- 7.5 km circuit
- 3-5 hours
- Suitable for
- Hiking, Get to by public transport, Trail Running
- Grade 3, Moderate Hike
- Park (national park, conservation park, forest, reserve)
- Cleland National Park
- Adelaide Hills
- Download maps & GPS files
- 1 map PDF
- 2 GPS files
- 1 website link
- 34 photosJump to Photos section
- Travel options
- Travel time from Adelaide
- 1 hour or less
About the Walking Trail
Experience a Heysen Trail highlight on this 7.5km loop hike. The hike includes the summit of Mt Lofty, quaint cottages and small-scale farming in Piccadilly Valley, a walk through the Mt Lofty Botanical Gardens, and the stringybark forests of Cleland National Park.
This directions commence at Mt Lofty Summit, and take a clockwise direction. Alternate start spots include the Mt Lofty Botanical Gardens (top or bottom car parks).
There are Heysen Trail markers along the entire route, which makes it easy to follow.
- Begin this hike at the carpark at the entrance to Mt Lofty Summit. Parking here is free, but limited. Walk east, and downhill, following the Heysen Trail
- After 1km, the Heysen Trail reaches the bitumen road, Sprigg Road. Follow this road.
- After 800m, Sprigg Road reaches a T-junction with Lambert Road. This is also where the Heysen Trail continues in two directions, so ensure you turn right to Mt Lofty Botanic Gardens, and not left to Bridgewater.
- After 300m along Lambert Road, you enter the Mt Lofty Botanic Gardens. Follow the Heysen Trail markers through the carpark, and across the dam
- The trail here is shared with the BankSA Nature Trail, which heads uphill through the forest
- The Nature Trail ends as it emerges from the forest on to a wider fire track. Continue following the Heysen Trail
- The Heysen Trail exits the Mt Lofty Botanic Gardens through the main gates, and follows the bitumen road up to Summit Road, crossing the road in to the dirt parking area
- Turn right down Summer Hill Drive. Follow the Heysen Trail through Cleland National Park
- The Heysen Trail meets the Waterfall Gully to Mt Lofty Summit Hike. The main Heysen Trail also continues to the left here, heading off to Norton Summit, so ensure you stick right and head up to Mt Lofty Summit
- At the top of the Waterfall Gully to Mt Lofty Summit Hike, you can optionally walk just 30 metres or so up to the proper summit of Mt Lofty to take in the views over the plains and coast. There are toilets, a cafe and a gift shop here. Continue along the trail past the summit turn off to return to the carpark and the start of the hike
Opening and Closing Times
The carpark at Mt Lofty Summit can be closed at times, but the trail is still easily accessible, with some parking available on Summit Road.
The Mount Lofty Botanic Gardens open at 8:30am Monday to Friday, and 10am other days. It closes at 4pm Monday to Friday, 5pm weekends and public holidays (6pm on weekends during daylight savings). If the botanic gardens were closed there would be no way to complete this section of the hike.
This hike can be easily accessed by public transport bus, at bus stop 25 Summit Road, or bus stop 26 at Mt Lofty Summit, on the 823 Adelaide Metro bus service.