Glenthorne welcomes three new rangers as new South Metro District forms

Glenthorne welcomes three new rangers as new South Metro District forms

Each edi­tion, we’ll intro­duce you to one of the friend­ly new faces you may see next time you vis­it Glen­thorne Nation­al Park-Itya­mai­it­pin­na Yarta.

The num­ber of rangers based at Glen­thorne has grown by three as part of the for­ma­tion of Nation­al Parks and Wildlife Service’s new South Metro District.

This new dis­trict will ser­vice Glen­thorne Nation­al Park-Itya­mai­it­pin­na Yarta, Mari­no,Hal­lett Cove and Moana Sands con­ser­va­tion parks, Onka­paringa Riv­er nation­al and recre­ation parks, and Sturt Gorge and Shep­herds Hill recre­ation parks.

Act­ing Dis­trict Ranger Steve John­son, Act­ing Senior Ranger Kur­tis Madi­gan and Ranger Tom Pross­er will now be based at Glen­thorne, bring­ing the num­ber of rangers to six.

Act­ing Dis­trict Ranger Steve John­son sat down for a quick chat to tell us more about him­self and why he’s excit­ed about being part of the new South Metro District.

Q: You’ve worked in SA’s nation­al parks for a while now, can you tell us which parks you’ve worked at in Adelaide’s south?

Of the parks that make up the new South Metro Dis­trict, I have spent most of my time work­ing in Onka­paringa Riv­er nation­al and recre­ation parks and Moana Sands Con­ser­va­tion Park.

The Onka­paringa Riv­er parks con­serve amaz­ing nat­ur­al land­scapes and bio­di­ver­si­ty, and offer an equal­ly diverse range of recre­ation oppor­tu­ni­ties. Moana Sands Con­ser­va­tion Park is rich with indige­nous cul­tur­al her­itage and has under­gone out­stand­ing eco­log­i­cal restora­tion since becom­ing a park.

Both parks have incred­i­bly ded­i­cat­ed and knowl­edge­able staff and vol­un­teers work­ing togeth­er to con­serve, restore and share these won­der­ful places.

Q: What excites you the most about being based at Glen­thorne, being part of the new South Metro Dis­trict and work­ing on a new nation­al park?

My new team is amaz­ing. They work so hard to care for our parks, the com­mu­ni­ty and each oth­er. They are ded­i­cat­ed to nature con­ser­va­tion, vis­i­tor expe­ri­ence and sup­port­ing our won­der­ful volunteers.

I’m very pleased that Onka­paringa Riv­er nation­al and recre­ation parks and Moana Sands Con­ser­va­tion Park form part of the new South Metro Dis­trict as I have enjoyed the last six years work­ing in these awe­some parks.

I’m very excit­ed to work in Glen­thorne Nation­al Park-Itya­mai­it­pin­na Yarta. It’s already so valu­able both envi­ron­men­tal­ly and social­ly, but over the com­ing years Glen­thorne will devel­op into a mag­nif­i­cent sanc­tu­ary for wildlife and vis­i­tors in the south­ern suburbs.

It’s so excit­ing to have the oppor­tu­ni­ty to pro­vide input into the growth and devel­op­ment of such an impor­tant park.

Q: What do you think is the biggest oppor­tu­ni­ty for Glen­thorne Nation­al Park-Itya­mai­it­pin­na Yarta?

Glen­thorne Nation­al Park-Itya­mai­it­pin­na Yarta is not only being cre­at­ed to pro­vide incred­i­ble oppor­tu­ni­ties for recre­ation and con­ser­va­tion, but it will be a cen­tral hub for edu­ca­tion as well.

The trails, nature play area, vis­i­tor facil­i­ties, nat­ur­al and her­itage areas and vast expans­es of habi­tat restora­tion will pro­vide the per­fect set­ting for education.

Giv­en the park’s urban loca­tion and close prox­im­i­ty to many great schools, I believe the park will be a focal point for schools wish­ing to enhance top­ics such as nature play, con­ser­va­tion, local his­to­ry and cul­tur­al her­itage, out­door edu­ca­tion, eco-tourism and much more.

Q: Are you able to share any hid­den gems in nation­al parks south of Adelaide?

Giv­en my his­to­ry and con­nec­tion to the south­ern parks of the new dis­trict, I’ll share a cou­ple of my favourite places in Onka­paringa Riv­er Nation­al Park.

Many peo­ple don’t know this park has a camp­ground which is the clos­est place to Ade­laide you can stay in a camp­ground run by a nation­al park.

Pink Gum Camp­ground is only a 40 minute dri­ve from Ade­laide and is a fan­tas­tic place to camp and dis­cov­er the park and the near­by McLaren Vale region. Pink Gum is a qui­et, bush camp­ground with 11 sites. Book­ings need to be made online on the Nation­al Parks and Wildlife Ser­vice web­site.

Anoth­er one of my favourite places in Onka­paringa Riv­er Nation­al Park is the Punch­bowl Look­out. It’s a must-see when vis­it­ing the area and is only a 1 km walk or ride from the car park. The trail to the Punch­bowl Look­out is also acces­si­ble to pram and wheel­chair users. The Punch­bowl Look­out car park is locat­ed at gate 9 on Pig­gott Range Road in Onka­paringa Hills.

Get to know the oth­er South Metro Dis­trict rangers Bec Brown, Jae Ellis and Court­ney Hein­jus.

Keep an eye out in our next edi­tion to get to know Act­ing Senior Ranger Kur­tis Madigan.