How to spend a day in South Australia’s Glenthorne Precinct

How to spend a day in South Australia’s Glenthorne Precinct

Want to make the most of your vis­it to the parks in this precinct? We’ve got you cov­ered with this itinerary.

Nes­tled in Adelaide’s south­ern sub­urbs, between Sea­cliff and O’Halloran Hill, the Glen­thorne Precinct includes four nation­al parks, each with diverse land­scapes and a vari­ety of vis­i­tor expe­ri­ences on offer.

First­ly, there’s Hal­lett Cove Con­ser­va­tion Park, a pop­u­lar park with rich cul­tur­al and geo­log­i­cal heritage.

Then there’s Mari­no Con­ser­va­tion Park, which con­serves the last remain­ing stands of coastal health veg­e­ta­tion along this part of the Ade­laide coastline.

There’s also Glen­thorne Nation­al Park-Itya­mai­it­pin­na Yarta, Adelaide’s newest nation­al park, which encom­pass­es O’Halloran Hill Recre­ation Park, with its shady grey box euca­lypts and riv­er red gums.

From bush­walk­ing to moun­tain bik­ing, dol­phin spot­ting to fish­ing, there’s some­thing for every­one at the Glen­thorne Precinct.

To help you get the most out of your vis­it, park ranger Jae Ellis shares some ideas on how to spend a day in the precinct:


Start your morn­ing at Hal­lett Cove Con­ser­va­tion Park. Park your car at the Boat­shed Café and stretch your legs on the Glacial Hike.

This 3 km loop will lead you to explore some incred­i­ble geo­log­i­cal sites, which includes evi­dence of an Aus­tralian ice age some 280 mil­lion years ago.

Learn how the park was cre­at­ed with inter­pre­tive signs along the way that explain geo­log­i­cal and his­toric points of interest.

Vis­it the gran­ite boul­der at the base of the beach access ramp, which is a great exam­ple of a gran­ite erratic.

This piece of gran­ite has been trans­port­ed by glacial activ­i­ty all the way from Port Elliot and deposit­ed on Hal­lett Cove beach.

Take a stop at Black Cliff look­out and see if you can spot any dol­phins frol­ick­ing in the water. 

Make sure you bring a cam­era or phone as you’ll be sure to come across some awe­some pho­to opportunities. 

Top tips:

How to spend a day in South Australia’s Glenthorne Precinct


No doubt all that walk­ing would’ve made you a bit peck­ish. Stop in at the Boat­shed Café on the way back to your car to grab a bite to eat and quench your thirst.

From there, hit the road and dri­ve less than 15 min­utes north to Mari­no Con­ser­va­tion Park.

Enjoy a wan­der through the park on the Botan­i­cal Trail, which mean­ders through coastal heath to the Mari­no Rocks Light­house. While you’re there, count the jet­ties you can see along the coast.

The inter­pre­ta­tive signs along the way will help you iden­ti­fy par­tic­u­lar plants of inter­est. The walk also offers some of Adelaide’s best views of the coast and city skyline.

Top tip: If you’re not plan­ning to fol­low this full itin­er­ary and instead want to vis­it Mari­no Con­ser­va­tion Park on its own, great news: you won’t have to leave your dog at home. This park is one of Adelaide’s dog-friend­ly nation­al parks. Before you go though, make sure you’re across every­thing you need to know about tak­ing dogs in SA’s nation­al parks.

How to spend a day in South Australia’s Glenthorne Precinct


After your vis­it to Mari­no, make your way 10 min­utes east to Glen­thorne Nation­al Park-Itya­mai­it­pin­na Yarta, Adelaide’s newest nation­al park.

Go for a walk on the 4 km Loop Trail to see how the park is devel­op­ing, and check out the sig­nage in your tracks to see what’s to come.

Bring your bike and test your skills on a few of the moun­tain bik­ing trails in O’Halloran Hill Recre­ation Park (part of Glen­thorne Nation­al Park — Itya­mai­it­pin­na Yarta) – there’s 8 km of trails to try so you’re spoilt for choice.

The steep­er parts of the park pro­vide some great down­hill options, with trails rang­ing from easy through to inter­me­di­ate and advanced.

With ded­i­cat­ed climbs to bring you right back to the top of the trails, you’ll be able to try them all.

Check out the Glen­thorne Nation­al Park-Itya­mai­it­pin­na Yarta trails map for more information.

How to spend a day in South Australia’s Glenthorne Precinct

Top tips:

  • Learn more about cycling in SA’s parks, includ­ing oth­er parks offer­ing cycle tracks and how to under­stand trail clas­si­fi­ca­tion. You might also like to read the trail user code of prac­tice for impor­tant points to remem­ber when plan­ning your bike ride.
  • Glen­thorne Nation­al Park-Itya­mai­it­pin­na Yarta is one of Adelaide’s dog-friend­ly nation­al parks as well, so if you’re plan­ning to vis­it only this park, bring along your fur­ry friend.

Want some extra tips for your next vis­it to a park? Read on to find out8 things to take on a hike in South Australia’s nation­al parksandcheck out ourhandy tips for moun­tain-bik­ing in nation­al parks.

This con­tent was pro­duced in part­ner­ship with  Good Living