Pioneer Women’s Trail Walk with Kids | Review

Pioneer Women’s Trail Walk in the Adelaide Hills.  Follow the footsteps of South Australia’s early pioneer women as they carried their produce to market, marvelling at the views and the effort these women required to make a living many years ago!

Review by Claire Davill

Each May, the National Trust runs the Pioneer Women’s Trail Walk – a supported walk along this trail to coincide with the SA History Festival. Your entry fee includes water stops, first aid, toilet facilities and marshals along the route, as well as access to the grounds at the historic Beaumont House at the end of the walk. Best of all, children under the age of 12 are free!

There are also shuttle buses  between the start and end points offered for a small additional fee, and plenty of food and drink to purchase at the end.

The supported walk is definitely the best way to experience this historic trail, but of course it’s available to walk at any time.

The History of the Trail

Within three years of the establishment of the British Colony in South Australia, a group of Prussian families settled in the hills around what is now the town of Hahndorf. Within weeks of settling the women and girls were making regular trips down to the city on foot, to sell produce and buy supplies such as tea, sewing needles and tobacco. They would leave at midnight and walk down through the foothills to Adelaide, and return later in the day, often carrying two bricks each in addition to their purchased supplies, to build a church back home!

The women and girls followed established trails from the local Peramangk people along ridges, and bullock tracks that were created very soon after the colonies were established. Today the trail follows as closely as possible the route taken, from Hahndorf to Beaumont, where the women would stop and freshen up before proceeding to the markets in the city.

Walking the Trail

The full length of the trail is quite a trek – 26km in length! Luckily it is easy to walk sections of the trail, and if walking during this supported event you can start at Hahndorf (26km), Bridgewater (19km) or Stirling (12km).

We successfully walked the 12km section from Stirling to Beaumont with two 8 year olds – remember that this section is more downhill than up, which helps tremendously! This section is particularly suitable for children, with lots to see and most of the walk occurring off-road with only a few road crossings.

You will walk over the South Eastern Freeway on a pedestrian only bridge, through Cleland National Park and down the old bullock track on to Mount Osmond Reserve, where you will see the whole city laid out before you. You are likely to spot koalas and may see a kangaroo or echidna if you are lucky.

If you walk as part of this supported event you will have access to toilets and water at Eagle on the Hill, and the chance to explore the gardens of Beaumont House at the end.

Things to consider:

  • Make sure you are prepared for a long bushwalk. Wear sturdy shoes and carry a backpack with water, snacks, first aid kit and a jacket. Apply sunscreen and you may also need a hat if sunny.
  • Some sections of the trail do follow roads and there are some road crossings. These are well marked. Make sure your children walk and cross safely.
  • Many of the tracks through Cleland National Park and Mount Osmond Reserve are uneven and rocky. A good walking stick is recommended. If you don’t have one, there’s plenty of opportunities to find a good stick alongside the trail.
  • The trail is well signposted, but it’s advised to carry a map. You can download one here.
  • Due to the length of the trail, we advise having someone drop you off at Stirling and pick you up at Beaumont. The pioneer women had to walk back up the hill, but that doesn’t mean you have to!

Pioneer Women’s Trail Walk | Hahndorf to Beaumont Annual Event

South Australia’s History Festival

things to do in Adelaide for families

For more information and all enquiries please visit the Pioneer Women’s Trail website.

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.

As per all our Play & Go reviews, this is not a sponsored post and our review is done completely independently. 

Image Source: all photos by Play & Go Adelaide


Follow Play & Go on Facebook and Instagram

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!


You May Also Like:

Tags: , ,

No comments yet.

Feel free to leave us a comment

Back to Top