Words and images by Chloe De Gennaro
Always thinking of fun ways to spend your weekend? Bet you never thought going for a walk would be exciting, but the Waterfall Gully to Mount Lofty trail is something you’ve got to experience. It’s all about testing your resilience and sense of adventure, and if you manage to go on a nice day then there’s perfect opportunity for an Instagram snap. The uphill walk is tough at times but anyone at any fitness level can complete the trek up to the Mount Lofty Summit.
On weekends the trail is very popular so parking may be limited. Going earlier in the day means you avoid the rush of people simply there for sight seeing. Next to the car park sits the Utopia Café, where they serve breakfast, lunch and dinner, along with kiosk snacks and drinks Wednesday through Sunday. Don’t forget to buy a bottle of water before you start! Your adventure begins at Waterfall Gully, where you can stop to admire the picturesque waterfall at the start of the trail. The water runs through some of the length of the 3.9km trail, and you may even need to make use of the stepping stones as the water does pass the walking path in wetter months. There are several trials that span off in various places, however the Mount Lofty Summit is the most popular amongst the trails, especially for the view!
The terrain of the path is quite steep in places, especially in the last kilometre up to the summit. It can be quite difficult however if you pace yourself and go about it at your own speed you’ll certainly make it. I’m no Usain Bolt myself, but managed to get to the top in under an hour. The trail wraps around a cliff edge, so the surroundings are never boring. Natural wildlife is always present and may occasionally peek out to say ‘hello’.
When you finally push through all that pain and sweat (tears, even), and reach the summit you can finally see how far you’ve come. The peak overlooks Adelaide and all it’s amazing landmarks. While you’re taking in this breathtaking view, why not enjoy a celebratory cup of coffee at The Summit Restaurant, Café and Function Centre? With contemporary Australian dining and a range of hot and cold beverages, you’ll be spoilt for choice. Then get ready for the walk back down to your starting point, just make sure you keep your balance down the steep paths.
For a fun day out and a great workout, the Waterfall Gully to Mount Lofty Summit trail is one of the best walking trails in Adelaide. Grab a friend and make a day of it.