Mount Lofty

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This article is about the South Australian mountain. For other meanings, see Mount Lofty (disambiguation).
Mount Lofty
Mount Lofty is located in South Australia
Mount Lofty
Mount Lofty
South Australia, Australia
Elevation 727 m (2,385 ft)
Range Mount Lofty Ranges
Coordinates 34°58′S 138°42′E / 34.967°S 138.700°E / -34.967; 138.700Coordinates: 34°58′S 138°42′E / 34.967°S 138.700°E / -34.967; 138.700
First ascent April 1831
Collet Barker
North view of the Summit from the Fire Tower
View SE across the Piccadilly Valley from the Mount Lofty Scenic Route. The summit of Mount Barker, 22 km away, is visible on the horizon.

Mount Lofty (34°58′S 138°42′E / 34.967°S 138.700°E / -34.967; 138.700, elevation 727 metres AHD) is the highest point in the southern Mount Lofty Ranges. It is located about 15 km east of the centre of the city of Adelaide in South Australia, and has panoramic views of the city and the Adelaide plains to the west, and of the Picadilly Valley to the east. It was first climbed by a European when explorer Collet Barker climbed it in April 1831, almost seven years before Adelaide was settled. It was named by Matthew Flinders on 23 March 1802 during his circumnavigation of Australia.[1]

The Summit was closed to the public during the Second World War, when the obelisk was considered an indispensable navigation assistant. A flashing strobe was fitted to the top to improve visibility at night. This strobe was removed after the war, but then re-installed in the 1990s, when the obelisk was repainted and restored during construction of the new kiosk.

Access to the summit can be gained by road from the South Eastern Freeway at Crafers, or from the eastern suburbs via Greenhill Road and the Mount Lofty Scenic Route. The more enthusiastic can walk up the gully from Waterfall Gully, in the Cleland Conservation Park or from Chambers Gully. The summit provides panoramic views across Adelaide, and a cafe-restaurant and gift shop. These are relatively new due to protracted disputes over appropriate development following the destruction of the old cafe in the 1983 Ash Wednesday fires.

On the ridge near the summit are three television transmission towers (the northernmost being that of the ABC), and the Mount Lofty Fire Tower operated by the Country Fire Service.

This is becoming a popular spot for tourists to Adelaide and also for cyclists coming up the old Mount Barker Road through Eagle on the Hill; this section of highway has now been superseded by the Heysen Tunnels.

Light snowfalls are not uncommon on the summit, although it is possible for Mount Lofty to go two or three years without any snowfall. Mount Lofty is the coldest location in Adelaide, during winter months the temperature will not surpass 3-4 degrees Celsius some days. It is the most common location for snow in South Australia, with other rare snowfalls in other parts of the Mount Lofty Ranges and Northern South Australia.

Historic houses[edit]

Summit Road, Mt Lofty, was previously one of the most well-known addresses in South Australia, with the summer houses of several prominent figures being located there. These include:

View of Adelaide at night from the summit.
View of Adelaide CBD during at sunset from the summit.


  1. ^ Flinders, Matthew (1966) [1814]. A Voyage to Terra Australis : undertaken for the purpose of completing the discovery of that vast country, and prosecuted in the years 1801, 1802, and 1803 in His Majesty's ship the Investigator, and subsequently in the armed vessel Porpoise and Cumberland Schooner; with an account of the shipwreck of the Porpoise, arrival of the Cumberland at Mauritius, and imprisonment of the commander during six years and a half in that island. (Facsimile ed.). Adelaide; Facsimile reprint of: London : G. and W. Nicol, 1814 ed. In two volumes, with an Atlas (3 volumes): Libraries Board of South Australia. p. 251. Retrieved 4 January 2014. 
  2. ^ "Explore Mt Lofty House". Mt Lofty House - Adelaide Hills - Grand Mercure. Retrieved 6 May 2013. 
  3. ^ Amanda Ward (February 2008). "Eurilla rises again". SA Life Magazine, vol. 5, no. 2. pp. 32–43. Retrieved 17 June 2012. 
  4. ^ Fayette Gosse. "Elder, Sir Thomas (1818–1897)". Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University. Retrieved 6 May 2013.