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Discover what’s been happening behind the fences at Breakout Creek

Monday 10 October 2022 | 4 min read

Construction began in February on a project to transform the western end of the River Torrens/Karrawirra Pari into a healthier, more natural environment. Find out how it’s going and when you’ll be able to enjoy this new community space.

Construction is well underway on the Breakout Creek Redevelopment Stage 3

The entire Breakout Creek redevelopment has been more than 30 years in the making. It includes a total of 2.7 km of the River Torrens/Karrawirra Pari, stretching from upstream of Henley Beach Road to the Torrens Outlet at West Beach in Adelaide’s west.

Breakout Creek Redevelopment Stage 3, which kicked off construction in February this year, is the third and final stage of redevelopment and involves revitalising the longest stretch of the river and banks at 1.5 km, from Tapleys Hill Road to the sea.

Once completed, this part of Breakout Creek will become a new community space in Adelaide’s west creating a healthier habitat for threatened fish and bird species and improving the water quality of the river.

Breakout Creek Stage 3 Artist's impression
An artist's impression of the redevelopment upon completion

What's been done so far?

Since construction began, we have been working on both sides of the river in some very wet conditions. The wet weather slows the work down because when the ground is too slippery, it becomes unsafe for many construction activities to take place.

Over the last few months, we have been:

Creating new paths

This involves digging and placing soil to create the base for the new paths, making sure they're not too steep for wheelchair users, and wider than the old paths so that they can be shared by pedestrians, cyclists, prams, and wheelchair users.

Creating the new shared use paths

Building retaining walls

Work is well underway to construct the many retaining walls that will make space for the new paths and the new wetlands.

Retaining walls going in at Breakout Creek

Taking down old infrastructure

We have been removing old fences and other infrastructure to make space for the new garden beds, paths and wetlands.

Removing weeds

To encourage more native plants and animals, we are removing some of the non-native plants, and many of the invasive plants from the area.

More than 215,000 plants will be going in to replace these, including locally native terrestrial and aquatic plants specially selected to provide important habitat for the endangered Australasian bittern and reed warblers.

Australasian bittern
Australasian bittern, photo: Martin Stokes

Creating new wetlands

A lot of the digging happening on site is to construct the new wetlands and habitat pools. This will create new habitat for rare and endangered animals, as well as improve the water quality of the river, and the stormwater entering the river.

Creating the new wetlands and habitat pools

There is also a lot of activity happening outside the site that you can't see. The 215,000-plus new plants are growing in nurseries around Adelaide, ready to bring to Breakout Creek when it's time to plant.

Work has started on building the parts of the new elevated boardwalk, which will connect Apex Park and Breakout Creek. We have also progressed work on parts for the new picnic shelters and viewing platforms, which will be key places for you to stop and enjoy the river.

Breakout Creek Stage 3 native plant nursery
The new native plants growing nicely in their nursery
Breakout Creek artist's impression picnic shelter
An artist’s impression of the completed picnic shelter and seating

Where are the horses?

If you've been wondering why you haven't seen the Lockleys Riding Club horses along the river, they've all been safely transported to temporary homes around Adelaide while the site is under construction.

When can I visit the area?

For your safety, and so that we can work efficiently around the wet conditions, the River Torrens Linear Trail from Tapleys Hill Road to Seaview Road will remain closed on both sides of the river. We estimate that the paths will reopen by mid-2023.

Detour signage can be found on Seaview Road and Tapleys Hill Road or view the trail closure detour map.

What's happening next?

Over the next couple of months, the asphalt for the paths will start to be placed, digging for the wetlands and habitat pools will continue, and you'll start to see new light poles going in.

There will be more retaining walls going in too, and with a little luck we'll start to see plants going in the ground.

We're still on track for construction to be completed by mid-2023.

Want to know more?

Find out more about River Torrens Breakout Creek Stage 3

For the latest on the project, sign-up for email updates.

And if this stretch of the river is your usual nature haven, we extend a big thanks again for your ongoing understanding while the transformation is happening behind the temporary fences.


The project is a $14 million partnership between Green Adelaide, the City of Charles Sturt, the City of West Torrens, the South Australian Department for Trade and Investment through the Planning and Development Fund, the Australian Government through the Environment Restoration Fund, and SA Water. The project is committed to working with the Traditional Owners of the Adelaide plains, the Kaurna people.

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