Best walking and hiking trails on the Fleurieu Peninsula
Walking, Hiking, bushwalking, trekking- whatever you like to call it, there is nothing like an invigorating stroll in nature. From the southern Heysen Trail to the Deep Creek Conservation Park and more, you’ll get to experience stunning natural beauty while getting your steps in on the Fleurieu Peninsula.
Southern Heysen Trail
The Heysen Trail is 1200km in length with the Fleurieu Peninsula section totalling 75.5km. We may be bias but our section of the trail is pretty spectacular!
Cape Jervis to Cobbler Hill is the very beginning (or end) and continues all the way to Tugwell Hill before you leave the south coast.
For stunning ocean views, dramatic cliffs and sandy tracks through coastal scrub, try out the Waitpinga Cliffs to Kings Beach section of the track. Keep your eyes peeled for dolphins, seals and white-bellied sea eagles. This section will take you around 4-6 hours and is 11.6km one-way.
Do your research, walk to your ability and enjoy the journey!
Hiking. Image courtesy of South Australian Tourism Commission/Peter Fisher
Southern Ocean Walk
To get even more out of your walk join a guided, small-group walking tour with Southern Ocean Walk. Offering bespoke experiences along the region’s coastline, you'll have someone to take the mental load and organisation out of your walk.
While getting the benefit of the knowledgeable guides, you’ll be able to take in the beautiful landscapes and learn about the flora, fauna and history of the area. You might even spot some wildlife!
The tours include transfers to and from Adelaide, all meals and beverages and accommodation in Deep Creek Conservation Park.
It's walking, the luxurious way.
Boat Harbor trail. Image courtesy of Southern Ocean Walk
Deep Creek Conservation Park
While the Heysen Trail includes a section in Deep Creek Conservation Park, it’s also worth mentioning in its own right! Deep Creek is located just a 90-minute drive from Adelaide CBD, the perfect distance for a quick getaway. With fifteen walking trails that include spectacular scenery like Backstairs Passage, Deep Creek Valley and views of Kangaroo Island, it’s absolutely worth spending some time in this part of the world.
The Stringybark Loop is a magical, short walk with plenty of wildlife to be seen. This easy, flat walk is great for the whole family and takes just 30 minutes to complete. Camp nearby at Stringybark campsite or pack a picnic to enjoy at the end!
For the next level up, try the Deep Creek Waterfall Hike from Tent Rock Road. There is a year-round waterfall located at the end of the trail which is a peaceful spot to rest before making your way back. This is a moderate hike just 2 hrs return and 3.5 km.
For those who like a challenge, the Blowhole Beach Hike will provide that burn. The way down is deceiving, it is the climb back up that you will need your energy for. The trail winds down to the beautiful and secluded Blowhole Beach. This is a great spot for fishing or surfing, if you are feeling strong enough to carry your gear! It will take approximately 2.5 hrs return at just 3 km.
There are plenty of longer hikes too, such as the Aaron Creek Hike (11km) or Deep Creek Circuit Hike (10.9km).
Choose your adventure!
Deep Creek Conservation Park. Image courtesy of John Montesi
The Kidman Trail
If you’re interested in heading inland, the Kidman Trail also has sections within the Fleurieu – from Willunga through to Kuitpo Forest and on towards the Clare Valley.
Named after Sir Sidney Kidman, you’ll see a different side of the Fleurieu along this scenic trail. The track itself varies, with some sections along the roadside and others forest tracks and unmade road reserves. It is a multi-use trail that cyclists and horse riders can also enjoy.
Of course, at 269km, the total track will take over a week to walk – but you can always just do a little of it!
Kidman Trail. Image courtesy of @fameandspear
Onkaparinga river national park and recreation park
Onkaparinga River National Park has 14 trails to choose from. Ranging from easy flat walks to hard hikes there's plenty of variety for however you are feeling. One of the most popular trails is the Punchbowl Lookout Trail. This leisurely 2 km trail is suitable for prams and limited mobility access. Wander through native woodland before coming out onto the lookout, a jaw dropping platfrom overlooking the park.
The deep gorges and high hills can also make for a great challenge. Try the Gorge Hike which descends into the steep gorge and meanders along the river before coming back up to the top. Allow approximately 4 hours for this one.
Adjacent to the National Park is the Onkaparinga River Recreation Park. This wetland area is where the river flows over the plains and offers a few different trail options. The Wetland loop is a combination of boardwalk and gravel paths and is suitable for strollers and accessible for wheelchairs. Your dog can come along for this one too, as long as they are kept on a lead.
There are plenty of other walks that we haven’t listed here – hiking Rosetta Head (the Bluff) is always worth the view, and it’s only an 800m hike. Be sure to check out our website for other places to explore.
And don’t forget to tag us in your photos of the region with #fleurieupeninsula!
The Bluff, Encounter Bay. Image courtesy of Jesse Ehlers