An app instead of a map?

Compass and map

The traditional tools for navigation


It should come as no surprise that technology is making inroads

into every facet of daily life.  So too with field maps.

Serious bush walkers have always learnt how to use a compass

and read a contour map that enabled them to plot their location,

their progress and the path ahead at any given point.


Bush walkers reading a map

Are we there yet?


Those skills are still relevant today but a new phone application has

made working out where you are on your walk just that much easier.

The Avenza app uses your phone’s built in GPS to locate you on the trail.

It works on satellite technology rather than mobile phone reception.

In other words, once you’ve downloaded a particular map on your phone

at home you can access it at any time during your walk regardless of

phone signal strength.  This is a key feature as the rugged terrain in

Deep Creek often means no or patchy phone reception.


The Avenza app in action

The Avenza app in action


A free Avenza app is available for Deep Creek Conservation Park

and is one well worth downloading for visitors to this beautiful part of the world.

For more information follow the link here

Stringybark Loop – a walk for all seasons

Stringybark walk, Deep Creek Conservation Park

The start of the Stringybark walk has a fairy tale quality about it.


While some of the walks in Deep Creek Conservation Park can

be quite challenging not all require the fitness of a triathlete!

The Stringybark Loop Walk is a great example.  At 1.5 km

it is family friendly and can be completed in under 30 minutes.



Stringybark forest, Deep Creek Conservation Park

Smooth Xanthorrhoea leaves dance against a background of course stringybark trunks.



More importantly, the walk takes you past some of the oldest

and majestic examples of sclerophyll forest in South Australia.

Towering Stringybark trees provide a shaded canopy under which

other species such as grass trees (Xanthorrhoea) and delicate ferns flourish.



Flaming fungus in Deep Creek Conservation Park

The spectacular Flaming Fungus is easily overlooked


What is less well known is that this area contains more fungi than

anywhere else in the State.  At last count 247 species had been

observed along this trail.  The diversity in shape, size and colour

is truly amazing and has to be seen to be believed.

Winter is the ideal time to observe the fungi while spring will

reward you with a beautiful array of wildflowers along this delightful walk.



Fungi in Deep Creek Conservation Park

Fungi emerge in many shapes, sizes and colours along the Stringybark trail


Aaron Creek Hike – the path less traveled

Aaron Creek Cove

Take a well earned rest at Aaron Creek Cove to absorb its beauty


Named after Aaron Bennett, one of the early European settlers to this area the Aaron

Creek Cove Hike commences from the car park not far from Goondooloo Cottage.

For guests staying at Goondooloo Cottage, there is the added bonus of just being

able to strap on a backpack and walk out the door to commence the walk.

The first thing you will notice on this journey is the abundance of western grey kangaroos

grazing the open woodlands (the first of many photo opportunities).  After about 30 minutes

you will reach the lookout at Goondooloo Ridge which offers wonderful views

across the gullies towards Cape Willoughby.  This is a great spot to have a rest

and catch your breath on the return leg of your journey.



Goondooloo Ridge Lookout

Goondooloo Ridge Lookout – a great spot to refresh

At the half-way point, the trail passes the Aaron Creek Cascade, a small waterfall that

flows generously in winter but is reduced to a trickle during the warmer months.

The trail then follows the gully floor as it winds its way out to sea crossing the banks

of the creek many times.  Along this section of trail you will notice an abundant presence of

the Arum lily, a native to Southern Africa that has invaded large sections of Aaron creek.



Arum lilies along Aaron Creek

Arum lilies – pretty but a pernicious pest

As the trail approaches the coast it briefly ascends to the top of the ridge giving

commanding views of Backstairs Passage.  Once at the Cove you will notice

the bright orange lichen on the rock formations of the cliff face which are typical

of many parts of the coast along the Fleurieu Peninsula.  The Cove is

the obvious choice for morning tea or lunch before commencing your return journey.



Lichen rock at Aaron Creek Cove

Spectacular lichen rocks at Aaron Creek Cove

For those in a hurry, the hike can be completed in less than 4 hours.  However, to do it justice,

absorb the views, take photos and stop for refreshments you should allow more time.

A reasonable level of fitness and proper footwear that offers full ankle support are essential.



Aaron Creek Cove

The rugged beauty of Deep Creek on full display at Aaron Creek Cove

Proposed 3-day /-2 night walk

Blow Hole beach on a winter's day

Blow Hole beach on a winter’s day

As many of our readers would know Deep Creek Conservation Park incorporates

some of the most spectacular sections of the famous Heysen Trail.

Moves are now underway to establish a 3-day / 2-night walking package that

incorporates the highlights of the Heysen Trail through Deep Creek.

A working group has been established with representation from DEWNR, Yankalilla Council,

Tourism Operators and other key stake holders to look at the feasibility of this proposal.


The suggested walk will start at the commencement of the Heysen Trail at Cape Jervis

and conclude at Balquidder Station between Deep Creek and Waitpinga Beach.

New camping platforms would be constructed as part of the proposed walk at Eagle

Waterhole Campground and Tapanappa Campground for ‘walk through’ hikers.

Working group reconnaissance of the proposed trail

For those who would like the same experience but with creature comforts

Southern Ocean Retreats will be putting together a complete package

that includes accommodation, all meals, transfers, and walking notes.

The proposal is still in its early stages but regardless of the outcome, we think an all

inclusive package of this type has merit for those wanting to undertake extended walks

without the hassle of carrying a heavy backpack or organizing carpools for return journeys.

More importantly, the recognition of this spectacular coast line and its potential

to become an iconic walk is long overdue. We will keep you posted as this proposal

unfolds and are looking forward to seeing Deep Creek Conservation Park

established to its rightful place as a must see destination for South Australia.

Breakfast at the Ridgetop Retreats, Deep Creek Conservation Park.

Imagine a leisurely breakfast after a good night’s sleep before being transferred to the next stage of your walk.


Walk in review – Deep Creek Waterfall from Tapanappa Lookout

Deep Creek Waterfall

Start of Waterfall walk from Tapanappa Lookout


One of the great joys of walking in Deep Creek Conservation Park is that

most of the walks are not seasonal and trails remain open throughout the year.

So it is with the walk to the Deep Creek Waterfall from Tapanappa Lookout.

The native vegetation remains lush and the waterfall flows at all times.


To illustrate this point we embarked upon this walk on a warm summer’s day morning.

The trail has been realigned in recent years to take full advantage of the natural contours.

This has removed the need for staircases.  The climbs and descents are moderate

in most places and well suited for families with a reasonable level of fitness.



Deep Creek Cove

A glimpse of the Deep Creek Cove


As you work your way around several ridges you will catch glimpses of Deep Creek Cove where it

meets the Southern Ocean. At approximately the half way mark good use has been made of the

natural landscape to create a stone bench and viewing platform.  This is a wonderful opportunity to

pause and take in the scenery across the valley.



Deep Creek Valley

Bench overlooking Deep Creek Valley


Upon reaching the valley floor much debris is till strewn across the upper reaches of the creek bed,

a reminder of the heavy rains and storms South Australia experienced last winter.

The mesmerizing sound of cascading water over rocks weaves its magic on those

who allow time to take it all in.  The waterfall is a great spot for

a bite to eat and was popular with families on the morning we arrived.



Deep Creek Waterfall

Deep Creek Waterfall in summer


On your return journey keep an eye out for wildflowers that bloom at

different times of the year.   Allow at least 3 to 3.5 hours to do justice

to this walk which is graded as moderate to hard depending on fitness levels.



Wildflowers in Deep Creek ion

Wildflowers in bloom along the waterfall trail in Deep Creek