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Funding splash at Ingalalla Falls

Regional News

More than half a million dollars has been set aside to improve visitor experiences at one of Yankalilla’s most popular nature spots.

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The South Australian Government has joined with the District Council of Yankalilla to provide $587,000 to revamp of the visitor facilities at the Ingalalla Falls and Second Valley Forest on the Fleurieu Peninsula.

This will include the creation of two new walking trails, the installation of toilet facilities, a new carpark and an upgrade of the current trail to make the walk suitable for those with wheelchairs and families with small children.

The nature site at Second Valley Forest on Hay Flat Rd in Hay Flat, is open seven days a week and had more than 48,700 visitors last year.

Avid bushwalker and mountain climber Sef van den Nieuwelaar, who regularly walks the Heysen Trail nearby, says he’s thrilled with the proposed upgrade.

“I’ve always been interested in hiking, it’s a really healthy activity for your mind and your body, you become one with nature and forget about your day-to-day life,” he said.

“[The Falls] are a hidden gem that not many people know about, it’s quite spectacular – if you compare it to other waterfalls in SA, it’s really accessible, but it’s a little bit off the beaten track.”

Victor Harbor local Cara Kaplan has been a regular visitor to Ingalla Falls for years and said the new facilities will encourage more visitors to the area and to the Fleurieu Peninsula.

“It’s a nice close area to go to, the kids love exploring the little creek and the waterfalls… it’s beautiful in winter when the waterfall is running,” Kaplan said.

“I would love an improved walking trail as the current one is quite rocky… though it’s a pretty safe area, you just keep an eye on the kids around the water.”

District Council of Yankalilla Mayor Simon Rothwell said he’s particularly pleased with the amount of support from local youth, who have been major supporters of the upgrade.

“They wanted to see more trails and bike tracks in the forest, so they have been proactively working with us and assisted with advocacy by hosting (State) Ministers out onsite, which has assisted to secure the funding,” he said.

The bathroom facilities will be completed in June of 2022, with the rest of the upgrade planned for competition by mid-2023. New hike and bike ride trails, visitor infrastructure, signage and safety barriers will be introduced later.

Two new multi-use trails, the Wilampa Trail and Jones Journey, have already opened in the Second Valley Forest.

Van den Nieuwelaar said the new facilities will bring more tourists and locals to the area but he hopes it doesn’t ruin the waterfall’s relatively quiet, mediative atmosphere.

“It’s a balancing act to make it attractive, but not too attractive to spoil it,” he said.

“Whenever you have people from interstate and overseas, and you want to take them to a nice spot, I genuinely think the Fleurieu is the best area.

“It’s unspoilt, true Australian bush and you don’t have to travel that far. It’s perfect,” he said.

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