Section 5: Newton to Adelaide City

The Adelaide100® trail in this section starts near Newton, at Thorndon Park, the first reservoir built to service the residents of Adelaide, and follows the River Torrens / Karrawirra Parri into central Adelaide. Enjoy the majestic gums and birdlife as you follow the meandering river and River Torrens Linear Park.

About this Section

The Thorndon Park Reservoir was completed in 1860 to meet the young European colony of Adelaide's need for reliable clean water. It was the first reservoir built in South Australia to supply Adelaide with piped water. When the European settlers arrived in 1836, they used the River Torrens as their water supply but as  the new settlement grew the quality deteriorated as the river was used for many other purposes  besides drinking water.  Disease spread quickly and dysentery was rife.  There were soon calls for a more reliable supply that could be piped to homes and businesses.

The reservoir was used until 1977 when fears about the structural safety of the reservoir wall caused the reservoir to be decommissioned, and the water level was lowered. The reservoir and surrounds are now a recreational area to be enjoyed by everyone. There are picnic barbecue facilities, walking trails, an amphitheatre, a rotunda, an historic pump-house mural and a bird refuge island in the reservoir.

Exit via the northern pedestrian gate to Ozone Parade, Silvermere Avenue and Ridgefield Avenue. Follow the tree-lined water-course of Fifth Creek to the River Torrens / Karrawirra Parri past the sports fields and over George Street along the way.

The River Torrens / Karrawirra Parri is the most significant river of the Adelaide Plains and was an abundant source of food for the Indigenous Kaurna people. It is one of the main reasons for the siting of the city of Adelaide in 1836. The Kaurna name Karrawirra Parri or Karrawirraparri means redgum (karra), forest (wirra) and river (parri.) Massive majestic redgums are a feature of the Adelaide100® along the creeks and River. The river was so named by the European settlers after an early colonial official.

The River Torrens Linear Park, established in 1997, was a first of its kind, a hills-to-coast park over 30km long. A shared-use pathway extending the whole length is enjoyed by walkers and cyclists alike. Walkers take care changing course as cyclists can come up suddenly from behind at speed. The pathway is duplicated across the river almost the whole way - use the Adelaide100® signage and regular bridge crossings so as to not miss points of interest or get stuck at a dead end.

As you go enjoy nature, the birdlife, the beautiful parks and reserves, and the people.

The Windsor Gardens Caravan Park has overnight accommodation. The Bunkers Cafe provides coffee and refreshments.

The Gilberton swing bridge, fun to cross, has been rebuilt in recent times but was originally built in 1912. The area was known as Gilberton Pool, and had long been popular for swimming, both recreationally and as organised swimming with the Gilberton Swimming Club. In 1923 the club and pool hosted the Australian Swimming Championships. By 1970 the river was not as clean as it is today and had been earlier, and the pollution forced the closure of the pool.

The Adelaide Zoo, at Frome Road, is just across the river from the Adelaide100®. The zoo is Australia’s second oldest zoo, being first opening in 1883. Today the zoo has a particular focus on species from the Gondwana "supercontinent" which later broke up into South America, India, Africa, Australia and South East Asia.

This trail section ends on the banks of the River Torrens / Karrawirra Parri near Adelaide Oval. Conveniently accessible by foot, via the City spur of the Adelaide100® are the Adelaide Railway Station, hotel accommodation, the whole imaginable range of food options, and the Central Bus Station. Also the CBD, with innumerable food, accommodation and retail options, is a stone's throw away.

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Map Legend
Main Adelaide100® trail marked in blue
Main Adelaide100® trail
Optional spur/alternate route trails marked in red
Optional spur/alternate route trails
Start/Finish of Sections marked with black icons
Start/Finish of Sections
Points of Interest or Information marked with green icons
Points of Interest or Information
Walking Directions marked with orange icons
Walking Directions
Food and Refreshments marked with blue icon of cutlery
Food and Refreshments
Accommodation options marked with blue icon of bed
Accommodation options
Toilets marked with grey toilet icon
Toilets

Elevation Profile

Elevation profile of Adelaide100® Section 5 (Newton to Adelaide City)
  • Distance

    16.7km (½ day to 1 day)

  • Start this section

    This Adelaide100® section starts at Thorndon Park, a reservoir and recreation park. Start at the pedestrian entrance to Thorndon Park reserve, opposite 20 Hamilton Terrace, Newton, opposite the Rezz Hotel. The Adelaide100® trail enters Thorndon Park here. Thorndon Park is open to the public 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. The trail exits Thorndon Park on the northern side at Ozone Parade, Paradise. The trail in this section is quite easily accessed from nearby streets, so there is flexibility as to where you could start and end.

    Link to location in Google Maps: https://goo.gl/maps/dCowy7LJ2TuHosBb8

  • End this section

    End this section of the Adelaide100® trail on the banks of the River Torrens / Karrawirra Parri in central Adelaide. Section 6 Adelaide City to West Beach starts at the River Torrens Footbridge, which connects Adelaide Railway Station  and Adelaide Oval. The trail in this section is quite easily accessed from nearby streets, so there is flexibility as to where you could start and end.

    Link to location in Google Maps: https://goo.gl/maps/mB9vLZwpdou8HKM67

  • Getting to and from the trail

    This trail section is through suburban Adelaide, so is well serviced by public transport.

    Adelaide's rapid transit O-Bahn busway services the north-eastern suburbs, and includes a major interchange along this trail section, at Paradise Interchange. The interchange is 4.5km along the Adelaide100® trail from the Newton trailhead. A smaller interchange is located midway along this section of trail, at Klemzig Interchange, 9.3km along the Adelaide100® trail from the Newton trailhead and 7.4km along the Adelaide100® trail from the Adelaide City trailhead.

    At the end of this section, trains service Adelaide Railway Station (300m from start.)

    Check Adelaide Metro for train, O-Bahn busway and other bus services along the route.

    Car parking is available along streets and reserves along the route.

  • Terrain

    A walk following shared bitumen trails as you follow the meandering river.

    Elevation at start: 109m
    Elevation at finish: 30m
    Minimum elevation: 27m
    Maximum elevation: 112m
    Total climbing: 96m
    Total descending: 179m

  • Need to know

    The trail is open year-round.

    Along the River Torrens Linear Park the trail is shared use, ranging from 1m wide to wide paths. Beware of other trail users, particularly cyclists, so stay on the left side of the trail as much as possible. At road crossings the trail goes under bridges.

    The first 1.6km is through Thorndon Park Reserve, some local residential streets and the Fifth Creek Trail. There are some road crossings.

    Dogs are permitted along much this section (the River Torrens Linear Park Trail which is most of Sections 5 and 6.) However, dogs are not permitted in Thorndon Park Reserve. Assistance dogs are permitted in most public places and are therefore welcome. Assistance dogs must be appropriately restrained on a lead and remain under your effective control at all times.

  • Trail connections

    At the end of this section a 1.6km City Connection spur trail connects to the Adelaide Bus Station for interstate and intrastate bus services.

  • Refreshments

    The Rezz Hotel is located at the start of this trail section, offering meals.

    There is a kiosk in Thorndon Park.

    There is a cafe at the Lochiel Park golf course, which is located about ½ the way along this Adelaide100® section.

    There is a supermarket and other retail located near the trail in Walkerville, about ¾ the way along this Adelaide100® section.

    There are a couple of pubs located with 300m to 1.1km walk off the trail.

  • Toilets

    There are public toilets located along the river paths.

  • Staying along the trail

    There is a caravan park:

    • in Windsor Gardens, which is located about ½ the way along this Adelaide100® section.
    • in Vale Park, which is located about ⅔ the way along this Adelaide100® section.
    • on Hackney Terrace, Hackney, which is located 2.6km from the end of this Adelaide100® section.

    There are hotels and other accommodation options in central Adelaide.

  • Places of interest

    Wander around Thorndon Park to view the reservoir, Pump House and Bird Refuge Island. The reservoir was completed in 1860 and was the first reservoir built to service the residents of Adelaide.

    Visit Lochend house, in Lochiel Park Estate in Campbelltown, the original home of pioneer farmer Charles James Fox Campbell, after whom the suburb of Campbelltown is named. Campbell arrived in South Australia with the first overland cattle expedition from Sydney in 1838, when the colony was just two years old. The design of the home was influenced by George Kingston, South Australia's first architect, and built of river stone in 1842. The restored Lochend House is open to the public in the afternoons of the first Sunday of every even month.

    Visit Adelaide Zoo, which is home to more than 2500 animals and 250 different species of natives and exotic mammals, birds, reptiles and fish.

Map Downloads

Download maps for printing or navigation on your smartphone:

Trail Map

View detailed trail maps by visiting the pages for each section above.

Open the map sidebar to view points of interest

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Map Legend
Main Adelaide100® trail marked in blue
Main Adelaide100® trail
Optional spur/alternate route trails marked in red
Optional spur/alternate route trails
Start/Finish of Sections marked with black icons
Start/Finish of Sections
Points of Interest or Information marked with green icons
Points of Interest or Information
Walking Directions marked with orange icons
Walking Directions
Food and Refreshments marked with blue icon of cutlery
Food and Refreshments
Accommodation options marked with blue icon of bed
Accommodation options
Toilets marked with grey toilet icon
Toilets