Section 5: River Torrens to Morialta
Section 4: Morialta to Norton Summit
We have had plans to hike the 54km Yurrebilla Trail for some time now, and our need to do some training hikes in preparation for doing the Overland Track in January 2009 (yes, 18 months away) was paramount (in the past 12 months, we'd only hiked in the Flinders for one weekend).
So we met in Norton Summit, leaving a car there before driving to the end of the trail, near Linear Park/River Torrens at Athelstone. The Yurrebilla Trail goes from Belair National Park to the River Torrens, some 54km divided into 5 sections. Today we hiked 2 sections, Section 5 and Section 4. Section 5 was listed as 'hard', 13km and 5 hours, and Section 4 was listed as 'moderate', 7.5km and 2.5 hours. The whole 19.5km we hiked took us 6 hours.
Ambers Gully was a delight (through Black Hill Conservation Park), albeit short lived perhaps as the steepness of the grade soon had us thinking second-thoughts. It was at this point, that perhaps, I should have let Tim and Kate know I too thought it was quite tough. Apparently Kate was too busy panting to notice me doing likewise. Tim and I heard what sounded like a wild pig, but turned out to be a koala. I'm not much of an animal spotter, and have never heard a koala in the wild before. I've only ever seen them all drugged up and sleeping. We hiked up to the summit of Black Hill, and down into the valley which Montacute Road passes. A steep climb down, I'm glad we hiked the direction we did than have to hike up this steep climb out from Montacute Road.
Following Montacute Road for a little less than a kilometre, we then hiked up into Montacute Conservation Park. There were a couple of tough sections. Tim grew increasingly quiet, so we fed him some Snickers and he pepped up. Entering Morialta Conservation Park, we ate lunch at the Deep View Lookout overlooking the fast flowing First Falls. A spectacular viewing platform, I was really impressed with hiking through Morialta Conservation Park. I had forgotten how good this place was. We hiked past the Second Falls and onto the Third Falls. It was here, we found a sign stating that the trail was closed due to washed out bridges and rock slides. We didn't know it at the time, but apparently it has been like this since at least August last year. We hiked on though, as we were committed with a car at each end of the hike.
Nearing Norton Summit, we took a short cut of about 150 metres, cutting out at least a kilometre of up and back. We saw the old barns, also part of the trail, from the road, and cut this section off too, saving perhaps another 300-400 metres. Arriving back at the car, we enjoyed some light snacks at the pub at Norton Summit.
The Old Barns which the Yurrebilla Trail officially passes through