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Marion Coastal Walk

Home > Adelaide > Beaches | Parks | Picnic Spots | Playgrounds | Walks
by Hazel Cochrane (subscribe)
I am a freelance writer, photographer & fitness instructor. I enjoy hiking and kayaking and writing walking. Facebook https://www.facebook.com/greataussiewalks
Published February 26th 2016
Step Back in Time on the Marion Coastal Walk
Marion Coastal Walk
One of many staircases on the walk. Photo - Hazel Cochrane

Starting from the Marino Esplanade, the Marion Coastal Walk consists of five short walks or for those with a good level of fitness, the 7.2km trail to Hallett Cove provides a challenging workout.
Marion Coastal Walk
Marion Coastal Walk Photo: Hazel Cochrane


Impressive views of the southern coastline and ancient geological formations can be observed from the boardwalks and paths as the trail travels along cliff tops and gullies linked by wooden staircases.

Viewing platforms along the trail provide the perfect opportunity to watch kayakers and those fishing from the rocks or just enjoy some quiet time after a busy week.

Marion Coastal Walk
Viewing platform with lovelocks. Photo - Hazel Cochrane

Photo opportunities abound throughout the year, especially during winter when the coast can be visited by southern right whales.

The first walk section, the Art walk, named for the public artwork at the entrance, starts at the Marino Esplanade and is an ideal short easy walk with no steps.

Marion Coastal Walk
Walk Trail Signs. Photo - Hazel Cochrane

The artwork includes Contemplation (2006) by Marijana Tadic, which references the way nations navigate the globe and the boats that have come to rest on the neighbouring shore. Thirty colourful, interpretive signs located along the length of the walk reference cultural diversity.

Starting at the Marino Mosaics, near the Jervois Terrace car park, the Murto Gully trail progresses for about 20 minutes, before reaching the first of many staircases. A short detour of 95 steep steps leads to the beach at Murto Gully where the rugged cliff face and the 600 million year old Precambrian rock folds can be examined more closely.

Marion Coastal Walk
Stairs and more stairs to the beach. Photo - Hazel Cochrane


The beach is accessible from Westcliff Gully and Kurnabinna Gully on the Kurnabinna Walk section. Car parking is available on Cove Road.

Marion Coastal Walk
Sugarloaf. Photo - Hazel Cochrane


Providing a glimpse of the past, the popular Geology Circuit walk through the scenic Hallett Cove Conservation Park includes short boardwalk tracks to the conical shaped Sugar Loaf and the spectacular Amphitheatre. Sediments deposited in a lake from a molten ice sheet about 280 million years ago are responsible for the unusual rose coloured formations. The whole area dates back to over 600 million years and has been declared as a Geological Monument. This area is susceptible to erosion, tempting as it may be to climb up for a selfie, staying on the path is vital.

Marion Coastal Walk
The Amphitheatre, Photo - Hazel Cochrane


The popular Boatshed café at Hallett Cove Beach, part of the Surf Club building, offers coffee and light meals and a place to watch the steady stream of walkers sweating their way along the trail. Car parking is available at the Surf Club on Fryer Street.

Family groups gather to BBQ and relax in the nearby park and playground area, through which the trail continues to the Hallett Cove Headland. The viewing platform at the headland, near the car park, provides excellent views, particularly looking north up the coast.

Marion Coastal Walk
Plenty of seaside activities. Photo - Hazel Cochrane


The walk requires a good level of fitness and a definite affinity for stairs but every step is worth the effort. Allow 2.5 to 3 hours one way to include time to enjoy the views and a coffee stop. Water fountains are located on each section along the walk and toilets are available at Jervois Terrace and Hallett Cove beach. As with all Conservation Parks, dogs are not allowed in the Hallett Cove Conservation Park area.

Marion Coastal Walk
Rugged Cliff Faces. Photo - Hazel Cochrane

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Why? A challenging walk with scenic views
When: Anytime of year
Where: Marion Coatal Walk
Cost: free
Your Comment
I have walked this trail many times, without noticing the locks. What a shame. The temporary 'LOVE' display at The Garden of Unearthly Delights this year is a brilliant solution to the destruction caused by love locks. Lovers can purchase a heart, add an inscription and make a donation to the Heart Foundation.
by Jenny Rossiter (score: 3|4116) 1360 days ago
A few corrections.
Hallett Cove no longer has a Surf Lifesaving Club. This building is now occupied by the Boatshed Café.
The Boatshed Café is in Heron Way. Fryer Street is further north near the train station.
by Jenny Rossiter (score: 3|4116) 1360 days ago
PS. Good article Hazel with details that were new to me. I didn't know the Marion Coastal Trail was divided into five shorter named walks.
Welcome to writing for WN.
by Jenny Rossiter (score: 3|4116) 1360 days ago
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