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Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Mt. Lofty Summit, South Australia

As high as you can go in the Adelaide Hills!

The Mount Lofty Ranges are the hills ( to call them mountains would be an exaggeration!) that run along the coast and are the boundary to the Adelaide suburban spread on the east of the city.

The highest peak in the Mt. Lofty Ranges is called M. Lofty (original name!) It was named by Matthew Flinders, who South Australian school children all learn about, as he's the explorer who circumnavigated Australia and mapped the coastline of South Australia. And named the things that he saw, including the highest peak in a mountain (well hill) range.



The Mt. Lofty summit is a viewing area to gaze upon the landscape below, it's also a very popular destination for the hardy hikers who do the walk up the hill. 


The obelisk was placed on the summit in 1885, before it was built a cairn was placed on the summit as it was used as a trig point for the surveyors when Adelaide (a planned city) was laid out. The obelisk was built in 1885 to do the same job. (More research!) Then in 1902 it was dedicated to Matthew Flinders who on the 23rd of March 1802 named Mt. Lofty. (I read the plaque!) During World War II access to the summit for the public was blocked as the obelisk was considered an important navigation device. Nowadays children climb up and down its base!



Looking across the Adelaide plain, the green area by the sea on the left is the open space that is Adelaide airport, unusual for a city airport in that it's in the suburbs rather than out in the open countryside.



The Summit cafe, on the left and the gift shop and tourist information on the right. The original cafe on the summit was destroyed in the Ash Wednesday bushfires in 1983, and eventually a much better facility for visitors was built. The cafe makes a very nice hot chocolate for those cold winter's days!


The fire lookout tour as seen from the carpark. The tower is manned during the fire season to spot fires in the surrounding hills and send out the alarm.


This sign really made me laugh. Someone stole the parking meter machines, there were 2 of them! So parking was free!



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