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Bushwalking In South Australia
bush walks saSouth Australia offers amazingly diversse and breathtaking countryside in every direction. It is an ideal destination for nature lovers because you can choose from the large number of sprawling parks surrounding the city of Adelaide to the vast Flinders Ranges that are a bushwalkers dream. The peninsulas offer splendid view of the coast and the Barossa Valley is the perfect place to relax. Whatever destination you choose, your hire car will give you the freedom to enjoy your walking holiday to the maximum and explore this state's hidden treasures.

Adelaide is known for its green parks, and one of the closest would have to be the Black Hill Conservation Park which has a number of walking trails and viewpoints that make the trip worthwhile. Pack a picnic lunch and enjoy one of the many great picnic spots dotted around the park. Journey twenty kilometres south from the city and you will come across the Cleland Conservation Park, which offers guided walks at dusk, allowing you to see the native animals at their best. Another great track here is the one heading to Waterfall Gully which is especially majestic during the rainy season. Eagle on the Hill is a more strenuous walk with fantastic views and is also worth a look.

A visit to the Morialta Conservation Park is a must, with plenty of walking tracks, three beautiful waterfalls and spectacular views in every direction. Situated a mere ten kilometres east from the city, it is perfect for a day trip and relaxing picnic with the whole family.

The largest park of the region is located forty kilometres from the city and is known for its native animals, deep gorge, rich river system and of course fantastic bushwalking tracks. The Onkaparinga National park is an obvious choice for those who donít have time to visit the Flinders Ranges, but would still like to sample its remote beauty. Throughout the walks you will stumble across colourful orchids, groups of grey kangaroos and an abundant range of birdlife, as well as plenty of great picnic spots. With the Mt Lofty ranges as a fitting backdrop you will want to spend more than a day here.

The Flinders Range National Park is one of the most popular regions for bushwalkers, who travel here from all over the globe. The unique combination of mountains, gorges, wildlife and lush vegetation is perfect for an escape walking holiday. You will be fascinated by the birdlife, which includes the majestic wedge-tailed eagles, as well as the grey kangaroos which dominate this area. Wilpena Pound is another of the most popular attractions in the area, with plenty of bushwalking tracks that are simply ideal for photographers. Edeowie and Brachina Gorges also offer incredible walking tracks, and the Bunyeroo and Aroona Valleys are also worth a visit. The Heysen Trail is the most well known walking track that spans from Cape Jervis in the south to the centre of the Flinders Ranges. At 1500 kilometres you need to be well travelled to complete the journey, but you can enjoy the walk in segments. There are plenty of campsites in the ranges to use as a base while you enjoy the surrounding beauty of this amazing region.

To the north of the Ranges and located west from Arkaroola, you will come across the Gammon Ranges, which are perfect for the experienced bushwalker only. You can camp in the park but be sure to stick to the track as you will come across plenty of unexpected steep terrain and cliff faces. Its remoteness and untouched wilderness is a draw card for many who keep coming back for the wildlife and natural beauty of this region.

To the south of the ranges is the well known Mount Remarkable National Park, which offers bushwalking for all levels of fitness and enjoyment. Its fantastic for any age group, offering incredible scenery and wildlife to be seen along the tracks. Head to the town of Melrose, located below Mount Remarkable, which can be a good base while you explore the surrounding park and attractions.

On the other end of the famous Heysen Trail, the Fleurieu Peninsula has plenty of shorter walks and campsites that are ideal for a weekend getaway on the coast, for both couples and families. Head to Kangaroo Island for a day trip and enjoy the diverse wildlife that is hard to match on the mainland. Cape Jervis is a popular starting point for its first stretch (on the way to the distant Flinders Ranges) to Newland Head. You will be spoilt with panoramic views of the coast and deep, turquoise blues of the ocean.

The Eyre Peninsula has plenty of challenging treks for the more experienced bushwalker. With trails along the coastline and cliff tops leading down to enclosed bays, many visitors end up in the Lincoln National Park with campgrounds available close to the spectacular Port Lincoln. From the novice hiker to the beginner, there is a walking track for everyone in South Australia. Take your hire car to as many as you can and enjoy the freedom of a self drive holiday in the beauty of the great outdoors.

Christine Barton

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