The Watershed Cafe
Greenfields Wetlands is an amazing 114 hectare constructed attraction in the heart of Salisbury’s urban landscape in Mawson Lakes, just 15kms from Adelaide’s CBD.
Located by The Watershed Café on Salisbury Highway, the wetlands are a retreat in plain sight for wildlife and wildlife lovers alike.
The wetlands are a great stop for photo enthusiasts, suitable for families, and has wheelchair-friendly paths, ensuring that there’s plenty for everyone to see in and amongst the wetland bushes. Better yet, you can grab a bite to eat at The Watershed Café when you’re done.
Marking the entrance, you’ll notice the 12m tall boomerang sculpture, 'Together Woven', an impressive heritage marker in recognition of the Kaurna people. Through the gates, a meandering 1.3km walking trail leads visitors through the main circuit with options to venture over various other scenic paths and boardwalks.
Visitors can see over 25 species of aquatic plants. Keep your eyes open for up to 160 reported bird species, fish, frogs, yabbies, turtles and other creatures that live in and around the water. Dedicated bird watchers can also use the bird hutch to spy on more exotic species that may be rare to spot. Identification charts on the walls help with this task.
A self-guided tour will take about 40 minutes and there are interpretive signs along the way to introduce the wildlife in the area. Most areas of the wetlands can be freely accessed; however, some sections are locked and a key can be obtained from The Watershed Café. If you'd like a tour, you can also book a volunteer guide with the City of Salisbury in advance by calling (08) 8406 8222.
The wetlands cover two key sections that are divided by the Princess Highway. Enter the northern side from the turn-off to The Watershed Café on Salisbury Highway at Mawson Lakes. Alternatively, enter the Southern side from Magazine Road on Salisbury Highway at Dry Creek.
The wetlands are always open, however, the gated sections are only open between 8 am and 4 pm.
Greenfields Wetlands is one of Australia’s first large constructed urban wetlands.
In the early 1980's the triangle between Port Wakefield Road and Salisbury Highway was nothing more than a bare stock and paddock.
Greenfields Wetlands came into existence in 1984, when the City of Salisbury prepared and approved the initial concept of developing 42 hectares of low-lying saline land into a stormwater detention basin and wetlands habitat. After Council approval in 1989, Stage 1 (25ha) was completed in 1990, Stage 2 (12ha) in 1993 and the largest stage, Stage 3 (72ha) in 1995.
The objectives of the pioneering development included flood protection and retention, enhancement of the landscape, improved water quality and aquifer storage and recovery.