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Mount Lofty Summit

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Other alert

Major restoration works along the Waterfall Gully to Mount Lofty Summit Trail are complete.
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  • Information Office
  • Kiosk
  • Toilets
  • Public Transport
  • Disabled Toilets
  • Walking Trails

About

Mount Lofty Summit, the majestic peak of the Mount Lofty Ranges in the Adelaide Hills, provides spectacular panoramic views across Adelaide's city skyline to the coast. Each year more than 350,000 people visit the peak which rises more than 710 metres above sea level.

From the summit you can follow the popular walk down to Waterfall Gully, join the Heysen Trail or stroll along a walking trail through native bushland to Cleland Wildlife Park.

Visit the Mount Lofty Summit Visitor Information Outlet and Gift Shop and speak to our friendly tourism experts about your next South Australian adventure. Get the latest maps and walking trail advice, and browse the exceptional range of quality souvenirs, locally produced gifts and a great range of clothing.

Opening hours

Mount Lofty Summit lookout and car park

Vehicle access gates to the car park are open at the following times:

October to March - 6:00am - 11:00pm

 April to September - 6:00am - 9:00pm 

Friday and Saturday - 6:00am - 1:00am

Mount Lofty Summit Visitor Centre and gift shop:

Open 9:00am - 5:00 pm daily (closed Christmas Day).

The Summit Cafe and Function Centre

Due to COVID-19, the Summit Cafe and Function Centre has reduced trading hours. Please visit their website for further information.

Contact details

Central Lofty District Office - Cleland Conservation Park

Phone: (+61 8) 8130 9050
Email: DEW.NPWSCentralLofty@sa.gov.au 

Mount Lofty Visitor Information Outlet and gift shop 

Phone: (+61 8) 8370 1054
Email: MtLoftySummit@sa.gov.au

The Summit Restaurant and Café

Phone: (+61 8) 8339 2600
The Summit Restaurant and Café website

Please visit the media centre to contact our media team.

Getting there

Mount Lofty Summit is 15km east of Adelaide.

Parking is available (fees apply).

If you're in your own vehicle, you can find this park on the map.

There is also public transport to this park from the Adelaide city centre. 

Accessibility

The Mount Lofty summit lookout is accessible. There are accessible parking spaces and accessible toilets 

Accessing Mt Lofty Summit:
Accessing the Heysen trail at Mount Lofty Summit, Cleland Conservation Park:

Dogs not allowed

Dogs are not permitted in this park.

Discover which parks you can walk your dog in on our find a park tool or read 12 dog-friendly walks in Adelaide Parks by Good Living for inspiration.

Assistance dogs

Assistance dogs are permitted in most public places and are therefore welcome in South Australia’s parks and reserves. Assistance dogs must be appropriately restrained on a lead and remain under your effective control at all times while in a park or reserve.

As per the dogs in parks and reserves policy, if the dog is not an accredited assistance dog, they must be trained to assist a person with a disability to alleviate that disability and meet standards of hygiene and behaviour appropriate for a dog in a public place. However, refusal may be given if the person with the disability is unable to produce evidence the dog is an assistance dog with the appropriate training.

Before taking your assistance dog into a park that does not normally allow dogs, it is highly recommended that you contact us so we can provide you with the latest information on any potential hazards within specific parks that may affect your dog. Please contact the park via the contact details provided under the contact tab or contact the visitor service centre via email or on Facebook, or you can live chat with a customer service representative on the website Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm.

Facilities

There are a variety of facilities available at Mt Lofty Summit including a Visitor Information Outlet and gift shop, restaurant and cafe, toilets, public transport and disabled toilets.

Useful information

  • Important: Collection of firewood within National Parks is prohibited. Dead wood plays a vital role in providing shelter for animals and adding nutrients to the soil.

Traditional owners

Aboriginal peoples have occupied, enjoyed and managed the lands and waters of this State for thousands of generations. For Aboriginal first nations, creation ancestors laid down the laws of the Country and bestowed a range of customary rights and obligations to the many Aboriginal Nations across our state. 

There are many places across the State that have great spiritual significance to Aboriginal first nations.  At some of these places Aboriginal cultural protocols, such as restricted access, are promoted and visitors are asked to respect the wishes of Traditional Owners.

In places where protocols are not promoted visitors are asked to show respect by not touching or removing anything, and make sure you take all your rubbish with you when you leave.

Aboriginal peoples continue to play an active role in caring for their Country, including in parks across South Australia. 

Take a virtual tour

Take a virtual tour of the summit to get a task of the spectacular view that await you.

See and do

Bushwalking

From Mt Lofty Summit you can follow the popular walk down to Waterfall Gully, join the Heysen Trail or stroll along a walking trail through native bushland to Cleland Wildlife Park. There is an extensive network of walking trails within the surrounding Cleland Conservation Park.

Easy walks

Discovery Walk (40 mins, 1km)

Discover the vegetation just below the Mt Lofty summit lookout. This short loop walk enables you to sit, relax and take in the view on the number of seats provided.

Moderate hikes

Crafers to Mt Lofty link trail (2 hr 30 mins, 4.5km)

Navigate this trail using Google Street View

This trail provides an excellent alternative for visitors to walk or ride from Crafers to Mt Lofty summit avoiding the busy roads to get there. Starting opposite the Crafers bus stop, visitors can experience the serenity of the bush by walking or riding through Cleland Conservation Park. The trail consists of natural surfaces, existing fire tracks and areas of well formed trails.

Steub Trail (3 hours, 7km return) 

Named in honor of park benefactor, Mr Ludwig Reinwald Steub, this trail gently climbs through heathy forest woodland communities from the Cleland Wildlife Park to Mount Lofty Summit. The trail has been designed with gentle, low-gradient access making it possible for those with reduced mobility to reach the summit.  

Walkers, runners, and cyclists are rewarded with wonderful views over the southern ridges of the park and out to the Adelaide plains. 

Harford Trail (1 hour, 1.5km)

This link provides access between Cleland Wildlife Park and the Waterfall Gully to Mt Lofty summit trail below Chinamans Hut Track. 

Hard hikes 

Adventure loop (3 hr 30 mins, 10km)

Navigate this trail using Google Street View 

A great alternative loop trail to Mt Lofty summit for those wanting to get away from the crowds. This trail passes through areas of rocky creek lines and tall stringybark forest.

It follows a walking trail and then a fire track before joining the Waterfall Gully to Mt Lofty Summit trail. This trail has natural rough surfaces and is be steep in parts.

Bilba hike (1 hour, 1.5km)

This short well formed trail link provides access from the Waterfall Gully to Mt Lofty summit hike to Cleland Wildlife Park.   

Waterfall Gully to Mount Lofty Hike (2 hr 30 mins, 4.5km one way)

Navigate this trail using Google Street View 

On almost any morning of the year the trail attracts a range of people: some casually walking, others using it as a training walk, some runners, and others with heavy packs training for distant hiking locations like Nepal. As the walk involves some steep sections, the time taken to walk the trail can vary significantly. 

On a busy weekend, car parking at Waterfall Gully can be limited.

Prefer to get fit without an audience? Here are five alternative walks to Mount Lofty from Adelady

Mountain biking

There is an extensive network of bike trails within the surrounding Cleland Conservation Park.

Mount Lofty Precinct app

Download the Mount Lofty Precinct app for guided trail information featuring, educational content, points of interest and local hot spots; such as the café and visitor centre at Mount Lofty Summit. The entire app is also easily translated into Chinese for overseas guests.

The app features:

  • Self-guided walking tours
  • Interactive map to help you navigate around the precinct and plan your perfect day out
  • Find your favourite animals or plant collections using our easy to use search tool
  • Learn more about native animals and plants along the trails via our proximity sensing iBeacons and blue and white iPosts
  • Discover restaurants, cafes, amenities and other landmarks in the precinct 
  • Find out what’s on and discover events and activities
  • Chinese translation with the click of a button

Visitor Information Outlet and gift shop

The summit complex features a Visitor Information Outlet and gift shop. Ask the friendly tourism experts about the summit's trails, maps and the best South Australian nature-based tourist attractions.

Whether shopping for yourself, buying gifts or sending souvenirs overseas, our gift shop staff can help you find that special something for that special someone from the extensive range of locally sourced and Australian made merchandise.

The Summit Restaurant and Café

Adjacent to the Visitor Information Outlet and gift shop, take in spectacular views of Adelaide at the fully licensed The Summit Restaurant and Café. For more information about The Summit Restaurant and Café, including opening times and menus, visit their website.

Stay in the park

Accommodation is available at the Youth Hostel Associations hut located within Cleland Conservation Park.

Volunteering

Want to help?

To find out how you can help in this park or nearby, please visit Natural Resources Adelaide and Mt Lofty Ranges – Volunteering.

Want to join others and become a Park Friend?

To find out more about Friends of Parks groups please visit Friends of Parks South Australia.

You could join others to help look after a park. You can take part in working bees, training and other events.

Safety

Bushwalking

The international Trail Users Code of Conduct is to show respect and courtesy towards other trail users at all times.

Ensure that you:

  • when hiking, wear sturdy shoes, a hat and sunscreen
  • be aware of weather conditions and avoid walking during the hottest part of the day
  • make sure you have appropriate weather proof clothing
  • carry enough water to be self-sufficient
  • please be respectful of other users at all times
  • stay on the designated trails and connector tracks for your own safety, and prevent the spread of declared weeds to other areas in the park
  • ensure someone knows your approximate location and expected time of return
  • take appropriate maps.
  • Walk, hike or trek - what's the difference?

Fire

 

Can I have a fire or barbecue?

  • Wood fires, solid fuel, gas fires and liquid fuel fires are prohibited throughout the year.
  • Ensure you are familiar with the fire restrictions for this park.

 

Closures and safety

This park is closed on days of Catastrophic Fire Danger and may also be closed on days of Extreme Fire Danger.

You can determine the current fire danger rating by checking the Fire Ban District map on the CFS website.

Check the CFS website or call the CFS Bushfire Information Hotline 1800 362 361 for:

Listen to your local area radio station for the latest updates and information on fire safety.

Know before you go

Every national park is different, each has its own unique environment, it is important to be responsible while enjoying all the park has to offer.

Please ensure that you:

  • leave your pets at home
  • do not feed birds or other animals, it promotes aggressive behaviour and an unbalanced ecology
  • do not bring generators (except where permitted), chainsaws or firearms into the park
  • leave the park as you found it - there are no bins in national parks, please come prepared to take your rubbish with you. 
  • abide by the road rules (maintain the speed limit)
  • respect geological and heritage sites
  • do not remove native plants
  • are considerate of other park users.

  • Important: Collection of firewood within National Parks is prohibited. Dead wood plays a vital role in providing shelter for animals and adding nutrients to the soil.

Maps

Park maps

Maps on your mobile

If you have a smartphone or tablet you can download the free Avenza Map app and have interactive national park maps on hand when you need them.

The app uses your device's built-in GPS to plot your real-time location within the park onto a map. The app can be used without a network connection and without roaming charges. You can also measure area and distance, plot photos and drop placemark pins. 

How to get it working on your device:

1. Download the Avenza Maps app from the app store (iOS/Android) whilst you are still in range (its free!).
2. Open up the app and click the shopping cart icon.
3. Click ‘Find’ and type the name of the national park or reserve you are looking for.
4. Click on the map you are after and install it (all our maps are free).
5. You will now find a list of your installed maps on the home page of the Avenza Maps app.
6. Use our maps through the Avenza Mapa app while in the park and never take a wrong turn again.

Google Street View

Want to explore a trail before you leave home or use Google Maps to navigate straight from your door to the trailhead?

We’ve worked with Google to film more than 600km of walking trails, park roads, campgrounds and waterways in some of our most beautiful places. Click to see what the parks offer and the available facilities before you go. This is an especially great tool if you have accessibility needs, are visiting with people of varying ages or fitness levels or are pushing a pram and want to view a trail before leaving home.

You can start exploring this park on Google Street View using the links below.

Shared use trails (walking and mountain biking) 

Walking trails

Fees

Entry fees

Mount Lofty Summit entry is free, however, fees apply to park within the Mount Lofty Summit car park.

Park pass

This park is not included in the park pass system. 

Camping and accommodation

There is no camping or accommodation available within this park. 

Other fees and permits

There are no other fees or permits associated with this park. 

PDF Park Brochure
Alerts 1

Other alert

Major restoration works along the Waterfall Gully to Mount Lofty Summit Trail are complete.
Details >