Park of the Month
Onkaparinga River National Park and Recreation Park
August 2017

Onkaparinga River National Park and Recreation Park is the National Parks SA Park of the Month for August 2017.

In the National Park diverse hiking trails take you to cliff tops with magnificent views, or down to permanent rock pools teeming with life. Experience rugged ridge tops and the narrow river valley of the spectacular Onkaparinga Gorge.

In the Recreation Park, the river spills onto the plains, creating wetland ponds and flood plains. The area conserves important fish breeding habitat and hundreds of native plant and animal species, many of which are rare.

You can walk your dog in the Onkaparinga River Recreation Park, between South Road and Commercial Road. You must keep your dog on a lead and under your control at all times. Pets are not permitted in other areas of the park.

Below we’ve outlined 10 hikes and trails in the two parks.

Two new walking trails are due to be opened later this month, the Punchbowl Lookout Walk and the Sundew Loop, both of which go to a new lookout platform with spectacular views deep into the river gorge. Watch out for more news about this trail later this month.

10 Great Hikes and Trails in Onkaparinga River National Park and Recreation Park

Onkaparinga Gorge Loop Trail and Lookout, Sundews Ridge Hike1.

Sundews Ridge Hike

Moderate hike, 5km, 2 hours return

Take a short hike to view the rocky outcrops and meandering river of the Onkaparinga Gorge from the Sundews Lookout. Continue your walk along the ridge top, returning to the car park without descending to the river.

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Park of the Month, Belair National Park, July 2017

Belair National Park is the National Parks SA Park of the Month for July 2017.

Belair National Park is close to Adelaide, nestled in the foothills. There are 8 hiking trails in the park, and another 2 hiking trails that pass through the park. The trails vary from Easy Walks to Hard Hikes. A couple of the Easy Walks are suitable for people of all abilities, including for wheelchair access, for those with mobility issues and for prams. The trails are of a high standard and are well marked.

The park is accessible by public transport train service and bus services. Vehicle entry is $12 per car, of $9.50 for concession, and you need to book before you go, of use the self-service computer available for payment daily between 9am and 4:30pm. There is also a host of free events throughout the month, including guided Ranger Walks and Friends of Belair guided walks.

You can walk your dog in this park providing it remains under your control on a lead.

11 Great Walk and Hikes in Belair National Park

Wood Duck Walk, Belair National Park1.

Wood Duck Walk, Belair National Park

1km, 30 mins

This pleasant walk around Playford Lake is popular with young children, people with prams, people with limited mobility, including wheelchairs, and those who want to experience the park’s wildlife, including the ducks on the lake.

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Accessible Trail to be built in Hallett Cove Conservation Park

The walking trail to Black Cliff in Hallett Cove Conservation Park is being upgraded to enable access for prams and assisted wheelchairs.

The entire length of the 550m trail, starting at the Park’s southern entrance and ending at Black Cliff/Black Point, is being paved to create a smooth, non-slip surface.

The trail connects with the existing boardwalk, providing a 925m trail to the lookout near Waterfall Creek, or a 1.8km return walk.

Other improvements include removal of the entry chicane and a reduction in the steepness of the path at the park entrance, allowing easier access for prams and wheelchairs.

The path has also been widened to allow visitors to stop and read park interpretive signs without blocking others.

Works will commence in August 2017 and during construction detours will be in place.

You can view 37 other Accessible Trails in SA in our Find a Place to Walk directory.

Under ‘More Filters’ select Rating: Wheelchair Accessible (37 trails), or Attributes: Stroller Friendly (61 trails).

The current trail was featured in a recent PushAdventures.com.au blog post, so the trail upgrade will be welcomed by all.

The $140,000 improvements at Hallett Cove are part of the State Government’s commitment of $10.4 million to upgrade metropolitan national parks and reserves for the growing number of local residents who use outdoor recreational spaces and to make our parks and reserves more accessible and inclusive.

Park of the Month, Mount Remarkable National Park, June 2017

Mount Remarkable National Park is the National Parks SA Park of the Month for June 2017.

The park has three focus areas:

  1. Mambray Creek is a wide, rocky river with seasonal pools of water. There is a picnic area and camping sites. With plenty of trails and lots of wildlife, it’s an ideal place for families.
  2. At Alligator Gorge explore the Narrows and Terraces on a couple of different hikes, or take a short walk to a lookout to peer inside the deep, narrow gorge.
  3. From Melrose you can take a short hike around the foothills, or hike up to the summit of Mt Remarkable.

15 Great Walks and Hikes in Mt Remarkable National Park

1. Trails from Mambray Creek

Mambray Creek is a wide, rocky river with seasonal pools of water. There is a picnic area and camping sites. With plenty of trails and lots of wildlife, it’s an ideal place for families.

The hikes, walks and trails that begin from the Mambray Creek picnic area and campsite:

Wirra Water Loop, Mambray Creek1.

Wirra Water Loop, Mambray Creek

1.6km, 30 mins return, Easy Walk

Explore the Wirra Water Loop, a child-friendly walk suitable for people of all abilites, with plenty of opportunities to see wildlife, and discover the more on the interpretive signs.

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Celebrate May’s History Festival with a Historical Walk

The History Festival is being celebrated throughout May. It promotes South Australia’s wonderful places, stories and collections through a range of hundreds of history-related activities.

Walking on a self-guided or guided tour of one of our historic towns or neighbourhoods is a great way to experience these places and stories. We’ve compiled a list of the best historical walks, just grab a brochure, map, or app to get started on your walk.

We’ve listed some of the best historical walks below, or view 130 historical walks in our Find a Place to Walk directory (tick the ‘Historical Walks’ checkbox.)

A Shortlist of Historical Walks

Living In Port walking tour app1.

Living In Port walking tour app

A self-guided historical walk which is app-based, prepared by South Australian Maritime Museum.

The app cover 24 sites in central Port Adelaide, and is available for Apple iPhones and iPads.

The promised Android app doesn’t appear to have ever been produced, but for non-Apple users an alternative walk is the Walk the Port brochure, which covers 42 points of interest including many of the same sites.

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Park of the Month, Shepherds Hill Recreation Park, May 2017

Shepherds Hill Recreation Park is the National Parks SA Park of the Month for May 2017.

There are three great hikes in the park, and another good one that extends outside of the park into the adjacent Watiparinga Reserve walking to the old railway tunnel and viaduct.

Hikes in Shepherds Hill Recreation Park

River Red Gum Loop, Shepherds Hill Recreation Park1.

River Red Gum Loop

2.3km, 1 hour

Explore the river red gums and wildlife along Viaduct Creek on this loop walk. A wide well-made trail which is great for families with small children, as the trail is suitable for prams and beginner-level cyclists.

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Success of the 2017 Hiking Expo

What an event! Hiking Expo 23 April 2017 at Belair National ParkWhat an event! At yesterday’s Hiking Expo between 1,500 and 2,000 people attended and over 550 people enjoyed the free guided walks around Belair National Park.

Our vision is to see more people walking more often, and yesterday we connected those people with new walking opportunities. We hope you found it as rewarding as we found in hosting the event!

But Wait, There’s More to Come!

Last week we received the great news that we have received funding from the Office of Recreation and Sport to conduct Walktober – a month long celebration of walking this October.

There will be a series of walking and hiking events (such as 2016’s Trails Less Travelled) and walking promotion throughout the month. Whether you walk for leisure, health or transport there will be something for you!

Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, subscribe to email news about events, or watch our website for updates in coming months.

To see more events like this

Support walking and Walking SA to see more great events like this. Walking SA is the peak body for all forms of walking in South Australia, our vision is to see more people walking more often.

Support us with a membership from as little as $22 and together we can achieve that!

Maps from the Guided Walks

At yesterday’s Hiking Expo over 550 people enjoyed the free guided walks around Belair National Park.

We know some people missed out on a walk or their preferred walk. We’ve updated our event webpage with the walk maps, so you can undertake the walk yourself.

Please do note that most of these guided walks are walking routes, not walking trails, which means you will need to undertake the navigation yourself. Also some walk leaders may have modified the route during the walk to adapt to yesterday’s conditions.

If you prefer to follow marked trails, read about that below.

Explore other hikes and walks

If you prefer to follow marked trails, check out the 8 walks around Belair National Park that are listed in our Find a Place to Walk directory.

There are 400 walks in our Find a Place to Walk directory, so you find hikes that suit what you like.

A big thanks to our volunteer walk leaders!

A big thanks to our volunteer walk leaders, lgAll our wonderful walk leaders were volunteers from walking clubs and event partners. A big thanks to them all who guided everyone on the walks around the park. We’ve had so much great feedback about the walks!

Find more details about walking clubs.

Nine new walking trails in Anstey Hill Recreation Park, Park of the Month

Anstey Hill Recreation Park is National Parks SA’s Park of the Month for March.

The park has recently been upgraded as part of a $10.4m plan to upgrade and develop more walking and cycling trails, public toilets, barbecue and picnic areas, and playgrounds in national parks close to the Adelaide metropolitan area.

There are now 9 marked walking trails in the park, which is vast improvement given there were only previously some unmarked walking routes. The new trails are mostly loops and depart from various trailheads, all with new carparks and trail information boards. The new trails include 3 that are for walkers only.

We’ve outline the 9 walking trails below:

New Walking Trails for Anstey Hill Recreation Park

Wildflower Wander1.

Wildflower Wander

1.4km, 45mins to 1 hour

The Wildflower Wander is a hike up a steep hill with rewarding views over the Adelaide Plains, as well as seasonal opportunities to view wildflowers including native orchids. The quiet gullies are a haven to a variety of small birds.

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Review of the Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail (KIWT)

Day 2, Maupertuis Section, Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail

The Cape du Couedic lighthouse sits tantalizingly on the horizon as the KIWT follows the cliffs south towards Hakea Campsite

The Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail is a five day hiking trail along the spectacular coastline of the south-west corner of Kangaroo Island. The trail opened in October 2016. There are campgrounds along the way. The first day in the Rocky River Section (as the Rocky River Hike), and the 5th day in the Kelly Hill Section (as the Hanson Bay Hike) can be hiked by anyone, but the middle 3 days are only accessible to people who have paid the $161 trail fee. In the Suggested Itineraries section we review shorter ways to walk the trail, including how to hike the sections as day walks.

We walked the trail in December 2016, offering the following review. Although we had earlier received an invitation, we were not guests of National Parks SA on this hike trip.

This review was originally published on the Notes from a Trailhead blog, and is reproduced here with permission.

Details about each day’s walk appears in our Find a Place to Walk directory listing for the Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail.

The trail is referred to using the acronym of KIWT on some trail signage, and when using hashtags on social media (#KIWT).

Contents of this Review

Jeremy Carter, author of this review, has hiked many multi-days throughout Australia and New Zealand, including South Australia's Heysen Trail. He undertakes volunteer work and professional work with Walking SA, although this article is unpaid. He has contributed over 200 walks and trails to our Find a Place to Walk directory.

Jeremy Carter, author of this review, has hiked many multi-days throughout Australia and New Zealand, including South Australia’s Heysen Trail. He undertakes volunteer work and professional work with Walking SA, although this article is unpaid. He has contributed over 200 walks and trails to our Find a Place to Walk directory.

Our review covers the following topics, which you can jump to directly or read the whole article below:

  1. Trail Comparison
  2. Choose this trail if you like
  3. Starting the Hike
  4. Trail Conditions Underfoot
  5. Trail Signage
  6. Campgrounds
    • Large communal kitchen and dining shelter
    • The Bathroom Block
    • Campsites
    • Campground Signage
    • Extra Campground Facilities
    • Food in Campgrounds
  7. Maps
  8. Audio Tour App
  9. When to Walk
  10. Suggested Itineraries
    • 5 Day hike plan
    • 4 Day hike plan #1
    • 4 Day hike plan #2
  11. Packing List
  12. Wildlife
  13. Beaches & Swimming
  14. Bushfires
  15. Drinking Water
  16. Mobile Reception
  17. Details of each Trail Section

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As Walktober ends there’s never been a better time to walk more often

We’ve been celebrating walking throughout October with #WalktoberSA.

Whether walking for leisure, health or transport, there are always great places to go walking.

With longer warm evenings there’s never been a better time to walk more often:

See where other people have been hiking throughout #WalktoberSA in our gallery of social media snaps people have taken on their walks.

Throughout summer the Friends of the Heysen Trail undertake a 2-hour walk each Wednesday evening.

Best Walks for Kids 7-12yo

There are loads of great hikes around South Australia for kids aged 7 to 12, with opportunities to explore rock formations, big trees, caves, creeks, waterfalls and see wildlife. We’ve listed some of the best ones below.

Throughout October we’re celebrating walking with #WalktoberSA.

This article builds on the 12 Great Walks for Kids we published during last year’s WalktoberSA.

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