Situated just 22km from the Adelaide CBD is a natural gem of the south. Hallett Cove Conservation Park is filled to the brim with native flora, fauna, amazing geology, and breath-taking ocean views.  The park has walking tracks running throughout, making it easier to see the geological wonders of the area.

Over the course of this post, we’ll give you some information about Hallett Cove Conservation Park, and tell you about some of our favourite things about it too.

The Geology

One of the most recognisable features of the Hallett Cove Conservation Park is the Sugarloaf. Named because of its resemblance to a mass of refined sugar, the Sugarloaf is the product of millions of years of sediment buildup and erosion.

The cliff tops around Hallett Cove Conservation Park were once the base of an ancient glacial lake which melted 270 million years ago.  As you follow the walking track you will find signs highlighting and explaining different features in the landscape as well as local fauna and flora.

Due to its unique geological features, Hallett Cove Conservation Park is considered one of the best records of Permian glaciation in Australia and has international significance.

The Walking

As stated above there is a walking track that surrounds the Sugarloaf within the park and continues along the coast. This walking track can be steep at times, though should still be suitable for most people. Unfortunately there are a lot of stairs so wheelchair accessibility is not possible throughout most of the park.

The Hallett Cove Conservation Park marks the southern end of The Marion Coastal Boardwalk. This boardwalk stretched over 7.2 Km of the amazing coastline between Marino and Hallett Cove, with lots of stairs, beach access, and amazing coastal views.

The Natural Treasures

The park is filled with lots of salt-tolerant native plants and a plethora of native wildlife. Along the walk it is common to see lizards, a range of butterflies, honey-eaters, fairy-wrens and kestrels. This also means that there are snakes in the area as well, so keep an eye out as you walk. The most common snakes found here are eastern brown snakes.

The native plants you’ll see along your journey are spectacular. Some of the plants you’ll see are flax-lillies, angular pigface, cushion fanflower, common boobialla and ruby saltbush. Along the walking track you’ll find signs with information about the native plants and wildlife in the area.

What Else Can I Do There?

At the southern entrance of the Conservation Park you’ll find the Boatshed Cafe. The cafe has a range of food and drinks for purchase, whether you’d like to stop for lunch before going in for a walk or an ice cream on your way out. Just make sure to get rid of any rubbish so it doesn’t end up in the Conservation Park.

As well as the cafe,  there are lots of public barbecues and picnic areas for the family to rest and eat at close by. These also give you a great view of the ocean and came be especially spectacular to sit at during sunset.

Close to the picnic areas there is also a playground and large grass area for the kids to play. There is a variety of play equipment and swings to keep the kids happy all day long. The close proximity to the picnic area means parents can easily watch their kids play while they relax at a picnic table.

If it’s a bit too hot or walking isn’t really your thing then how about a swim in the cool blue water? Snorkeling and swimming are permitted in the south-western corner of Hallett Cove Conservation Park. As well as seeing some of the natural wonders on the land, you can try to see some of the natural wonders under the water too.

What Else Do I Need to Know?

When visiting Hallett Cove Conservation Park, here is some information that might come in handy.

The toilets for the park are located next to the Boatshed Cafe at the southern entrance. Their position makes them easily accessible for cafe customers, park users and those in the picnic area.

There are no pets allowed in the park. In order to preserve the native flora and fauna, the decision was made to keep pets out of the park. If you’d like to find another national park that allows you to walk your dog, then head to the National Parks SA website.

There is no mountain-biking allowed within the park. This is both to preserve the park and to allow people to travel the park safely while walking through.

The park is open 24 hours a day, except under Catastrophic Fire Danger and some Extreme Fire Danger days.

Car Parking is available at the southern, northern and eastern entrances of the park. Make sure to stay on walking trails at all times.

What Do I Bring With Me?

Depending on the activities you partake in will depend on what you need. In general we highly recommend sunscreen, a hat, proper walking shoes, water and any snacks or food you need for a picnic. Don’t forget your bathers and a towel if you want to have a quick dip in the water while you’re there.


So the next time you’re looking for a natural wonder to look at, a place to stretch your legs with amazing views, or somewhere for a family picnic then try out the Hallett Cove Conservation Park. We thinks it’s a beautiful place, and we’re sure you will too.

About Vikki Hards

Vikki is a mother of two, who was born and raised in the south of Adelaide. She enjoys reading, writing, spending time with her family, and exploring. Her favourite spots to explore are National Parks and southern beaches.

View all posts by Vikki Hards

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