I am a freelance writer, photographer & fitness instructor. I enjoy hiking and kayaking and writing walking guides. Visit our website www.greataussiewalks.com.au or Facebook https://www.facebook.com/greataussiewalks
Morialta Conservation Park offers something for all levels of fitness and motivation, from walking through an extensive network of walking trails, which the rugged rock ridges linking the three seasonal waterfalls, to rock climbing and abseiling.
Abseiling down the cliff face. Photo: Hazel Cochrane
Incorporating sections of the Heysen and Yurrebilla Trails, the park was declared as a National Pleasure Resort in 1915. The name Morialta has its origin from the Kaurna word for ever-flowing river, although the creeks and waterfalls can be dry in the warmer months.
Creeks running in the colder months abound with aquatic life. Photo: Hazel Cochrane
Open from sunrise to sunset, the entrance to the park is located on Stradbroke road. The walk from Stradbroke road to the First Falls car park is an ideal place for walkers with a dog on a lead, although dogs are not permitted past the First Falls information area or in other areas of the park. Walking trail details, as well as historical and geographical information displayed on the boards adjacent to the First Falls Car Park will guide you to the starting point for the walk.
Kookaburras and other birdlife near the Giant's Cave. Photo:Hazel Cochrane
A favourite family walk is the short 3km trail to the Giants Cave. Frogs can be heard, and occasionally seen, as the path winds from the First Falls car park, following the Fourth Creek track, to the cave. Keep an eye out for koalas sleeping in the tall river red gums, and a variety of birds, including the yellow tailed black cockatoos, which make nests in hollows of the gum tree trunks. Bridges along the trail provide rest stops, photo opportunities and the chance for children to view the aquatic life in the seasonal creek. Look up from the second bridge to see the Deep View Lookout high above. Continue on the trail, crossing the third and fourth bridges, toward the sixty steps that lead to the Giant's Cave.
It's a big cave but not big enough for a giant. Photo: Hazel Cochrane
The cave, one of many on the cliff faces at Morialta, is large enough for several people to stand inside, pausing to admire the view or for a drink break, but probably not big enough to house a giant.
The trail begins the meandering downhill, passing the path to Hogan's trail, returning to the First Falls car park to complete the walk. Picnic and toilets facilities available near the First Falls car park, make this an ideal spot to extend the visit with a picnic lunch under the shelters or the shady trees.
Parking on Stradbroke Road or in the Resource Centre car parks is free, however a fee applies for car parking at the First Falls car park. All car parks close 15 minutes before sunset, so make sure you leave enough time in your walk to get back to your car.
The walk to the Giant's cave is fun in any season, with the colourful display of wildflowers in spring to the flowing creeks and waterfalls in the colder months, there is always something to see. Remember to take water and sunscreen, as shade can be intermittent, particularly in the summer months.
Spectacular park so close to the city.I remember back in the 50's when the tram us to terminate at the entrance road about 20 minutes walk away from the large wooden circular kiosk,which had tea rooms with large windows and a counter where they sold icecreams,drinks,buns etc.After it was damaged by floods it was removed. Pity it was never reestablished as it was typical of many such buildings scattered around Australia that are still standing today and were possibly built around the 1920"s.The Kookaburra photo is excellent...what a handsome bird they are.