The third stage of the revitalisation of the western end of Adelaide’s River Torrens / Karrawirra Pari is now open to the public. Here’s what to expect when you visit.

The newly co-named Breakout Creek / Purruna Pari, the stretch of the Torrens where the river meets the sea at West Beach, has been undergoing a major transformation. And now, visitors can reap the rewards.

From an artificial channel to a stunning, natural-looking waterway, this 1.5 km redevelopment now boasts improved visitor amenities, a dedicated place for Kaurna reflection, habitat pools to aid biodiversity – and a brand new river crossing.

If you’re thinking of visiting, here’s what to expect:

1. Visitor amenities

Getting around Breakout Creek / Purruna Pari is easy, with 6.2 km of trails taking you along and across the river. Just remember that these are shared-use trails, so be mindful of other visitors.

All new asphalt pathways are wheelchair accessible, and so is the new pedestrian bridge that takes you across the river between Seaview and Tapleys Hill roads.

Make a day of it – pack a lunch and then park yourself under one of the riverside picnic shelters or on one of the park benches to enjoy the scenery.

New lighting has been installed across the rejuvenated area, so there’s no need to rush off before dusk.

2. Kaurna Reflection Space

Kaurna Shield
Kaurna Shield

Be sure to visit the new Kaurna Reflection Space on the northern side of the river, just off Military Road at Henley Beach South.

The space has been designed with coloured paths to reflect the Kaurna shield, and is a quiet area to reflect on Kaurna culture and history.

Developed with Kaurna artist Allan Sumner, this area will be complemented by the 9 Kaurna artworks that are being installed across the precinct in the coming months.

Note: there’s a small car park adjacent to the Kaurna Reflection Space, accessed via Military Road.

3. Wetlands and habitat pools

Two habitat pools have been created along the river, which will provide new habit for native fish and animals. When you visit, you can certainly hear how much the frogs already love this space!

There’s also new wetlands, one on each side of the river, which will provide habitat for water plants and many native creatures.

They also capture stormwater and naturally filter it before it enters the river, which improves the quality of the water that flows out to sea.

4. Horse agistment paddocks

Horses have long-been a fixture along this stretch of the Torrens. As part of the redevelopment, a dedicated horse area has been created that stretches nearly 800 m along the southern riverbank.

It was constructed with white cypress pine fencing and seeded with pasture grass mix, which is still growing.

Horses are expected to return once the area is established.

5. Native plantings

New plants take time to grow, so spare a thought for the 245,000 of them – and 111 new trees – that are still finding their feet.

All up, more than 62,500 square metres of garden beds and turf have been planted along this stretch of the river, so please take care when you visit to give them the best chance of a strong growing season.

Still to come:

Some of the most spectacular areas of the redevelopment are still to come, like:

  • the elevated boardwalk – it’s fully accessible and will connect visitors from linear park straight into the neighbouring Apex Park. The boardwalk has been fabricated off-site and will be dropped into place this summer.
  • the Kaurna artworks – there are 9 impressive artworks that have been created off-site, and these will be dotted around the site in the coming months.

Now that visitor access has been restored, go check it out! And be sure to come back as the space continues to evolve as the final elements are completed.

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The project is a $18.7 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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