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 0885580240 or 1300965842, 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

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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