Walk this way – Top trails around McLaren Vale

Walk this way – Top trails around McLaren Vale

Tie yourself into a pair of sturdy shoes and try out one of our fantastic walks in McLaren Vale or around the Fleurieu Peninsula. Below I mention only a few of the tried and tested.  The variety is fantastic with some of the trails allowing just a short stroll for some fresh air, right through to a whole day out.  Plan a walk around your winery visits —they are definitely worth the effort.


Onkaparinga River National and Recreation Parks

The Onkaparinga National Park is spread over 1544 ha, the array of walks can take you down steep slopes, narrow river valleys, wetlands, estuaries and flood plains. This park is a fantastic corridor for wildlife and flora.

Download below the trail map and information  brochure for different trails and options.  A handy little guide available provided by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.


Overview of Onkaparinga National Park


If you enjoy company and prefer to be chauffered, there are alot of great tour groups which take you to some scenic destinations in the Fleurieu.  One of my favourites is the well reviewed  Off Piste 4WD tours hosted by Ben Neville.  Below is a tranquil pic of a the best lunch spot-  taken in the Onkaparinga Gorge.

Onkaparinga Gorge Off Piste 3

Aldinga Scrub Conservation Park

If you like to smell the sea air and hike close to the beach one of the all time favourites is the Aldinga Scrub.  During spring the park is adorned with amazing wildflowers.  You need to take the time to stop and hear the birdlife and animals.  The sand dunes are forever moving creating undulating swales and plains.

If you are lucky you will spot a few kangaroos, and perhaps an Echidna.

I think the experienced is enhanced if you think about the Kaurna Aboriginal people who use to populate the scrub during the summer.  The scrub was a bountiful supply of food-such as nardoo, muntries yams and quandongs.

For unique plant species found in the park, I find the most amazing is the lacy coral lichen.  If you are limited for time this can be accessed on the Coral Lichen Circuit loop off of Fraser Street.


Aldinga Scrub Coral Lichen
Coral Lichen
5 monkeys in the scrub
My 5 monkeys



Even amongst the suburbs there are little pockets of wetland and wildlife worlds.  These man made wetlands are a natural water purifer as well as the reeds and sedges which absorb pollutants which often get into the stormwater.  These ecosystems then in turn support fish and bird wildlife  providing food and a haven.

Many of the Onkaparinga Wetland walks, also support recreational activities including a network of bridges, walking paths, community structures, playgrounds and interpretive signs.

After recently taking a walk around the Seaford Rise wetlands, I was suprised at how refreshing and removed you feel from the proximity of the houses.  The added advantage is all of these walks are also dog friendly.

Seaford Wetlands IMG_3481


The list of walks is long and varied.  Here are a few pdf links of some of the best publications I have found.  Remember to breathe in the air and have a smile on your face.

Cheers Nicky

National Parks guide-Fleurieu Peninsula

40 Great Short Walks