Veale Park / Walyu Yarta (Park 21)

A walking guide through Veale Park / Walyu Yarta (Park 21) in Adeelaide's southern Park Lands

Introduction and naming

It's a rectangle - bounded by South Terrace, Greenhill Road, Peacock Road and Sir Lewis Cohen Avenue Park 21 is 31 hectares in size. This means that in the context of the whole Adelaide Park Lands, it's only about four per cent of the…

The Pavilion

It has an unusual roof – what architects would call “a hyperbolic paraboloid” which means curves made of straight lines. It was chosen so the building would blend in, with its surrounds, in what was supposed to be evocative of an ‘Alpine’ style. At…

Creek and grottos

Within a week, Mr Veale had backtracked, insisting the garden was from then on to be known as a rock and water garden. Water was always going to be a major part in Mr Veale’s vision for the garden. This creek, though artificial, provides home to…

River red gums

These are River Red Gums, and they are planted at intervals along the edge of Veale Gardens providing shade for the plants and people below. This species can live as long as one thousand years, though these ones are quite young, having been planted…

The Couple

This sculpture, named ‘The Couple’, was created in 1962 by Berend van der Struik who had emigrated from the Netherlands five years earlier. It was one of the earliest features installed in the Park. The sculptor had some back luck with his…

Veale Gardens sundial

It is a reproduction of one owned by Sir Walter Scott, the Scottish novelist and poet of the late 18th century & early 19th centuries. He is most famous for writing the line “"Oh, what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to…

Sunken rose garden

Coincidentally Veale Gardens was built in the same year, 1963. However after the law changed in 1963, it took another ten years for the first wedding to be held here. That was because the City Council would not permit any part of the Park Lands…

Lion heads and site of former conservatory

The sculptures first put there were of a kangaroo, a platypus, a koala, and a quoll. For these to be made, specimens were borrowed from the South Australian Museum and delivered to the Town Hall. The modeller, Mr Logger, used them to create…

Mound behind grottos

The hills which host the Adelaide Pavilion, the grottos, and the grove of trees on top were created from 70 000 cubic metres of soil, that was carted from other places within the Park Lands, where excavation works had been undertaken. Similar…

Statue of Pan and flower bed entrance

Pan was sculptured by well known artist John Dowie. Unfortunately, during its construction, Pan fell and was damaged, forcing Dowie to redo parts of the statue. John Dowie was also the sculptor of the 'Three Rivers' fountain in Victoria…

Adelaide-Qingdao rose garden

Qingdao was chosen as a sister city because of its similarities to Adelaide and the expected positive impact on trade relations between the two cities. One of China's most popular alcoholic beverages –Tsingtao beer is brewed there, and relies…

Sir Lewis Cohen Avenue

Sir Lewis Cohen Avenue was opened in 1906, severing this Park 21 from its western section across the road, which then became known as Park 21 West. Sir Lewis Cohen was four times elected as Mayor of Adelaide – in four separate periods – between 1889…

Veale Park Old Access Road

Until 1975, male homosexual acts were was illegal in South Australia, and police often patrolled known beats with the intention to arrest, entrap, or worse. Even after decriminalisation in 1975, the remaining cultural stigma of homosexuality forced…

Rifle butts monument

The earliest recorded use of this Park after European settlement was in the training of volunteer military forces. A well-trained militia was seen as an important asset to the colony. A rifle range nearly a kilometre long was set up in the 1860s,…

Walyu Yarta Community garden

Some of these groups had been gardening vacant building sites in the neighbourhood. So-called “guerrilla gardeners” had been planting fruit and nut trees in South-eastern city streets. There was also a gardening group based at the Adelaide South…

Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) area

“UAV” stands for 'unmanned aerial vehicle' – meaning radio-controlled model aircraft and helicopter drones. This area is one of only two sites in the Adelaide Park Lands where model aircraft are officially permitted. The other site is…

Re-vegetation area

However, ever since the 1880s, re-vegetation has been attempted in several different periods and still continues. Firstly, to allow larger species to gain a foothold, smaller wattles were planted for shade and protection – which is what we might…

Cows in the south Park Lands

Up until the 1960s, most of the Park Lands were fenced to keep stock inside. To enter a park, you would either have to pass through a gate, or climb through the wire fence. The fences were sometimes damaged by cows, as they would put their heads…

Veale Park Southern sports facilities

Next to Greenhill Road, there are two tennis courts licensed by the City Council to the Victoria Tennis Club. Eastwards, another fenced area contains bitumen courts marked out for tennis, netball or handball. Just to the north of these fenced…