On Sunday the 29th of April, we meet at the corner of Osprey Court and Cormorant Drive, Hallett Cove, at 10.00am for a morning walk to where the Field River meets the sea and then back inland along the Field River. Past where the Diprotodon fossil was discovered and into a hidden valley. This part of the day should reveal a number of excellent bird watching opportunities, especially along the foreshore, so binoculars are considered essential. There will be some walking, so good footwear, suitable clothing, hats, sunscreen, snacks and drinking water are strongly recommended. The Field River is one of the least disturbed rivers left in the vicinity of the Adelaide suburbs and the locals have worked hard to remove weeds and protect endangered flora and fauna. Fingers crossed for some special bird species such as Hooded Plover and Nankeen Night Heron. A number of fresh water duck species are often seen on the beach and even in the sea water.

After the Field River walk, we journey about 8 kms north to Glenthorne Farm, the gates of which are on Majors Road, O’Halloran Hill, opposite the new IQRA College, formerly the O’Halloran Hill TAFE. We will drive into the property and park behind the old CSIRO Administration buildings. There is an opportunity for a toilet break before we explore the heritage precinct which dates back to 1839. First settled by Major O’Halloran, Glenthorne was originally known as Lizard Lodge by the Major and evidence remains to this day of the Major’s pioneering settlement. A property currently immersed in political controversy over its future, we will see the nationally significant Osage Orange trees dating back to at least 1865 and an old Pear Tree which is among Australia’s oldest and largest and also listed as nationally significant. We will also see the 1850s Old Barn, the Tack Room with its mystery extension and missing chimney, an underground water tank, an old meat “cellar” and more.

Lunch will then be taken, weather permitting, under the old pine tree overlooking the small northern dam. Should the weather be inclement, we will retreat to the shelter of the Old Barn, which will be open for this special visit.

The Friends of Glenthorne will guide the FoPB guests through their revegetation around the small dam and south along the ephemeral water course, ending up at the central large dam. This walk is across rough ground with numerous rocks and fallen branches, so care must be taken. Many waterbirds can be seen on the large dam and the University of Adelaide, after some years of restricting access to this area, has allowed the FoPB guests to walk around this dam in order to have the best opportunity of seeing the birdlife, which often hides out of view and away from the prevailing winds.

We will then walk back north through the revegetated water course, turning east at the gate, up the hill to a point where we will see Assoc. Professor David C. Paton’s revegetated Grey Box forest in the distance on the eastern boundary and also the Old Coach Road which once saw the Cobb & Co. coaches taking passengers and goods south to Willunga and Victor Harbor. We walk back north along this road, back to the heritage precinct and back to the vehicles.

The Glenthorne property is steeped in nature and history and the Friends have worked hard over more than 21 years to protect it so that it can be preserved for not only future generations, but for the endangered local biodiversity. We look forward to welcoming the FoPB to Glenthorne on the 29th of April and hope that we can reveal some of its magic and appeal. Certainly a day with something for every interest.

Alan Burns
Secretary / Treasurer
Friends of Glenthorne Inc.