Hallett Cove Conservation Park & the Boatshed Cafe
It can sometimes be the simplicity of getting back to nature to help you slow down and put life back into perspective, such is the feeling of standing on top of a cliff and gazing out to sea. Our state’s coastline is nothing short of spectacular and south of the city you can discover miles of stunning views along the edge of Hallett Cove Conservation Park.
As a family it’s great to explore the great outdoors when the weather permits, so next time it’s a fine day why not bundle up the crew and explore the walking trails and boardwalks over looking Gulf St Vincent – it’s free!
Editor’s Note: In April 2020 it was announced the Hallett Cove Boardwalk will receive funding for essential repairs and an extension – read more here.
Hallett Cove Conservation Park
This area was proclaimed as a conservation park in 1976 mainly as a way to help preserve its many geological features. Evidence of an Australian ice age some 280 million years ago means Hallett Cove is one of Australia’s most outstanding geological and archaeological sites.
In 1934 Aboriginal stone implements were discovered in Hallett Cove and since then more than 1,700 artefacts have been collected. Along the cliff tops to the north are glacial pavements that are recognised as the best record of Permian glaciation (298.9–252.2 million years ago) not only in Australia, but worldwide.
The park also conserves native flora and fauna and is home to an array of animals and birds. For older children there are many educational facts to read and talk about throughout the park.
Hallett Cove Conservation Park Walking Trails
The trails are easy to follow with signs along the way. You can venture up or down as you walk along, with stairs and boardwalks breaking up the dirt tracks.
Tip: Because there are so many stairs the walk isn’t suited to prams, and there are quite a few areas little ones will need to be watched closely.
Many of the stair climbs are challenging, but the beauty of the trails is that you can walk for as little or as long as you like and at your own pace – simply turn back when you are getting tired. If you are heading towards (or need to get back to) the café then there is extra motivation to finish – with a treat such as a milkshake or ice-cream reward!
The Beach at Hallett Cove Conservation Park
The beach at the southern end is great for collecting a few shells, a splash in the shallows or for throwing a Frisbee. It’s quite rocky so not suited to swimming or surfing.
There is a playground and BBQ area above the beach too with plenty of lawn area to run around. There is access to the beach from the café carpark as well as from the coastal trail. There are often boats out on the water fishing and we have often spotted dolphins frolicking about.
The Boatshed Cafe
The Boatshed Café is located at the southern beach end and is a favourite of ours for breakfast – good coffee, delicious museli and fruit plus scrumptious bacon and eggs!
Lunch too is always tempting with wood-oven pizzas, risotto balls and steak done to perfection. There are always baked goodies on display such as cakes, muffins and desserts. There are cold drinks and ice-creams too.
The décor is modern and clean with lovely framed prints on the walls by a local photographer. The café recently added on a verandah so there is now undercover outdoor seating too – all with a view of the ocean and surrounding cliffs.
Editors Note 2017: The cafe has been extended to include alfresco dining and a takeaway kiosk.
The Hallett Cove Conservation Park is accessible via Main South Road, Majors Road, Lonsdale Road and right onto The Cove Road. There are 4 main entrances to the park – eastern entrance off Dutchman Drive, southern entrance off Heron Way and two northern entrances of South Avenue and Second Avenue. The walking trails are shown on trailheads at each entrance. Being a conservation park there are no dogs or bikes allowed.
What: Hallett Cove Conservation Park & The Boatshed Café | 2013 Review
When: Anytime (for café opening hours see link to Boatshed Café below)
Where: Conservation Park – see map here | Boatshed Café – 1A Heron Way, Hallet Cove
All images by Play & Go 2013
At Play & Go Adelaide we make every effort to provide accurate information to the best of our knowledge at the time of publication. We recommend confirming times, dates and details directly before making any plans as details may be subject to change.
Want to get all the latest events and activities straight to your inbox?
Subscribe to our weekly email newsletter below to keep up to date with our latest posts and find out all the best events & activities for Adelaide families. Newsletters are only sent once a week, and you may sometimes get a special offer exclusively for our subscribers only!