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Morialta Falls Hike In Adelaide: Complete Guide


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Inesita Macarthur



Welcome to Morialta Falls, an enchanting natural wonder located in Adelaide, Australia. Nestled in the stunning Morialta Conservation Park, this picturesque destination offers a hiking experience unlike any other. With its cascading waterfalls, lush greenery, and diverse wildlife, Morialta Falls attracts nature enthusiasts, adventure seekers, and avid hikers from all over the world.


Boasting a rich indigenous history and breathtaking landscapes, the park offers visitors a chance to immerse themselves in the beauty of the Australian wilderness. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or a beginner looking to explore the great outdoors, Morialta Falls has something for everyone.


As you embark on your journey, get ready to marvel at the magnificent rock formations, explore the winding trails, and witness the power and majesty of the cascading waterfalls. The serenity and tranquility found within Morialta Falls make it a perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.


This complete guide will provide you with all the essential information you need to make the most of your visit to Morialta Falls. From getting to the park to exploring the hiking routes and experiencing the abundant wildlife, we’ve got you covered. So lace up your hiking boots, grab your camera, and prepare to be captivated by the beauty that awaits you at Morialta Falls.


Getting to Morialta Falls

Morialta Falls is conveniently located just 10 kilometers northeast of Adelaide’s city center, making it easily accessible for both locals and tourists. Here are the different transportation options you can consider:

  • By Car: If you have your own vehicle, driving to Morialta Falls is a convenient option. From Adelaide, take Gorge Road and follow the signs to Morialta Conservation Park. There is ample parking available at the park entrance, but it can get crowded on weekends and public holidays, so plan accordingly.
  • Public Transport: Adelaide Metro operates regular bus services to Morialta Conservation Park. Catch the 174 or 178 bus from the city center, which will take you directly to the park entrance. Check the Adelaide Metro website for up-to-date schedules and route information.
  • Taxi or Ride-Sharing: Another option is to take a taxi or use a ride-sharing service, such as Uber or Ola, to reach Morialta Falls. This can be a convenient choice if you prefer not to drive or use public transport.

Once you arrive at Morialta Conservation Park, you will find the entrance to the falls trails near the visitor center. The visitor center itself is a great starting point, providing helpful information about the park, trail maps, and facilities.


It’s important to note that there may be an entrance fee for accessing Morialta Falls. Check the official website or contact the park authorities for the latest information regarding fees and any seasonal closures.


Now that you know how to get to Morialta Falls, let’s explore the trail difficulty, length, and conditions for a safe and enjoyable hiking experience.


Trail Difficulty and Length

The Morialta Falls hiking trails offer a range of options suitable for all fitness levels and abilities. Whether you’re a casual walker or an experienced hiker, there’s a trail that will suit your preferences. Here’s an overview of the different trails and their difficulty levels:

  • First Falls Trail: This is the shortest and easiest trail, perfect for beginners and families with young children. The round trip distance is approximately 1.5 kilometers and takes around 30 minutes to complete. The path is well-paved and relatively flat, with only a few gentle inclines.
  • Second Falls Trail: Slightly longer than the First Falls Trail, this trail covers a distance of approximately 2.5 kilometers and takes around 1 hour to complete. It features moderate inclines and uneven terrain, making it ideal for those looking for a bit more of a challenge.
  • Third Falls Trail: For a more adventurous hike, the Third Falls Trail is a great choice. This trail is approximately 3.8 kilometers long and takes around 1.5 to 2 hours to complete. It includes steep ascents and descents, rocky sections, and uneven terrain, requiring moderate fitness levels.
  • Morialta Nature Trail: If you’re seeking a longer and more immersive experience, the Morialta Nature Trail offers a looped route that covers all three waterfalls. With a total distance of around 7.5 kilometers, this trail takes approximately 3 to 4 hours to complete. It combines sections of the First, Second, and Third Falls trails, offering a diverse and challenging hiking experience.

It’s important to assess your fitness level and choose a trail that matches your capabilities. Remember to wear appropriate footwear, carry water, and pack some snacks for longer hikes. Taking regular breaks and listening to your body will ensure a safe and enjoyable hiking experience.


Next, we’ll dive into the trail conditions and safety considerations to keep in mind when exploring Morialta Falls.


Trail Conditions and Safety

Before embarking on your Morialta Falls hiking adventure, it’s essential to be aware of the trail conditions and safety measures to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience. Here are some important points to consider:

  • Weather Conditions: Check the weather forecast before heading out, as trail conditions can change dramatically based on weather conditions. It’s advisable to avoid the trails during heavy rainfall or extreme heat, as this can make the paths slippery or pose a risk of dehydration and heatstroke.
  • Trial Maintenance: Morialta Conservation Park authorities regularly maintain the trails, but it’s still important to be cautious. Watch out for loose rocks, tree roots, and uneven surfaces. Stick to marked paths and avoid venturing off-trail to preserve the natural environment and minimize the risk of accidents.
  • Water Safety: Morialta Falls is known for its beautiful waterfalls and rock pools, but swimming or entering the water is not recommended. The currents can be strong, and the water can be cold and unpredictable. It’s best to admire the falls from designated viewing areas and enjoy the natural beauty from a safe distance.
  • Wildlife Encounter: Morialta Conservation Park is home to a variety of wildlife, including kangaroos, koalas, and native bird species. Respect their natural habitat and maintain a safe distance. It’s important not to feed or approach the animals, as they are wild and may become aggressive if they feel threatened.
  • Emergency Preparedness: While Morialta Falls trails are generally safe, it’s important to be prepared for unforeseen circumstances. Carry a fully charged mobile phone, a first aid kit, and a map of the park. Let someone know your hiking plans and estimated return time. In case of an emergency, call emergency services and provide your location within the park.

By staying informed, following safety guidelines, and respecting the park’s rules, you can fully enjoy your hike in Morialta Falls and have a memorable experience. Now that you’re aware of the trail conditions and safety measures, let’s delve into the different hiking routes and highlights of Morialta Falls.


Hiking Routes and Highlights

Morialta Falls offers a variety of hiking routes that showcase the park’s natural beauty and incredible waterfalls. Let’s explore some of the hiking routes and highlights you can experience:

  • First Falls Trail: This trail is perfect for a shorter hike that leads you to the stunning First Falls. As you make your way along the well-paved path, you’ll be surrounded by lush greenery and may even spot some native wildlife. The highlight of this trail is reaching the First Falls, a picturesque waterfall that cascades over rocky cliffs, creating a breathtaking sight.
  • Second Falls Trail: Continuing from the First Falls Trail, the Second Falls Trail takes you deeper into the park, offering a more challenging terrain. Along the way, you’ll encounter scenic viewpoints and be treated to glimpses of the beautiful Second Falls. The trail winds through dense vegetation, providing a serene and immersive hiking experience.
  • Third Falls Trail: For those seeking more adventure, the Third Falls Trail is a must-try. This trail takes you to the highest and most spectacular waterfall in the park, the Third Falls. Be prepared for steep climbs and rocky terrain as you make your way to this breathtaking natural wonder. The views from the top are truly awe-inspiring and worth the effort.
  • Morialta Nature Trail: If you’re up for a longer hike that covers all three waterfalls, the Morialta Nature Trail is the perfect choice. This trail combines sections of the First, Second, and Third Falls trails, offering a comprehensive exploration of Morialta Falls. Along the way, you’ll traverse diverse landscapes, from tranquil forested areas to rocky escarpments, and be rewarded with stunning views of the waterfalls at different vantage points.

Each of these hiking routes provides a unique experience and allows you to immerse yourself in the natural beauty of Morialta Falls. Remember to take your time, appreciate the scenery, and capture some memorable photos along the way.


Next, we’ll discover the picnic areas and facilities available in the park, making it an ideal spot for a relaxing break after your hike.


Picnic Areas and Facilities

After a rewarding hike through Morialta Falls, take some time to relax and rejuvenate in one of the park’s designated picnic areas. Here are some of the picnic areas and facilities available:

  • Stradbroke Road Picnic Area: Located near the park entrance, the Stradbroke Road Picnic Area offers a tranquil setting with shaded tables and barbecue facilities. It’s a great spot to enjoy a leisurely picnic surrounded by nature, with the sound of birds chirping and the gentle breeze rustling through the trees.
  • Morialta Conservation Park Visitor Center: The visitor center provides a range of facilities to enhance your park experience. Here, you can find information about the park, purchase souvenirs, and use the restroom facilities. The staff at the visitor center are also available to answer any questions you may have about the trails or wildlife in the area.
  • Playgrounds and Recreation Areas: If you’re visiting Morialta Falls with children, they’ll love the playgrounds and open spaces available for recreational activities. These areas are equipped with play structures, grassy spaces for picnics or ball games, and toilet facilities.
  • Drinking Water and Toilets: There are drinking water stations conveniently located throughout the park, so you can replenish your water bottles during your visit. Additionally, well-maintained toilet facilities are available near the picnic areas and trailheads.

It’s important to practice responsible picnicking by cleaning up after yourself and disposing of trash in the designated bins. Help keep the park clean and ensure the enjoyment of future visitors.


Now that you know where to unwind and have a picnic, let’s explore the diverse wildlife and natural wonders you may encounter during your visit to Morialta Falls.


Wildlife and Nature

Morialta Falls is not only a haven for nature lovers but also a habitat for a diverse array of wildlife. As you explore the park, keep an eye out for these fascinating creatures and soak in the natural beauty that surrounds you.


One of the iconic inhabitants of Morialta Falls is the koala. These cuddly marsupials can be spotted resting or munching on eucalyptus leaves in the tall gum trees that dot the park. Look up and scan the branches to catch a glimpse of these adorable creatures in their natural habitat.


As you venture along the trails, you may also encounter kangaroos hopping through the open grassy areas. These charismatic marsupials are a true symbol of the Australian wilderness. Keep a safe distance and observe them from afar to avoid causing any disturbances.


The park is also home to a rich array of bird species, including colorful parrots, lorikeets, and cockatoos. Their vibrant plumage and melodic calls add a delightful charm to the hiking experience. Listen for their calls and take the opportunity to appreciate their beauty as they soar through the trees.


Beyond the wildlife, Morialta Falls showcases an array of plant life. The park features a diverse range of native Australian flora, from majestic gum trees to delicate wildflowers that bloom in spring. Take the time to appreciate the flora as you hike, and capture the vibrant colors and unique textures through photography.


Remember, when encountering wildlife, it’s crucial to respect their space and not disrupt their natural behavior. Do not feed the animals or leave any litter behind, as it can harm their health and pollute their environment. Take only photographs and leave only footprints to ensure the conservation of the park’s wildlife and natural heritage.


Now that you’re familiar with the wildlife and nature at Morialta Falls, let’s explore the best time to visit and some tips for a successful hike.


Best Time to Visit

Morialta Falls is a year-round destination, each season offering its own unique charm. The best time to visit depends on your preferences and the experience you’re seeking. Here’s a breakdown of what to expect during each season:

  • Spring (September to November): Spring brings beautiful blooms and bursts of colors as wildflowers blanket the park. The weather is mild, perfect for comfortable hiking. It’s also a great time to spot baby animals as they venture out with their parents.
  • Summer (December to February): Summer in Morialta Falls can be hot, but it’s a great time to enjoy the park’s shaded trails and take refreshing breaks near the waterfalls. Be prepared to encounter more crowds, as this is a popular season for outdoor activities.
  • Autumn (March to May): Autumn offers pleasant temperatures and stunning foliage as the leaves change color. The park is less crowded, allowing for a quieter hiking experience. It’s an excellent time for nature photography and enjoying the beauty of Morialta Falls.
  • Winter (June to August): Winter brings cooler temperatures and occasional rainfall to the park. The waterfalls flow vigorously, creating a dramatic spectacle. Keep in mind that some trails can become slippery, so proper footwear and caution are necessary.

Regardless of the season, it’s advisable to check the weather forecast and park conditions before your visit. Extreme weather conditions, such as heatwaves or heavy rain, may affect trail accessibility and safety.


Weekdays generally offer a quieter and more peaceful experience compared to weekends when the park tends to be busier with visitors. Arriving early in the morning can also help you beat the crowds and have uninterrupted access to the trails and picnic areas.


Now that you know the best times to visit Morialta Falls, let’s dive into some tips for a successful and enjoyable hiking experience.


Tips for a Successful Hike

To make the most of your hiking experience at Morialta Falls, consider the following tips:

  • Come prepared: Wear comfortable and sturdy footwear suitable for hiking, as some trails can be uneven. Dress in layers to accommodate changing weather conditions and pack sunscreen, a hat, and insect repellent. Don’t forget to bring plenty of water to stay hydrated throughout your hike.
  • Plan your route: Familiarize yourself with the trail maps available at the visitor center and plan your route according to your fitness level and time available. Be realistic about your capabilities and choose a trail that matches your experience and stamina.
  • Take your time: Allow yourself ample time to appreciate the natural beauty of Morialta Falls. Take breaks when needed, sit by the waterfalls, and listen to the soothing sounds of nature. Remember, the journey is just as important as reaching the destination.
  • Stay on the designated paths: To preserve the fragile ecosystem and prevent soil erosion, it’s important to stick to the marked trails. Venturing off-track can damage vegetation and disrupt wildlife habitats.
  • Respect wildlife and nature: Keep a safe distance from wildlife and refrain from feeding or approaching them. Respect their natural behavior and do not litter or leave any waste behind. Leave the park as you found it, so that future visitors can also enjoy its beauty.
  • Stay informed: Check the official website or contact the park authorities for any updated information about trail conditions, entrance fees, and any temporary closures. Stay aware of weather forecasts and potential hazards to ensure a safe and enjoyable hiking experience.

Finally, bring along your sense of adventure and immerse yourself in the tranquility of Morialta Falls. Capture memories through photographs, breathe in the fresh air, and let the beauty of nature rejuvenate your spirit.


With these tips in mind, you’re now ready to explore Morialta Falls and create unforgettable memories of your hiking adventure.


If you have any further questions, it’s advisable to consult with park staff or seek local advice before your visit. Enjoy your time at Morialta Falls!



Morialta Falls in Adelaide, Australia, is a true natural gem that offers a captivating and rewarding hiking experience. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, an adventure seeker, or simply looking to escape the hustle and bustle of city life, Morialta Falls has something for everyone.


From its picturesque waterfalls and scenic trails to its rich wildlife and stunning natural landscapes, every step in Morialta Falls beckons exploration and wonder. Whether you choose to embark on a leisurely stroll to the First Falls or challenge yourself with the rugged Third Falls Trail, each hike promises a memorable journey in the heart of nature.


As you navigate through the park, be sure to take time to appreciate the beauty and tranquility of the surroundings. Listen to the sounds of birdsong, catch a glimpse of kangaroos hopping through the open spaces, and marvel at the vibrant flora that adorns the park year-round.


Remember to adhere to safety guidelines, respect wildlife, and practice responsible hiking. Consider the best time to visit based on your preferences, plan your routes, and come well-prepared with appropriate attire and supplies. By doing so, you’ll ensure a successful and enjoyable experience in this natural wonderland.


Whether you’re a local looking for a weekend adventure or a tourist visiting Adelaide, Morialta Falls is a must-visit destination that showcases the best of Australia’s natural beauty. So lace up your hiking boots, grab your camera, and embark on an unforgettable journey through Morialta Falls.


Explore the trails, soak in the breathtaking views, and let the serenity of nature rejuvenate your soul. Morialta Falls awaits you with its cascading waterfalls, lush greenery, and abundant wildlife — ready to create memories that will last a lifetime.