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Spring Gully Conservation Park

Home > Adelaide > Walks | Parks | Outdoor | Free | Escape the City
Published August 17th 2013
One of a kind
The Spring Gully Conservation Park in the Clare Valley is the only reserve in South Australia to contain the red stringybark tree, a type of eucalyptus characterised by fibrous bark that reveals a red trunk when removed.

Spring Gully Conservation Park, Cascades Walking Track, Red Stringybark Trees
You won't find red stringybark anywhere but here


The park is a stunning sanctuary of native bush covering approximately 400 hectares. There are eight different species of eucalypts in the park, but the South Australian blue gum and the red stringybark are the most prevalent.

It was originally created to protect the rare red stringybark, but now also preserves the vulnerable grassy woodland ecosystem and over 30 species of orchid, including the spider orchid, donkey orchid and sun orchid.

Spring Gully Conservation Park, Cascades Walking Track, Red Stringybark Trees, Orchids
It's hard to see but there's a greenhood orchid in there


There are several walking tracks in the Spring Gully Conservation Park that range from easy to exhausting. The Cascades Walk begins at the Blue Gum Lookout and leads to the 18 metre high Cascades Waterfall.

It was a sunny day in the middle of winter and the region had recently experienced a heavy and consistent downpour of rain, prime waterfall viewing conditions.

Spring Gully Conservation Park, Cascades Waterfall, Clare Valley Lookout
The trickling waterfall provides a moment of tranquility


Or so I thought. To call it Cascades is somewhat of an exaggeration as there was nothing cascading about this waterfall, trickle is a more accurate description.

Nevertheless, with the gentle trickle of water, the rhythmic sound of frogs and the expansive view of the Adelaide Plains, it is a lovely and serene spot to relax for a few moments.

Spring Gully Conservation Park, Cascades Walking Track, Clare Valley Activities
The walking track is narrow and the surface uneven at times


The walk is fairly easy and leads through beautiful surroundings. The track is a narrow, uneven dirt path that is a little hilly at times. Pay attention as there are a few rocks and tree roots along the way that present a tripping hazard.

It is 1.3 kilometres long and takes about 40 minutes to complete at a leisurely pace. It leads on to the 2.6 kilometre Wymans Hike which is about an hour round trip and slightly more vigorous.

The Ridgetop Walk begins at the Red Stringybark Car Park and the brochure from the Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources claims it to be suitable for wheelchairs and prams. One way is 1.2 kilometres and takes about 40 minutes.

For a more strenuous trek, you can also walk along the fire breaks known as the Western Boundary Track and the Observation Track.

Spring Gully Conservation Park, Cascades Walk, Clare Valley Lookout
There are some impressive views on the Cascades Walk


It is important to keep to the designated tracks so as not to disturb the delicate undergrowth. Follow the markers along the way as the bush is quite dense and it wouldn't be hard to get lost.

A few signs provide information about the history of the park and the flora and fauna that inhabit it. Kangaroos, possums, echnidas, falcons and kookaburras call Spring Gully home.

Spring Gully Conservation Park, Spring Gully Picnic, Clare Valley Activities
The Blue Gum Lookout is a nice picnic spot


The Blue Gum Lookout has a car park and park benches. It makes a nice spot for a picnic before or after your walk. Take note that there are no public toilets and dogs are not allowed in the park. Be sure to bring a bottle of water and wear sturdy walking shoes, sunscreen and a hat.

Spring Gully Conservation Park is a great place for bushwalking, picnicking, bird watching and nature photography. Spring is a nice time to visit as the native wildflowers and orchids are in bloom.

It is located in the Skilly Hills, which is about 8 kilometres south of Clare in the Mid North of South Australia. Follow the tourist signs from the turn off on Main North Road at Sevenhill.

Spring Gully Conservation Park, Cascades Walking Track, Red Stringybark Trees
Enjoy the unique natural surroundings

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Why? Waterfall, wildflowers and a wonderful walk
When: Open every day
Where: Near Sevenhill in the Clare Valley
Cost: Free
Your Comment
A lovely place to take a walk.
by Bryony Harrison (score: 4|12386) 2128 days ago
Ranging far from your traditional grounds Hayley!
by Dave Walsh (score: 4|11205) 2128 days ago
I can sympathise with the feeling of taking a bushwalk to see some "cascades" and getting a trickle! I think cascades is code for trickle.
by Katy Holliday (score: 3|1133) 2127 days ago
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