- 4 km circuit
- 2 hours
- Park (national park, conservation park, forest, reserve)
- Mark Oliphant Conservation Park
- Adelaide Hills
- Download maps & GPS files
- 2 GPS files
- 1 website link
- 17 photosJump to Photos section
- Travel options
- Travel time from Adelaide
- 1 hour or less
About the Walking Route
The Mark Oliphant Conservation Park is a park with stringybark forest and numerous walking trails. The park entrance appears rundown, but don’t be deceived – this is a gem of a park for walkers. Trails are marked, and firetracks named with street signs. There is no trail information at the carpark. The oval has a modern shelter, but there are no other park facilities.
Loop along the Skink Trail, Bandicoot Trail and Waterfall Trail
4km, 2 hours
This hike route combines three smaller loops into a larger hike:
- Start this hike from the carpark at Gate 1 (178 Scott Creek Road)
- Walking clockwise, walk along Loftia Track (a fire track), past the oval and shelter.
- The Bandicoot Trail starts 100 metres after the junction with the fire track called Nioka Track, but on this suggested hike continue along the fire track until you reach the single walking trail the Skink Trail.
- When the Skink Trail meets the Bandicoot Trail, turn left, following the Bandicoot Trail.
- 650 metres of Bandicoot Trail is along the quiet dirt Evans Drive (both the entrance and exit are clearly marked, don’t be tempted by the numerous dead-end indistinct walking trails leaving the road).
- When the Bandicoot Trail returns down into the gully, it meets a fire track (Camp Track) near a easily seen large water tank, turn left, following Camp Track to another junction.
- Turn left again, within 100m the fire track converts to a single walking trail. Vegetation at head-height might be overgrown, but otherwise the Waterfall Trail is easily followed.
About Mark Oliphant Conservation Park
Stringybark dominate the forest canopy, and there is a small stand of candlebark gums near the Loftia oval. This tall eucalypt with white bark is rare and only found in the higher rainfall areas of the Adelaide Hills. Tiny patches of pink gum, manna gum and blue gum also occur in the park. In the forest understorey there are many spring-flowering shrubs, including myrtle-leaved wattle, beaked hakea and large-leaved bush-pea.
There is a variety of wildlife located in the park, including the rare southern brown bandicoot and yellow-footed antechinus, along with several lizard, snake and frog species. Numerous bird species are also found in the park including the superb fairy-wren, scarlet robin, golden whistler, Adelaide rosella and honeyeater species.
The park was renamed in 1996 in honour of former state Governor Sir Mark Oliphant’s contribution to conservation (the park was formerly called Loftia Recreation Park).