- 5.4 km circuit
- 45mins to 2 hours (2.75km to 5.45km options)
- Suitable for
- Walking, Hiking, Trail Running
- Barossa Valley
- Download maps & GPS files
- 2 map PDFs
- 2 GPS files
- 6 photosJump to Photos section
- Travel options
- Travel time from Adelaide
- 1-2 hours
About the Walking Trails
There are three walking trails and a fourth walk option to explore the Altona CSR Landcare Reserve. We’ve detailed the four trail options further below.
The reserve is a former sand quarry. Mining ceased in 1960, and from 1995 the site was rehabilitated by Landcare SA. Since then over forty species of native orchids and a diverse seed bank of remnant native flora have been recorded, as well as over 100 species of birds. The reserve composes the former quarries, remnant native vegetation and native grassland. The rehabilitation of the reserve has allowed the North Para River, which passes along the northern edge of the site, to be unaffected by silt-laden run off. The exposed quarry faces tell the geographical story of the sand.
Many millions of years ago the Barossa was surrounded by high mountain ranges. Erosion of these resulted in the deposition of sand and clay. These deposits provide valuable sands and gravels for the construction industry and were extracted at Altona by CSR and other companies up to the 1960s. Commercial sand extraction continues at nearby Sandy Creek and Rowland Flat.
The reserve has sometimes been known as Altona Scrub, but is now known as the Altona CSR Landcare Reserve.
There are several seats along the way which allow you to sit and enjoy the views of the reserve.
Dogs are not permitted in the reserve, not even on a leash. However, the Williamstown & Lyndoch Landcare Group who manage the reserve, suggest that people can walk their dogs on the Sand Track, which starts from the main entrance gate on Altona Road and heads to the west. It is 1.5km one-way, and is a closed road, and is not part of the Altona CSR Landcare Reserve.
The reserve is closed on days of Total Fire Ban, but is otherwise open year-round.
The reserve is managed by Landcare SA, specifically the Williamstown & Lyndoch Landcare Group, as well as The Barossa Council. The Landcare group, and other volunteer groups, undertake regular working bees in the reserve, and welcome new members to assist with the ongoing development of the reserve.
There are two excellent brochure options:
- From the Williamstown & Lyndoch Landcare Group: download reserve pdf brochure (via their Facebook page)
- From the Walking Trails Support Group: download Altona Scrub Walk pdf brochure which describes a clockwise walk along the Long Loop (combining all 3 loops). This thorough brochure details the geological features of the reserve. The map in this brochure indicates the marked checkpoints along the way, numbered A1 to A11. (As at June 2020, Walking Trails Support Group’s website shows an older version of their pdf brochure)
The three trails all share the same entrance track. Access the trails by parking at the start of the entrance track, on Altona Road (near house number 136, where the road turns a right angle). This parking spot is just 3km from Lyndoch. A trailhead shelter is located 450 metres walk from the gate, along the shared entrance track.
Print or save one of the brochures, which include trails notes and maps, or you can often find printed brochures at the checkpoint A2 at the end of the entrance track, where all the trail options commence. The trails are color coded and marked.
All trail distances below include the short walks out to lookouts.
Loop 1, blue, ‘Black Chinned Honeyeater Trail’
Black Chinned Honeyeater Trail distances:
- Loop Distance (from checkpoint A2): 2.4km return
- Total walk distance (from checkpoint A1 at the main entrance gate): 3.3km return
The Black Chinned Honeyeater Trail gives views over the reserve, featuring several lookouts, benches and scenic spots to take photographs. Take in the stunning views over the southern Barossa and ranges. A small track will take you to a view of Chatterton Gorge and the creek which flows to the wetland area. There are many birds and kangaroos to be seen throughout the walk.
Loop 2, orange, ‘Firetail Track’
Firetail Track Trail distances:
- Loop Distance (from checkpoint A2): 1.85km return
- Total walk distance (from checkpoint A1 at the main entrance gate): 2.75km return
The Firetail Track explores an area of Silver Banksia, which is typical of the Altona scrub vegetation.
Loop 3, yellow, ‘Boobook Trail’
Boobook Trail distances:
- Loop Distance (from checkpoint A2): 2.3km return
- Total walk distance (from checkpoint A1 at the main entrance gate): 3.1km
The Boobook Trail is a gentle walk which takes you down towards the revegetated wetland area and past the cliffs of the old mine site. Spectacular views across Rowland Flat, the Chatterton Gorge and Barossa Ranges can be seen from the Orlando lookout site (checkpoint A11) about halfway round the loop walk.
With plenty of wildlife to be spotted along the way this is a great walk for kids.
Please do note however, that at some seat locations (on Loop #2 Firetail Track) the seats are located above the quarry faces, although the areas are fenced, the cliffs below the seats are unstable.
Option 4, black, ‘Long Loop’ (loop of all 3 circuits)
Long Loop Trail distances:
- Loop Distance (from checkpoint A2): 4.6km
- Total walk distance (from checkpoint A1 at the main entrance gate): 5.4km return
Combine all 3 loops in a longer loop, follow along with the Walking Trails Support Group brochure:
- Begin by walking down the entrance track (as with all walks)
- Turn left at checkpoint A2 where all the trails start, following the blue ‘Black Chinned Honeyeater Trail’
- As you loop around, heading back to the checkpoint A2 start, turn left at checkpoint A6, following the the orange ‘Firetail Track’
- At checkpoint A7, turn left following the yellow ‘Boobook Trail’. Follow this trail loop around, and back to checkpoint A2 where all the trails start