Spotted donkey orchid on the Southern Ocean Walk
Spotted donkey orchid on Day 2 of the Southern Ocean Walk


One of the key attractions of the Southern Ocean Walk is the diversity of flora we encounter along the way. Of special note are the native orchids.

There are more than 350 native orchids in South Australia and a significant number can be found along our trail.


Purple Cockatoo Orchid
Purple Cockatoo Orchid spotted on the final day of the Southern Ocean Walk


What makes these orchids rather special is that they do not grow on trees or other host plants as is common but directly in the ground.  Although you’d think this would make them easier to spot many orchids are easy to miss.  Their small and delicate size means that a keen eye is required.  However, once you know what to look for it is surprising how many you suddenly notice!


Spider Orchid (Caladenia Bicalliata)
Spider Orchid on the Southern Ocean Walk


Did you know they are also a good indicator of the health of our environment? Orchids are sensitive to weeds, soil disturbance, and pests as well as fertilizers and other chemicals so there presence in our conservation parks is a joy.


Sunflower orchid
Sunflower orchid


During the past few months our guests have spotted many stunning orchids at different points in Deep Creek Conservation Park and Newland Head Conservation Park and we have shown a sample here.

Given our temperate climate and relatively reliable rainfall it is possible to find orchids in flower on the Fleurieu Peninsula during most months of the year.


Blink and you miss it...Wallpaper orchid.
Blink and you miss it…A wallpaper donkey orchid on the trail.