Friends of Waite Conservation Reserve

– What’s on –

Bushcare Days (working bees)

We now call our working bees Bushcare Days. They are your chance to get to know the reserve better, meet other volunteers, and enjoy doing something positive for nature.

Bushcare days 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.  They can also include tree planting and other tasks. Opportunities also exist to volunteer in the reserve during the week. All tools and equipment are provided. Email notices with the details for each Bushcare day are sent to all on our mail list.

Control of seedling olives is a common focus of the working bees in the drier months.  Download our “how to” guide:

When:  Our bushcare days 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. BYO lunch if you want to stay for a chat afterwards.

Where:   The meeting point for working bees is usually Springwood Park, 198A Mt Barker Rd, Leawood Gardens, but PLEASE check our events page on FaceBook for the starting location and other details in case of any changes.

Working bees are subject to the COVID-19 safe guidelines summarised here:

  • stay at home if you have symptoms
  • practise good hygiene, esp. washing hands
  • maintain social distance ≥ 1.5 m
  • bring your own gloves if you can
  • use your own tools if possible (e.g. secateurs, chisel)
  • hand sanitiser supplied.

Guided Walks 

Our last guided walk was a geological tour of the reserve led by FWCR member Assoc. Professor Colin Conor on Saturday 10 October 2020 9.00 am – 12.00 noon. Colin has intimate knowledge of the local rocks gained from working on alternative alignments for the lower South Eastern Freeway. The walk commenced with the youngest rocks in the western part of the reserve, before tracking back in time to the oldest in the east.  Colin wrote an article on the geology of the reserve in our FWCR Newsletter 46_Summer_2019.  The walk was about 4 km on mostly easy but uneven grades and showcased some of the reserve’s spectacular spring wildflowers.

Groups of 10 or more can book guided walks of the Reserve by contacting the Manager Dr.Kate Delaporte. Email:

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 CFS website (

Fauna Surveys

Friends of the Waite Conservation Reserve conduct occasional surveys in the Reserve.  Friends and volunteers assisted with a survey of Western Grey Kangaroos in the reserve in November 2019.  See our FWCR Newsletter 47_Autumn_2020 for the results.

Please contact Peter Bird for more information and if you would like to take part in future surveys:

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’