Section 6: Adelaide City to West Beach

The Adelaide100® trail in this section starts on the banks of the River Torrens / Karrawirra Parri in central Adelaide. The trail follows the river down the River Torrens Linear Park Trail to the where the river meets the coast, before turning south for a 2km walk along the foreshore to West Beach. A pleasant walk following the meandering river on a mainly downhill gradient.

About this Section

The river 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.) The river was most often a series of connected water holes, yielding fish and shellfish as well as attracting game such as kangaroos, possums, emu and water birds. The early European settlers used the river as water source, including for drinking, cleaning and for dumping waste. In the 1880s a weir was constructed to form a river lake, with the surrounds developed into an English formal park.

On the northern bank is Adelaide Oval and Memorial Drive Tennis Centre. The oval hosts football and cricket, and is the headquarters of the is the headquarters of the South Australian Cricket Association (SACA) since 1871 and South Australian National Football League (SANFL) since 2014. The tennis centre has been the host to Davis Cup ties and the Australian Open.

The northern side of the riverbank is known as Pinky Flat. The area was an oft-used campground and resource of the Kaurna people along no doubt with many other favoured locations along the Torrens. Its name is thought to have derived from the Pingka Bilby, a small marsupial which was a source of food for the Kaurna and the early colonists.

The golf course headquarters at the weir has light refreshments. The Adelaide Gaol, now a museum and tourist attraction, can be accessed on foot via the spur of the Adelaide100®. In Bonython Park / Tulya Wardli, the Bunyip Trail, another spur of the Adelaide100®, provides entertaining sign-board descriptions of the mythical Australian billabong creature. Refreshment is available directly across Port Road at the Southwark Hotel. Further north, after Port Road, the riverbank garden of the former brewery was famed for its Christmas displays and chimney stack funnel painted in the colours of the current local football premiers. The Hindmarsh Cemetery, one of the earliest in South Australia, has burials dating back to 1846, ten years after colonisation. The Brickworks cafes and shops offer a range of food and coffee refreshments, including a supermarket.

An Adelaide Airport connection can be made via the spur of the Adelaide100® that starts at the Kanbara Street and Riverview Drive bridge. Or, the airport can be reached by taking the spur of the Adelaide100® that uses the pedestrian access to the Lockleys Oval and Kingswood Crescent. This spur includes part of the walk/cycle path named after the champion cyclist Anna Meares. The Airport precinct offers accommodation and a range of meal and refreshment options. The historic Vickers Vimy Aircraft is on display.

Finally, beyond Tapleys Hill Road, the river becomes what had been informally known simply as the outlet or Breakout Creek, a man-made channel created in the 1930s to drain the wetlands which spread extensively between the Patawalonga at Glenelg and West Lakes, a distance of 13km. This rich cleansing environment never reached the sea, the two being separated by massive white sandhills. With growing environmental awareness an increasing number of constructed wetlands have been created across Adelaide and suburbs. The channel was removed between 1998 and 2023, with the creek being restored to wetlands that will capture and clean stormwater, and provide an environment for more native species.

Next is a first taste of Adelaide's 70km Coastal Park Path, a collaborative project of six local councils to build a walk/cycle path which extends from North Haven to Sellicks Beach. Except for a small piece at Port Stanvac, not affecting Adelaide100® walkers, the project is complete.

West Beach has been seriously effected by the long-shore drift of sand from south to north, and by climate change. Given the ample fine Adelaide weather and a lower tide, enjoy the fine reserves and beach. West Beach Road has refreshment outlets. The West Beach Parks (caravan park at West Beach) has overnight accommodation.

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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 6 (Adelaide City to West Beach)
  • Distance

    14.2km (1 day)

  • Start this section

    This Adelaide100® section starts on the banks of the River Torrens / Karrawirra Parri in central Adelaide. Start 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

  • End this section

    End at Chetwynd Street, West Beach, or at the West Beach Parks (caravan park at West Beach). Chetwynd Street is south of the end of West Beach Road and the West Beach Surf Life Saving Club.

    Link to location in Google Maps: https://goo.gl/maps/LErsZFbsLY5hMLgs9

  • Terrain

    A generally easy walk following shared bitumen trails on a mainly downhill gradient.

    Elevation at start: 30 m
    Elevation at finish: 12 m
    Minimum elevation: 6 m
    Maximum elevation: 38 m
    Total climbing: 78 m
    Total descending: 100 m

  • Need to know

    The trail is open year-round.

    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.

    Dogs are permitted along this section (the River Torrens Linear Park Trail which is most of Sections 5 and 6.)

  • Getting to and from the trail

    This trail section is through suburban Adelaide, so is well serviced by public transport. In particular, trains service Adelaide Railway Station (300m from start.) Check Adelaide Metro for services, and for bus services along the route.

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

  • Trail connections

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

    Midway along this section the trail connects to Adelaide Airport via the 2.7km Airport Connection East and 1.6km Airport Connection West.

  • Refreshments

    The Brickworks cafes and shops offer a range of food and coffee refreshments, including a supermarket.

    There is a supermarket and other retail near the seaside the end of Burbridge Road.

    There are cafes and takeaway stores at the seaside end of West Beach Road.

  • Toilets

    There are public toilets located along the river paths, and coastal path.

  • Staying along the trail

    There are hotels and other accommodation options in central Adelaide, Adelaide Airport and at West Beach Parks.

  • Places of interest

    Take a tour of Adelaide Gaol, one of the oldest remaining colonial public buildings in Adelaide.

    In Bonython Park / Tulya Wardli, the short Bunyip Trail provides entertaining sign-board descriptions of the mythical Australian billabong creature.

    The Hindmarsh Cemetery, one of the earliest in South Australia, has burials dating back to 1846, ten years after colonisation.

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

Open the map sidebar to view/toggle sites of interest and planning tools.

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