Third Falls to Norton Summit, Morialta Conservation Park

Walking Third Falls to Norton Summit

January 2019
South Australia

Another section of the Yurrebilla Trail completed! Australia Day long weekend.

Early on Sunday morning we drove to Norton Summit in the Adelaide Hills. Had a quick stop to check where we needed to go and then headed out of town on Colonial Drive. We parked off to the side of the road near the quintessentially Australian Morialta Cottage.

Morialta Cottage
Morialta Cottage. We parked just a couple of metres down the road from this building on Colonial Drive.

From here we headed into Morialta Conservation Park and made our way to the Third Falls inside the Park.

Straight away we found ourselves walking through lots and lots of beautiful butterflies. This went on for at least 100 metres. Bit of a Snow White moment!

Walking from Morialta Cottage to Third Falls, Morialta Conservation Park
Walking from Morialta Cottage to the Third Falls (hubby)

Then it wasn’t long before we came across 2 kangaroos blocking our way. One youngster and a big buck keeping a close eye on us – he had no intention of moving, despite my pretty pathetic “Shoo. Shoo”.  Hubby kept on walking towards them and they got the hint and ever so slowly hopped on up the side of the hill – making it clear they were in no rush and were doing us a favour.

Vineyards, Norton Summit

Before long the trail headed steeply downhill and we found ourselves at the base of the Third Falls. I’d made my way here from the other direction a month or so ago whilst walking the Yurrebilla Trail. It was a nice surprise to be here so quickly. No water flowing this time, which wasn’t a surprise at all.

Colonial Track, Morialta Conservation Park
On the Colonial Track heading towards Third Falls

We had a quick rest, a drink and some lamingtons before heading back up the hill to the car again.

From here hubby drove back to Norton Summit and I continued on by myself into town along Colonial Drive. The road was quiet and only a few cars went past. There was plenty of room for me to walk off to the side and only really one corner where I had no room and had to keep a good listen-out for cars before I proceeded.

Morialta Barns, Norton Summit
Still on the Yurrebilla Trail. A detour from Colonial Drive whilst heading towards Norton Summit.

The Yurrebilla Trail has a short detour off of the main road, where you head up-hill past the Morialta Barns. The Barns are now private property and you can’t get up close to them. It’s a nice break from being on the road though. There is a short, steep section that would be difficult if it was muddy.

Yurrebilla Trail Norton Summit
The majority of the trail we covered today also forms part of the Heysen Trail.

There were sheep, goats, horses and ducks to see whilst walking on Colonial Drive. I love that this section of the Yurrebilla Trail has taken me past different types of scenery and animals than I usually see when I’m walking inside the Parks.

Sign, Yurrebilla Trail, Norton Summit
Signs along Colonial Drive

Then I was back at Norton Summit – in the car taking my boots off, putting my thongs (flip-flops) on, having a drink and eating another lamington (as you do…)

So in summary, we followed the Yurrebilla Trail the whole way. We started at the Morialta Cottage on Colonial Drive, Norton Summit. We walked to the Third Falls and back (about 3.5km return). Then I continued on walking into Norton Summit from there whilst hubby took the car up ahead to meet me (about 2.5km)

This was a great way to get this section of the Trail done and I really enjoyed the scenery and walking. It was also not as tough as the other sections of the YT that I’d already completed and the signage was easy to follow. We only saw one other hiker on the way to the Falls and I didn’t see any on my way to Norton Summit along the road.


  • Park just off to the side of the road near Morialta Cottage.
  • To get to the start of the walking trail you can’t get there from the cottage as the property is fenced off – you have to walk down the road past the Cottage heading away from Norton Summit. The signs are easy to see.
  • You’ll get to a big intersection on the way to the Falls. You should be able to just make out that the wide road crosses over the creek. Instead of continuing on to the Falls just yet, go down to the creek. It wasn’t flowing when we were here but if you’re here in winter it would be beautiful and you can get nice and close. Then head back to the trail and continue on to the Falls.
  • There are public toilets in the middle of Norton Summit and there’s parking there as well.
  • Norton Summit is a popular spot for cyclists, so take care driving on the winding roads.

Some of my other posts about the Yurrebilla Trail:

Hiker’s Hill – Morialta Conservation Park (a favourite solo walk)

Deep View Lookout to Moores Track, Morialta Conservation Park

Deep View Lookout to Third Falls – Morialta Conservation Park

Favourite Photos – Deep View Lookout to Third Falls, Morialta Conservation Park

Black Hill Summit Hike – From the Other Side



5 thoughts on “Third Falls to Norton Summit, Morialta Conservation Park

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