The Most Beautiful Walking Trails At Onkaparinga National Park

Onkaparinga National Park is located in the McLaren Vale and only 45 minutes from Adelaide CBD. The national park is in between the vineyards and the park is home to some beautiful hiking trails and walking tracks. There is an abundance of natural beauty and wildlife. You are able to stay in the park at Pink Gum Campground which has large camping sites to suit everyone in caravans to tents. Camping is $17 per night and you can book online. No dogs are allowed in the National Park. Click Here for the top places to visit on the Fleurieu Peninsula.

River walk

From Pink Gum Campground is the river walk. The path is graded 4. The return hike is 4.2km and takes 2.5 hours to complete. This area has the most undamaged native vegetation in the park. It starts off along gentle slopes, but becomes steeper as you descend into the gorge. Once down by the river you will get spectacular views across the gorge.

Chapel Hill Lookout Trail

The trail is 1.6km 45 minute return walk. Begin the trail behind the Chapel Hill winery, there is a small car park just off Chaffey’s Road. The walk is across gentle grassy slopes of the upper gorge. You will have views from the lookout looking down into the river gorge below.

Hardy’s Scrub Trail

The trail is graded 3 and is 5.9km 2-3hours return hike. Begin the walk from the main trail head at gate 16 on Chapel Hill Road. Wander through this forest on walking trails and fire tracks. The trail is well marked walking in a clockwise direction.. There is a 1.3km alternate route which follows a narrow walking trail. This small trail is the Onkaparinga River short circuit and is 2.4km return easy loop.

Sundews Ridge Hike

The Sundews Ridge Hike is a 4km 2 hour return hike grade 3. Begin this trail at Sundews carpark. follow the Blue signs to the ridge hike. There is many alternative routes here if you like to extrend your Hike. We hiked the echidna trail and nature trail which lead back up with the ridge hike. This loop is 8.8km return loop.

Echidna Hike

This trail is grade 2 and is a 3.5 km 2-hour return circuit. Along the trail, you will see some ruins and get great views of the gorge. There is also a turn-off to a waterfall but at the waterfall, there was not much water flowing. Begin the hike at gate 12 on Piggott range road. You can combine this hike with the nature hike making it a 7km return hike.

Nature Hike

The Nature Hike is a grade 3 moderate hike. The circuit is a 3.5km 3-hour return. Take a stroll in nature and get beautiful views out into the Gorge. This hike begins at Sundews carpark and can easily be combined with the Echidna trail or with the Sundews ridge hike.

Punchbowl Link Trail

Begin the trail at Sundews carpark. The trail is a 6km 3-hour return hike. The trail winds its way through gullies heading out to the lookout. Along the way, you get spectacular views out of the Onkaparinga River. You can return via the same track or return via the Punchbowl lookout trail and back along the road to Sundews carpark.

Punchbowl Lookout Trail

This trail is a 2km 1-hour return trail and is pram/wheelchair friendly. The trail leads to the punchbowl lookout where you get spectacular views into the Onkaparinga gorge. The name ‘Punchbowl’ comes from the rock formations at the bottom of the gorge that has created a beautiful bowl-shaped rock pool.

Pink Gum Campground

Pink Gum is located in Onkaparinga National Park. The campground’s are 11 campsites, including three that are suitable for caravans, a toilet and fire pits for use outside the fire ban season. We stayed at campsite 6 which was big enough to fit 2 caravan’s on. It is about a 20 minute drive from the Punchbowl lookout and other trails.

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