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Published: December 11th 2005
Sugarloaf at Hallett
The highlight of the Hallet Cove walk is the 'Sugarloaf' formation.
It has been forecast to be hot in Adelaide today (38 degrees) so we will start out early and visit Hallett Cove Conservation Park. We have done parts of this walk several times before - and it can be a little cool most days, but it is ideal on the mornings of hot days that are reasonably still (wind-wise) and bright (improving contrast between the blue sky and the eroded hills).
The reason we like this walk so much is the opportunity to learn more about rocks and geology (which is one of Dan's passions) and it is really amazing - you can see where the glaciers have been by looking at the scratches they left behind in rocks! There are plenty of signs along the path about the geology - so you can go from novice to scholar very quickly.
It is also a reasonably short walk and a short drive so we can come home for lunch.
The park is suitable for most people who can handle stairs. To get there from the city, take Anzac highway, head South on Brighton Road, and then turn down the Cove Road to
get to Dutchman’s drive down to the car park. There are toilets next to the deserted surf club rooms. Allow about 90 minutes to 2 hours to explore the park.
A web site that has a map of the park Information from Friends of the park (but site under construction) Images of Hallett Cove by another - in case mine don't work out
What happened ...
Well we got there reasonably early but it was already quite warm. We used small branches from the trees as fly swishers after our spray-on fly repellent behaved more like an attractant. The sea was quite smooth with only the occasional wave rolling in to the rocky shore. There were fishermen out on the rocks and in boats on the water so obviously there is some fish action around this place. We also saw some canoeists taking advantage of the reasonably still conditions.
The friends of the park have obviously been busy because large sections of the trail has been converted to boardwalk. This has made the walking easier and presumably will spare further erosion of the delicate soils. The birds we saw on this walk were mostly juvenile magpies which perched themselves on the hand rails of the lookouts. We couldn't decide whether they were catching a breeze on a hot day or they had worked out that
people often stop there to eat and that a free meal might be available.
We took the path to the first lookout and then took the staircase down to the stony beach. We then walked up the creek which was still running. This creek is quite unusual because it disappears. The creek cascades down to the rocky shore and then the water slips under the rocks giving the appearance that the creek just ends.
The highlights were the amphitheatre and the Sugarloaf which are eroded structures that look quite striking.
Dan says …
This is the perfect place to start your rock collection. There are thousands of smooth rocks on the beach. There are many different colours to choose from - grey, green, red, white, black, chocolate, and even orange. Some rocks even have layers (they are called sedimentary rocks). You won’t find igneous rocks here (they are the lava ones from volcanos -such as granite). You could find metamorphic rocks here (metamorphic means changed). You may be thinking - but how can rock be changed? Well, rock can be changed by heat or pressure or both. A weak soapstone can be turned into hard slate by pressure and heat. Marble is a metamorphic rock made by pressure.
I thought that the Sugarloaf formation looked like a volcano. There were lava-red rocks at the top that made it look like there was lava in it.
All through the walk you can see rocks sitting in funny places. These are called erratics (aka dropstones) which have been carried by glaciers and dropped in funny places when the glacier melted.
This weeks joke …
Q: What do you get if you cross a chicken with a cement mixer?
A: A bricklayer
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