Geological Hike, Anstey Hill Recreation Park

View over a quarry from geological hike Anstey Hill Recreation Park

South Australia
August 2018
Distance 1.3km (.81 miles)

Well this little walk didn’t go as planned. I might need to consider changing the title to “Failed attempt at Geological Hike, Anstey Hill Recreation Park”.

This was my second Anstey Hill walk on my own. It started off well. I found an easy park at the end of a court in Highbury. I didn’t try parking on Lower North East Road, as the road heads up quite steeply into the hills and therefore places to pull over can be difficult to find.

I crossed a little wooden bridge and there was an information board outlining some of the area’s history and a map of the walk. Interestingly, the board says it’s an out and back walk, whereas on the online map it’s shown as a circuit. I headed off alongside the small creek and up the rocky steps. Just getting to the start point of the trail was a pretty walk, particularly with all the yellow Wattle out in flower. So far so good – I was looking forward to what was to come.

Track to get to the beginning of the Geological Hike
The track to get to the start point is pretty in itself

The view from the “Gun Emplacement” was beautiful. Plus a perfectly positioned bench to take it all in.

I made my way along the trail, passing some more information boards about the quarries. This part of the track was a bit dark, secluded and tucked-away, which made me feel uneasy – considering I was on my own. Unfortunately before too long I came across 2 guys and a girl wandering around with beer bottles in their hands and who just generally gave me a bad vibe. So I turned around and decided to head up the hill. I was hoping that I would meet up with the Geological Hike trail again.

I did a quick side-trip because I wanted to see if one of the other entrance gates on Lower North East Road had a spot for parking off the side. Yep, it did. Noted for next time.

The track went up the hill further and further. Great views out over the city but this was supposed to be a 30 minute walk and I’d been going for a lot longer than that. I kept walking until I now had Lower North East Road on my left side and a big drop on the right. The view over the other side of the valley was beautiful. I did feel though, that I was now in the middle of nowhere. Was I even still on the Geological Hike? A quick check of Avenza Maps told me I was in Highbury but not in Anstey Hill Recreation Park anymore.

Track on hillside in Highbury South Australia
Realising I’m not on the right trail anymore, but what a great trail.

I came to a spot where I was only a metre or so from the main road and out below to my right I could see a big quarry. The track seemed to continue on through to the quarry…could that be right? Anyway I didn’t stick around to find out because it was time to head home.

Of course with so many other little tracks around the place I ended up on a different track to the one I set out on…not ideal but not to worry. Before long I was back at my car.

The noise from Lower North East Road makes it a bit hard to feel like you are really getting away from it all, but lucky for those people living in Highbury that they have this at their backdoor!

So this attempt at the walk was a little bit frustrating. All other Anstey Hill walks are well signed and you rarely have all these side tracks where you are left to ponder which is the official trail. I really need to get back there so I can do the actual walk. Then I might be able to tick it off my list and give a proper account of it.

On the plus side, I did feel like I had discovered a gem of a walk that probably only locals know about. Some of the views were beautiful – you can find more photos of my walk here.

Sarina

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