Ambers Gully Hike & Sugarloaves Trail, Black Hill Conservation Park

Ambers Gully Hike Black Hill Conservation Park

October 2018

South Australia

Distance: 4.4 km (2.7 miles)

The Ambers Gully Hike & Sugarloaves Trail in the Black Hill Conservation Park is a lot of fun. Hard work, a lot of uphill, but a great walk.

Ruins of an old Shepherds Hut. Ambers Gully Hike Black Hill Conservation Park
Ruins of an old Shepherds Hut

I did the walk in a clockwise direction and the uphill slog began straight away. The reward was the beautiful views out over the suburbs and right through to the beautiful city of Adelaide in the distance.

Ambers Gully Hike Black Hill Conservation Park
Early on in the walk – hills to the left and great views to the city on the right

The warm weather meant I actually had snakes on my mind and knew I had to watch where I was stepping. The hike started with a nice wide fire-track but once I hit the Sugarloaves Trail halfway around I was on a very narrow trail in the thick of the bush, so I really had to watch where I was stepping.  Much more exciting!

Sugarloaves Trail Black Hill Conservation Park
Heading back down the Sugarloaves Trail

And yes, I did take a wrong turn (of course). And yes I did have a map with me. But I’m always so certain I’m on the right track that I stubbornly just motor along until that point where I give in and pull out my map and then get back on the right track, muttering under my breathe and hoping no one saw me.

My favourite part of the hike was near the end. I was hot and getting tired, but found myself heading downhill on a thin, winding track.

Ambers Gully Hike, Black Hill Conservation Park
Down, down the rocky trail

The next minute I was carefully picking my way down large slabs of stone, when I came upon what is called the frozen waterfall (crystaline tufa) and a small cave. My photo of the unusual part of the rock face that they call the frozen waterfall came out terrible, unfortunately. Once again – Adelaidians will have to head out and check it out for themselves 🙂

Ambers Gully Hike Black Hill Conservation Park
Looking back at where I’d come from. Nearly at the end of the hike. You can just make out part of the small cave to the left of the photo.

Not long after this surprising part of the trail, I was back at the carpark.

I actually wasn’t in a hurry to do any walks in this park because I thought it would be too similar to the walks I’d already done a lot of in the Anstey Hill Recreation Park. And to be honest I thought the trail would be busy. I don’t know what I was worried about – this walk was actually a lot quieter than where I usually hike. And in fact the hills were bigger, the trails more interesting and overall it was more challenging. Lesson learned.

Gumtree, Black Hill Conservation Park
What is it about large trees? I always feel in awe standing next to them – it can’t just be me that feels this way?

I loved this last part of the walk so much that I dragged my hubby and teenage boys here the next day to see for themselves. You wouldn’t believe it – there was a small film crew and actors filming a “proof of concept” right there up on the side of the hill on the narrow trail – that we needed to walk through (twice!). Knights, swords, battles, the works. It certainly made the walk more memorable for us – I don’t think we will ever come across that again out on a bushwalk anywhere.

Map Black Hill Conservation Park
Map of the Ambers Gully Hike/Sugarloaves Trail . Source:




13 thoughts on “Ambers Gully Hike & Sugarloaves Trail, Black Hill Conservation Park

  1. Once, during a nighttime beach walk, we came upon a film crew doing a military training film in front of a sand dune (faux desert). Your crew sounds like WAY more fun! Knights and swords! Your sons will still be laughing about that when they’re grandpas!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Had to laugh at you getting lost, I’m the queen of getting lost. If I hiked alone, they’d have to send in a search party. I also like the quiet of a hike. When I take my husband, we usually are both deep in thought and we just enjoy the peace and quiet of the forest. Nice post!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. When I read where you went I thought WOW! you were brave. I stopped and thought that’s Gorge road in the Adelaide Hills and worked it out when I saw the map.. Great views of Adelaide. We have an amazing State…

    Liked by 1 person

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