Inspired by Australia's natural, developing and fun environments.
Get some inspiration.
Published February 17th 2016
The natural alternative in Waterfall Gully
About 2km along Waterfall Gully Road a small carpark appears on the eastern side of the road. We park the car, apply the sunscreen, put on our floppy hats and head to the hills in search of the allegedly peaceful and serene Chambers Gully Hike.
Starting at the intersection of the short Chambers Gully Road, Chambers Gully Hike takes walkers in an easterly direction through a no-vehicles access gate and along an old road that once formed part of Dunstan's Quarry. Closed in 1950's, the indicators that this was once a quarry are hard to find, albeit some solid rock faces, displaced rocks and an occasional constructed wall give rise to the suggestion that there was once something there.
It is not long before the bitumenised road gives way to gravel, and then after crossing a rarely-running creek the north-eastern entrance to Cleland Conservation Park appears on what is now known as Chambers Gully Track. Part way along, the Track crosses another path, and a quick look to the South reveals why this path is on the list of the training tracks for those seeking to tackle Kokoda. We give it a miss this time, and continue east along the more modest gradient.
For the next three kilometres the hike follows the creek uphill passing through several different landscapes from the yakka bush infested rock walls, the blackberry covered meandering creek and the magnificent tall river red gums and ghost gums.
But it is not just flora that is on display along this creekside hike with the branches of the eucalypts forming a relaxing outpost for the koalas amongst the scattering of noisy minor birds, cockatiels and Major Mitchells. Not to be outdone, the kangaroos calmly and slowly work their way through the green grasses while watching the passers by.
The Hike crosses the creek for a last time and continues up a lesser slope in a southwesterly direction until it reaches the junction of the Long Ridge Track. Turning left means a short walk to Cleland Wildlife Park and ultimately Mt Lofty, while turning right takes walkers along the top of the range with views across the suburbs to Adelaide, Glenelg and beyond.
The Chambers Gully Hike follows the wide fire trail past several junctions until it comes to the bottom of a small crest with a lookout perched on top. The seat at the top of lookout looks inviting, and we take the 200m detour to the lookout and are rewarded with some outstanding views of the City and suburbs.
Back down from the lookout and the Hike now enters a stretch of single trail as it winds itself down around the hillside. Flora continues to be on display and we pass through a wood of Drooping Sheoaks followed shortly after by another round of Yakka bushes, a number of whom seemed to have taken a good hold on the sides of the track.
The mild descent continues for around one kilometre until we eventually reach the bottom where we join the creek again at the entrance to the Cleland Conservation Park. A left turn and a short walk back along the gravel and bitumen road leads us back to our starting point at the intersection of Waterfall Gully Road.
The Chambers Gully Hike is just under 10km, and is a great alternative for those looking for a quieter walk in the Adelaide Hills than the crowded Waterfall Gully trek. The walk is also popular amongst koalas, kangaroos and the occasional deer, all of whom are most active at dusk and dawn. Available anytime, the walk also suits all ages, with occasional park benches and plenty of trees providing shelter. There are no facilities along the hike and a map is available at the start of the walk or online.