As a child growing up overseas, I held a very romantic view of what the Australian landscape ought to look like. In my mind's eye it was a world of stately eucalypt trees, vivid wildflowers and the screech of native parrots.
Good news - I've found that landscape and it's in the Inman Valley.
Getting to Mount Alma in the Spring Mount Conservation Park is half the fun. The steep and winding drive gave us wonderfully expansive views of the valleys and plains below us as we drove into the southern end of the Mount Lofty Ranges. Vast farmlands with large dams spread out over the hills, dry and bare after the summer.
On Mount Alma Road, stop at Gate 4, which offers ample parking space. As the signs tell us, this bushland is a refuge for the yellow-tailed black cockatoo, found from Queensland to the Eyre Peninsula. It's the same old story; land clearance has lead to reduced habitat for these iconic birds. Here you'll discover a small conserved area eminently suitable for them.
The walk takes you from the gate through the re-growth bush to grazing land on the other side. The round trip can take you as little as 35 minutes on a disused track, but stop for photos of bush attractions like banksias, bright red wildflowers and the rows of solid old stringybarks. Sadly we spotted no cockatoos nor even the odd kangaroo, but that's the price you pay for visiting around midday.
Gate 4 is not the only access point for Spring Mount Conservation Park. Choose one of the other gates and explore for yourself. There's not much in the way of dramatic, breathtaking scenery here, just an authentic slice of the Australian bush. Whether it is familiar or not, it's still worth a visit.
Local travel writer and photographer Steve Robertson explores some fascinating locations in our region where you can walk, photograph and learn.