5 of South Australia’s waterfall-worthy national parks

Don’t let winter get you down. Take advantage of the recent rain and visit these wondrous SA waterfalls.

South Australia’s national parks are peaceful and relaxing places at the best of times, but when winter hits, the rain can make them extra special.

Here are five parks where you can enjoy the tranquil sights and sounds of waterfalls.

1. Belair National Park

It takes a deluge of rain to make the upper and lower waterfalls at Belair flow, but when they do it’s definitely worth seeing.

Belair’s Waterfall Hike will take you right past both waterfalls so you don’t miss a trickle, and the lower waterfall even has a viewing platform so you can kick back, relax and take it all in with the whole family. The upper waterfall is best left to the adults as there is no railing.

Lower waterfall at Belair National Park
Lower waterfall at Belair National Park

2. Morialta Falls Conservation Park

Just 10 kilometres from the CBD, Morialta offers superb views of its three waterfalls. The waterfalls are linked by three hiking trails that make it easy to get from one to the other. If you want to see all the falls, prepare for a 7.5 km hike, which will take approximately four hours.

First and Second Falls are the grandest though – with First Falls approximately 30 metres high and Second Falls 25 m high. After it rains, get set for some amazing photo and video opportunities.

Second Falls at Morialta Conservation Park
Second Falls at Morialta Conservation Park

3. Deep Creek Conservation Park

Deep Creek is perched on SA’s Fleurieu Peninsula, and as the name suggests, is a good place to visit if you enjoy being close to water. The park’s seasonal waterfall is truly spectacular and is a must-see if you’re visiting in the cooler months.

At the base of the waterfall there’s also a large rock pool. You can enjoy it by taking walking trails from either the Tapanappa Lookout carpark or Trig camp ground carpark.

(Image courtesy of @sanctuarydeepcreek, Instagram)
(Image courtesy of @sanctuarydeepcreek, Instagram)

4. Sturt Gorge Conservation Park

Pull on those hiking boots and head to Sturt Gorge to enjoy its rugged beauty and picturesque three-tiered waterfall. The River Trail meanders past this unexpected, relaxing, urban oasis, which has a gentler flow than most waterfalls – making it really relaxing to be around.

Geology buffs will marvel at the rock formations surrounding the waterfall, which are believed to be 800 million years old. Follow the path that leads to the waterfall, but watch your footing if you step on the stones near its base – they can be slippery. 

(Image courtesy of @southaustralia_pics, Instagram)
(Image courtesy of @southaustralia_pics, Instagram)

5. Cleland Conservation Park

Cleland Conservation Park is home to seven waterfalls and you can usually get up-close and personal with three of these including First Falls at Waterfall Gully the grand-daddy of them all.

Second Falls is a lot smaller than First Falls, but it’s still breathtaking. Sit on the stone bench and enjoy the views from afar or head down the path and let the kids splash at its base in their gumboots.

Don’t forget to check the National Parks and Wildlife Service South Australia website for any alerts or updates you should be aware of before you visit.

Second Falls at Cleland Conservation Park
Second Falls at Cleland Conservation Park


During the COVID-19 pandemic, it has never been more important to take hygiene seriously.

Make sure you pack some soap or hand sanitiser and wash your hands regularly with soap and running water, for at least 20 seconds. Dry them with paper towel. Alternatively use alcohol based hand sanitisers.

Anti-bacterial wipes are also a good idea to wipe down surfaces before you use them. Just remember to dispose of the wipes in your rubbish that you take with you when you leave the park.

Please remember to keep social distance of 1.5m from other visitors at all times and don’t visit if you are sick or required to self-isolate.

In response to South Australian Government COVID-19 restrictions, access to parks and their facilities in South Australia is changing regularly. You can keep up-to-date by reading the frequently asked questionsfollowing National Parks and Wildlife Service SA on Facebook or by making contact.

Keen to explore more of our parks this winter? Head to the National Parks website for all the details on these special places. 

This story was originally posted in August 2017.

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