How Are People Using Adelaide’s Parklands?

Adelaide City Council estimates close to two million visitors are heading to the parklands to run, cycle, walk dogs and picnic each year – more than for organised sport or events.

It is the first time the council has come up with a figure to capture casual visitation, compiled to dispel the myth that the greenbelt is underused.

Based on the known attractions of each section of the parklands and backed by the observations of horticultural staff, council planners have produced a “ballpark figure” of 1.87 million visits for informal recreation, about a fifth of the annual total of 8.87 million.

The estimate, which the council says is conservative, is above the more reliable figures of 1.75 million visits for organised sport and 1.68 million for events.

The figures do not show how many individuals use the parklands because they do not distinguish between one-off and repeat visitors.

Physical education classes for inner city schools account for about 533,000 parklands visits a year, close to a third of all organised sport, followed by soccer with 489,000 and netball a distant third with 197,000.

Key Points:

  • Soccer (489,000 annual visits) is more than five times as popular as Aussie Rules (108,000) in the parklands.
  • Aussie Rules and cricket combined account for just 10 per cent of all organised sport.
  • 64 per cent of organised sport is played across the south and west parklands, the areas most criticised for being underused.
  • Christian Brothers College is the top educational user (148,000 annual visits) followed by Adelaide High School (127,000), Pulteney Grammar School (125,000), Adelaide University (113,000) and St Aloysius College (90,000).
  • 8000 people attend more than 100 weddings in the parklands each year.
  • 600 events were held in the parklands in 2012/13.
  • Visits to the Botanic Gardens, Botanic Park and West Terrace Cemetery add up to 1.325 million, or 15 per cent of total parklands patronage.


Williams, T. (2014) Adelaide City Council has Produced Statistics for the First Time to Show How People are using the Parklands. Available from World Wide Web: [Accessed: 30 March, 2014].


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