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Hike the Deep Creek Circuit

Deep Creek, South Australia



7.5 miles

Route Type



Added by LJ Nielsen

Marvel at rolling waves breaking onto the breathtaking South Australian coast. Cover trails that sweep between lush, green hills. Chill in a spacious, isolated cove ringed by rocky peaks. Scale a thundering waterfall. Close your eyes and take in the melodies of nature’s song. The Deep Creek circuit hike is a feast for the senses, and one that hikers, backpackers and trail runners will be sure to love.

The single-day Deep Creek Circuit hike is a varied trail that meanders through 12km of varied coastal wilderness. While there are options to do various, smaller segments of the trail, the best option is to cover the all-encompassing Circuit Track in a clockwise direction from the Tapanappa Lookout carpark trailhead.

The trailhead is located inside the Deep Creek Conservation Park, a large coastal preserve situated 1.5hours south of Adelaide. The park is best accessed of Range Road, Delamere. Fees do apply, so you must obtain an entry permit online prior to entering the park. Mobile reception can be poor inside the park, so it is best to have this organised before strapping on your boots at the trailhead.

The initial stretch of track is steep decline from the top of the hill to the rugged coast, where the track meanders over a set of smaller hills that offer breathtaking scenery. The track eventually descends deeply into the iconic Deep Creek Cove, which offers a small but wild beach at the mouth of the creek. This offers the perfect setting to tuck into the food bag (note: Cliff Bars taste extra special on this beach). For the brave and strong paddler, swimming is theoretically possible if you take care of the rocks, but simply watching the waves roll into the prehistoric coast is fulfilling enough.  

From here, the trail gradually climbs up to the Trig campground via a ridge trail that offers panoramic views of the coast and hillside. Trailrunners will certainly appreciate the reasonably flat track closer to Trig campground, where a water tank is available.

The trail then descends once more through a pleasant gap in the centrepiece, arriving at Deep Creek’s centrepiece, the Deep Creek Waterfall. This thunderous example of natural art work is flowing year-round, but best viewed in the winter months. Those with a spring left in their step can scale the top of the waterfall and view the calmer waters above. On several occasions, swimmers have been witnessed at the fall, usually European or Canadian, usually used to Antarctic temperatures.

From the waterfall, it is a steady, gentle uphill climb back to the trail head. Don’t you just love loop trails.   

As the trail covers roughly 12km, you can complete it as quickly or as slowly as you wish. 5-6 hours gives the casual hiker more than enough time to enjoy the diversity of the journey, but trailrunners will complete the circuit in a fraction of that time. There are options to link into the famous Heysen Trail to reach the local favourite, Blowhole Beach.

Outside public holidays, the trail is never overly crowded, but a weekday visit could see you out there, all alone, with Mother Nature. And what reliable friend she is.    

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Family Friendly
Picnic Area
Swimming Hole

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Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!


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