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  • Adelaide
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  • The Best Walks in Adelaide: Scenic Hikes to Get Back to Nature

The Best Walks in Adelaide: Scenic Hikes to Get Back to Nature

From picturesque lookouts to waterfalls and rockpools, the best walks in Adelaide’s are a nature-lover's dream.

Mount Osmond Reserve (Image Credit: Jack Timberlake)

You don’t have to wander too far from home for a nature-bound adventure. Adelaide is surrounded by reserves and national parks that are overflowing with native bushland and wildlife, and they’re all just begging to be explored by you. Set out on foot to walk a network of hiking trails that lead you to impressive lookouts that take in views of Adelaide's gorges and coastlines.

The waterfalls and rockpools you may stumble across will leave you feeling like you are truly away from it all. Lace up your boots and get your steps up with some of the best walks in Adelaide.

Adelaide Botanic Gardens

Adelaide Botanic Gardens

There’s no need to head out of town to experience one of Adelaide’s most renowned walks. Framing the city, 50 hectares of maintained gardens display a diverse range of plants from Australia and abroad are found at the Adelaide Botanic Garden. You can go it alone, do sections at a time, or join a free guided walk that lasts for 1.5 hours and is filled with fascinating tidbits of information. It’s a wonderful way to experience Adelaide and get back in touch with nature.

North Terrace, Adelaide

Distance: Varies

Time: Guided tour 1.5 hours

Deep Creek Circuit

Deep Creek Circuit Hike, Deep Creek Conservation Park

A trail for the experienced hiker, this 12km circuit offers sweeping views across the postcard-worthy Deep Creek Conservation Park for those up to the challenge. Navigating your way past dramatic rock features, through sprawling bushland and along the coast, Deep Creek Circuit gives you the opportunity to cross creeks and chase waterfalls. The dense and varied vegetation is also home to many native animals - keep your eyes peeled for western grey kangaroos, short-beaked echidnas and 100 species of birds soaring overhead.  If you're looking for something a little less strenuous, check out the Deep Creek Waterfall Hike from Tent Rock Road for the key highlights.

Deep Creek, South Australia

Distance: 12km

Time: 7 hours

Mount Osmond Reserve (Image Credit: Jack Timberlake)

Mount Osmond Reserve

Take a hike and get lost! Escape to The Hills and wander through lush greens and forests before finding yourself on top of the world (well, Adelaide), with an absolutely stunning view over the city. With various paths available at Mount Osmond Reserve, you have the choice between 2.2km trails right up to an 11km loop through beautiful pine and eucalypt forest. 

City of Burnside, Mount Osmond Reserve

Distance: 2.2km trails or an 11km loop

Mt Lofty Botanic Gardens

Mt Lofty Botanic Gardens

Experience the leaves changing to vibrant reds, greens and browns as you take a casual stroll or a hike through one of the many trails of Mt Lofty Botanic Gardens. Some of the most popular and best walks in Adelaide’s include the beautiful Lakeside Trail – a scenic loop of the garden’s main lake, and the Valley View Walk, which has impressive views of the vineyards, orchards and garden. The Botanic Gardens also forms part of the famed Heysen Trail, a 1,200km walk that runs from Cape Jervis to the Flinders Ranges.

16 Lampert Road, Crafers

Distance: Varies

Time: Varies

Three Falls Grand Hike

Three Falls Grand Hike, Morialta Conservation Park

Within just 20-minutes of Adelaide City, Morialta Conservation Park has an impressive series of walking trails that takes in native bushland, waterfalls and a gorge. Teeming with wildlife, you would be forgiven for thinking that you are hours from the city. A favourite among avid hikers and trail runners is the Three Falls Grand Hike. A 7.3km round-trip, the trail hugs the edge of the gorge (which boasts views of the cliffs) and wanders past Fourth Creek, First Falls, Second Falls and Third Falls. 

Morialta Falls Road, Woodforde

Distance: 7.3km

Time: 3.5 hours

Waterfall Gully. Image credit: Walking SA

Waterfall Gully to Mt Lofty Summit Hike

If you had to narrow it down to one, this is the best walk in Adelaide. The Waterfall Gully to Mt Lofty Summit Hike attracts all kinds – hiking enthusiasts to trail runners to casual walkers. Although there are plenty of lookouts along the way, nothing quite beats the views from the summit. Strap on your hiking shoes because there are some steep sections along the trail, but the effort is well worth it. Start at Waterfall Gully Road and follow the signs (or people) along the trail.

Waterfall Gully Carpark

Distance: 7.8km

Time: 2.5 hours (return)

Alligator Gorge Ring Route. Image credit: South Australia

Alligator Gorge Ring Route, Mount Remarkable National Park

Mount Remarkable National Park may be a 3.5-hour drive away from Adelaide, but the Alligator Gorge Ring Route will make the road trip well worth it. The best time to visit is during spring when the wildflowers are in full bloom. The trail itself runs the full length of Alligator Gorge and through the Narrows – a gorge a couple of metres wide that stretches for several hundred metres. It also includes The Terraces, a series of platforms which the creek flows down.

Willmington, South Australia

Distance: 8.9km

Time: 4 hours return

The Coast Trail

The Coast Trail, Adelaide

The Coast Trail is a 70km stretch of walking and cycling paths that hug Adelaide’s coastal foreshore, from North Haven to Sellicks Beach. Passing through beachside suburbs where cafes and restaurants capitalise on their prime waterfront position, and parkland gives way to sandy shores. This is definitely one of the best walks in Adelaide you don’t want to miss. It is a relatively flat, easy walk that can be completed over several days or a weekend, or just in smaller sections depending on where you’d like to start and finish – Glenelg to Brighton (4.2km) or Henley Square to Glenelg (7.5km) are our picks.

Beginning at Mentone Parade, O’Sullivan Beach

Distance: 70km (one way)

Time: Varies

Yellowtail Loop

Yellowtail Loop, Anstey Hill Recreation Park

Yet another beautiful walk surrounded by native bushland and wildlife on the outskirts of Adelaide city, Yellowtail Loop at Anstey Hill Recreation Park is a well-worn trail that passes many of the parks features, such as the ruins of Newmans Nursery. There are some steep climbs, great views of Adelaide Plains, and is dog-friendly (on-leash). Plus, eight mountain biking trails cater to varying skill levels. 

Perserverance Road, Tea Tree Gully

Distance: 7.5km

Time: 2-3 hours

Gorge Hike. Image credit: Onkaparinga Now

Gorge Hike, Onkaparinga River National Park

Just south of Adelaide, the Onkaparinga River National Park is a hiker's dream. Teeming with walking trails of all skill levels, you can traverse across clifftops and down into rock pools, our pick though, is the Gorge Hike. It’s a hard walk but well worth the effort. From the Sundews Lookout, where you get views of the rocky outcrops and the river flowing through the gorge, take a steep descent to the bottom of the gorge and follow the river downstream before returning up to the top of the ridge. 

Port Nourlunga South, South Australia

Distance: 6km

Time: 4 hours

Beaumont Circuit. Image credit: Walking SA

Beaumont Circuit, Burnside

One of the greenest and most lush suburbs in Adelaide, Burnside’s network of reserves and parklands are a convenient place to explore when you’re not wanting to venture too far from the city. From Hayward Drive and Caithness Avenue, follow the trail up the steep hill into Mount Osmond Reserve through bushland that opens out to views of Adelaide. There are a few options; follow the trail around the contours of the hill or take a shortcut via the fire trail. As far as hiking trails in Adelaide go, this is one popular path thanks to the views and convenient location.

7 Travers Drive, Beaumont

Distance: 3.5km

Time: 1.5 hours

River Torrens Linear Park Trail

River Torrens Linear Park Trail

Strap on your walking shoes and hit the relatively easy River Torrens Linear Park Trail. From Athelstone in Adelaide’s east, follow the river for 30km through Adelaide city and over to West Beach/Henley Beach. Along the way, there are plenty of places to take a rest – playgrounds, cafes and picnic spots. A popular trail used by walkers, runners and cyclists. Our advice? Pack your swimmers if you’re walking on a hot day for a cooling dip in the beach at the end of the 30km stretch.

Athelstone, Adelaide

Distance: 30km

Time: 5 hours

Hallett Cove. Image credit: Department for Environment & Water

The Marion Coastal Walk

For one of the best walks in Adelaide with clifftop views of the coast and ocean, the Marion Coastal Walk is brilliant. Get your workout in without realising how hard you’re working – you'll be too busy taking in the stunning scenes around you and time will fly by. The Hallet Cove Boardwalk is a moderate walk as there are quite a few steps to climb, it’s 5km one way and will take you up and down the rugged cliffs and gullies as you go – be sure to have your camera ready for this one.

59B The Cove Road, Marino

Distance: 5km one way

Time: 1.5- 2 hours

Aldgate Valley Nature Walk

Aldgate Valley Nature Walk

You can start this 7km trail in Aldgate or Mylor, and whichever end you start from, be sure to keep an eye out for the elusive brown bandicoot who calls this reserve home. There are cafes and restaurants in both towns at the end of the trails, so you can stop in for some pre-hike fuel, or reward yourseld with a coffee ad a treat once the walk is over. You will have earned it after making your way through the undulating path that puts you in the middle of rugged bushland.

Aldgate or Mylor Trailhead

Distance: 7km one way

Time: 3.5 hours return

Chambers Gully & Sugarloaf Circuit (Image Credit: Walking SA)

Sugarloaf Circuit, Chambers Gully

This circuit is suited to most fitness levels, with the 5.8km circuit taking around 2.5-3 hours to complete. Sugarloaf Circuit is a calm walk through relatively flat bushland, which rewards hikers with city and coastal views throughout the journey. If you are really lucky, you may spot a koala above or a kangaroo jumping by in the bush. This is a great option for warmer days as Chambers and Woolshed Gully offer a cool sanctuary to escape into.

67 Waterfall Gully Road, Waterfall Gully

Distance: 5.8km

Time: 3 hours

That’s it for our list of best walks in Adelaide, and take it from us, we are just skimming the surface. If you’re looking for more inspo on what to do in Adelaide, then be sure to check out the best places for lunch in Adelaide, and our favourite things to do in Adelaide.

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