A rare event! Rain in Adelaide. So, with visitors from Western Australia in tow, we headed back to Morialta Falls and did the same trek. There’s no need to lead you through the same, but I’ll use photos to show the difference 10mm of rain can make to colour and effect.
after the rain
rainy day is clearer
Perhaps my first blog on this waterfall could have been Prequel to Precipitation at Morialta. So many more water shots could be taken, and you see both falls from more vantage points. The path was at times slippery.
Walk safely, with the map downloaded on your phone (although it’s only very general) and take water because even in the rain you get thirsty.
They disappeared for a few years, following the arrival of the Noisy Miner Birds (vicious birds who harass other birds in groups) but I noticed their return last year. Shy creatures, they dart away from my dog and wait until the sprinkler is near a tree or shrub, so that they can hide away while they bathe.
But they make a lot of noise, chirping and cavorting.
Dorothea Mackeller, 1885 – 1968, described Australia as “…a sunburnt country…” in her poem, My Country. The weekly photo challenge this week involves choosing your favourite sunrise or sunset photos, and there are plenty of opportunities, here. I noticed that most of my sunrises are over land and my sunsets over water. I’ll be interested to see if that’s common for most photographers in the challenge.
I wake early, so I see many sunrises from my backyard and from farther afield.
Backyard break of day
In Australia, the redder the sunset, the hotter the next day will be. Although I’m not a night owl, I also see lots of sunsets.
Pt Hughes, South Australia
Semaphore Beach, South Australia
Brighton Beach, South Australia
Cable Beach, Broome WA
Brighton beach afterglow, South Australia
Mawson Lakes, South Australia
Kata Djuta, Northern Territory
Moana, South Australia
My father used to say,
“Early to bed, early to rise, makes a girl healthy, wealthy and wise.”
I achieved the first and in my definition of what is valuable, I am rich beyond my dreams. There’s still time for the wisdom.
Safe travels, whatever you do between sunrise and sunset, this week. Take your camera!
So, I’ve decided to do a series on Adelaide Waterfalls, for three reasons: Winter is approaching, there are only three of them, and they’re accessible sights of Adelaide.
Morialta Falls, like Waterfall Gully and Horsnell Gully Falls, is 10km from the centre of Adelaide, along good roads.
There are several carparks, allowing you to either walk long the creek to the main base, or to start from the latter. We had my niece with us, who has done two walks here, so we were competently led along the Falls Plateau Walk and returned via the Second Falls Gorge Track. If you were limited for time or had no desire for trecking, the direct path to the falls is very flat and takes about 10 minutes. There are warnings that it can get muddy and slippery.
The uphill paths are narrow but in good condition and the start was very steep for about an hour, which was only 2km! There were rest stops where you can also get some nice views.
Giant’s Cave off in the distance
Then it’s onward and upward, past xanthorreas, to see what the viewers ahead can see.
Escarpments, the lower track and the city of Adelaide in the distance.
Parakeets dashed into the thicket, hid among ghost gums and xanthorrea.
Until, finally, the rugged cliffs of the first falls appeared below, nestled in a harsh ravine.
You approach the falls from behind, almost on top of it, and the aspect is beautiful.
Anticipating greater things, and an easier, more downhill climb, we headed for the second falls, which soon became visible.
From one of the many bridges and lookouts, we had great views. The valley is impressive.
We were keen to see the Giant’s cave and face the first waterfall, so we took advantage of the de-cline, checked our route once more and made for the correct track, admiring the views along the way.
Within a short time we were at the mouth of the Giant’s cave, with its functional stairways and nooks for young and old to enjoy. Our final destination was before us and the main path, here, is very wide and suitable for wheelchairs, prams, the not-so-ambulant and groups of people. It is a short walk, with steep natural walls and century-old constructed walls.
At last! We were facing the first falls. Or trickle.
We’ll have to see it in Winter and compare the flow, but the sight was majestic, nonetheless. We made our way back to the car, but this time being a little more aware of nature. The park is quite well-known for sightings of wildlife and today was no exception.
white faced heron
If you’ve heard about ‘drop bear’, this is a close up of the culprit.
Apparently there were roos (kangaroos) but we didn’t see them. The entire walk took us 2 hours, with all of our stops and photos. A couple of Richmond FC players ran past at some stage and they definitely wouldn’t have taken that long. It was an overcast day and only about 23C but the demands of the first stretch did make us thirsty. So be prepared.
Morialta Falls is part of Morialta Conservation Park. You can download the maps for free on your smart phone and know exactly where you are (I discovered later). Morialta was the name given to the park in 1972. Prior to that it was a National Pleasure Resort in 1915, after being donated to the Government by James Reid Smith in 1912. He had purchased it in 1901, but in 1870 Angora goats were introduced to the area, following attempts at mining and grazing. It has an interesting history. The original owners are not named, but I think they would be the Kaurna People. Park management still works with Aboriginal people in the development and maintenance of the area.
For the driest State in the driest Continent, I think we’re doing very well to have waterfalls!
Why! I might just see the one near Victor Harbour and make it a ‘Waterfalls in South Australia’ series.
Safe Travels. Visit South Australia and bring water and a hat. Watch out for drop bears.
Walk or run, it doesn’t matter. There are forums dedicated to people comparing their PBs and quoting both uphill and downhill times. Beginning at the carpark, situated at the base of the pretty, 18m first Waterfall, the medium difficulty track is quite steep in some parts and, with renovations going on at the moment, sometimes slippery with gravel. I had heard so much about this challenge and family members and work colleagues set themselves the task, so I decided to find out what it was all about.
From the carpark you can see the first falls in one direction and in the other, Utopia restaurant, described on http://waterfallgully.com.au/ as “…a beautifully preserved, century-old stone chalet which boasts the unique title of Australia’s last remaining heritage ‘tea room’, and the nation’s only restaurant set beside a natural waterfall.”
It doesn’t open on a Monday, so I cannot give an account of the interior or menu from a first hand point of view. But it is certainly picturesque, as are the old pathways and buildings that I remembered from over 50 years ago.
Let’s hit the trail! It is incredibly steep at first, mostly stone steps, and I wondered what I had set myself. However, that only lasts about 50 m so push on. The lookout is worth a quick stop (unless you are going for your PB).
The second waterfall is 600m from the lookout over the first. There is a setting where you can stop and admire the scenery before pressing on towards the mark, which is Mount Lofty Summit.
At this stage I considered the time and the unknown length of the rest of the walk. I confess, I headed back to the carpark. However, I have every intention of making it to Mount Lofty (highest mountain in Adelaide region – 710km above sea level?) and seeing the panoramic views of Adelaide. The Mount Lofty Summit restaurant and cafe is well-regarded and boasts amazing views – I’ve seen them. I just can’t take good photos of it!
Take the challenge!
Head for Cleland Conservation Park, 10 km from the centre of Adelaide. The falls are best in Winter and Spring when they flow fuller, but even in Summer, or at the end, as you can see, there is water flowing. If you make it to the top and then down again and have some energy left, why not visit Cleland Wildlife park, where for a fee you can be up close or interact with kangaroos, koalas and other native Australian animals.
There are seven waterfalls in Cleland Conservation Park, apparently, the largest being in Waterfall Gully. The Gully was declared the State’s first National Pleasure Resort in 1912, some 30 years after it was established as a popular recreation and picnicking spot.
Safe Travels. Rest when you need to. Take a hat and water.
An annual event, the Adelaide Fringe Festival, the second largest Fringe in the world after Edinburgh, has many draw cards. Not the least, for the local crowd, is the Parade of Light. There were the usual wondrous colours and displays, but a new entry in the visual splendour called to mind today’s Daily Post One Word challenge – Above.
A thick smog of odourless and moistureless smoke hung over us as laser lights were shot through it. Never surrounding us, but ever floating over and moving like some ionised cloud. Utterly spellbinding. I hope you can get a sense of it, here:
And what of the usual sights? I’ll try to couple the buildings by day with their light show doubles. These stately buildings are some of our oldest – being a fairly young country in terms of European occupation.
State Library by day
State Library by night
The Art Gallery of South Australia
Bonython Hall, University of Adelaide
Mitchell Building, University of Adelaide
And the random buildings on North Terrace, in the heart of Adelaide, the outdoor eating areas, a full moon and the alleyways as Adelaide comes alive for the Fringe.
We ate at Parwana, Afghani food. Deliciously fresh. Great, friendly service. Ebenezer Place.
Travel Safely to Adelaide during February and March, for our festival season. You’ll need plenty of water, although other refreshment can certainly be found.