I’ve always found joy in hiking and spending time amongst nature. It always been a way to relax, bring peace to my life and put me back on an even keel. After a bender of a weekend attending my first footie game (AFL), followed by Groovin’ the Moo (a music festival primarily supporting Australian artists), I was in need of some recovery. Mind and body.
I was back in Adelaide crashing on my mates couch and was in need of some fresh air and exercise. The hills canvasing the horizon provided the perfect get away for the day. The hills are home to nearly half a dozen conservation parks and with them, countless trails to get lost down. Not that you could actually get lost with all the signs posted at every fork, but the illusion is there. Solitude amongst the eucalyptus.
12km from the city starting at the Belair Railway Station is the Yurrebilla Trail. 54km, broken up into five sections, spanning five parks it can be done in a strenuous couple days or a laidback five taking on a section at a time. Due to time restraints in my schedule needing to get back to Melbourne for a flight, one leg of the trail would have to do. Morialta Conservation Park had a few hour loop depending on your speed and three waterfalls along the way. Deceptively so, they were not grand, but nevertheless the hike itself was scenic enough.
Starting from the parking lot of Morialta, just on the outskirts of the city it begins with a paved walking path bringing you to the first and largest waterfall. Well it would be the largest, but due to the time of year all of them were mere trickles of water down the rock face. Backtracking slightly with a mildly strenuous climb we were brought to the path rimming the valley and the views took over. Making our way to the second and third ‘waterfalls’, they became more so a direction to walk. The journey itself was the meaningful aspect to the day. Viewpoints every so often overlooking the terrain, blanketed with eucalyptus, the sprawling suburbs of Adelaide laid out in the distance which led to the shoreline to the south.
By the end of the trail loop it seemed like we were just getting started after only a few hours of hiking. I’ve become a fan of multi-day treks so I wasn’t ready to call it finished. The amount of trekking I do when I return to Australia will be dramatically increased after this little taster, but at the end of the day it was a great way to spend the afternoon. I know if I had these parks at my doorstep, I would spend more time in the bush than the city. South Australia is full of tremendous hiking and if I manage my second year visa to make it back to this area, my footprint will be embedded in many of these trails.