Fresh Blog

News as it happens - discussion; views; topics; information

KI accommodation proposal at Flinders Chase National Park

Ashleigh Coombs - Thursday, February 14, 2019

19 March 2019

My wife and I attended the rally at Parliament House in support of the Friends of Parks KI. It was encouraging to see around 30 Friends groups represented in the 500 strong crowd. There is clearly significant concern amongst Friends Groups and members of the public, about this governments plans to develop inside National Parks. If this development is allowed to proceed, in this most remote, wild and pristine of our National Parks at Flinders Chase, nothing will stop development in the other Parks.

I ask the Board to use its influence with Government ministers and departments to have this development moved to a more appropriate location in the park . Locations near the already established campgrounds on the Wilderness Walking Trail would be acceptable to most people.

Can you do more to inform and encourage other Friends Groups to take a stand?


Andrew Jessup


Hi Everyone

I have just posted up a statement by the Board in relation to the KI accommodation proposal at Flinders Chase National Park. This came about after the Friends of KI Western District approached the Board to represent their views and concerns to Executive management of DEW, regarding the proposal and the associated community consultation process.

Myself and Carole Pinnock (a Board member as well as representing the Friends of KI West), met on many occasions with John Schutz CE DEW, Grant Pelton A/Director Parks and Regions, and the KI developers to work through the proposal and the local community’s concerns regarding the development’s footprint within the park. The Board held an extra-ordinary meeting 2 weeks ago to discuss the proposal with the developer as well as DEW management.

At this stage, there is broad agreement that the community consultation wasn’t satisfactory, and to this end the Board is still in discussion with senior management as to how future development proposals in parks are to be enacted and how the Friends group and the community will be engaged.

At last week’s Board meeting, the Minister for Environment and Water, David Spiers MP, spoke to the Board about his commitment to DEW’s core business of conservation and biodiversity management in the State’s national parks, and the importance of effective, early community consultation regarding any development proposals.

The Board’s statement is therefore a reflection of many discussions with all stakeholders over many weeks. It is a principled position that seeks to support and validate the independence of member groups to make their own decisions, and places clear expectations on DEW as a genuine partner in park management.

If you could direct any feedback to the Board around this to Ian Radbone, (in Pam’s absence), he will direct that back to the Board.

Many Thanks

Duncan MacKenzie, President



Friends of Parks Inc statement concerning development in National Parks and the proposed luxury accommodation in Flinders Chase National Park

General Statement

Friends of Parks Inc believes that commercial developments in parks should be consistent with the Park’s Management Plan and only occur after careful consideration of the environmental impact and full public consultation.

Friends of Parks (FOP) are a strong and respected working partner of DEW. The FOP Board has an expectation that there will be early and transparent communication with local Friends of Parks member groups when developments in their Parks are considered. We support the right of Parks groups – as independent groups – to have at times a differing view on developments in their parks and for the Group to readily express these views.

Flinders Chase Accommodation Development

It is agreed in relation to Friends of Parks Kangaroo Island Western Districts (FOPKIWD) and the Flinders Chase accommodation development,

1. DEW will seek to facilitate FOPKIWD to make a submission the State Commission Assessment Panel (SCAP) currently considering the Flinders Chase development, the findings from which are due in February 2019

2. The Board is disappointed that early and transparent communication with local Friends of Parks member groups and the local community did not occur regarding this development

3. As a consequence FOPKIWD have withdrawn their labour in the park and in preparation for the Flinders Chase Centenary Celebration. If this continues, then in support, the President of FOP Inc. Board will also withdraw from the steering committee for the Centenary Celebration

4. While the Board has not supported universal withdrawal of labour by Friends groups on this issue, the Board is clear that each member group has a right to choose to do so, or to support FOPKIWD in other ways that are thought to be helpful

5. It is noted that Australian Walking Company (AWC) stated they would like to actively engage with Friends of Parks groups on Kangaroo Island and are actively seeking ways in which this could occur. Friends groups may consider talking to AWC about this possibility.



Flinders Ranges tourism app

Ashleigh Coombs - Thursday, May 03, 2018


Ashleigh Coombs - Tuesday, November 21, 2017


•Sign our electronic petition at

The Friends of Glenthorne have launched their Save Glenthorne campaign onto Facebook.

The Friends urge all members and supporters to access this page and help us build a following which will assist save the property from the University of Adelaide’s development plans.

You can connect using the following link and we encourage you to spread the word to your friends, family and other Friends groups.

If you have never been on Facebook, now is the time to jump on. You don't need to "Join" or "Sign Up" to Facebook to see our Facebook pages.

We plan to keep you informed with interesting stories, facts, campaign highlights and updates and reveal the truth about this wonderful local property.

As a Community, we will have just one go at this campaign and we are determined to band together to get our word out into the wider Community and make the State Government hear us, well before the March 2018 election.

We encourage you to get on board and add your comments, your thoughts and most importantly, what Glenthorne means to you.

If you have a special connection, perhaps via a family member who worked there or you are related to Major O’Halloran himself, we want to know about it via our Facebook page.

Join us now to Save Glenthorne for our children’s children, before it is lost forever.

Thank you for your ongoing support in the past and in what may just become the most important 7 months of our 21 year campaign.

There can be no holding back now, we have come too far.

Friends of Glenthorne

Glenthorne Appeal - Nov2017 Glenthorne Appeal - Nov2017 (18 KB)

Future Tourism Challenge

Ashleigh Coombs - Thursday, November 16, 2017

for The Adelaide Iinternational Bird Sanctuary - see flyer attached

No media download found.

A new app, Discover the Flinders Ranges, is now available

Ashleigh Coombs - Sunday, November 12, 2017

A moment to savour, the app, Discover the Flinders Ranges, is now available from both Apple Store and Google Play.

If you are unsure,the Apple Store suits iPhone and iPad, while the Google Play is for phones and tablets using Android.

You can download for free right now from either of the URLs:

We are greatly indebted to Bob Geary for achieving this milestone. Without his willingness to share his IT knowledge and skill, and his preparedness to devote more than 800 hours of his time to this project, the app would never have been developed. It is a unique contribution made by volunteers to benefit a national park and the people who visit it.

Bob is the first to acknowledge the support provided in the app development by a number of other members. These include Julie Owen, Peter and Robyn Trezise, Athol Jackson, Meredyth Geary, Helen Monterola, Terry Krieg, Anthea and Carl Hudson, Victor Gostin, Frank Williams , Tony Bott, Jan, Dave, Carmel and Maria. Publications of tours by Tony Bott provided much of the material used in the tours included in the app. If we add to Bob’s time, the hours these folk contributed to the project, we have well in excess of 1000 volunteer hours.

Already there are intentions to add further to the app over time with more tours and more guides. We are keen to include Adnyamathana culture and tours, and information about campgrounds and other park features too.

We hope that you enjoy looking through the app and finding time to use it in the park.

Please take every opportunity you can to tell relatives and friends that the app is available, and encourage them to download it then visit the Flinders Ranges.


Vince Monterola

Make nature your first choice these school holidays

Ashleigh Coombs - Friday, July 14, 2017


Make nature your first choice these school holidays

Brave the wintery weather and connect with nature these school holidays.

Whether it’s visiting one of South Australia’s 300 national parks and reserves, taking a road trip along the coast and exploring the beach, or enjoying the fresh air from the comfort of your own backyard, there are plenty of ways to immerse yourself in the great outdoors.

Scientific evidence shows that spending time in nature has significant benefits on physical and mental health. For children, unstructured outdoor play is vital for their development, including their health, happiness and wellbeing.

So these school holidays, consider how you can incorporate nature into your plans. Head to the Good Living blog for some simple ideas to help you connect with the environment, including:

Don’t let winter deter you – rustle up the kids, pull on your wet-weather gear and get into nature.

The Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources is a custodian of public parks, gardens, heritage places and crown lands for their intrinsic value and for people’s benefit and enjoyment now and into the future.

Authorised by Sandy Pitcher
Chief Executive
Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources


Walking Tails Support Grou's new app

Ashleigh Coombs - Friday, May 05, 2017

At the FOPInc AGM, an award was given to the Walking Tails Support Group for a new app they have produced which details 16 walks within the Flinders Ranges.

It sounds just the thing that might interest some of you, so here is the link.

The link to get the app is

Heysen Trail features on SA Life

Ashleigh Coombs - Friday, October 07, 2016

Heysen Trail features on SA Life - Sunday 9th Oct 5.30 Channel 7

Hi Everyone,

The SA Life Channel 7 television program will showcase the Heysen Trail and Walks With Nature this Sunday at 5.30pm. Most of you know that Ted (completed Heysen Trail End2End 4) and Marie Davis have set up Walks With Nature to enable visitors to enjoy the wonderful experiences available on the Fleurieu Peninsula. Central to this experience is walking on the Heysen Trail. I was invited, and very pleased, to be part of the team.

Both Ted Davis and myself spent a full day with the Channel 7 film crew on 14th July. It was a fun day with the TV crew.

We would love you to view the TV program on Sunday – 5.30pm.

You are invited to go to the Walks With Nature website at and the Facebook page to leave any likes and comments once you have seen the program, or viewed the program video once it’s been posted.

Hey – and Walks With Nature have also been nominated for the SA Tourism Awards – new tourist business. Winners announced on November 4 – wish us well!

PS – if you have friends and family interstate or OS – then please let them know about Walks With Nature – showcasing the Heysen Trail and other attractions on the Fleurieu Peninsula.


Robert Robert Alcock

M: 0419 819 345



12 dog-friendly walks in Adelaide parks

Ashleigh Coombs - Monday, September 19, 2016

Discover Adelaide’s best dog-friendly walks, including a hidden gem where you can let your pet off its lead.

Certain parks in South Australia provide visitors with an opportunity to walk their dog. In these parks dogs must remain on designated walking trails and on a lead.

One of the main reasons dog access is restricted in national parks is to protect native animals. It is also important for your dog’s safety. Check out our previous post about dogs in national parks for all the details.

Here are 12 dog-friendly parks in metropolitan Adelaide for you to visit with your furry friend:

Anstey Hill Recreation Park

Anstey Hill Recreation Park conserves rare vegetation once widespread throughout the Adelaide Plains and Mount Lofty Ranges. Be sure to visit in spring when the wildflowers and orchids are in bloom.

Belair National Park

With beautiful natural bushland and featuring numerous picnic areas, tennis courts and walking trails, Belair National Park is an ideal place to get active outdoors.

Brownhill Creek Recreation Park

This popular bushland recreation area covers 51 hectares and is located just eight kilometres from Adelaide.

Cobbler Creek Recreation Park

Discover the ruins of one of the area’s first European farms and explore the park’s woodlands and open grasslands. Dogs are welcome on designated dog walking trails.

Marino Conservation Park

Marino Conservation Park conserves the last remaining stands of coastal heath vegetation along this part of the coast. Dogs are welcome on designated dog walking trails.

Morialta Conservation Park

Dogs are welcome from the Morialta picnic area, along Morialta Falls Road to the Morialta Falls car park.

Mount George Conservation Park

Dogs are welcome in the recreation zone of this park, between Mount George Road and Cox Creek. Dogs are not permitted in the conservation zone of this park.

O’Halloran Hill Recreation Park

O’Halloran Hill Recreation Park can be explored via its network of walking trails, horse riding trails and fire tracks. Shade from the regenerated grey box eucalypts and river red gums provide the perfect spot for a picnic.

Para Wirra Recreation Park

This park offers a beautiful bushland setting, many recreational facilities and a sports oval ideal for a lazy afternoon game of cricket.

Shepherds Hill Recreation Park

Shepherds Hill Recreation Park features an old railway tunnel, the remains of a viaduct and a 360 degree view of the surrounding Adelaide plains, coastline and hills.

Sturt Gorge Recreation Park

Internationally recognised as an area of conservation and geological significance this park conserves the nationally threatened Greybox Grassy Woodland vegetation and is home to a rock formation known as Sturt tillite believed to have formed 800 million years ago.

Blackwood Forest Recreation Park

Last but not least is Blackwood Forest Recreation Park. As long as your dog remains under effective control its welcome to explore this park off lead. Located at the corner of Main Road and Turners Avenue, Hawthorndene, there are plenty of paths to follow and some great historical buildings to discover.

Visited a national park with your dog lately? Leave a comment below and share your experiences, tips, photos and recommendations for other dog owners.

You’re invited to South Australia’s national parks

Ashleigh Coombs - Thursday, September 08, 2016

There’s no better place to welcome spring than South Australia’s national parks.

Come join a series of free events to meet koalas and baby animals, catch water bugs, learn to identify bird calls, take guided tours with park rangers, and explore hidden treasures in some of SA’s best-known parks.


Belair National Park 125th Anniversary Open Day, Sunday 11 September, 10 am – 3 pm

Celebrate the 125th anniversary of SA’s oldest national park at this special event full of family activities and guided tours. Catch water bugs and learn to identify bird calls, build a cubby with Nature Play SA, learn about fire safety, try tennis, Ultimate Frisbee, frisbee golf, and much more.


Deep Creek Family Fun Day, Sunday 18 September, 10 am – 2 pm

Spend the day in Deep Creek Conservation Park and take part in activities including learning about insects with Water Watch, meeting koalas and baby animals, browsing local markets and food stalls, seeing a fire truck in action, and finding out how to get involved with Friends of Deep Creek and Friends of the Heysen Trail.


Para Wirra Family Fun Day, Sunday 18 September, 10 am – 3 pm

Enjoy a day of play in the wild at Para Wirra Conservation Park. Join the rangers for guided tours, meet the animals and giant echidna, enjoy local food and live music, and much more.


Cobbler Creek BioBlitz, Saturday 8 October, 9 am to 9 pm

Come during the day to experience wildlife displays, search for wildflowers and learn how to observe and record native wildlife. Stay on into the night for a rare opportunity to discover nocturnal animals, including bats. Register to help search, or drop by to meet some wildlife and watch the action. This event is sponsored by Flinders University and the Government of South Australia.


These events aim to increase visitation to our national parks and raise awareness of their benefits to health and well-being, as well as the protection and conservation of native plants and animals.


Authorised by John Schutz
Acting Chief Executive
Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources


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