Have you heard of a place, a landmark or place of interest called "Individual Tree up on hill" in Adelaide? I didn't even know this place existed until I stumbled upon it on Google Maps. With over 10 million downloads, the Google Maps app is the most downloaded navigation app in the world. Apart from the standard features that a street directory offers, there are so many features that it has become an inseparable part of our life from simple things like going to a friend's place to a road trip, from exploring new cafes in the area to planning a hiking route.
I love a drive up the old Belair Road as the view on the left always fascinates me. The beautiful landscape unfolds in front of you with the rolling hills and green pastures. I always wonder if there is any walking trail that leads you to the top and what views will I see along the way. One day, I finally opened Google Maps and used the Satellite layer to check it out.
My limited map reading skill and imagination have got me to the Brown Hill Creek. There I found a place called "Individual Tree upon a hill". Hm …. what is it? A landmark, a real tree or even an Airbnb rental? It's a historical landmark with 4.6 star rating & 30 reviews on Google Maps. I have decided to check it out on one sunny Sunday.
Individual Tree upon a hill on the Google Map (Courtesy of Google Map)
We first drove to the Brown Hill Creek Road and parked after we saw the entrance of the tourist park. Walking further up the trail along the Brown Hill Creek Road, we saw the gazebo in the tourist park. That's when we saw a trail on our left going up the hill. We took the less travelled trail on the left and started our steep climb. If you stay on the trail along the Brown Hill Creek Road, you will be walking along the valley.
Take the trail left when you see the gazebo in the Brown Hill Creek Tourist Park
I highly recommend taking walking poles with you as the slope is quite challenging. The higher we went, the more breathtaking the view was. We could see hills upon hills on one side and the sweeping view of the Brown Hill Creek valley and the city on the other. There are some bigger stones on this trail, not much rubble. Although the trail is steep, it's not as slippery as I imagined.
A big part of the uphill trail is to walk along the fence
The most rewarding part came when we saw a solitary & majestic tree on the hill. There is no other tree or shrub nearby. You can take a snap for the next Windows official wallpaper. It's just stunning to see it from afar. The closer you walk to it, the bigger it is. I have taken nearly a hundred photos of this magical tree.
Once we reached the tree, the walk was pretty much downhill, a gentle one though. The trail wasn't marked but it's very clear as there's no other vegetation except grass in the area. We followed the trail down the carpark of McElligott's Quarry Reserve and then took the Peter Wilson Walking Trail back to the Brown Hill Creek Road where we parked our car.
The adventure took us less than an hour. The walking distance is a little over 2 km while the ascent is about 200 metres. I have a family with kids on the trail going uphill. With the trail start being 15 minutes from the city, it is another unusual thing to do in Adelaide without leaving the half-hour circle. I'm now thinking of packing a picnic up there next time.
Brown Hill creek area was market gardens [ Tilly, Putland and other families] My grandfather worked in them before and after he returned from the first world war. Up until the early 1970's there was a chimney still standing beyond the caravan park the last remnant of the past. My mother was born in that house now aged 93 and living in Queensland. My grandparents next home was in High St Mitcham. This was demolished along with there orchard and vegetable garden to create the car park for the Edinburgh Hotel Thanks Ron