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Quacky Trip Duckling Hotspots in Adelaide's National Parks

Quacky Trip: Duckling Hotspots in Adelaide’s National Parks

On the lookout for adorable ducklings? Adelaide’s national parks are their ultimate playgrounds!

We prepared this helpful guide to show you where you can take a gander at these feathered fowls.

Spots to See Ducklings in National Parks in Adelaide 

Belair National Park – Playford Lake

Address: Upper Sturt Rd, Belair SA 5052
Contact Details: (08) 8278 5477
Operating Hours: Daily 8 am to 7 pm

Our team started our duckling-spotting journey at Belair National Park by strolling along the shady Wood Duck Walk trail surrounding the picturesque Playford Lake. 

This section of the park can be marshy, so wear proper footwear if you’re planning to get up close with the ducklings.

Wandering along Playford Lake’s wetland trail, you’ll witness the various waterbirds that call this place home. This spot in the park teems with graceful Pacific black ducks and other charming species, such as dusky moorhens and Eurasian coots.


  • The car park near Playford Lake is home to cuddly koalas, so try to spot them. Just be silent and watch from a distance, as koalas get spooked easily.
  • Feeding the park’s ducks is prohibited, as it can disrupt the ecosystem’s natural balance.
  • Be sure to wear layers and bring warm clothing because Playford Lake’s surrounding areas can get chilly, especially during cold seasons.

Onkaparinga River Recreation Park – Wetland Loop Trail

Address: Upper Sturt Rd, Belair SA 5052
Contact Details: (08) 8278 5477
Operating Hours: Daily 8 am to 7 pm

Onkaparinga River Recreation Park’s Wetland Loop Trail is where most duckling enthusiasts go, as it can be accessed conveniently from Gate 12’s River Road.

Among the duck species you’re likely to encounter are the elegant Australasian shoveler, the majestic Pacific black duck, and the aptly-named blue-billed duck. They normally waddle with their ducklings near the trail’s river and creeks.

You’ll also encounter educational signage that sheds light on the wonders of the wetlands, all in the comfort of well-maintained boardwalks and gravel pathways.

Onkaparinga River Recreation Park - Wetland Loop Trail


  • Plan your visit during the early morning or late afternoon when ducks are most active and likely to be seen with their ducklings. 
  • Bring binoculars to get a closer look at the ducks and their ducklings without disturbing them.
  • While exploring the Wetlands Loop Trail, stick to designated paths and boardwalks. 

This helps preserve the park’s fragile wetland ecosystem and ensures the ducks and their habitat remain undisturbed.

Adelaide International Bird Sanctuary- Winaityinaityi Pangkara

Address: Ruskin Rd, Dublin SA 5501
Contact Details: (08) 8115 4600
Operating Hours: Daily – Open 24 Hrs

Adelaide International Bird Sanctuary’s shoreline hosts over 27,000 waterbirds and shorebirds, and among them are ducklings of charming pink-eared ducks and stylish gray teal ducks. 

The sanctuary’s proximity to Adelaide’s city center is a massive plus for our avian-loving team, as it’s just about a 1-hr drive from the bustling CBD to Winaityinaityi Pangkara’s pristine shoreline. 

If you prefer sighting ducklings with your furry pals, the sanctuary allows leashed dogs to explore the coastline. 


  • Wait for the ducklings to feed on the mudflats for a dose of bird-watching cuteness. 

The sanctuary’s ducklings will typically feast on tiny fish and crabs during daylight hours, so we suggest arriving early.

  • Viewing spots with seating are limited here, so we suggest bringing a portable chair. 
  • Dress in clothing that can protect you from the sun’s rays, as the beach can get really hot.
  • The sanctuary is stunning during sunset, and the ducklings are active around this time, so you can witness the golden and waddly spectacles while chilling on the beach.

Sturt Gorge Conservation Park – Lakeview Trail 

Address: Flagstaff Hill SA 5159
Contact Details: (08) 8130 9050
Operating Hours: Daily – Open 24 Hrs

Sturt Gorge Conservation Park’s star of the duckling show is freckled ducks, typically paddling and waddling on the marshy steps of Lakeview Trail. 

We found out that spotting freckled ducklings can be challenging, as they mostly hide amid the trail’s other duck flocks. You can distinguish them by their intricate dark brown and speckled color pattern.

Our team also encountered some cheeky Australian wood ducklings near the trail. This duck’s appearance is striking, adorned with a sleek and stylish dark brown crown, which contrasts beautifully with its pale, creamy face. 

Sturt Gorge Conservation Park - Lakeview Trail


  • Watch for curious kangaroos bounding through the park, colorful bird species flitting among the trees, and perhaps even an occasional sleepy koala high above in the eucalyptus branches.
  • Visit the park during different seasons to witness changes in the duckling population and behaviors. 

Springtime at Lakeview Trail brings an abundance of young ducklings taking their first swim, while autumn may offer a different spectacle as duck families prepare for migration.

Adelaide Botanic Garden 

Address: North Terrace, Adelaide SA 5000
Contact Details: (08) 8222 9311
Operating Hours: 

  • Mon to Fri – 7:15 am to 5 pm
  • Sat to Sun – 9 am to 5 pm


Adelaide Botanic Garden’s flowery nooks and crannies hold the potential for fascinating duckling encounters, especially the gardens with tranquil ponds and meandering waterways, such as the First Creek Wetland and Amazon Waterlily Pavilion. 

The water features of the garden provide the perfect playground for ducklings like the ever-present Australian wood duck, the medium-sized Pacific black duck, and the dabbling gray teal.

What makes the garden a favorite duckling-viewing spot of our team is the sprawling local and foreign fauna making the experience more eye-pleasing. 

The blooms are fantastic backdrops for photographers looking to take snaps of the ducklings, too!

Adelaide Botanic Garden


  • The fastest way to spot ducklings in the garden is to find a secluded spot near the water and quietly walk toward it. 

Ducklings can be easily startled, so these tiny ducks’ favorite hangout spots are wetland areas with few people.

  • While you’re on your duckling quest, be on the lookout for other fascinating wildlife that inhabits the garden. 

From colorful lorikeets to energetic squirrels and perhaps even occasional turtles, there are several other creatures to discover here.

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