Distance: Less than 7km
I started this Morialta Conservation Park walk from the top carpark and did the walk out and back. It was a mostly overcast day and quite humid. Thunderstorms were forecast but the morning looked good so I headed out.
I thought the carpark didn’t open until 8.30am so I held back driving there, even though I had been awake for hours and was keen to get started. When I arrived at exactly 8.30am the carpark was half full, so I think maybe you’re allowed in with a car from sunrise onwards.
Crossing the small bridge to my left, I headed up the most direct route to the Deep View Lookout, which meant heading East. There’s a less steep way to get there, but I was on a mission and was keen to see what this Lookout was all about. I needed to ask for directions from another hiker at one stage because there are a couple of forks in the trail with no signs. The views from the lookout were great. By the time I got there I was getting pretty warm and took the opportunity to take my boots and socks off, have a drink of water and take it all in. I had the Lookout to myself.
After taking a quick photo to send to my hubby to make him jealous (important), I got back on the trail. From this point onwards I was on the Yurrebilla Trail – I took the trail heading East.
The majority of the trail was narrow, steep and skirted around the edges of the gorge. The views back to the falls below were great – even though it was summer there was a bit of water flowing. I got the opportunity to rock-hop over the creek in several places and took some great photos.
The Third Falls weren’t as impressive as the First and Second Falls, however I could get quite close to them. I was pushing my way through tall grass towards the end of the trail closer to the Third Falls – I wouldn’t be doing this on a hot summer’s day due to snakes (particularly as you’re close to the creek).
As for seeing wildlife, I saw 2 small kangaroos just on the outskirt of the car-park before beginning my hike, a large koala with a youngster dangling from a tree about 1 metre from the trail and another koala balancing precariously from a branch whilst munching on leaves. A family of tiny ducklings were swimming around at the bottom of the Third Falls as well. I could hear birds that I’d never heard before and also hear frogs. Together with the sounds of the creek and falls the sounds were beautiful and weren’t lost on me as I made my way around.
As long as you stay on the Yurrebilla Trail heading South-East you’ll be heading the right way to get to the Third Falls. That being said, I came across 2 different lots of hikers asking for directions and as stated at the beginning, I too also wasn’t sure where to go at one stage. I do admit to feeling a bit queezy in the first stage of the hike and found it hard to look down at the steep drop to the side of me. I took a lot of breaks. Hiking back the same way was a breeze and took no time at all – a lot of it was downhill.
You can do this walk as a loop in its own right even if you aren’t completing the Yurrebilla Trail – it’s called the Three Falls Grand Hike.
Morialta is a popular place for Adelaide hiker and rock-climbers, however having other people around didn’t bother me so much. Because the hiking is steep and remote it was comforting for me to know that I could probably get someone’s attention if anything went wrong. I hadn’t been hiking in the park before (except for the short, flat trail to the base of the First Falls many years ago) and didn’t know my way around or what to expect. I went through a lot of water – the humidity and steepness of the hiking really took it out of me. I’m glad I went into this hike with a solid dose of respect and was prepared.
This would be an exciting hike to do in Autumn or Winter, however I imagine it could also be a bit slippery crossing the rocks and in the downhill sections.
My next hike here will be to take the Yurrebilla Trail in the opposite direction – heading North after the Deep View Lookout. I look forward to sharing how I go.