Main Valley and Rockdale Hill Circuit

3 h 15 min to 4 h 30 min

8.6 km
circuit

↑ 516 m
↓ -516 m

Very challenging
Starting from the carpark at the end of Horsnells Gully Road, Horsnell Gully, this walk takes you on a circuit within the Horsnell Gully Conservation Park via the Main Valley, Mount Lofty, Yurrebilla and Rockdale Hill tracks. This hike is a hidden gem in the Adelaide Hills close to Adelaide, that takes you through forested valleys of majestic river red gums and South Australian blue gums. Keep an eye out for koalas in the treetops, and listen closely for sounds of southern brown bandicoots foraging in the undergrowth. The walk starts along the Main Valley/Waterfall Hike Track, leading uphill along a rough track that is often little more than a narrow, rocky creek-bed. Overgrown blackberry plants with thorns and occasional cobwebs make this quite a challenging section. The section at the end of Main Valley up on to the fire tracks on Rockdale Hill is very steep with some loose rocks, and involves climbing up a waterfall, which may be slippery after rain. The Rockdale Hill Track gradually descends back towards the car park, providing excellent views of the quarry and parts of the city of Adelaide along the way. This is quite a challenging walk, with a mixture of single track walking trails and fire tracks, steep ascents and some rocky sections. Let us begin by acknowledging the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we travel today, and pay our respects to their Elders past and present.
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Warning
This journey requires significant bushwalking experience, specialised equipment and navigation skills.
Please ensure you and your group well prepared and equiped for this journey.

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Safer Bushwalks
Tips on staying safe on track
Before you start any bushwalk ensure you;
• Tell someone you trust where you are going and what to do if you are overdue
• Have adequate equipment, supplies, skills & knowledge for the whole journey
• Consider the impact of weather forecasts, park/track closures & fire dangers
• Can respond to emergencies & call for help at any point
• Are healthy and fit enough for this journey
If not, change plans and stay safe. It is okay to delay and ask people for help.
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Getting There
Transport options and directions
Start (-34.9318599,138.6975259)
Mode Car
DirectionsFrom Portrush Road, A17
  • Turn on to Kensington Road then drive for 2.4 km
  • At roundabout, take exit 1 onto Kensington Road and drive for another 830 m
  • At roundabout, take exit 1 onto Penfold Road and drive for another 560 m
  • At roundabout, take exit 3 onto The Parade and drive for another 590 m
  • Turn right onto Coach Road and drive for another 2.5 km
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Track Notes
Turn by turn instructions & maps
Turn map Directions & comments
Start.
After 40 m head through/around the gate.
After another 480 m continue straight, to head along Coach Road.
After another 770 m continue straight, to head along Coach Road.
The alternate route finishes here. Turn left to rejoin the main route at the 1.5 km waypoint. Details below.
After another 240 m continue straight, to head along Coach Road.
After another 40 m continue straight, to head along Coach Road.
After another 145 m (at the intersection of 45 Track & Coach Road) continue straight, to head along Coach Road.
After another 305 m (at the intersection of Coach Road & Yurrebilla Trail) turn left, to head along Yurrebilla Trail.
After another 45 m continue straight, to head along Yurrebilla Trail.
After another 690 m (at the intersection of Yurrebilla Trail & Rockdale Hill Track) veer left, to head along Rockdale Hill Track.
After another 1.4 km continue straight.
The starting point of an alternate access track. An alternate access point from/to Horsnells Gully Road. Details below.
After another 870 m veer right.
After another 25 m turn left.
After another 1.1 km come to the waterfall.
The starting point of an alternate route. A shorter alternate route if you want to get to the end faster. To take the alternate route turn sharp right here. Details below.
After another 180 m continue straight.
After another 225 m veer right, to head along Yurrebilla Trail.
After another 45 m (at the intersection of Coach Road & Yurrebilla Trail) turn right, to head along Coach Road.
After another 305 m (at the intersection of Coach Road & 45 Track) continue straight, to head along Coach Road.
After another 145 m continue straight, to head along Coach Road.
The alternate route finishes here. Turn right to rejoin the main route at the 7.1 km waypoint. Details below.
After another 40 m continue straight, to head along Coach Road.
After another 240 m continue straight, to head along Coach Road.
After another 770 m continue straight, to head along Coach Road.
After another 520 m come to the end.

A shorter alternate route if you want to get to the end faster.
Turn map Directions & comments
Start.
After another 170 m come to the end.
At the end of this alternate route, rejoin the main route.

An alternate access point from/to Horsnells Gully Road.
Turn map Directions & comments
Start.
After another 175 m continue straight.
After another 20 m pass the picnic table (on your right).
Then pass the car park (on your right).
After another 25 m pass the "Horsnell Gully Conservation Park Information" (8 m on your right).
After another 255 m come to the end.
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Terrain
Know the Hills, grading & facilities

Main Valley and Rockdale Hill Circuit


Grading
Class 5/6
Very challenging
Length 8.6 km
Time 3 h 15 min to 4 h 30 min
Quality of track Rough track, where fallen trees and other obstacles are likely (4/6)
Gradient Very steep (4/6)
Signage Directional signs along the way (3/6)
Infrastructure No facilities provided (5/6)
Experience Required Moderate level of bushwalking experience recommended (4/6)
Weather Storms may impact on navigation and safety (3/6)
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Articles
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Weather & Alerts
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