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

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Important Information: Trail Status Updates

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SECTION 6: McLaren Vale to Onkaparinga River National Park

12.2km Hard Hike, Grade 4

FROM: McLaren Vale & Fleurieu Coast Visitor Centre, 796 Main Rd McLaren Vale, SA 5171

TO: Gate 20 Onkaparinga River National Park, Chapel Hill Road, Blewitt Springs, SA 5171

From the eastern edge of the carpark at the Visitor Centre follow the Coast to Vines (Shiraz) shared use trail as far as Field St. Turn left and go up Field St. Do not walk through the cutting but go into the edge of Chalk Hill Winery where you walk between the trees and around a walkway before reaching the intersection of Field St and Chalk Hill Rd. 

On Chalk Hill Rd there are three signed crossings to give the safest route. Shortly after Twenty-Eight Rd you start on a path on the northern side of the road which takes you above a cutting where there is a nice seat. The path continues along the roadside, sometimes close to the road, sometimes further away to cross near Pizzateca and take you along on the south side and through some beautiful old gums.

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At the end of Chalk Hill Rd, the Willunga Basin Trail connects with the Flat to the Vale shared use trail (opened 2022). You can reach Mclaren Flat by walking 1.5 km straight ahead along the Flat to the Vale Trail. To follow Willunga Basin Trail cross Chalk Hill Rd to the north side and turn left along Foggo Rd and continue to Pennys Road. Turn right onto Pennys Rd and follow until Settlement Rd where you turn left and follow the road to where the gravel road becomes a sandy track. Continue on this track until the intersection with Foggo Rd. Turn right onto Foggo Rd and follow the road until the intersection with Kays Rd.

Cross Kays Rd onto Amery Rd. Follow a track past driveways and then through big rocks. Ascend on the eastern edge of the deeply rutted track. After a climb to reach a flatter area, there is another steep climb before reaching Chapel Hill Rd. Cross Chapel Hill Rd and enter the Onkaparinga River National Park at Gate 22 by the slip-through next to the gate.

Follow Willunga Basin Trail signs to turn right and follow the boundary track inside the park to gate 21 where there is a picnic table. Continue following the Willunga Basin Trail signs along the boundary track to Gate 20. 

This point is the end of Section 6. Section 7 continues through the ORNP. Section 11 (the link across the Basin) starts at Gate 19 Hardys Scrub, ORNP across Chapel Hill Rd.

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Car Parking
  • large car park at McLaren Vale & Fleurieu Coast Visitor Centre
  • limited car parking at gate 20, Onkaparinga River National Park, Chapel Hill Rd
  • no dogs allowed in Onkaparinga River National Park

 Onkaparinga River National Park

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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Willunga to Louds Hill Rd

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Louds Hill Rd to Sellicks Esplanade


Sellicks Esplanade to Hart Rd Wetlands


Hart Rd Wetlands to Gulf Pde, Maslin Beach


Gulf Pde, Maslin Beach to McLaren Vale Visitor Centre


McLaren Vale Visitor Centre to Gate 20 Onkaparinga River National Park


Gate 20 Onkaparinga River National Park to Kangarilla


Kangarilla to Wickham Hill & Toops Hill Roads

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Wickham Hill & Toops Hill Roads to Edwards & Hamilton URRs

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Edwards & Hamilton URRs to Willunga

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Gate 20 Onkaparinga River National Park to Edwards & Hamilton URRs


Sellicks Esplanade to Hart Rd Wetlands

Willunga Basin Trail map

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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