What’s On

Working Bees are BACK!

Working bees resumed on Saturday 6 June, subject to the COVID-19 safe guidelines summarised here:

  • groups limited to 20 (not normally a problem!)
  • stay at home if you have symptoms
  • practise good hygiene, esp. washing hands
  • maintain social distance ≥ 1.5 m
  • bring your own gloves
  • use your own tools if possible (e.g. secateurs, chisel)
  • hand sanitiser supplied.

Working bees are your chance to get to know the reserve better, meet other volunteers, and enjoy doing something positive for nature.

When:  Our working bees are open to everyone and are normally held on the first Saturday and third Sunday of each month April – December, from 9.00 am to midday.

Sat 6 June, Sun 21 June
Sat 4 July, Sun 19 July
Sat 1 Aug, Sun 16 Aug
Sat 5 Sept, Sun 20 Sept

Where:  The meeting point for working bees is Springwood Park, 198A Mt Barker Rd, Leawood Gardens unless advised otherwise.

Working bees often involve walking through the Reserve with others searching for and removing seedling olives and other weeds while enjoying the beautiful natural environment of the reserve.  Opportunities are also available to assist with activities during the week.

Control of seedling olives is a common focus of the working bees.  For a ‘how to’ guide download Seedling Olive Control 101

Guided Walks 

Join us on Saturday 12 October 2019 from 9.00 am to midday for a walk back in time as FWCR member, Assoc. Professor Colin Conor, takes us on a 700 million year geological tour of the reserve. Colin has vast experience in South Australian geology including intimate knowledge of the local rocks gained from working on possible alignments for the lower South Eastern Freeway just over the hill.  Places are limited.  Enquiries to Pete Bird 0418 853 834.


Groups of 10 or more can book guided walks of the Reserve by contacting the Manager Dr.Kate Delaporte. Email: kate.delaporte@adelaide.edu.au

Note: If the forecast temperature for the day is 35°C or above or if a Total Fire Ban for Mt. Lofty Ranges is declared the tours of the Waite Conservation Reserve are cancelled. Please, check the Bureau of Meteorology website (https://www.cfs.sa.gov.au/site/bans_and_ratings.jsp).

Fauna Surveys

Friends of the Waite Conservation Reserve conduct occasional surveys in the Reserve.  Friends and volunteers are invited to assist with a survey of Western Grey Kangaroos in the reserve on Saturday 30 November 2019 starting 8.00 am. The plan is simply to divide the reserve into manageable zones, then for us to simultaneously count the roos in each zone. More counters should minimise the risk of under-counting. Recording location and characteristics of groups should minimise the risk of over-counting.  Please contact Peter Bird for more information and if you would like to take part: pbjbird1@bigpond.com or 0418 853 834.

Past surveys include the Great Australian Marsupial Night Stalk in National Science Week 2001 during which many Common ringtail and Common brushtail possums were spotted. Another night walk was held for Friends in 2006 during which common ringtails were seen with young, as well as a barking geckos and spiders out hunting.


From time to time we host talks at the Waite Conservation Reserve and Historic Precinct.

The 2019 AGM featured Professor Stephen Donnellan of the Evolutionary Biology Unit, South Australian Museum who presented on: ‘How can genetics help with conservation actions? – some case studies from SA species’ The AGM was held in Urrbrae House, Waite Campus at 7.30pm on Wednesday 29 May 2019.