Shepherds Hill Recreation Park, short hike with great views over Adelaide

 

Shepherds Hill Recreation Park is a regular place for my friends to take a short walk, early in the morning  and you don’t need to travel far. Shepherds Hill Recreation Park is only 9 km from the Adelaide City.

Shepherds Hill Recreation Park was named after William John Shepherds, who owned a section of local land between 1853 and 1864.

The park has an archery field and a pony club facility. When red flags are displayed at the archery boundary it means that archery activity is in progress and you need to avoid area.

Walk description:

The walk is mainly on the Ridge Track which offers great views over Adelaide. It is an undulating track and you need to cross the creek a few times. The water is low and there are a few stepping stones. On the walk you can admire native bushes and trees grey box woodland, wattles.  You can admire rosellas, kookaburras and spot a koalas or two. On the walk we noted remnants of the original Adelaide to Melbourne railway line.

Remnants of the original Adelaide to Melbourne railway line
Remnants of the original Adelaide to Melbourne railway

 

Caution is required to be taken when approaching the railway tracks. We walked a short distance along the railway track and soon after we left the track a train was passing by.

Shepherds Hill Recreation Park Caution approaching the railway track
Shepherds Hill Recreation Park Caution approaching the railway track
Shepherds Hill Recreation Park
Shepherds Hill Recreation Park

 

Distance= 6.5 km

Time= 1hour and 40 minutes

Total ascent= 165 m

Hazards: Railway tracks

Difficulty : easy

How to get there:

By car: Park the car in the car park off Ayliffes Road, St. Mary which is the main entrance in the park

By train: From Adelaide city to Eden Hill Station from where the access to park is via Ellis Avenue, Eden Hills

By Bus: Stop 25 Ayliffes Road St. Mary

Yurrebilla Trail, Belair to Summertown

Yurrebilla Trail is a 54 km which starts at Belair Railway Station to Black Hill Conservation Park.
The trail is divided in 5 sections:
Section 1 Belair Railway Station to Eagle on the Hill. Distance=17.5 km
Section 2 Eagle on the Hill to Summertown Distance= 7 km
Section 3 Summertown to Norton Summit Distance= 9 km
Section 4 Norton Summit to Morialta Distance=7.5 km
Section 5 Morialta to River Torrens Distance=13 km

The first section of the walk starts at Belair National Park, at Old Belair Station. Following the marked trail,you will arrive at Playford Lake where you can watch cormorants, waterfowls and other species of birds.

Playford LakeThrough Belair Park

From here, the trail takes you to the Echo Tunnel.
Before you reach the Echo tunnel you will see a trail that diverts to the right to Old Government House which was built in 1860. The Old government house is only opened on Sunday and public holidays.
Passing through the Echo Tunnel (I always forgot my torch, but was OK to get through, with the light from the iphone) the trail takes you to the Lower Waterfall. Soon after, the trail turns left following Workanda Track. After 4.5 km you cross Sheoak Road and follow Pony Ridge Road and walking through Brownhill Creek Recreation Park, you will reach Mc Elligotts Quarry (9.5km).

Brownhill Creek

From here, passing through Waite Conservation Reserve, you will end up at Eagle on the Hill (17.5 km).

Off the trail is worth a visit is Carrick Hill (www.carrickhill.sa.gov.au) or to Urrbrae House Historic Precint (www.waite.adelaide.edu.au/urrbraehouse).

From Eagle On The hill we follow the undulating trails through Cleland Conservation Park, Waterfall gully track, Bilba Track, Shanty and Pillbox Track. After 7 km we exit Cleland Conservation Park at Mount Lofty Summit Road. Turning left, after a short walk on the road, will meet Greenhill Road, where we finish our walk.

View from the trail

Off the trail there are numerous attractions: Waterfall Gully, Chinamans Hut Ruin, Mount Lofty Summit, Mount Lofty Gardens, Cleland Wild life Park.
Total distance= 24.5 km.(our GPS showed more 25.5 km) If this is challenging, you can start the second section at Eagle on the Hill.

Access the trail:

Belair National Park
Car park available at Belair railway station or in Belair National Park
Bus 195 from the city bus stop 28 then walk south down Upper Sturt Road
Train to Belair from city

Eagle on the Hill
Bus 166 from city, Stop 21
Car park on Eagle on the Hill

 

Morialta

 

The walk has 2 distinct loops. From lower car park you will walk along the road to upper car park, from where turning left, you climb to Deep View look out. Following Rocky Hill track and Moores track you will descend to Fox Dam.

Fox Dam

From Fox Dam, following the track you reach Montacute Road, from where you need to turn back and  climb Hikers’ Hill (Chapman’s track). You will end up at the intersection with Moores Track , Rocky Hill track completing the first loop.  Turning left, take Centre track for a short distance and  then Pylon Track and via Third Falls you will return to the car park.

Good level of fitness is required as the track is classified hard and involves steep hills down and up.

Local in Morialta

Hiker’s hill is one of the steepest and hardest in the area, but you can  stop as many times required. The challenge will be rewarded in the end with great scenery and accomplishment of a hard walk.  The ice cream van was a nice surprise at the end.

a nice surprize at the end

 

Distance= 15 km

Climb =578 m

There are 2 climbs one grade 2 (8.2% gradient) and the other one grade 3 (7.2% gradient)

Time =5 hours and 30 minutes

Start : Car park off Stradbroke Road

 

MOUNT LOFTY CIRCUIT

Mount Lofty Circuit incorporates mainly fire tracks on the outskirts of Cleland Conservation Park. The hiking trail rewards you with stunning views over Adelaide City. Starting at Chambers Gully ,the walk follows the Long Ridge Track, then Perimeter Track before climbing to Mount Lofty Summit. The Obelisk at Mount Lofty Summit was built in 1885 as a trigonometric survey monument.

Mount Lofty Circuit
Mount Lofty Obelisk

Enjoy lunch, coffee at Mount Lofty before returning to the trail. Walking down the Waterfall Gully track, ignore first Heysen trail junction as it takes you to Mt. Lofty Botanic garden. Turn left at the second junction on Heysen trail; continue on Chinaman Hut Track towards Mount Barker Road, turning right on the Old Bullock Track. Following Centre Track after a steep descent will turn right to exit Mount Osmond reserve. Turn left on Waterfall Gully Road back to starting point.

Distance: 19.2 km

Climb: 660 m

Time: 5- 5.5 hours

Difficulty: hard

Season: All. Take extra care in summer, have enough water, good footwear.

Starting point: Park the car at Chambers Gully off Waterfall Gully Road.

How to get there: From Greenhill Road, turn right at roundabout on Glynburn Road, left on Waterfall Terrace then right on Waterfall Gully Road.

MOUNT LOFTY TRAINING HIKE

This training hike is an alternative to popular hiking trail Waterfall Gully to Mount Lofty track, which is overcrowded during weekends.

What I like about this hiking trail is, that is short and that you will be rewarded with a good workout and great scenery.

Hiking Trail description

Park the car at Cleland Conservation car park which is free and has numerous parking spots.

From here, go down the Long Ridge track towards Chambers Gully Sugarloaf. Take a quick detour to the Lookout for views towards Adelaide city. There is also an opportunity for geocaching if you are interested in it. The geocache is called the “Long Ridge Lookout”.

MOUNT LOFTY TRAINING HIKE
City views from Long Ridge Lookout

Returning back to the track you left, go around the Sugarloaf until the Chambers Gully track. Follow Chambers Gully track until the intersection with Bartril Spur Track.

Mount Lofty Training Hike
The “Widow Maker”

If you look on the right side you will see a track blocked by some trigs. This is the infamous “Widow Maker”. The trigs and fallen branches might give you a clue that you should not take this track uphill. If you venture at your own risk, you can follow the dried footsteps of other ventures and end up to the Long Ridge Track which takes you back to Cleland car park.

If do not want to take the risk, go forward on the Bartril Spur that will take you to the Long Ridge track and back to the car park the way you came.

Hiking Trail Statistics

Distance: 7 km

Time: 2 hours

Climb: 241 m

Difficulty: The climb is difficult but the rest is not.

How to get here:

Bus 823 West Crafers to Cleland Park, stop 26

Driving from Greenhill Road, turn right on Mount lofty Scenic route, then right towards Cleland Conservation Park

From Crafers drive on Mount Lofty Scenic Route and turn left towards Cleland Conservation Park at the sign, Gurra Track

What is your training hike in Mount Lofty?

AARON CREEK HIKE

Aaron Creek Circuit Hike

The walk starts at Aaron Creek Picnic area just below of the Goondaloo Cottage. It follows a common track with the Aaron Creek Circuit walk. Soon after meeting Heysen Trail, going left you will reach a junction where you have the option to follow the narrow track along Aaron Creek and go to the ocean or return back via Eagle Waterhole camp.

The views across The Southern Ocean and Kangaroo Island are stunning. We decide to follow the creek towards the ocean. The vegetation is overgrown on the track and poses a challenge as is very prickly. If you don’t give up, you start climbing up and soon you will see the ocean and the track descents to the rocky beach. Have a break, eat lunch and drink a cup of coffee if you brought with you, while you enjoy the views and the refreshing breeze. We return the same way until the track junction, where we follow the Heysen trail towards the Eagle Waterhole Camp. We admired the FOHT camp and the water tank and rest in the shade inside the camp. Afterwards, following the 4 WD track we return to the start. The total length was 10.5 km which took us a bit over 4 hours.

Western Grey Kangaroos

 

Sleepy Lizard

 

Distance: 10.5-11 km

Climb: 315 m

Time: allow 4.5 hours

Difficulty: hard

Season: All, take extra care in summer, have enough water, good footwear.

Starting point: Park the car at the parking bay just south of the Goondaloo cottage.

How to get there: From the Delamere General Stores, follow the signs to the Deep Creek Conservation Park. Approaching the park take the road to Blowhole Beach. Park the car at the parking bay just south of the Goondaloo cottage.

ONKAPARINGA RIVER NATIONAL PARK, BAKER’S GULLY

 

 

Onkaparinga River National Park, Baker’s Gully hiking trail, is a combination of several trails in the Onkaparinga National Park Upper Gorge, which include the Nature Trail, Echidna Trail and Bakers Gully Track. The loop walk has some steep sections and you will be rewarded with great views over the gorge.

On the Echidna trail there is a side trip to a “waterfall”. Returning to the path you will soon reach a ruin. Following Bakers Gully track keep an eye for kangaroos in the area. You eventually reach Onkaparinga River which you follow for a short distance. Often the river is difficult to cross, so the loop was designed to stay on the same side of the river. Trace your walk back on Bakers Gully track, Echidna trail and then Nature trail which are running more or less parallel, at a lower level, with those we came on. At the end of Echidna Trail just before Nature trail, you will reach the Gorge access Trail. It is worthwhile, going down on the Gorge Trail which takes you to a beautiful rock pool with a sheer cliff face plunging into water. The Gorge trail will take one hour return.

 ONKAPARINGA RIVER NATIONAL PARK, BAKER'S GULLY, Gorge Trail

ONKAPARINGA RIVER NATIONAL PARK, BAKER'S GULLY,View from Gorge Trail

Returning to Nature Trail will be an easy walk to the car park. If you are not in a hurry, take the track to the Sundews Lookout with great views over Onkaparinga River.

Distance: 12.5 km

Climb: 279 m

Time: allow 4 hours

Difficulty: Moderate

Season: All, except summer due to heat, snakes

Starting point: Gate 11, intersection Piggott Range Road with Upper Penney’s Hill Road, Onkaparinga Hills

How to get there: From Morphett vale take States Road, Penny’s Hill Road, Upper Penny’s Hill Road to Piggott Range Road

 

 

Craigburn Farm Little River Hiking Trail

Craigburn Farm Little River hiking trail  is new developed in Sturt Gorge Recreation Park and is popular with walkers and mountain bike riders. The shared use trail is situated in Sturt Gorge Recreation Park, which is close to Blackwood, southern suburb of Adelaide.

Sturt Gorge Recreation Park is located 13 km south of Adelaide.

Historical , Craigburn Farm was a land over 800 acres on both sides of Sturt Creek. Craigburn Farm was established by Peter Cumming who was born in 1796 in Glasgow, Scotland and arrived in South Australia in 1853.

Craigburn Farm Little River is a loop walk, which consists of a mix of gentle tracks with a bit of everything, old pastures, creeks, lake away from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Distance: 5.6 km

Elevation: 107.5 m

Time: 1.5 hours

Difficulty: Easy

Season: All ( Good for a short workout in the evening during summer).

Park the car in the car park at the Blackwood Football Club.

How to get there: Driving from Shepherds Hill Road, Blackwood turn onto Brighton Parade. At the roundabout take the second exit to Cumming Street. Follow the road turning left onto Trevor Terrace. At the end of the road, turn right onto Craigburn Road. The Blackwood Football car park is on your right.

By train: Take the train towards Belair and stop at Coromandel Railway station. Walk to destination 1.5 km.

 

 

 

An alternative is to start in Bellevue Heights, Eve Road.  From Eve Road enter  Sturt Gorge Conservation Park via Kurrakilla Trail, turn left after about 800m, following the walking trail parallel to Bushland drive. Reaching Magpie Creek , follow the walking trail along the creek, crossing the creek a couple of times. Vegetation can be overgrown in some areas.

Turning right through Blackwood Hill Reserve you will reach Craigburn Farm shared trails. In the park there is a myriad of trails and some of them are shared with mountain bikes, so take great care on the shared trails. This walk is 8,16 km and takes about 2 hours.