10 things to see and do at Hallett Cove

Get some ideas from our park insiders about what to explore on your next visit to this geological wonderland.

Hallett Cove Conservation Park is one of Australia’s most recognised geological and archaeological sites.

Located just 22 kilometres south of Adelaide, it’s a metropolitan must-see park. In the past 600 million years the park has undergone a number of changes – being beneath the sea, covered in an ice sheet, and forming a mountain range.

For thousands of years the dunes, cliff tops, plants, animals and oceans of the park have been, and still are, a significant part of Kaurna culture for food, shelter, travel and Dreaming.

If you’re keen to experience the park for yourself, summer is a unique time to visit. Here are 10 ideas to explore on your next visit, prepared for you by the park’s passionate rangers and Nature Play SA:

  1. Sit at the water’s edge with your feet in the ocean, go for a swim, or head out on a paddleboard to get a different perspective of the cliffs.
  2. Set up for a beach day on Heron Way Reserve, wander along the beach path and read the interpretive signs about Kaurna culture.
  3. Walk up to the first lookout along Glacier Hike, and observe the big scratches on the rocks known as ‘glacial pavement’. The scratches are from the glacier that covered the park 280 million years ago.
  4. On a calm day, grab your goggles or a snorkel to see what marine creatures you can spot around the rocks at the base of Black Cliff, such as biscuit stars and sea urchins.
  5. Find your own way to walk or rock-hop from Black Cliff to the staircase on the Shore Platform. Always keep an eye on the waves and check the tide times.
  6. Head down to the park in the early morning and choose a short hike. Listen out for honeyeaters and wrens, and see if you can spot some dolphins or sea lions who occasionally visit.
  7. Wander onto the beach or stroll along the boardwalk at sunset and take some photos of the cliffs and ocean as they begin to change colour.
  8. Walk barefoot on the beach pebbles and balance across the rocks.
  9. Explore the granite boulders along the beach known as ‘erratic rocks’ that were carried from Port Elliot in the ice sheet 280 million years ago and dropped on the beach.
  10. Hike along the Glacier Hike and if it’s cool enough find a path that leads up into the cliffs where you’ll spot the white flowers of Christmas bushes or cream-coloured flowers of the dryland tea-tree (shaped like a bottlebrush).

Park of the Month events

Hallett Cove Conservation Park is featured as National Parks SA and Nature Play SA’s Park of the Month for February, bringing with it a host of activities you can take part in:

  • Snorkel Hallett Cove Reef – Saturday 18 February
  • Rock pool walk n’ talk – Saturday 18 February and Saturday 25 February
  • Ranger guided walk and smartphone photography – Sunday 19 February
  • Intertidal reef survey – Saturday 25 February
  • Introduction to DSLR photography workshop – Saturday 25 February

For all the details including session times, visit the National Parks SA website.

Hallett Cove Conservation Park has plenty to see and do all year round. Check out Nature Play SA’s brochure for the perfect selection of things to do in every season.

(Main image courtesy of Jason Tyndall, Nature Play SA.)

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