How people with disability can take to the trails at Deep Creek National Park

How people with disability can take to the trails at Deep Creek National Park

This icon­ic South Aus­tralian park has acces­si­ble accom­mo­da­tion and free equip­ment to use. Here’s what’s available.

Deep Creek Nation­al Park is the largest por­tion of remain­ing nat­ur­al veg­e­ta­tion on the Fleurieu Penin­su­la and is home to an array of native wildlife such as west­ern grey kan­ga­roos, short-beaked echid­nas and 100 species of birds.

How people with disability can take to the trails at Deep Creek National Park

It’s locat­ed with­in 100 km of Ade­laide – less than 2 hours’ dri­ve – mak­ing it a per­fect des­ti­na­tion for a day trip or week­end getaway.

Deep Creek real­ly is a park for every­one to enjoy, with acces­si­ble accom­mo­da­tion with­in the park and equip­ment avail­able for explor­ing the trails.

Here’s how to make the most of it:

Hire a Trail­Rid­er all-ter­rain wheel­chair for free

The Trail­Rid­er all-ter­rain wheel­chair allows peo­ple with lim­it­ed mobil­i­ty to explore Deep Creek Nation­al Park’s diverse trails. The one-wheeled chair is a cross between a wheel­bar­row and sedan chair.

The Trail­Rid­er requires a min­i­mum of two rea­son­ably fit peo­ple (one at each end of the chair) to con­trol and guide it. Depend­ing on the trails you wish to trav­el and the strength and lev­el of fit­ness of your helpers, you might need up to four fit helpers. The chair is motorised, mak­ing it eas­i­er to explore some steep­er and longer trails.

How people with disability can take to the trails at Deep Creek National Park

You can hire a Trail­Rid­er from the Dis­trict Coun­cil of Yankalil­la for free for up to three days. Chair users are required to bring a bike hel­met and watch a short intro­duc­tion video before head­ing out on their adven­ture. The chair weighs 25 kg, but can eas­i­ly dis­as­sem­ble and fit in the back of most medi­um-sized SUVs.

Book­ings are essen­tial and can be made by con­tact­ing the Fleurieu Coast Vis­i­tor Infor­ma­tion Cen­tre on 08 8558 0240 or 1300 965 842, or by email. The vis­i­tor cen­tre is locat­ed a half-hour dri­ve away from Deep Creek Nation­al Park, on the way to the park if you’re trav­el­ling from Adelaide.

Now that you’re decked out with the right equip­ment, it’s time to decide which trail to tackle.

Where to go in Deep Creek Nation­al Park with the TrailRider

Check out the Trail­Rid­er Wheel­chair Sug­gest­ed Routes map to find out which walks to go on with the Trail­Rid­er and details about each trail.

There’s infor­ma­tion about the con­di­tion of the trails, any obsta­cles you might encounter along the way, such as tree roots, rocks or logs, and a track grad­ing sys­tem to help you choose a trail suit­able for your skill and fit­ness level.

Here’s a snapshot:

1. Aaron Creek Pic­nic Area to Goon­dooloo Ridge (Begin­ner lev­el, 4.1 km, 68 m ascent)

This trail along Goon­dooloo Ridge offers spec­tac­u­lar views of Back­stairs Pas­sage. Along the way you can often view large mobs of kan­ga­roos graz­ing in the open fields, or rest­ing under eucalypts.

2. For­est Cir­cuit Walk (Begin­ner lev­el, 2.6 km, 48 m ascent)

This trail runs through tall stringy­bark for­est and is love­ly in the morn­ing or late after­noon. In autumn you might see fog set­tle among the trees. In late win­ter and ear­ly spring you will see a pro­fu­sion of wild­flow­ers.

3. Aaron Creek Pic­nic Area to Eagle Water­hole (Advanced lev­el, 4.4 km, 125 m ascent)

This is one of the park’s hid­den gems that takes you through tall gums and scent­ed wat­tles to Eagle Water­hole – a good lunch stop. 

4. Stringy­bark Loop Walk (Advanced lev­el, 0.8 km, 31 m ascent)

Pick this loop if you’re after a short trail through old growth stringy­bark for­est. There’s a lot of wildlife in this area of the park.

5. Spring Wild­flower Walk (Advanced lev­el, 4.5 km, 90 m ascent)

This is a per­fect nature trail fea­tur­ing native wild­flow­ers dur­ing late win­ter and ear­ly spring in a regen­er­at­ing scle­ro­phyll forest.

6. Boat Harbor/​Heysen Trail (High­ly advanced lev­el, 6.8 km, 160 m ascent)

Tak­ing in part of the Hey­sen Trail, this unique trail has breath­tak­ing views of Kan­ga­roo Island, The Pages Islands and Tunkalil­la Beach.

Note: Nation­al Parks SA is work­ing to improve facil­i­ties in parks but at this stage there are no acces­si­ble toi­lets in Deep Creek Nation­al Park for vis­i­tors who are not stay­ing at Ridgetop Retreats.

The clos­est acces­si­ble toi­lets are at lot 100 Main South Road, Delamere and are oper­at­ed by the Dis­trict Coun­cil of Yankalil­la. The toi­lets are locat­ed on the east­ern side of Main South Road, near the cor­ner of Cole Road and adja­cent to the Delamere Gen­er­al store.

Time to rest? This retreat might fit the bill.

Stay in Deep Creek Nation­al Park at Ridgetop Retreats

South­ern Ocean Retreats offers pri­vate­ly-run accom­mo­da­tion in the park. One of their Ridgetop Retreats has been reviewed by Push Adven­tures and The Good Scout Trav­el Co as offer­ing good access’.

This retreat has open-plan kitchen liv­ing, an acces­si­ble wet­room includ­ing grab rails around the toi­let and show­er, a move­able show­er rose and safe­ty mats across exter­nal entries.

How people with disability can take to the trails at Deep Creek National Park

How people with disability can take to the trails at Deep Creek National Park

Entrance with access ramps

If you would like to com­ment about acces­si­bil­i­ty in South Australia’s parks, the team at Nation­al Parks SAwel­come your feed­back.

Want some extra tips for your next vis­it? Find out what park ranger Simon Oster rec­om­mends, see Deep Creek Nation­al Park from a drone, or dis­cov­er 10 things to see and do in the park.

This con­tent was pro­duced in part­ner­ship with  Good Living