Walking is one of the best ways to discover the beauty of Para Wirra Recreation Park. A little preparation will ensure a safer and more enjoyable walk. This includes taking adequate water, wearing suitable footwear, a hat, sunscreen, and of course, some of the research about the park, like what we provided you below.

You can also download (right click, Save Target As...) this PDF file of Para Wirra Recreation Park trails map. Please note that the short route from the Devils Nose is now permanently closed and the Mack creek hut has been recently demolished, this will be updated on the next version of the trail map.

There are different trails in the park that you can choose from:

1. Lizard Rock Nature Walk

1.8 km - 1hour 30 min return

lizard rock nature walk

Lizard Rock Nature Walk

Trail start: Western side of North Oval. An enjoyable loop trail with its easy grades is great for the family groups. Pass through stands of Pink Gum, Golden Wattle and Native Cranberry to a large granite outcrop known as Kadno or Lizard Rock. Marvel at the colourful array of wildflowers in spring and points of interest along this trail are numbered.

2. Hissey Loop Walk

1.7 km loop - 1 hour loop

Hissey Loop Trail

Hissey Loop Trail

Trail start: Near the lake access road (east side). This short trail is named after the Hissey family who farmed the area for many years. The trail heads down into the valley and creek bed below. Follow the creek upstream, before returning via the edge of the lake to the car park. This trail provides a close encounter with some of Para Wirra's commonly found plants and birds. It is an ideal walk for families, beginners or visitors with limited time.

3. Victoria Hill Walk

1.4 km loop - 45 min loop

Trail start: at Bowden Cottage on Goldfields Road. Declared an official goldfield in 1868, this area quickly became a hive of activity. Two towns sprung up out of nowhere. This loop trail starts at the site of one of the mining towns. Interpretive signs along the route tell the colourful story of the goldfields.
Fossicking is not permitted in Para Wirra Recreation Park. However, permits can be obtained from the Mount Crawford Information Centre for fossicking in nearby ForestrySA land.

4. The Knob Lookout Hike

1.6km - 1 hour return, or 1.5 hour loop via Scenic Drive

Trail start: next to the shelter north of Gawler View picnic area. Take in excellent views of the South Para River gorge, former goldfields area, Misery Farm, Barossa Range and the Gawler district.

5. Quarry Hike

8.4 km return - 4 hours return

Trail start: below The Knob Lookout. Take a walk back in time through a landscape dotted with old gold mining shafts and tunnels. Take care when walking in this area. Venture down the South Para River, then up the very steep slope, past the old 'Battery' site to the ridge top. Explore where gold-bearing ore was crushed and washed. Continue on to Para Wirra Road (park boundary). From here retrace your steps back to the lookout.

6. Devils Nose Hike

4.4 km return - 1.5 hours return or via Scenic Drive,10 km loop - 5 hour loop/ via The Knob to North Oval,9 km loop - 4.5 hour loop

Devil Nose Walk

Devil Nose Walk

Trail Start: Devils Nose car park above the western side of the lake. A rewarding ridge top walk to the Devils Nose lookout, with stunning views towards Gawler and the South Para River gorge. Have your breath taken away as you stand atop the unique sandstone outcrop of the Devils Nose. Information signs mark points of interest along the trail.

7. Mack Creek Hike

7.5 km loop - 4 hour loop

Mack Creek Hike

Mack Creek Hike

Trail start: Mack Creek car park, southern section of the park off Humbug Scrub Road. A Pleasant walk that follows Mack Creek downstream through a valley of magnificent River Red Gums and an abundance of birdlife. PLEASE NOTE - the hut on the Mack Creek hike is no longer available (recently demolished) 

8. Wirra Loop Hike

5 km loop - 2.5 hour loop

Trail Start: Wild Dog car park, east of the main park road. The trail heads south through pines, Drooping Sheoak and Pink gum into the SA Blue gums of the Humbug Scrub boundary, then along the eastern boundary of the park and Old Kersbrook Forest. Make your way back past the northern side of Wirra Picnic Area and its dense Bulloak stands, before returning to the main Para Wirra Road. This trail is great on its own, or can be incorporated into other trails in the ForestrySA network.

9. Phoenix Hike

4.2 km loop - 2 hour loop

Phoenix Hike

Phoenix Hike

Trail start: at Bowden Cottage on Goldfields Road. Taking in most of the Victoria Hill Walk, this loop trail continues to the greater goldfields, visiting the major mines. Some of the trail follows the old tramway tracks from Menzies Mine and you can almost see the trolleys rolled from the poppet head through the tunnel to the bins and slides of the rock crushing battery. Follow the pickaxe symbols, found every 200 metres along the trail. Lots of good interpretive signs.

10. Lady Pearce Hike

5 km loop - 3.4 hour loop

Lady Pearce Hike

Lady Pearce Hike

Trail start: at Bowden Cottage on Goldfields Road. Taking in parts of the Victoria Hill Walk and Phoenix Hike, the trail follows an old bullock track along a deep ridge to the South Para River. A superb walk going down, but a solid climb back past the battery site. Take in the fantastic views of the gorge and lovely scenic river scenes, soft glades and mining history.

All the time above is generously estimated for an average walking speed of 2km per hour. Please allow extra time for resting and sightseeing.