Hike Adelaide's southern beaches and hills: discover the Willunga Basin Trail

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SECTION 4: Hart Rd Wetlands to Maslin Beach

9.4 km Moderate Hike Grade 3

FROM: Hart Rd Wetlands (southern end of Rowley Rd), Aldinga Beach, SA 5173

TO: Gulf Parade, Maslin Beach, SA 5170

The section start is at the edge of the wetlands just south of Rowley Rd. Head west along the path which runs between the Aldinga Conservation Park on your left and a suburb on your right. Soon you will cross into Palmer St which you follow to the coast and you will have walked 1.3 km.

Turning right onto the Esplanade you follow the shared use path, which is part of the Coast Park path, as far as Port Willunga, for 3.8 km. There are many facilities on the way and wonderful views along the coast. At many points there is access to the beach; it is a beautiful and interesting beach but note that you can only get all the way to Pt Willunga at low tide.

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On reaching Port Willunga carpark, follow the route past the Star of Greece café, along the edge of the carpark and exit the carpark, just past the toilets and turn right up the ramp. Follow Port Rd straight on, turn left at Water St and walk through into open parkland. Beyond a footbridge, turn left and then right passing the ruin of the Harbourmaster’s Cottage. The route is signed through the dunes and soon joins the cliff path.

The walk along the cliff from here to the Maslins Unclad Beach car park is 2 km. Soon you will reach a deep erosion gully known as Chinaman Gully; Chinese miners on their way to the Victorian goldfields would disembark near here and walk to the Victorian goldfields to avoid punitive taxes. The steps through the gully are difficult and in need of repair.

Just past here, if it is low tide, you may see, a few hundred metres from the shore, part of the bow of the Star of Greece breaking the surface; this ship was wrecked just north of Lions Point in 1888, with many lives lost.

When you reach Blanche Point, where there is some car parking, pass the long beach ramp, which would take you down to the beach and back to Port Willunga. Continue around the headland as the route swings easterly. You are now walking above the cliffs of Maslin Beach. The path comes to a carpark for the Maslin Unclad Beach. Walk through the carpark and at the northern end turn left to walk to a set of concrete steps. 

The steps lead down to the beach. As you descend through the many-hued rocks, clays, and sands, look to the left (south) and you will see the beautiful cliffs, much painted by SA artists such as Ivor Hele. At the far end of the cliffs sits Gull Rock just below Blanche Point; this is the little white dot on the WBT logo. The southern part of this beach was declared as Australia’s first legal nude beach in 1975. The wearing of clothes is optional here and there is no requirement to remove your clothes.

Turn right at the bottom of the steps. At times of very high tides the water comes to the base of these steps so it would be wise to check the tides. Normally you will be able to walk without getting wet feet. Follow the beach for 1km until you reach the estuary of Maslin Creek where there is a large car park. Wooden stairs take you up to the Section end post.

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Notes
Beach Walking
  • the Trail is on the beach between Maslin Unclad Beach, from the concrete stairway below the carpark at Maslin Unclad Beach, Tuit Rd for 1km north to the Maslin Creek estuary at Gulf Parade, Maslin Beach
  • part of this beach is a clothing optional beach
  • check for high tides before walking on the beach 
Car Parking
  • Hart Rd Wetlands, Rowley Rd, Aldinga Beach
  • Gulf Parade, Maslin Beach 
Dogs
  • dogs on lead on the beach 10am-8pm during daylight savings 
  • look out for Hooded Plovers: dogs on lead within 100m of a Hooded Plover sign on the beach and prohibited within 100m of a nesting site which is fenced or has bunting.

Useful Resources

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Local Weather

When planning a walk please check local weather conditions to ensure a safe and comfortable experience

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Fire Danger Ratings

The Trail is closed when the Fire Danger rating is Extreme or Catastrophic. These are Total Fire Ban Days; most likely to occur between the first of November and April. The Trail is in District 2 Mt. Lofty Ranges

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Tides Information

When planning to walk along the beach (Section, 3,4 & 5) it is important to check predicted height and timing of the local tides to ensure access to the beach

Trail Sections

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SECTION 1

Willunga to Louds Hill Rd

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SECTION 2

Louds Hill Rd to Sellicks Esplanade

SECTION 3

Sellicks Esplanade to Hart Rd Wetlands

SECTION 4

Hart Rd Wetlands to Gulf Pde, Maslin Beach

SECTION 5

Gulf Pde, Maslin Beach to McLaren Vale Visitor Centre

SECTION 6

McLaren Vale Visitor Centre to Gate 20 Onkaparinga River National Park

SECTION 7

Gate 20 Onkaparinga River National Park to Kangarilla

SECTION 8

Kangarilla to Wickham Hill & Toops Hill Roads

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SECTION 9

Wickham Hill & Toops Hill Roads to Edwards & Hamilton URRs

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SECTION 10

Edwards & Hamilton URRs to Willunga

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SECTION 11

Gate 20 Onkaparinga River National Park to Edwards & Hamilton URRs

SECTION 3

Sellicks Esplanade to Hart Rd Wetlands

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Become A Volunteer

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Volunteers have built the Trail by participating in regular work sessions to clear vegetation, plant trees, install signs, benching the track surface. Find out more about the building and the history of the trail

If the idea of getting out on the trail, with a lively bunch of friends to maintain the Trail and develop new loops and connections, appeals to you, then join WBT Inc

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Plan a Visit in Willunga Basin

The Willunga Basin is an easy 40-minute drive from Adelaide along the Southern Expressway. Hire cars are available in locations throughout Adelaide, including the Adelaide Airport (International, Domestic & Regional)Adelaide Airport.

Regular rail services from Adelaide to Seaford Railway station and the Trail is just 2.1 km  away in SECTION 5. Regular bus services between the southern Adelaide metropolitan area (Noarlunga and Seaford) and the local towns, or from Seaford Railway station Adelaide Metro.

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