A spectacular new lookout on the Heysen Trail on the Fleurieu Peninsula has officially been opened as part of the first stage of the $6 million Wild South Coast Way project.

The Goondooloo Ridge day visitor facilities are part of an exciting new fully customisable multi-day walking experience on South Australia’s Fleurieu Peninsula, the new facilities and upgrades will enhance sections of the existing iconic Heysen Trail from Cape Jervis to Victor Harbor.

The new picnic area and lookout is in Deep Creek Conservation Park, located on a spur of the Wild South Coast Way. The Goondooloo Ridge walk is a 4.2-kilometre return class two trail, making it perfect for family groups seeking an immersive, yet easy walk as part of a day visit to the region, or for hikers looking for an interesting loop off the main trail.

Minister for Environment and Water David Speirs said the upgrades are part of the Marshall Liberal Government’s record $130 million investment to revitalise South Australia’s national parks.

“The completion of the Goondooloo Ridge picnic area and walk is a significant milestone achievement in the delivery of the $6 million Wild South Coast Way project,” Minister Speirs said.

“The Fleurieu Peninsula has some of the state’s most breathtaking views and stunning landscapes, with the Goondooloo Ridge walk and lookout showcasing spectacular views of Backstairs Passage and Kangaroo Island.

“Visitors will walk through re-vegetated and remnant native bushland to a lookout with spectacular view, with opportunities to view wildlife and enjoy nature along the walk.

“The Wild South Coast Way on the Heysen Trail offers an exciting, active adventure for walkers of all fitness levels. The experience is less than two hours from Adelaide but feels a world away.

“We know how much South Australians value the natural environment which is why we are investing record amounts to encourage more people to visit our pristine landscapes.

“This is just one of the exciting projects we are delivering across South Australia to reinvigorate our national parks to increase visitor numbers and improve conservation.”
The new picnic area includes designated picnic nodes with tables, accessible toilets, sealed carpark, road-side bus parking and interpretative signage.

Kool Tours Founder Mark Koolmatrie said the Goondooloo Ridge opening was an exciting starting point for the Wild South Coast Way on the Heysen Trail project.

Mark, who runs cultural experiences and day tours across the Fleurieu Peninsula and Coorong region, has also provided cultural advice to the Department for Environment and Water’s National Parks and Wildlife Service in conjunction with the project.

“It means it’s starting to come alive,” Mr Koolmatrie said.

“It’s a little fire that is burning and this gathering is a starting point and connection with Country, self and us as a people.

“The Wild South Coast Way on the Heysen Trail is going to showcase South Australia with an experience and a sense of identity that is unique to this area.

“As a commercial tour operator it’s also going to allow us to share our unique life by allowing visitors to immerse themselves in Country.”

Alongside the hallmark five-day four-night walking experience, the Wild South Coast Way on the Heysen Trail will deliver immersive and accessible nature experiences of varying duration which will appeal to a highly diverse range of visitors, including travellers with accessibility requirements.

The Wild South Coast Way on the Heysen Trail has been supported by the Marshall Liberal Government through the National Parks and Wildlife Service and with project partners, Friends of the Heysen Trail, Yankalilla District Council and the City of Victor Harbor.