Naiko Retreat Walking Trails
Walking at Naiko Retreat
Naiko is a walker’s paradise with four bespoke trails for the exclusive use of guests. These walks provide guests with the opportunity to explore the diversity of the property from open rolling hills, forests of native trees, the iconic Xanthorrhoea (grass trees) some of which are estimated to be around 1500 years old, lush gullies and rugged coastline.
The world famous Heysen Trail traverses the property from its start in Cape Jervis and meanders for 1200km all the way to the Flinders Ranges.
Naiko’s four private walking trails are for the exclusive use of guests staying at the Retreat. These walks are of various distances and cater for various levels of fitness. Walk the open rolling hills, through forests of native trees, which include ancient grass trees, or along the rugged coastline. No matter which trail guests choose, there are spectacular views to take their breath away. Wildlife and birdlife abound – Kangaroos to echidnas, the exquisite butterflies will have walkers enthralled, and dolphins will delight.
Keen walkers can challenge themselves with the Rarkang Loop or the Talisker Mine Walk. A little less taxing, but no less interesting, is the History Walk. For guests and young children looking for an easier and shorter walk, then the Blowhole Beach walk (our most popular trail) is perfect.
All walks start and finish at the Retreat. Route descriptions can be found in the Information Compendium. The routes are marked by stone markers with the Naiko logo.
For all our walks we recommend that guests wear appropriate walking shoes, carry a small backpack with water, snacks, sunscreen, windbreaker/Drizabone and a mobile phone. The weather can change at a moment’s notice and walkers should always be prepared.
Talisker Mine Walk
8km – Challenging. Allow 3-4 hours
The Talisker Mine walk is a challenging 8km out and back route from the Retreat up to Deep Creek National Park to view the mine ruins. Along the walk guests will pass some of the old exploratory silvermine shafts. The views on the walk are breathtaking and guests will certainly claim bragging rights after completing this trail.
The ruins are worth visiting with information boards on each of the remaining structures and shafts. Once guests pass through the gate into the National Park, park regulations apply.
10km – Challenging. Allow 2.5-3.5 hours
The Rarkang Loop is a challenging 10km circular route on the property which includes steep ascents and descents. This walk commences on the Heysen Trail before beginning a challenging ascent. The incredible views offer the perfect excuse to stop, catch your breath and take photographs. This trail then takes walkers through beautiful native forests which include the iconic grass trees (Xanthorrhoea), across rolling hills and back down towards the ocean, past a large and beautiful dam and finally back to the Retreat.
6km – Easy to Moderate. Allow 2-3 hours
The History Walk is an easy to moderate 6km walk along the access road guests would have driven in on. This trail takes walkers past the first settler dwelling then up to the World War II radar station which was manned 24 hours a day and mostly by women of the WRAAF. Continuing along the route walkers then head down to the ruins of the military base and staff quarters.
Blowhole Beach Loop
5km – Easy. Allow 1.5 – 2 hours
The 5km Blowhole Beach Loop is a circular route along a farm road to Blowhole Beach and returning along the Heysen Trail. For a short and even easier walk, guests can do an out and back along the Heysen Trail, but doing the loop is certainly worth it.
This walk follows the rugged coastline and sheer cliffs showcasing pristine coves and beaches. Along with kangaroos and sheep, walkers are likely to spot dolphins, large shoals of small fish and possibly the rare and majestic white-bellied sea eagle. Take a light picnic to enjoy at Blowhole Beach before returning to Naiko.
Heysen Trail – Deep Creek
The famous Heysen Trail which commences at nearby Cape Jervis and meanders for 1200km all the way to the Flinders Ranges passes through the Naiko property. The Deep Creek section of the Heysen is 73km long and guests wanting to experience a portion of this section can drive to one of the designated car parks or campsites along the trail where they can leave their vehicle and Fraser Farrell of The Backyard Universe, who provides a shuttle service, can transport them to their chosen starting point and walk back to their vehicle.
Fraser can be contacted through his website The Backyard Universe.