Ingalalla Falls

Hay Flat / Fleurieu Peninsula / Normanville, South Australia, Australia

About Ingalalla Falls


Hiking Distance: 600m round trip
Suggested Time: 15-30 minutes

Date first visited: 2006-11-21
Date last visited: 2017-11-13

Waterfall Latitude: -35.53126
Waterfall Longitude: 138.34274

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Ingalalla Falls (also referred to as the Ingalalla Waterfalls) was one of the few named waterfalls in the state of South Australia, which was a state with the reputation of being the driest in the country.

On our first visit back in November 2006, it was one of the casualties of the nearly decade-long drought that really hit most of southeastern Australia.

Ingalalla_Falls_051_11132017 - Ingalalla Falls
Ingalalla Falls

Thus, it didn’t really stand a chance as it was trickling and wasn’t much to see.

Julie and I then came back 11 years later under more benign conditions, and that was when we saw Waterfall Creek with enough flow for a more satisfactory waterfalling visit.

The picture you see above reflected how the last 10-15m of the waterfall looked like under such conditions, which earned it a higher scenic rating than the 0.5 we had given it in the past.

Hiking to Ingalalla Falls

From the signed car park and picnic area (see directions below) we followed a short 300m track leading to the base of the Ingalalla Falls.

Ingalalla_Falls_007_11132017 - Seeing water in the bridge over Waterfall Creek was a good sign that the Ingalalla Falls should be flowing
Seeing water in the bridge over Waterfall Creek was a good sign that the Ingalalla Falls should be flowing

The short track descended past a bridge over Waterfall Creek, then briefly followed alongside the right side of the creek before going through an attractively wide and grassy clearing.

Just beyond the clearing, the track essentially ended right at a rocky area at the bottom of the waterfall.

However, the falls couldn’t be cleanly seen without some scrambling to get onto the middle of Waterfall Creek or to the other side for a more angled view.

The presence of the large rocks hinted at rock falls from the past, which made us fully aware of the steep terrain that also gave rise to the waterfall itself in addition to the hazards.

Ingalalla_Falls_066_11132017 - Picnic tables at a small clearing along the Ingalalla Falls Trail
Picnic tables at a small clearing along the Ingalalla Falls Trail

This excursion could take as little as 15-30 minutes depending on how fast you walk and how long you linger at the falls itself.

The Hidden Upper Tiers of Ingalalla Falls

During that second visit to the falls, I noticed that there were hidden tiers further upstream from the main drop you see pictured above.

I actually attempted to get a cleaner look at the upper tiers so I scrambled up a very steep and eroded track that quickly degenerated into a very dicey scramble.

Even when I got high enough to be at eye level of one of the upper waterfalls, I never really got a clean look at it due to trees on the steep slope obstructing the views.

Ingalalla_Falls_063_11132017 - This was about as good of a view of one of the upper tiers of the Ingalalla Falls that I was going to get from the dangerous scramble
This was about as good of a view of one of the upper tiers of the Ingalalla Falls that I was going to get from the dangerous scramble

The informal scrambling path continued further up the cliffs towards its top (well above the Ingalalla Falls’ hidden upper tiers).

However, the scramble was increasingly steeper and more exposed to drop offs (i.e. more dangerous) the higher up I went.

So I was content to carefully head back down and not assume any more risk to my safety.

In hindsight, it probably wasn’t worth making the attempt at going up the scrambling path, and the difficulty rating on this page assumes no additional scrambling was involved.

Agricultural Runoff

Ingalalla_Falls_048_11132017 - Direct look at the Ingalalla Falls with some kind of foam building on the brownish plunge pool possibly polluted with agricultural runoff
Direct look at the Ingalalla Falls with some kind of foam building on the brownish plunge pool possibly polluted with agricultural runoff

Finally, we noticed that the plunge pool beneath Ingalalla Falls had a bit of a smell as well as some brownish foam.

Having seen this phenomenon before in more developed suburbs like Paradise Falls back at home in California, we knew it was runoff pollution.

However, in this instance, given the agricultural nature of the Hay Flat vicinity, we suspected Waterfall Creek had a significant amount of agricultural runoff.

Therefore, it didn’t seem wise to swim or cool off in the water at this waterfall without risk of bacterial infection.

Authorities

Ingalalla Falls resides in Yankalilla Council near Normanville, South Australia. It is administered by the South Australian Forestry Corporation (ForestrySA). For information or inquiries about the area as well as current conditions, visit their website.

Ingalalla_Falls_006_11132017 - The short Ingalalla Falls Track traversing this bridge over Waterfall Creek as seen during our November 2017 visit
Ingalalla_Falls_008_11132017 - Julie on the track to Ingalalla Falls shortly after the crossing of Waterfall Creek during our November 2017 visit, where the path meandered amongst some gum trees
Ingalalla_Falls_012_11132017 - Julie traversing through an attractive grassy clearing with a couple of inviting picnic tables en route to Ingalalla Falls during our November 2017 visit
Ingalalla_Falls_015_11132017 - Julie figuring out how best to traverse this jumble of big rocks to gain a better view of Ingalalla Falls on our November 2017 visit
Ingalalla_Falls_025_11132017 - View of the Ingalalla Falls from the other side of Waterfall Creek on our November 2017 visit
Ingalalla_Falls_029_11132017 - Contextual view of Ingalalla Falls from the other side of Waterfall Creek during our November 2017 visit
Ingalalla_Falls_046_11132017 - Direct look at Ingalalla Falls in November 2017 flow
Ingalalla_Falls_057_11132017 - Looking up towards some hidden upper tiers of the Ingalalla Waterfalls during my November 2017 visit
Ingalalla_Falls_059_11132017 - This very steep scrambling path appeared to promise a better view of the hidden upper tiers of the Ingalalla Waterfalls, but it turned out to be quite a dangerous scramble (during my November 2017 visit)
Ingalalla_Falls_067_11132017 - Context of a couple of walkers who were the only other people we saw during our visit to the Ingalalla Falls in November 2017
Ingalalla_Falls_008_jx_11202006 - What was left of Ingalalla Falls when we first saw it in November 2006
Ingalalla_Falls_009_jx_11202006 - Portrait view of a not-so-well Ingalalla Falls on our first visit in November 2006
Ingalalla_Falls_013_jx_11202006 - This clearing along the Ingalalla Falls Trail would've been a nice spot for a picnic if not for the fire-prone conditions of our November 2006 visit

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Julie and I visited Ingalalla Falls from a pair of different approaches, which I’ll describe in this section.

The first approach was from the Adelaide CBD to the north as part of a long out-and-back half-day excursion.

The second approach was from the south after leaving the Cape Jervis ferry (one of the Sea Link connections to Kangaroo Island) and taking a short detour to the falls on the way to Victor Harbor.

Driving from Adelaide CBD to Ingalalla Falls

For the approach from Adelaide CBD, we headed southwest on the Anzac Hwy (A5) towards the A2 (Gallipolli Ramp) for about 2.4km then followed it about 8km towards the A13 (or M2, which wasn’t there when we first made our visit back in 2006).

Eventually, we left the A13 for the B23 near the suburb of Old Noarlunga (roughly 21km from the start of the M2).

Then, we continued south on the B23 for nearly 25km towards a junction with the B34 at Myponga.

We then kept right at this junction to continue heading southwest towards Yankalilla.

Ingalalla_Falls_004_jx_11202006 - Signed turnoff for the Ingalalla Falls
Signed turnoff for the Ingalalla Falls

We remained on the B23 to pass through Yankalilla then turned left onto Hay Flat Rd in Normanville (roughly 17km southwest of the junction with the B34 near Myponga).

Note that there was a sign for Ingalalla Waterfalls at the start of Hay Flat Rd.

Next, we followed Hay Flat Rd for about 10km to the signed turnoff on the right for Ingalalla Falls.

Overall, this 86km drive took us about 90 minutes depending on traffic conditions.

Ingalalla_Falls_005_jx_11202006 - A gate blocking vehicular access to Ingalalla Falls due to a total fire ban during our November 2006 visit
A gate blocking vehicular access to Ingalalla Falls due to a total fire ban during our November 2006 visit

There was a gate at the entrance to the Ingalalla Falls turnoff, which may be closed as it was on our first visit due to a total fire ban.

Aside from such extenuating circumstances causing its closure, the reserve would typically be open.

There was no fee to enter the reserve in either of our visits.

Driving from Cape Jarvis ferry terminal to Ingalalla Falls

For the approach from Cape Jervis ferry terminal (which we took on our second visit), we drove east on the B23 for about 12km then turned right onto Cole Rd in the town of Delamere.

Ingalalla_Falls_002_11132017 - The car park for Ingalalla Falls
The car park for Ingalalla Falls

We then followed Cole Rd for about 15.5km to the Hay Flat Rd, where we then turned left to go north.

There was a sign for the Ingalalla Waterfalls at this road junction.

We followed the partially unsealed Hay Flat Rd for about 4km, where after a steep paved and narrow downhill stretch, we turned left for the gate at the entrance to the Second Valley Forest Reserve.

It took us just under 30 minutes to make the drive from Cape Jervis to the Ingalalla Falls from this southern approach.

Showing the falls and the hidden upper tier in the beginning before scrambling over to the middle of the plunge pool for a more direct look

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Tagged with: second valley, fleurieu, kangaroo island, normanville, yankalilla, adelaide, hat flat, south australia, adelaide, australia, waterfall, waterfall creek, forestrysa



Visitor Comments:

Many A Delighful Day at Ingalalla Falls September 28, 2014 2:31 am by _Anonymous198 - As a previous resident of the area I visited the Falls many times. I found the most enjoyable time was during October when the sun was not too hot, the grass had not yet died off and the water was still running from the winter rains. We cooled our drinks in the brook which had… ...Read More
INGALA FALLS (Normanville South Australia) March 27, 2012 12:07 pm by Roger Foster - I was sad to see this miserable photo of ingala falls without water, it was like that a month ago but then as they say the rains came and gave me this opportunity to get a few pic's of this beautiful part of South Australia Enjoy Roger Foster ...Read More
Haunted Ingalalla Falls? (from Former Normanville Local) March 19, 2012 5:01 am by Christopher Marshall - A friend of mine emailed some photos to me, taken at a party that was taking place there. I saw whisps of smoke, yet no one had been smoking. After reading about this place, I believe it may be haunted. ...Read More

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Visitor Reviews of this Waterfall:

Ingalalla Falls October 11, 2010 8:20 am by Simon Wills - I have recently found a passion for photography, so I have been touring around South Australia with my wife, practicing away and came across these Ingalalla Falls. We went not long after a small amount of rain had fallen, maybe a day before, and it was mid winter. So attached are a couple of pics… ...Read More
Ingalalla Falls September 23, 2010 12:03 am by Khristina - Some friends and I visited the waterfall in September 2010 after a lot of rain and it was flowing beautifully. The scenery was green and lush...it was a lovely visit. Khristina ...Read More
pic of Ingalalla Falls July 5, 2009 10:40 am by Jim Glasgow - Hi there, last weekend my partner and I enjoyed a lovely picnic lunch after taking the attached picture (of Ingalalla Falls). We were lucky enough to get the pic between rain showers. ...Read More

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