6 named squares. The Park numbers are based on the old 'land section' numbers.

Karrawirra (Park 12) usually refers to the area north of Victoria Drive but historically, much of the University precinct between North Terrace and Victoria Drive was once Park Lands as well. Land to the south-west of this corner, back to North Terrace gradually disappeared as Park Lands after the Adelaide University was founded in 1875.

What you will see on this walk is the part of Karrawirra that is still (mostly) intact as Park Lands. It's very precious as part of a dwindling Park Lands buffer between the city and North Adelaide.

What remains today of Park 12 is 14 hectares in size. That seems like a large area of land, and it is – it could be cut up into about 200 standard size house blocks. But in the context of the whole Adelaide Park Lands, Karrawirra is only small, comprising just two percent of more than 700 hectares.

Karrawirra - In Context

We start this walk at the corner of Victoria Drive and Frome Rd, where we put Kjarrawirra (Park 12) in context. The Adelaide Park Lands are unique - the only circle built inside a park. The Park Lands are not a loop or circle, but a figure-8 wrapping…

'Fugue' Metal Sculpture

One of the more recent additions to Karrawirra is the large metal sculpture “Fugue”: by sculptor Greg Johns. It was created in 1998, on commission for a winery in the Adelaide Hills – Nepenthe. After the winery's founder Ed Tweddell died…

University Footbridge

The University footbridge was designed in 1928 by the South Australian railways department. After the design, construction of the bridge was delayed by the depression until 1937. The bridge was part-funded by the Waite family whose philanthropy…

McEwin arboretum

Crossing over the University footbridge just before we reach War Memorial Drive, we enter what was the first arboretum in South Australia – established in the 1920's by the City Council and named after then-Councillor George McEwin. These…

Boathouses

Turning left, along War Memorial Drive, you pass one boat shed on the left and two boatsheds on the right. The two-storey “Edwardian” boat shed on the left dates from 1930 and was erected by Prince Alfred College. On the right are the boat…

Grundy Gardens

Passing under the University footbridge, heading upstream along the banks of the Torrens you are strolling through Grundy Gardens. The Gardens’ main feature is the dry stone walling which provides paths and takes advantage of the topography of…

Albert Bridge

This state-heritage listed bridge is named after Queen Victoria's husband, Prince Albert. This walk stays on the northern side of the bridge, but you can cross over the bridge to read an interpretive sign on the southern side, which gives some…

Adelaide University Park Lands sign

This sign marks a small victory for the Adelaide Park Lands Preservation Association. In 2014 a North Adelaide businessman, Stephan Mavrakis, contacted the Association. Back then there was a different sign here. The old sign read: “University of…

Sir Edwin Smith Avenue

This street alongside the Women's and Children's Hospital is named for Sir Edwin Thomas Smith. He was an English-born South Australian brewer, businessman, councillor, mayor, politician and benefactor, and Mayor of Adelaide from 1886 to…

Peace Park

In the open area on our left, on the eastern side of Sir Edwin Smith Avenue, there was once a commercial tourist attraction; a Snake Park and Koala Farm. This attraction was opened in 1927 initially on just 1,400 square metres, just as a “snake…

SA Naval Memorial

The SA Naval Memorial is an anchor mounted on a granite slab. It's surrounded by 32 bronze plaques, commemorating ships and services in the Royal Australian Navy. Surrounding the monuments are garden beds resembling the shape of an anchor.…

Statue of King George V

We have several statues in Adelaide to past British Kings and Queens. This man was the link between two Queens - he was Queen Victoria's grandson, and Queen Elizabeth's grandfather. Born in 1865, George Frederick Ernest Albert became…

Pennington Gardens East – The Garden of Remembrance

This garden, dating from the early 1920s is a tribute to the women of South Australia and their contributions during the First World War. The “Garden of Remembrance” includes a Cross of Remembrance and Stone of Remembrance which is inscribed…

Angas Gardens

At the entrance to War Memorial Drive is a plaque, with the date 1919. This was the year that the first section of War Memorial Drive was opened (that is, the section between Frome Rd & Sir Edwin Smith Avenue). It was built by returned…

Adelaide Bridge

This Adelaide Bridge - a State Heritage place - was built in 1931. It was the third bridge on this site, replacing two earlier ones, and was the fifth bridge that linked the City and North Adelaide across the Torrens. The first bridge on this…

Rose Garden - Bronze busts

In these rose gardens are two bronze busts, by sculptor Ken Martin. Lady Esther Lipman, was the first female member of Adelaide City Council, for 22 years from 1956. At the other end of the rose garden is her father Vaiben Louis Solomon who was, at…

Pioneer Women’s Memorial Garden

This garden of remembrance off King William Rd opposite Elder Park was established for South Australia's Centenary Year of 1936 by the women of South Australia as a tribute to the pioneer women of the state. There is an interpretive sign here,…

Torrens Parade Ground

This site has been taken away from the Park Lands twice! From 1839 to 1850 it was a "Government Quarry". Long after the quarry had stopped operating, in the 1890s it was partially returned to Park Lands, but then in 1936, the Commonwealth…

Early 20th Century boatsheds

Between Victoria Drive and the river is a collection of four buildings that are all either former or current boat sheds. Each of them has been here for at least a hundred years. A photo of a Torrens rowing regatta, taken in 1918 shows the four boat…

Former Water Police Station

Built in 1928, this former Water Police Station is a prime example of the Spanish Mission style which was popular between 1915 and 1940. Other prominent buildings in this style include the Hartley Building just in sight, south-east of here, up the…