Sturt Gorge Recreation Park

  • Dogs on Lead
  • Horse Riding
  • Walking Trails
  • Bird Watching
  • Cycling
PDF Park Brochure
Alerts 1

Trail closure

The Gunners Run trail in the Sturt Gorge Recreation Park will be closed until further notice due to hazardous conditions.
Details >

Photo by Flow Mountain Bike
Photo by Flow Mountain Bike
Photo by Flow Mountain Bike
Photo by Flow Mountain Bike
sturtgorge-fields-hero.jpg
Sturt Gorge Recreation Park park locator map

Shared-use trails throughout Sturt Gorge allow walkers, cyclists and horse riders to connect with nature and experience the beauty of the Mount Lofty Ranges.

Tag your Instagram pics with #sturtgorgrecreationpark to see them displayed on this page.

Sturt Gorge Recreation Park park locator map

Shared-use trails throughout Sturt Gorge allow walkers, cyclists and horse riders to connect with nature and experience the beauty of the Mount Lofty Ranges.

Tag your Instagram pics with #sturtgorgrecreationpark to see them displayed on this page.

About

Sturt Gorge Recreation Park is internationally recognised as an area of conservation and geological significance. The park conserves the nationally threatened greybox grassy woodland vegetation which was once abundant across southern Australia. The park is also home to a rock formation, known as sturt tillite, that is believed to have been formed from glacial material dropped from ice floating in the ocean that covered South Australia 800 million years ago.

The new land addition of Craigburn Farm has increased the park area considerably. It has been developed into a major revegetation site, and a destination for mountain bike riding and hiking with a high class network of new trails which offers the opportunity to observe the oldest rocks in the park and their surrounding grasslands and open woodlands.

You can ride your bike on roads open to the public or use the specific cycling trails and tracks on offer in the Sturt Gorge Recreation Park. Or walk among the steep slopes and shrubland, look out for the diverse range of native animals which come to drink at the waterholes along the Sturt River.

Opening hours

Open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

This park is closed on days of Catastrophic Fire Danger and may be closed on days of Extreme Fire Danger.

Listen to the local area radio station for the latest updates and information on fire safety. 

Contact details

Natural Resource Centre - Black Hill

Phone: (+61 8) 8336 0901
Email: DEWNR.AMLRBlackHillOffice@sa.gov.au

After Hours Regional Duty Officer: 0427 556 676

When to visit

Climatically and scenically, autumn and spring are the best times to visit this park. The summer months from December through to February can be very hot and dry. If you're lucky enough to visit the park a few weeks after a soaking rain, you will be rewarded with ephemeral wildflowers and the sound of frogs in flowing creeks.

Getting there

Sturt Gorge Recreation Park is located 13km south of Adelaide. Entry to the park is on foot, with with a number of pedestrian entry points readily available around the perimeter. For example, you can enter from Broadmeadow Drive, Black Road and Bonneyview Road in Flagstaff Hill, The Boulevard in Bellevue Heights and Craigburn Road in Craigburn Farm.

Pets in parks

You and your dog can enjoy this park providing you keep your dog on a lead and under your control at all times. Don't forget to bring your disposable 'doggie-doo' bag to clean up after your dog.

Facilities

There are no facilities in the park. Please ensure you carry sufficient water, food and supplies for your entire visit. It is also a good idea to let a responsible person know of your intended movements and when you expect to return.

Useful information

  • Mobile phone coverage is good in most areas of the park.

  • Important: Collection of firewood within National Parks is prohibited.

Pests and diseases

Phytophthora (fy-TOFF-thora), otherwise known as root-rot fungus, is killing our native plants and threatens the survival of animals depending on plants for food and shelter.

This introduced fungus can be found in plant roots, soil and water. Help stop the spread by using hygiene stations, staying on tracks and trails and by complying with all Phytophthora management signs.

Traditional owners

Aboriginal South Australians are the first peoples of our State and have occupied, enjoyed and managed these lands and waters since the creation. For SA's First Peoples, creation ancestors laid down the laws of the Country and bestowed a range of customary rights and obligations to the many Aboriginal Nations across our state. 

Aboriginal peoples' oral histories and creation stories traverse the length and breadth of Australia’s lands and waters, including South Australian Parks. These stories interconnect land and waters with complex meaning and values and hold great cultural significance. We recognise and respect Aboriginal people's ownership of their stories and that they hold rights and obligations to care for Country. It is through these rights and cultural obligations and a shared goal to protect the environment for generations to come that DEWNR is committed to meaningful collaboration and involvement with Aboriginal peoples in the management of our shared parks.

See and do

Rangers recommend

We have picked the brains of our park rangers to find out what they would recommend you see and do whilst visiting this park.

  • Hiking along the River Trail through the Sturt River and discovering the rugged beauty of Sturt Gorge.
  • Taking a stroll around the lake away from the hustle and bustle.
  • Getting out with the family and enjoying nature, be sure to look out for the diverse range of native animals.
  • Riding your bike and experiencing a bit of everything the trails have to offer. 
  • Exploring significant geological history and discovering rock formations believed to be 800 million years old.
  • Visiting Craigburn Farm and admiring the magnificent views whilst riding your bike or taking a walk.
  • Finding yourself submerged amongst nationally threatened greybox woodland along the Lomandra Trail.
  • Riding your horse along the Surf and Turf Trail and enjoying the views of both the old pastures and of the sea.
  • Walking your dog through the park (remember dogs must be on a lead at all times).

Bushwalking

Bushwalking is a fantastic way to connect with nature, keep fit and spend time with family and friends. 

South Australia's national parks feature a range of trails that let you experience a diversity of landscapes. Our trails cater for all levels of fitness and adventure and our classification system makes it easy to select an experience suitable for you.

Generally both cyclists and walkers give way to horses, and cyclists give way to walkers.

Moderate hikes

  • Cow Bones Loop (45 mins, 2km loop)

    A mix of open and twisty trail. Featuring dense acacia forest.

  • Surf and Turf (20 mins, 1.2km)

    An easy trail with views of both the old pastures and of the sea.

  • Craigberms (10 mins, 700m)

    For lovers of bermed corners and big dippers.

  • Sidewinder (1 hour, 2.8km)

    A long trail that hugs the hillside. Great fun in both directions.

  • Stick and Stones (30 mins, 1.5km)

    A challenging trail featuring rock gardens. Try it both ways!

  • Little River (30 mins, 1.5km)

    A gentle trail featuring views of the spring-fed creek. Follow this to the lake.

  • Walk the Dog (40 mins, 1.8km)

    An easy trail for the whole family with sweeping views of the hills and valleys.

  • Lakeview (30 mins, 1.5km)

    A great trail for a stroll around the lake away from the hustle and bustle. Ride bikes at walking pace only.

  • Gunners Run (1 hour, 3km) - This trail is closed until further notice due to hazardous conditions.

    A flowing contour trail with a bit of everything. Great fun in both directions.

  • Horners Corners (45 mins, 2km)

    An easy and fun surfaced trail that links with external council shared-use paths.

Hard hikes

  • River Trail (4 hrs, 8km)

    An adventurous route through the Sturt River valley that explores the rugged beauty of Sturt Gorge. The trail can link Horner’s Bridge with Adam’s Orchard Trail to Main South Road and beyond. Some sections are for walking only. Some steep inclines. This trail has some particularly steep sections - watch for warning markers. Bushwalking/mountain biking experience and an average level of fitness recommended.

  • Spring Creek Trail (30 mins, 1km)

    This trail follows Spring Creek along the valley to the Sturt River, and provides challenging sections for both walkers and cyclists. This trail has some particularly steep sections - watch for warning markers. Bushwalking/mountain biking experience and an average level of fitness recommended.

  • Wattle Trail (2 hrs, 4km)

    With challenging sections for both walkers and cyclists, this trail explores many of the park’s historic track and trail routes on the southern side of the flood control dam. This trail has some particularly steep sections - watch for warning markers. Bushwalking/mountain biking experience and an average level of fitness recommended.

  • Lomandra Trail (2 hrs, 4km)

    Get off the asphalt and back to nature! Ride or walk along this trail that runs parallel to Broadmeadow Drive through sheoak and grey box woodland. For an extended journey, follow the trail all the way down to the gorge; there are several options to get you back to the top. Some steep inclines. Some bushwalking/mountain biking experience and an average level of fitness recommended.

  • de Rose Trail (2 hrs, 4km)

    Named after the de Rose family who settled this land in the 1920s, walk or ride the extended and meandering north-south route across the Sturt River. Spectacular views of the Sturt Gorge and Adelaide Plains appear around every corner. Some steep inclines. Some bushwalking/mountain biking experience and an average level of fitness recommended.

  • Tapa Turrungka Trail (1.5 hrs, 3km)

    This is `the path on the ridge’, in the language of the Kaurna people. Walk or ride along the northern boundary of the park amongst grey box grassy woodland, with views across the gorge. Some steep inclines. Some bushwalking/mountain biking experience and an average level of fitness recommended.

  • Magpie Creek Trail (30 mins, 1km)

    Follows Magpie Creek to the park boundary where it connects with the City of Mitcham’s Magpie Gully Trail. Some sections are walking only. See Sturt Tillite at the junction with the Sturt River; flat shiny rock that provided the first evidence of glacial activity in the Southern Hemisphere! Some steep inclines. Some bushwalking/mountain biking experience and an average level of fitness recommended.

  • Parrianna Link Trail (15 mins, 400 m)

    A challenging but quick route down to the picturesque spring-fed cascades of Sturt River, this trail is for walking only. Create your own loop walk by using the River Trail and other trails. Some steep inclines. Some bushwalking/mountain biking experience and an average level of fitness recommended.

Mountain Biking

You can ride your bike on public roads and any specific cycling trails and tracks on offer in this park. 

Please obey signs and use the trail classifications and descriptions, where available, to select trails suitable to your ability. Many trails are shared, so always keep an eye out for others. Generally, cyclists give way to pedestrians. Please be considerate of all trail users at all times.

Generally both cyclists and walkers give way to horses, and cyclists give way to walkers.

Learn more about cycling in SA's parks, including other parks offering cycle tracks, trail classification and read the trail user code of practice for important points to remember when planning your bike ride.

Intermediate

  • Cow Bones Loop (2km loop)

    A mix of open and twisty trail. Featuring dense acacia forest.

  • Surf and Turf (1.2km)

    An easy trail with views of both the old pastures and of the sea.

  • Craigberms (700m)

    For lovers of bermed corners and big dippers.

  • Sidewinder (2.8km)

    A long trail that hugs the hillside. Great fun in both directions.

  • Stick and Stones (1.5km)

    A challenging trail featuring rock gardens. Try it both ways!

  • Little River (1.5km)

    A gentle trail featuring views of the spring-fed creek. Follow this to the lake.

  • Walk the Dog (1.8km)

    An easy trail for the whole family with sweeping views of the hills and valleys.

  • Lakeview (1.5km)

    A great trail for a stroll around the lake away from the hustle and bustle. Ride bikes at walking pace only.

  • Gunners Run (3km) - This trail is closed until further notice due to hazardous conditions.

    A flowing contour trail with a bit of everything. Great fun in both directions.

  • Horners Corners (2km)

    An easy and fun surfaced trail that links with external council shared-use paths.

  • River Trail (8km)

    An adventurous route through the Sturt River valley that explores the rugged beauty of Sturt Gorge. The trail can link Horner’s Bridge with Adam’s Orchard Trail to Main South Road and beyond. Some sections are for walking only. Some steep inclines. This trail has some particularly steep sections - watch for warning markers. Bushwalking/mountain biking experience and an average level of fitness recommended.

  • Spring Creek Trail (1km)

    This trail follows Spring Creek along the valley to the Sturt River, and provides challenging sections for both walkers and cyclists. This trail has some particularly steep sections - watch for warning markers. Bushwalking/mountain biking experience and an average level of fitness recommended.

  • Wattle Trail (4km)

    With challenging sections for both walkers and cyclists, this trail explores many of the park’s historic track and trail routes on the southern side of the flood control dam. This trail has some particularly steep sections - watch for warning markers. Bushwalking/mountain biking experience and an average level of fitness recommended.

  • Lomandra Trail (4km)

    Get off the asphalt and back to nature! Ride or walk along this trail that runs parallel to Broadmeadow Drive through sheoak and grey box woodland. For an extended journey, follow the trail all the way down to the gorge; there are several options to get you back to the top. Some steep inclines. Some bushwalking/mountain biking experience and an average level of fitness recommended.

  • de Rose Trail (4km)

    Named after the de Rose family who settled this land in the 1920s, walk or ride the extended and meandering north-south route across the Sturt River. Spectacular views of the Sturt Gorge and Adelaide Plains appear around every corner. Some steep inclines. Some bushwalking/mountain biking experience and an average level of fitness recommended.

  • Tapa Turrungka Trail (3km)

    This is `the path on the ridge’, in the language of the Kaurna people. Walk or ride along the northern boundary of the park amongst grey box grassy woodland, with views across the gorge. Some steep inclines. Some bushwalking/mountain biking experience and an average level of fitness recommended.

  • Magpie Creek Trail (1km)

    Follows Magpie Creek to the park boundary where it connects with the City of Mitcham’s Magpie Gully Trail. Some sections are walking only. See Sturt Tillite at the junction with the Sturt River; flat shiny rock that provided the first evidence of glacial activity in the Southern Hemisphere! Some steep inclines. Some bushwalking/mountain biking experience and an average level of fitness recommended.

  • Parrianna Link Trail (400 m)

    A challenging but quick route down to the picturesque spring-fed cascades of Sturt River, this trail is for walking only. Create your own loop walk by using the River Trail and other trails. Some steep inclines. Some bushwalking/mountain biking experience and an average level of fitness recommended.

Horse riding

Sturt Gorge has plenty of trails ideal for horse riding. Riders are asked to make a minimal impact on the environment and to be considerate of the flora and fauna, other trail users, property and residents.

Stay in the park

Camping is not permitted within this park.

Volunteering

The Friends of Sturt Gorge

This group aims to restore the pre-European habitat in the Sturt Gorge and invite you to join. Meet new friends and contribute to bushcare activities. No experience  required - just a love of the bush! 

Million Trees Program

Sturt Gorge Recreation Park recently grew by another 180 ha thanks to the addition of adjacent Craigburn Farm. The inclusion increased the reserve by 70%. The parcel of land, containing patches of grey box woodland with an abundance of sheoak and South Australian blue gum, was once part of Minda Farm at Blackwood. It connects and buffers Sturt Gorge Recreation Park, which contains some of the largest and intact remnant communities of grey box woodland in the Adelaide region. The SA Urban Forest - Million Trees Program is restoring the Craigburn Farm landscape through the control of woody weeds, revegetation with local native species and native grassland management.

If you think you might be interested in volunteering opportunities within this park please contact our Volunteer Support Unit.

Safety

Bushwalking

Generally both cyclists and walkers give way to horses, and cyclists give way to walkers.

Ensure that you:

  • when hiking, wear sturdy shoes, a hat and sunscreen
  • make sure you have appropriate weather proof clothing
  • carry enough water to be self-sufficient
  • please be respectful of other users at all times
  • stay on the designated trails and connector tracks for your own safety, and prevent the spread of declared weeds to other areas in the park
  • ensure someone knows your approximate location and expected time of return
  • take appropriate maps.
  • Walk, hike or trek - what's the difference?

Fire

This park is closed on days of Catastrophic Fire Danger and may be closed on days of Extreme Fire Danger.

Listen to the local area radio station for the latest updates and information on fire safety. 

Fire restrictions

  • Wood fires, gas fires and solid fuel fires are prohibited throughout the year.
  • Ensure you are familiar with the fire restrictions for this park.

Water

Heavy rainfall can cause creeks to rise and flow rapidly. Please do not cross rapidly flowing creeks as there is a risk of slipping and falling.

Know before you go

Every national park is different, each has its own unique environment, it is important to be responsible while enjoying all the park has to offer.

Please ensure that you:

  • keep your dog on a lead at all times and check if there are areas of the park where dogs are not allowed
  • do not feed birds or other animals, it promotes aggressive behaviour and an unbalanced ecology
  • do not bring generators (except where permitted), chainsaws or firearms into the park
  • leave the park as you found it - place rubbish in the bins provided or take it with you
  • abide by the road rules (maintain the speed limit)
  • respect geological and heritage sites
  • do not remove native plants
  • are considerate of other park users.

  • Important: Collection of firewood within National Parks is prohibited.

Maps

Park maps

Maps on your mobile

If you have a smartphone or tablet you can download the Avenza PDF Map app to get the most out of our maps.

The app displays park maps and interact with GPS signals. It will show your location on a park map and calculate distances even if there is no internet access in the park.

How to get it working on your device:

1. Download the Avenza PDF maps app from the app store whilst you are still in range (its free!).
2. Open up the app and click the shopping cart icon.
3. Click ‘Find’ and type the name of the national park or reserve you are looking for.
4. Click on the map you are after and install it (all our maps are free).
5. You will now find a list of your installed maps on the home page of the Avenza app.
6. Use our maps through the Avenza PDF map app while in the park and never take a wrong turn again.

Fees

Entry fees

Come and enjoy this park for free. 

Park pass

This park is not included in the park pass system. 

Camping and accommodation

There is no camping or accommodation available within this park. 

Other fees and permits

There are no other fees or permits associated with this park.