- 4.5 km circuit
- 20 mins to 2 hours (4 options)
- Suitable for
- Grade 4, Hard Hike
- Flinders Ranges & Outback
- Download maps & GPS files
- 1 map PDF
- 2 GPS files
- 14 photosJump to Photos section
- Travel options
- Travel time from Adelaide
- 2+ hours
About the Walking Trail
To the uninitiated, Australia’s arid heart might seem barren and lifeless. In fact the opposite is true. The arid lands are home to thousands of highly evolved plant communities that are specially adapted to thrive in an environment where temperatures are extreme and drought can last for decades. Australia’s arid zone ecosystems are fragile and complex and they are found nowhere else on earth.
Grab your hat and a bottle of water and head off on one of of the four scenic Garden Walks. Stroll through the specialist and regional collections. Explore dappled woodlands, vivid red sand dunes and vast saltbush plains. Enjoy spectacular gulf and mountain views from dazzling red clifftops and spy on native birds from one of our bird hides. There’s a garden walk to suit everyone.
The Australian Arid Lands Botanic Garden (AALBG), in Port Augusta, was established in 1993, with the Garden officially opening in 1996, to research, conserve and promote the wider appreciation of Australia’s arid zone flora. Located on the shores of Upper Spencer Gulf with spectacular views to the ancient Flinders Ranges, the Garden showcases a diverse collection of arid zone habitats in a picturesque setting of more than 250 hectares.
You can join a volunteer-led guided tour of the gardens at 10am Monday to Friday (excluding public holidays).
You can also fo a self-guided walk to explore the garden on one of four marked walking tracks. Take a short stroll along the highlights walk or venture on to the Red Cliff Walk to enjoy spectacular views of Spencer Gulf and the Flinders Ranges from stunning red cliff tops.
Highlights Walk (yellow), 30 minutes, 800 metres
If you don’t have much time, our Highlights Walk is your best choice. Visit the Eremophila Garden where you’ll be amazed by the diversity of the nationally significant eremophila collection and by the number of native arid zone birds that are attracted to its colourful blooms.
In the Bush Food Garden, you’ll discover some of the medicinal and food plants that have been used by Aboriginal people for thousands of years, and in the Rare Plants collection, you’ll see many species that have teetered on the brink of extinction. Don’t miss the awardwinning Arid Smart® garden where you’ll find out how easy it is to create a stunning waterwise garden at home.
Look out for some of the quirky sculptures as well.
Children’s Walk (blue), 20 minutes, 500 metres
This short walk will keep the whole family very busy. Collect some Animal Trail booklets from the Gift Shop and start looking for the arid zone animals and birds that are hiding on this trail. The surface is smooth so it’s perfect for strollers and wheelchairs too.
Regional Walk (green), 45 minutes, 1.4km
This walk will take you through a diverse collection of arid ‘regions’ that showcase the unique flora of the Flinders Ranges, Gawler Ranges, West Coast Mallee, Central Highlands and the Great Victoria Desert. Stop in at the Garden Lookout for great view s across the garden to the spectacular and ancient Flinders Ranges and marvel at the vivid red sand dunes that occur naturally on this site. Why not sit quietly in the ‘bluebush’ bird hide and soak in the sounds and scents of arid Australia before heading back to the Visit or Centre via the Rare Plants collection.
Red Cliff Walk (pink), 2 hours, 4.5km
This walk will give you a feel for the ‘real’ arid heart of Australia as it winds through a diverse range of stunning landscapes. Explore dappled woodlands and marvel at the vivid red sand dunes, then trek across vast saltbush plains and claypan country towards the dazzling red cliffs of Spencer Gulf. From here you’ll enjoy spectacular water and mountain views, especially at sunset. Keep an eye open for some of the resident reptiles and make sure you call in at the ‘saltbush’ bird hide. Recommended that you wear sensible shoes and take plenty of drinking water on this walk.