Mark Oliphant Conservation Park is a small park, nestled in Adelaide Hills, nearby township of Longwood, a gem for bush walkers. The post describes walking trails in the conservation park.
The park has a mix of trails and fire tracks with lots of bush walking opportunities, suitable for families and children. Walks take you through majestic Stringybark forests and pink, blue gums. The park is habitat for endangered Southern brown bandicoot. Native birds such Scarlet robin, Golden whistler and Rosella can been seen and heard throughout the park.
The park was named in honour of former SA Governor Sir Mark Oliphant contribution to conservation.
Mark Oliphant trailhead is at gate 1, 178 Scott Creek road Heathfield SA5153
The below loop walk was an exploration through Mark Oliphant conservation park following the main tracks Lofty track, Loftia track, Nioka track, Honey eater track, Thronbill track.
Description of the walk
The walk starts at gate 1 and follows the main tracks in Mark Oliphant Conservation Park, exploring the different exits and includes some no through tracks. The total distance was 10 km and the duration was 2 hours and 30 minutes. The walk is mainly on fire tracks and some small trails which can be indistinct and overgrown in some places. Total ascent was 223 meters.
National Parks and Wildlife service website suggests the following trails:
1. Skink Trail Loop 3 km which starts at gate 1
2. Bandicoot Trail loop 4.5 km which starts at gate 1
3. Waterfall hike loop 2 km which starts at gate 12 and follows Thornbill track. The waterfall is large amphitheatre but does no flow often.
A description of these trails can be found on the website Walking SA at
Deep Creek Circuit is a challenging walk that encompasses the best parts of Deep Creek Conservation Park, from stringy bark forests to dense coastal heath vegetation. The park offers spectacular views of the Backstairs passage as far as Kangaroo Island.
Deep Creek Conservation Park is a coastal park , 90 minutes from Adelaide. Its beauty with unspoiled vegetation, majestic coastline is a major attraction for hikers. To reach the park, take the South Road via Myponga and Yankallila. Then drive past Second Valley and turn left at Delamere, following the signs to the park. Make sure you purchase the entry park pass via the internet from: https://www.parks.sa.gov.au
Deep Creek Circuit
This hike starts at Trig Picnic Area and follows the circuit anticlockwise. This has the advantage of going up over the steep area of the coastal hike from the Deep Creek Cove .
The first portion of the circuit, follows the track from Trig Picnic area to Deep Creek Cove. At the cove, the creek finishes its journey in the ocean. The peaceful, secluded cove warrants a short break to admire the scenery, before starting the climb along the rugged coastal trek. The hike is tough, more a rock scramble but reaching the top, the views are spectacular. You could see dolphins, seals and if you are lucky even whales.
The trail leaves the coast and follows a large track to Tapannapa Lookout.
From Tappanapa Lookout you head through thick vegetation and rugged terrain to Deep Creek Waterfall. The Waterfall generally flows in winter or after rain but the waterhole is permanent. Time for a break.
From the Deep Creek Waterfall take the Heysen trail to Tent Rock Road. From here, return following the road to the starting point at the Trig Picnic Area.
The total distance of the Circuit was 11 km about 4 hours with a total ascent of 389 meters.
The hikes distances are:
Trig Picnic Area to Deep Creek Cove 3.2 km
Deep Creek Cove to Tapannapa Lookout 1.7 km.
Tapanappa Lookout to Deep Creek Waterfall 3.5 km
Deep Creek Waterfall to Tent Rock Road 1.7 km
Links to other hikes in Deep Creek Conservation Park :
The Pinnacle is one of the most visited lookouts in Grampians with stunning views over Halls Gap. Most of the walks are done anti clockwise.
There are different starting points.
1. From Halls Gap camping ground walk through the Botanic Garden, through Venus Bath. Follow the track that continues to the Wonderland Car park.
2. Start at Wonderland Car park (5.5 km return)
3. Start at Sundial Car park (4,2 km return)
The hike described in this post is a shorter but harder alternative. The walk is to The Pinnacle via Mackey’s Peak in clockwise direction.
The walk starts at the Halls Gap Camping ground. After crossing the main street in Halls Gap walk straight through the camping ground pass the bridge on the right side towards the trail board that indicates The Pinnacle 3.4 km.
Follow the track and soon you will start a steep ascent with lots of stair cases. The advantage is that you avoid the crowds starting from the Wonderland car park. You will be rewarded with stunning views over the Halls Gap. Once you finish the ascent, continue to walk to the Pinnacle following the yellow triangle sign over the rocky path.
After soaking the views at the Pinnacle, return via the Wonderland Loop. Take track towards Wonderland Car park. You will pass through iconic Grand Canyon and Silent Street.
Just before reaching the Wonderland car park, turn right to return to Halls Gap via Venus Baths and Botanic Gardens. On the way you can take a detour to Splitters Falls ( can be dry in summer).
The hike has a total distance of 8.8 km. Time taken was 4.5 hours with breaks. Total ascent was 450 meters.
Lac de Presset is situated in Beaufortain region of Savoie department, south of Mont Blanc Massif. This a beautiful hike that takes you pristine alpine lake, among Ibex , with views of famous Pierra Menta.
Start the hike at the car park Chapelle de St. Guerin . Follow the road to the bridge. Cross the bridge on the other side and follow the track along the creek L’Ormente. From Refuge de la Balme (2009 m) climb to refuge de Presset (2520m ) and its lake. From here you can continue to Col Grand Fond. Return the same way. The total distance is about 14 km and takes between 5-6 hours.
The current track is missing one portion at the beginning which on the same route as the return track.
Hiking around Mont Blanc, which rises in its grandness at 4810 m, will be one of the most memorable experience you will have.
Switchbacks, mountain passes, magnificent peaks and impressive glaciers will create memories that last a lifetime.
The massif is surrounded and intersected by 7
valleys that spread across 3 countries. The Swiss Valaise, Italian Aosta Valley
and French Savoies are linked by history and traditions.
Most tours start at Les Houches, near Chamonix and head off in counterclockwise.
Our journey begins at Montroc and the tour was done in clockwise direction. The clockwise direction you travel against the flow and the first hours of walking the path is empty. Regarding ascents and descents the difference is not significant.
Montroc to Trient
First day started in Montroc. The small village of Montroc was hit in 9th of February 1999 by a massive avalanche that killed 12 people.
From Montroc railway station go up following Argullette des Possettes to Col de Possettes 1997 m turning right towards Col de Balme 2204 m and then down to Trient via Le Peuty. Refuge de Balme at 2191 m is the Franco- Swiss border. Trient is a small village and we stayed at hotel Grand Ourse. In the village there is a beautiful pink church and cemetery worth a visit. At the end of August the Ultra Trail Mountain Marathon is organised and Trient was full of life and celebrations.
From Col de Balme you have great views towards Col de la Forclaz and Trient.
This is a 14.21 km route in Chamonix-Mont-Blanc, B9, France. The route has a total ascent of 908.24 m and has a maximum elevation of 2,218.03 m . Time to destination was 5 hours.
Trient to Arpette
The second day we decided to take the higher mountain route the mythic Fenetre D’Arpette.
From Trient cross the main road Au Village follow the road through the forest and the path towards Fenetre D’Arpette. As the Fenetre D’Arpette came into view we climbed through rocky area, pass the glacier du Trient to reach the Fenetre D’ Arpette at 2665 m the highest point of our trip. After soaking the views and catching our breath we started going down the other site to Champex . This proved to be more difficult, as we had to negotiate our way through fields of boulders.
Accomodation was at Pelais D’Arpette.
This is a 13.9 km route in Orsières, VS, Switzerland. The route has a total ascent of 1307.43 m and has a maximum elevation of 2,672.78 m. Total time 7 hours.
Ferret to La Vachey
Bus was taken from Arpette to Ferret. From Ferret we walked on the road a bit then turned right to climb to Le Peule. Some short cuts were taken on a zig zag road, reaching a foggy Le Peule .
From Le Peule we climbed to Col Grand Ferret with beautiful vistas and the border stone between Italy and Switzerland. We started descending through pastoral scenery towards Refugio Elena. All the way you enjoy amazing scenery of the high Alps. From Refugio Elena you descend through the Val de Ferret until you reach the road and then you can take the bus to La Vachey.
This is a 12.44 km route in Orsières, VS, Switzerland. The route has a total ascent of 814.58 m and has a maximum elevation of 2,530.58 m. Time to destination 5 hours.
La Vachey to Courmayeur
From hotel La Vachey follow the road Frazione Pra Sec Dessons to Val Ferrett turn right pass Refugio Bertone tocome down to Courmayeur via Rue val Sapin
This is a 11.69 km route in Courmayeur, 19, Italy. The route has a total ascent of 499.35 m and has a maximum elevation of 2,063.87 m. Time 5 hours.
From Courmayeur we took the bus and walked from where we left the bus 30 minutes to Refugio Monte Bianco.
Courmayeur is the Italian equivalent of French Chamonix. The town has high end shops, numerous cafes and restaurants. It is a favorite stop for those hiking Tour du Mont Blanc.
Refugio Monte Bianco -Col De La Seigne -Les Mottets
From Refugio Monte Bianco ( 1670 m) turn left and climb towards the ski slope and go up to departure of the chairlift. Just before the chairlift take the small path on the left that is winding up in the forest to the Refuge of Maison Vielle. From here continue towards the Checrouit and climb to reach Refugio Elisabetta. At Refugio Elisabetta you can have your lunch and a very good coffee. From here go down via Val Veny to take the path that goes to Cassermetta of Col de la Seigne. Now Cassermetta is a centre for environmental studies and uses only renewable energy sources.
Climb some more to reach the border between France and Italy and Col de Seigne ( 2516 m ). Col de la Seigne is a pass known as far back as Roman times. A good rest at the pass and after admiring the stunning views, take the track towards Refuge des Mottets.
After 1 hour and 15 minutes you arrive at Refuge des Mottets (1870 m). The refuge has its characteristic large dining room. The meal is served at the same time for everyone. You have designated places at very long tables with plates of food being passed one from one another. Old french music played at the end made all an unique experience. The Refuge has small rooms and common showers.
This is a 20.55 km route in Courmayeur, 19, Italy. The route has a total ascent of 1288.2 m and has a maximum elevation of 2,510.13 m. Time 8 hours.
Les Mottets to Les Contamines
From refuge des Mottets follow the track to Ville des Glaciers turn right at the Chapelle pass Les Tufs to climb to Col des Fours (2661 m) among the pastures, along a stream left bank. Cross the pass, starting slightly to the left heading South/South-East. After passing at the foot of an electric pylon, the trail becomes more visible, walking on the ridge direction Col de Bonhomme(2329 m). From the Bonhomme pass take the direction La Balme-Notre Dame de la Gorge.
From Nant Borrant refuge (1463 m) continue straight along the ancient Roman road on a little more than 250 m vertical drop to Notre Dame de la Gorge. Notre Dame de la Gorge was the local parish church for the residents of the valley since the 13th century. The church was rebuilt in 1699 by Jean de Vougniaz.
This is a 17.43 km route in Séez, B9, France. The route has a total ascent of 897.25 m and has a maximum elevation of 2,681.41 m . Time 8 hours with breaks.
La Gruvaz to Les Houches
From Les Contamines, we have been driven to the start of the trail at the intersection Route de la Gruvaz with Route de la Villette. From here we followed Route de la Villette then turn right at Chemin des Chevreuils to reach Route du Champel. We continued on Chemin de l’Ormey turning right again to Bellevue for telacabin to Prion Les Houches.
This is a 9.03 km route in Saint-Gervais-Les-Bains, B9, France. The route has a total ascent of 954.06 m and has a maximum elevation of 1,799.51 m . Time 4 hours.
During the 7 days, we enjoyed stunning views, the genuine alpine experience and the delicious food. The trail for most of part is not technically difficult with most of the hikes between 10- 18 km and ascent and descent of 1000 meters. The GPS recording can assist with trekking but in some parts the GPS signal is lost so is very useful to have a map. General the treks are well marked . Watch out for Ibex, marmots and birds of prey.
The Tour du Mont Blanc is one of the oldest and most beautiful treks in the world, a must do on your bucket list.
Mount Lofty is very popular with Adelaide hikers, runners and fitness pals. Less traveled tracks are Pengana Track and Winter Track.
Winter Track, Pengana , Mount Lofty Loop Walk describes a short walk with a good hill for training. The walk has incredible views over city, making it a pleasant, short outing in Mount Lofty.
Description of the loop walk
The walk starts at Woolshed Gully Gate 11 at the address 104 Waterfall Gully Road, Waterfall Gully
Park the car in the small car park next to the Green shed. Cross the road and walk about 50 meters towards Waterfall Gully to find the sign for the start of the Winter Track and gate 11. Follow the track past the gate and after a short distance turn right at the track marked Pengana.
From here is a steep climb on the hill with an ascent of 316 meters. Reaching on the top, continue to walk on the track, watching for kangaroos lazing around near the bushes.
Continue walking forward and you will reach a signpost Pengana Spur Track which you follow. Follow the Pengana Spur track to reach soon the Perimeter track that surrounds Cleland Wildlife Park.
Here you turn left to continue on Perimeter Track, where you are greeted by emus and wallabies from the other side of the fence. Exiting the Perimeter Track follow the road and turn left at the next gate to take the Long Ridge Track. Walk along the Long Ridge Track taking in the views over the city.
Reaching the intersection with Winter track you can turn left to follow the track and return to gate 11. Optional you can walk forward for a small detour to the Long Ridge Track Lookout, for more stunning views over the city. Take a break, rest on the bench and admire the 360 degrees views.
After a deserved break, return to Winter Track to resume your journey back to the car.
The loop walk is 8.27 km and takes 2 to 2. 5 hours
The Three Capes Track in Tasmania is not only an experience of the wilderness of Tasman Peninsula but also a journey in its history .
The Three Capes Track is a coastal walk with beautiful beaches, stunning coastal and endless sea views. Along the way, you can enjoy stories about the convict heritage, life in the forests and underwater and the formation of dolerite rock and cliffs millions of years ago, in Jurassic period.
The four day walk starts at Port Arthur Historic Site with a boat cruise to Denmans Cove and ends at Fortescue Bay.
Total length of the track is 46 km. Over four days, you visit two of the Three Capes, Cape Pillar and Cape Hauy.
is undulating and gentle. You walk mainly on boardwalks and well maintained
The trail has been constructed to preserve the nature but also to share stories along the trail, to keep you amused and enhance your knowledge of the area. There are 30 story seats along the trail constructed by furniture designers, students from Tasmania University and Tasmanian aboriginal Community. Each seat is unique and describes a story.
Booking is essential at https://www.threecapestrack.com.au as the numbers of walkers is limited. The walking is self guided. The fee covers accommodation, the boat trip, and the bus fee to return to Port Arthur.
Day 1 Denmans Cove to Surveyors Hut 4 km, 1-1.5 hours
adventure starts at Port Arthur Historic Site where you need to register to
receive The Three Capes Track Pass and the book “Encounters on the Edge”. You
have time to visit the Historic Port Arthur and to have lunch at the café
before boarding on the boat cruise with Pennicott Wilderness.
At 1400 hour the enthusiastic group board the boat which takes you past Island of Dead to see the coast you will walk the next days. The Island of Dead is the burial ground of more than 1200 transportees from Port Arthur.
From the boat you will be able to see the third cape in the distance, Cape Raoul .
After you are disembark on the beach of Denmans Cove and take the compulsory photo at the Trailhead, the walk begins along the coast.
The walk is short and pleasant, through coastal vegetation and eucalyptus, only 4 km from Denmans Cove to Surveyors Cabin and takes about 1 hour to 1 hour and a half.
2 stories on the trail, Dear Eliza and Waving Arms.
Dear Eliza is the representation of a “Love Token” which is a coin with an engraved message which the convicts imprisoned at Port Arthur used to send to the loved ones.
Waving Arms represents the story of the ingenious communication system used by Charles O’Hara Booth, Commandant at Port Arthur in 1983 to 1984. It consists of movable arms which were set at different angle with a numerical meaning which could be translated into words using a unique code.
Messages were sent from Port Arthur to Hobart. Obviously it did not work if there was high wind or fog!
Soon you pass The Surveyor Cove with its cobblestone beach, from where you are less than one hour from the Surveyors Cabin.
Accommodation is in cabin with rooms of 4- 6 people. It is worth to mention if you travel with friends as you can get accommodation together. The cabins are build eco friendly. Two adjacent rooms communicate through an open area near the ceiling for ventilation. The room has 2 bunks for 4 people. Don’t forget to take the torch and ear plugs, essential for a good sleep.
The kitchen has facilities for cooking, pots and pans, water and enough tables and chairs for everyone. You can charge your mobile phone and there is some reception for Telstra mobile phones. Books and boarding games are provided to have fun in the evening.
Each day at 1800 the Ranger tells you more stories about the Three Capes Track and informs you about the weather and the next day walk.
Day 2 Surveyors Hut to Munro Hut 11 km in 4 hours
walking through eucalypt forest and heath lands. After one hour walk, walk
across open moorlands with occasional water views.
climb to Arthurs Peak, you will be rewarded with panoramic views over Tasman Sea
and Southern Ocean.
The track zigzags through gum trees, short twisted and sturdy windswept flora of Ellarwey Valley.
More stories emerge along the track. From “Punishment to Playground” which tells the story of Port Arthur changing from the infamous prison to a place where visitors enjoy its beauty and relax at the historic site.
I have enjoyed the cube shaped seats called “Who Was Here?” The wombat sticker gives us a clue that it is inspired from the wombat’s scats. I have read that wombats can hold their offerings for up to 16 days. Ouch!
More stories on the way and you reach a track junction, left towards Retakunna and right to Munro. You turn right to walk to the second night destination Munro Hut. From the deck you will enjoy the golden sunset and the views over the Munro Bight.
Day 3 Munro Hut to Cape Pillar and return to Munro Hut to Retakunna 19 km 6-7 hours
After breakfast leave your backpack to Munro Hut shed. With only a daypack you head towards Cape Pillar.
Initial through forests of Tasmania Waratah on boardwalk and later on rocky coastline, you will walk through Corruption Gully, along the Purgatory Hill, Hurricane heath and Desolation Gully to reach the Blade.
Mostly of this names were given by
early adventurers Tim Christie and Reg Wiliams who bush bash to Cape Pillar in
On the way more story seats to relax and take all in. “Wind Song”, “My Blood Runs Cold”, “Sex on the Cape” to name a few.
Follow the path at the edge of the cliff to the Blade Lookout and admire the stunning views over The Tasman Island. The remote Island has a lighthouse built in 1906 which used to flash every 7.5 seconds and could be seen from 72 km away. The life of the light keepers was full of hardships on this remote place. Before joining the service at the lighthouse, they were required to have teeth extracted to prevent teeth infections. Getting produce on the island was a complex 9 steps process that involved transferring from large boat to a dinghy, to a flying fox basket and then to a landing platform. From here the load was transferred on a trolley and finally carried by a horse drawn tram to the cottages.
Leaving the Blade take the way to Cape Pillar with its sheer cliff rising 300 meters high and the Cathedral Rock which stands alone off the tip of the Cape Pillar.
From Cape Pillar, head back to Munro Hut,
collect you backpack to head to third night accommodation Retakunna.
Day 4 Retakunna to Cape Hauy and Fortescue Bay 14 km, 6-7 hours
At sunrise, start walking up and over Mount Fortescue for the first hour, through a lush rain forest with thick layers of moss covering rocks, tall tree ferns and eucalypti. From here the track leads to Cape Hauy.
When you reach the junction, you can leave the back pack behind and take the track to Cape Hauy. Reaching the Cape Huay lookout enjoy the views and look for the dolerite pillar called Totem Pole that draws rock climbers from around the world. Returning to the junction, collect your backpack and head on the gentle downhill to Fortescue Bay. Take the photo finish before you swim in the pristine waters of the bay and take the bus to Port Arthur.
Your 4 day historical journey enriched your knowledge and all your senses from the dramatic landscape, to the variety of wildlife, unique flora and spectacular coast.
Return for more challenging hikes with stunning views… Tasmania has it all!
Hallett Cove is a popular summer walk over the
coastal cliffs surrounding Golf St Vincent.
Hallett Cove has a
unique geology, dating back 600 millions of years ago. The cliffs at Hallett
Cove have evidence of three ice ages, Precambrian age, Permian age and Pliocene
period when Australia separated from Antarctica.
Hallett Cove is named
after John Hallett, who discovered the area after searching for cattle in 1837.
Hallett Cove was
declared a Geological Monument due to its significance and became a protected
area in 1976.
Description of the walk
The walk starts at the car park next to
Marino Rocks Cafe, corner Marine Parade and Jervois Terrace.
Most of the walk is
on the boardwalks over the rugged cliffs tops with steep sections, five of them
that will keep your heart rate high. The boardwalk which zigzags along the
coast has from time to time exits to the rocky beach. The vegetation is mainly
coastal heath, low shrubs and grasslands.
The trail leads to the Hallett Cove Conservation Park.
On the way there are interpretative signs to explain the unique geological features of the Hallett Cove Conservation Park. Continue on the boardwalk which crosses the bridge over Waterfall Creek. Further down pay attention to the Erratic Rocks which are two quartzite boulders carried by the ice sheet which covered Gondwana. Soon you will reach the Black Cliffs lookout. The well preserved scratches, carved over the dark cliffs by the moving ice sheet are another evidence of Precambrian age. From here continue the path to visit the Sugarloaf and the Amphitheatre. It is better to take the second path on the left to go to the Sugarloaf and the Amphitheatre. If you take the first left path after visiting the geological features, you will walk again on it on return.
You can start the walk at Hallett Cove from
the Hallett Cove Surf Lifesaving Club.
Optional you can have a drink at the Boatshed
On return to Marino, there are fantastic views towards Glenelg and over the blue sea with numerous boats on a beautiful summer day.
The walk is 9 km return and takes about 2.5 hours.
Newland Head is a rocky headland situated at the eastern end of Waitpinga Beach on the coast of Fleurieu Peninsula.
Waitpinga Beach, which means in Aboriginal Language “windy place” is a beautiful beach but dangerous for swimming. Waitpinga Beach is popular for fishing, surfing and in the breeding season, whale watching.
The sand dunes at Waitpinga Beach provide a natural barrier from the ocean eroding the coast.
Newland Head is 1-2 hours from Adelaide. From Adelaide, take the route towards Victor Harbour and exit onto Welch road towards Ring Route. At the roundabout take the exit onto Mill Road, then turn left to Waitpinga Road. Follow Waitpinga Road, paying attention to bear left onto Dennis Road, which you follow for 3.4 km to the car park.
Walking trails in Newland Head Conservation Park
Coastal Cliff Loop Hike
Ridgeway Hill Loop Hike
Newland Head Coastal Walk
Newland Head coastal walk follows the Heysen Trail over the coastal cliffs of Waitpinga.
From the car park take the boardwalk over the sand dunes, following the Heysen Trail sign.
The trail head is at Waitpinga Campground. From here, continue following the Heysen Trail which is very well marked trail. The stone hut at Waitpinga Campground was built in 1980 by Dennis Family.
Passing the gate, walk on the sandy track paying attention to the exposed tree roots.
The trail will turn right to follow the rocky cliffs, surrounded by coastal vegetation. On the way, kangaroos and echidnas can be seen. After one hour from the start, reaching the Southern Ocean the views are breathtaking with sheer cliffs that drop in the ocean, with the Bluff and the West island which can be seen in the distance. Try to spot sea eagles that fly in the area.
Reaching the track junction and information board, take a short break on the bench and decide the return way.
The options are :
Return the same way to enjoy the coastal breeze on the hot summer day.
Return inland via Ridgeway Hill walking trail.
You can extend the walk to King’s Beach following the Heysen Trail which will be 11.5 km one way.
Returning back the same way, you walk a total distance of 11 km and climb 257 meters. It will take 3 hours and 30 minutes.
Choosing the option to return inland via Ridgeway Hill, the hike is slightly longer. The total distance is 11.37 km with a 278 climb and takes 3 hours and 40 minutes.
You can extend the walk to King’s Beach following the Heysen Trail, which is a spectacular walk. The total distance is 11.5 km one way, so about 23 km return.
You can download this portion of the Heysen Trail from the website