What do we do?

An annual work schedule is prepared each January at a meeting between Park Rangers and Friends office holders. This prioritises key activities with which Rangers want our help. Some might be jobs they want done but simply don't have time to carry out while others might be jobs where a few extra pairs of hands is needed.

Each time we attend the Park for a week there are always jobs to be done that don't appear on the annual program. For example we know that we are scheduled to repair a cracked wall in a heritage cottage. But in addition to that while we are in the Park there is a need to trim vegetation away from roadside signs, and check out the fire pits in a couple of campgrounds before the school holidays. The amount we achieve usually depends upon the number of members attending for the week.

Weather can always cause a change to what is planned but if we can't work on the intended task there is always another waiting to be done.

At the end of each year we can always reflect on the list of achievements that we enjoyed doing.

Some of the major projects completed in recent years were;

  • Restoration of Wilpena Homestead outbuildings
  • Replanting Wilpena Homestead heritage garden
  • Rebuild of dry stone wall around Appealinna garden
  • Site restoration at Aroona ruins
  • Re-construction of 19th century shepherd's hut
  • Construction of walking trail at Aroona ruins
  • Installation of safety covers and fencing at old mine shafts
  • Restoration of 19th century horse yard fencing at Yanyanna

Among current projects and activities are;

  • Repairing internal and external walls at Hills Homestead
  • Assembling and installing picnic tables and seats in the Park
  • Installing interpretive signage around the Park
  • Gathering information for an extensive data base of Park features
  • Collecting and recording flora samples
  • Removal of feral plants - cactus, castor oil and native tobacco
  • Keeping vegetation clear from roadside signs
  • General repairs and maintenance of visitor facilities

It is not "all work and no play". Just moving around between our jobs provides opportunity to discover more of the Park, to learn about its geology, the abundant flora and fauna, and the history of all who have made an impact on the Park whether many thousands or just 150 years ago. We enjoy opportunities to socialise too. Morning tea and lunch is usually in some delightful spot not frequented by regular Park visitors. Sprinkled among the normal good humoured banter are snippets of history casually thrown in by one of our "in house" historians, usually supplemented by some gem added by another member from knowledge picked up through years of experience working in the Park.

At night we share comfortable dining and lounge facilities, complete with winter log fire, where information exchange, and decision making when needed, accompanies ongoing socialising.

Saturday night is General Meeting night. An unpleasant consequence of being an incorporated association is the need for formal business meeting during the year. These meetings seldom last an hour.

Favourite activities of members are tours around the Park when we head along seldom used tracks to re-discover some unique feature- a waterfall, a stone chimney, an early brush-fence sheep yard, a mine shaft shown on the map in the wrong place. There is always something waiting to be discovered.