By Jenny Brewer
South Australia offers amazing diversity and breathtaking beauty in every direction. For the nature lover you can choose from the large number of sprawling parks surrounding the city of Adelaide to the vast Flinders Ranges that are a bushwalkers dream. Head to the Peninsulas for some coastal views or relax in the Barossa Valley. Whatever destination you choose, your hire car will give you the freedom to enjoy your walking holiday to the maximum.
Adelaide is known for its green parks, and one of the closest is the Black Hill Conservation Park which has a number of walking trails and viewpoints that make the trip worthwhile. Bring a picnic as there are a number of great picnic spots dotted around the park. Close to twenty kilometres south from the city is the Cleland Conservation Park, which offers guided walks at dusk to see the native animals at their best. There are plenty of tracks here, one heading to Waterfall Gully which is especially majestic during the rainy season. Eagle on the Hill is a more strenuous walk with fantastic views.
The Morialta Conservation Park is a must, with plenty of walking tracks, three beautiful waterfalls and spectacular views. Only ten kilometres east from the city, it is perfect for a day trip and relaxing picnic.
The largest park located forty kilometres from the city is known for its native animals, deep gorge, river system and of course fantastic bushwalking tracks. The Onkaparinga National park is an obvious choice for those who don’t have the time to visit the Flinders Ranges, but would still like a taste of its remote beauty. Throughout the walks you will come across colourful orchids, plenty of grey kangaroos and an abundant species of birdlife, and there are plenty of great picnic spots. With the Mt Lofty ranges as a fitting backdrop you will want to spend more than a day here.
The Flinders Range National Park is one of the most popular regions for bushwalkers, who travel here from all over the globe. The combination of mountains, gorges, wildlife and lush vegetation is perfect for an escape walking holiday. You will be enthralled by the birdlife, including majestic wedge-tailed eagles, as well as the grey kangaroos which dominate this area.
Wilpena Pound is one of the most popular attractions in the area, with plenty of bushwalking tracks and ideal for photographers. Edeowie and Brachina Gorges also are incredible for walking, as well as the Bunyeroo and Aroona Valleys. The Heysen Trail is the most well known walking track that runs from Cape Jervis in the south to the centre of the Flinders Ranges. At 1500 kilometres you need to be well travelled to complete the journey, but you can enjoy the walk in stretches. There are plenty of campsites in the ranges to use as a base while you enjoy the surrounding beauty.
To the north of the Ranges and located west from Arkaroola, the Gammon Ranges are ideal for the experienced bushwalker only. You can camp in the park but you will need to stick to the track as you will come across plenty of steep terrain and cliff faces. Its remoteness and untouched wilderness is a drawcard for many who keep coming back for the wildlife and beauty of this region.
To the south of the ranges is the well known Mount Remarkable National Park, which offers bushwalking for all levels of fitness. Its fantastic for any age group with incredible scenery and wildlife to be seen along the tracks. Head to the town of Melrose, located below Mount Remarkable, which can be a good base while you explore the surrounding park.
On the other end of the famous Heysen Trail, the Fleurieu Peninsula has plenty of shorter walks and campsites that are ideal for a weekend getaway on the coast. Head to Kangaroo Island for a day trip and enjoy the diverse wildlife that is hard to match on the mainland. Cape Jervis is a popular starting point for its first stretch (on the way to the distant Flinders Ranges) to Newland Head. You will be treated to panoramic views of the coast and deep blues of the ocean.
The Eyre Peninsula has plenty of challenge for the more experienced bushwalker. With trails along the coastline and cliff tops leading down to enclosed bays, many visitors end up in the Lincoln National Park with campgrounds available close to the pretty Port Lincoln.
From the novice to the beginner, there is a walking track for everyone in South Australia. Take your hire car to as many as you can and enjoy the freedom of a self drive holiday in the beauty of the outdoors.
About the Author
Jenny Brewer is a travel agent whose passion is writing. After spending her leisure time writing time writing children’s stories, she now enjoys writing about travel destinations. For more of her articles visit Car Hire Australia