Morialta Conservation Park showcases beautiful natural landscape and abundant wildlife just a short drive from Adelaide, where you can hike to three impressive waterfalls in under two hours.
We acknowledge that this adventure is located on Kaurna Nation, the traditional Country of the Kaurna people who have occupied and cared for this land for thousands of years. We pay our respects to them as the Traditional Custodians and recognise that sovereignty was never ceded.
- Three gorgeous (and completely different) waterfalls
- Incredible rock formations, gorges, ridges, a cave and lookouts
- Wildlife galore with wild koalas everywhere, plenty of birdlife and insects, and the feeling there’s a platypus hiding in every stream
Morialta is a magical oasis that feels much further displaced from Adelaide than a short 20 minute drive. Within seconds of leaving the car park you feel completely engulfed by the brilliant landscape where koalas hang out in the tall gum trees and butterflies flit about in the underbrush (even in winter!).
The Indigenous Heritage
Morialta Conservation Park lies on the traditional lands of the Kaurna people. The name is derived from the Kaurna phrase moriatta which means ‘ever-flowing’ in reference to the waters of Fourth Creek which runs through the park.
Traditionally, this land was used for hunting and gathering, with wood collected here used for fires and to build shelters.
Make Your Own Adventure
The tracks around Morialta offer a ‘choose your own adventure’ style buffet of choices!
Pick one of the clearly marked hikes to explore a particular waterfall or combine the hikes together to walk past all three waterfalls.
Combine All Three!
To combine the three waterfalls together, start at the Second Falls Hike trailhead which is clearly marked and leads to a gentle incline from the outset. This should be easy to spot from the rest area at the car park, but if you’re having trouble head to the First Falls Hike markers and look to the right.
As you follow this track all the way to Second Falls, keep an eye out to the left for koalas. They tend to be fairly high up, especially early in the morning, so the incline allows you to reduce the drastic angle you have to crane your neck to spot them in the gum trees.
Almost immediately after crossing the small wooden bridge over Second Falls you’ll spot a signed turn-off to the right which will take you to Third Falls. This track is a bit narrower and muddier than the Second Falls Hike, clearly less frequented, but still well-articulated and easy to follow.
Return back to Second Falls by retracing your steps then follow the Second Falls Track to Eagle Nest Lookout. This should be clearly marked and will continue your walk in a counter-clockwise direction.
Soon after the lookout, veer left onto the Plateau Hike which will take you downhill for a couple of minutes. At the bottom, you’ll come to a sharp left turn on to the First Falls Track.
Follow this to First Falls, then return to the car park along the First Falls track.
Keen for more?
Explore Giant’s Cave, just a short clearly marked detour from First Falls Hike. Make sure you get here early as crowds line the 60 steps up to the cave from fairly early on a nice sunny day.
- Snacks (or a picnic lunch!)
- Hiking shoes or runners
Read more: Remember to leave no trace!
How To Get There
The easiest way to access the area is by parking in the First Falls car park, but make sure you get here early as it fills up by mid-morning. Alternative parking can be found closer to the park entrance with a short walk to the trailhead.
Toilets are available at First Falls car park.
First Falls Hike is fully accessible with a wide-open track suitable for prams and wheelchairs.
The Second and Third Falls are more challenging to get to with steps, slopes and occasionally narrow paths. Although the tracks are not technically difficult and are clearly marked in most places, you do need to watch your footing.
The distance and duration of the hikes are purely dependent on your choice of track and whether you stop to smell the gum leaves.
The combined hike route for all three waterfalls can be done in about 2 hours with reasonable fitness and the occasional photography stop.
First Falls Hike only – 2 hours 3.6km
Second Falls Hike only – 2.5 hours 5.3km
Third Falls Hike only – 3.5 hours 7.3km