Skip to main content


Parks Little Para River 01

Little Para River


The Little Para River is a freshwater stream that flows west from the Mount Lofty Ranges near Upper Hermitage into the Barker Inlet. The Little Para is a water supply catchment, with the Little Para Reservoir near its middle.

The Little Para River was crucial to the development of the citrus industry, which began in 1837.

The parks and reserves of the Para Escarpment (from the Little Para River to Dry Creek) comprise 26 separate areas, mostly steep gullies and hill slopes, that still retain some remnant vegetation.

Flowing from the City of Salisbury's hill escarpments to the plains, the seasonal Little Para River takes a leisurely route through many of the City's historically significant sites.

The river's name derives from the Kaurna work Pari, which roughly translates as a stream of flowing water. The Little Para River runs from its source near Lower Hermitage in the Mount Lofty Ranges, flows north westerly to the Little Para Reservoir and then westerly to the Barker Inlet of the Gulf St Vincent ant Globe Derby Park.

Natural landscapes remain present along the water's edge, varieties of eucalyptus woodland and native golden wattle still exist and some of the earliest almond trees and orange groves still blossom.

Settled in 1837, the rich and fertile area was crucial to the development of the citrus industry, which began in the 1850's and provided extensive wealth to the area.

In the 1960's the City of Salisbury began acquiring land for public space and a belt of parklands with biking and walking trails now borders the river. Since the 1970's Salisbury has been engaged in a program of rehabilitation and conservation of the gullies and reserves along the Para Escarpment. This has included the control of pest plants, the removal of rubbish, replanting of local native vegetation species and the construction of service tracks and walking trails.

There are many points of interest that can be viewed along the Little Para River, including Paralowie House, Happy Home Reserve, the Salisbury Railway Bridge at Salisbury Downs and the Sans Souci Villa at Salisbury Park.

For more information about walking the Little Para Trails contact the Customer Centre on (08) 8406 8222.

Please see Walking and Cycling Trails to view the Little Para Trail and map.


Nearby Locations