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

Summary of what we provide and why you should contact us

Important Information: Trail Status Updates

Section 8: A detour is in place between the start of the section in Kangarilla and part way through the forest. The detour route follows Glory Rd, Peters Creek Rd and enters the forest off Peters Creek Rd. It then crosses the forest to join Willunga Basin Trail on the northern edge of the forest. This is to avoid Bone Gully Forest which is closed due to Forestry operations.

SECTION 8: Kangarilla to Wickham Hill & Toops Hill Rds

13.5 km Hard Hike, Grade 4

FROM: the junction Sand Rd & McLaren Flat Rd, Kangarilla, SA 5157

TO: the junction Wickham Hill Rd & Toops Hill Rd, McLaren Flat, SA 5171

From the historic settlement of Kangarilla the trail links with Forestry SA land. It travels through pine and native forests for nearly 9 km and then along the top of the Range.

From the Section End post near the corner with Sand Rd, with the church nearby, walk into Kangarilla passing the Temperance Hall (public toilet facility) and turning a sharp right at the shop. At the end of Old Coach Rd (which is a no parking area) turn left and cross the stile into the Old Coach unmade road reserve. This was in fact the route of the old coach and you will be on it as far as Ironbark picnic area. A new fence has created a 5m wide walking corridor and it’s a steady climb for 900m to the top where you cross another stile into Forestry SA land at Bone Gully Forest. Don’t miss the views of Kangarilla as you climb. Turning right the route goes along between pine forest and farmland with lovely views across the Basin. 

You will come close to the summit of Mt Panorama where the route turns left to continue along the boundary of Bone Gully Forest. Just past a gate cross a stile and continue left to the next gate. You now enter Mt Panorama native forest. Follow the track past Kuitpo weather station until you come to a junction. Here, take the path through native bush which is to the left (north) of the forest track which runs next to the pines. After 900m you will rejoin the track and it now leads to Ironbarks picnic area; this part of the route is shared with the Onkeeta Trail and the Heysen Trail. Ironbarks has parking, seats and firepits for winter use. It could be a good place to join the trail. 

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From Ironbarks follow the trail next to the historic Ironbark plantation, planted 1898. Turn right and travel along the eastern edge of the forest with both pines and native vegetation as well as views of the adjacent farmland. When you reach a corner where there is an intersection with the route of Knotts Hill road reserve, the sign indicates to turn sharply right to travel through the lovely Knotts Hill native forest, where parts can be wet underfoot in winter. Eventually you pass more pines and come to the forest access point. (This is another place to park and join the trail.) Cross over Peter’s Creek Rd onto Knotts Hill Rd, a quiet back road. At the corner with Toops Hill Rd turn left and continue to Wickham Hill Rd.

Car Parking
  • parking at the edge of McLaren Flat Rd just north of the intersection with Sand Rd (please note, there is no parking on Old Coach Rd, Kangarilla)
  • parking at the junction of Wickham Hill and Toops Hill roads
  • Dogs on leads between Old Coach Rd, Kangarilla and the Forestry SA land 
  • dogs on leads through native forest areas in Forestry SA land

  Kuitpo Forest Reserve

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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