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The McLaren Vale and Fleurieu Peninsula region is renowned for its breathtaking, natural beauty. With the arrival of cooler autumnal weather, what better way to take it all in than by lacing up your boots and setting off on one of the many walking trails the region has to offer? Whether you’re a beginner looking for a relaxed, casual stroll or an experienced hiker after some adventure, there’s a trail to suit everyone!
The Onkaparinga River National Park, home to South Australia’s second largest river, simply can’t be missed when looking for the region’s best hiking locations. Offering a huge number of walks of varying lengths with a variety of scenery, it’s the ultimate location for a bushwalk.
For something moderate in length but mighty impressive, head off for a hike along the Punchbowl Lookout Walk. Mostly flat, this 2km return trip walk takes you to the The Punchbowl Lookout where you can take in the incredible sights of the Onkaparinga Gorge. It’s worth noting this walk even provides access for wheelchairs and prams so is truly a walk for everyone to enjoy.
More adventurous hikers will love The Gorge Hike. This 5.8km circuit leads you through steep terrain requiring a high level of fitness. However, don’t be put off as the spectacular sights are well worth the effort. Starting at Sundews Lookout, you’ll follow the tranquil river downstream where you’ll take in two perennial waterholes, stunning views of the gorge and will more than likely spot some native wildlife.
If you were hoping to combine your sipping and swirling with a nature walk, the Shiraz Trail might be the perfect option for you! Part of the 35km Coast to Vines Rail Trail, the Shiraz Trail is the section of the trail between McLaren Vale and Willunga. As you walk along this flat, former railway line you’ll take in the vineyard views of the region and the iconic views of the rolling hills. Stop off wherever you feel along the way or even pack a picnic and make the most of the shelters and seating provided along the trail.
For maps and more information to plan your hikes in the beautiful McLaren Vale region, we recommend heading to the Walking SA website here.