Adelaide Walking Trails
From the coast to the hills, there is a variety of spectacular Adelaide walking trails to enjoy. Whether you are a beginner or advanced hiker there is a trail in Adelaide to suit everyone. This guide will take you through all the best places to hike in Adelaide.
The Green Adventurers acknowledge and pay respect to the Kaurna people as the custodians of the lands and waters of the Adelaide region. We pay respect to elders both past, present future Traditional Custodians and Elders of this nation and the continuation of cultural, spiritual and educational practices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. We acknowledge and respect the Kaurna people’s cultural, spiritual, physical and emotional connection with their land, waters and community.
Where to hike in Adelaide?
- Morialta Conservation Park
- The Heysen Trail
- Hallett Cove Coastal Trail
- Mt Lofty
- Deep Creek
- Brown Hill Creek Loop
- Waite Conservation Park
- Black Hill Conservation Park
- Valley of the Bandicoots
- Chambers Gully
- Linear Park
- Mt Crawford & Kuitpo
- Onkaparinga National Park
Morialta Conservation Park
Morialta Conservations Park – With impressive rock formations, an abundance of wildlife, beautiful waterfalls & a variety of trails, Morialta Conservation Park is our number 1 pick for hiking in Adelaide. There is a good chance you will see a koala so don’t forget to look up! There are a variety of hikes with a range of length and difficulty. The Second Falls hike is my favourite but for a low impact stroll try the First Falls Walk. The Plauteau hike is great to see the Giant’s Cave & stunning views from the top of the first falls. This is one of my favourite place to take photos in Adelaide.
The Heysen Trail
The Heysen Trail is one of the world’s great walking trails and the longest dedicated walking trail in Australia.The 1,200 km trail starts at Cape Jervis and winds along the beaches and sea cliffs of the south coast before passing over rolling hills and rural landscapes of the Fleurieu Peninsula and Mt Lofty Ranges. One of my favourite stretches of the Heysen Trail is between Mt Lofty & Bridgewater. This 7.5km walk winds through the beautiful Adelaide Hills farms & the township of Piccadilly. I highly recommend a well earned drink at the Bridgewater Inn.
Hallett Cove Coastal Trail
Coastal Trail – Marino Rocks to Hallett Cove 5.1km each way.
The coastal breeze will cool you down as you work up a sweat on the winding trail that winds its way along one of the most picturesque places in South Australia. The Sugarloaf is a geological formation that tells the tale of millions of years of history. This area was once an inland sea and fossils of sea creatures can be seen. There are a lot of staircases on this walk so it can be a hard one on the knees. For more gorgeous coastal spots, check out my Adelaide Beaches Guide.
Mt Lofty – You can’t write about Adelaide walking trails without mentioning the famous Mt Lofty. The hike from Waterfall Gully to Adelaide’s highest point is the most popular walk in Adelaide. The trail is quite steep and takes between 1.5-3 hours return depending on your fitness level.
Bandicoots can sometimes be spotted on this trail and at the lookout. If you see a rat-like creature, take a closer look, it might just be a bandicoot!
Deep Creek Conservation Park – Although it’s not really part of Adelaide, it’s a short drive and offers some breath-taking scenery so I couldn’t not include it. The Deep Creek circuit hike loop is the most challenging hike I have done in South Australia. This 10.9km trail isn’t a huge distance but due to the challenging terrain it can take around 7 hours. When the trail reaches the coastline there are some very steep inclines & declines. It’s more like rock climbing in parts so not for the faint hearted. The crossing of the river requires shoes off so it’s a good chance to cool down. The water can be very cold!
Another option is to take the trail to Blowhole Beach. Spring is the perfect time to see the rolling green hills and you might spy some kangaroos with joeys in their pouches.
Brown Hill Creek Loop
Brown Hill Creek Loop – This is one of the longer walks you will find in Adelaide. Starting with a shady walk near Brown Hill Creek, you will then find a path that will take you past rolling hills, an abandoned silver mine and up to the ridge line that offers fantastic views of the city. This loop goes through the Waite Conservation Park and back down to Brown Hill Creek. This trail is quite steep in parts so medium to high fitness levels are recommended. Brownhill Creek is also a fantastic place to stay if you are looking for somewhere to stay in Adelaide that doesn’t feel like you are staying in a city. Check out the Brownhill Creek Tourist Park.
Waite Conservation Park
Waite Conservation Park – The views of the sprawling city of Adelaide from the Waite loop are magnificent. This walk starts out with a tough climb but then settles into an enjoyable walk with stunning views.
If you are interested in Geology there is a site where you can see an ancient seabed which is now upright. A tectonic collision 300 million years ago caused the earth to fold and create the Mt Lofty & Flinders Ranges and this significant site is a great place to see the evidence.
Black Hill Conservation Park
Black Hill Conservation Park – The Black Hill Summit Hike is my pick. This 4.2km loop takes around 2 hours to complete and has some magnificent views of the Adelaide city. This park is a great spot to see native wildflowers in the spring including many species of orchid. While visiting the park, take a walk through the landscaped Wildflower Garden that dates back to the late 1940s. The name Black Hill is due to the appearance of the sheoak tree which matures to a dark rusty, almost black colour, as summer progresses.
Valley of the Bandicoots – Aldgate Valley Nature Walk
Valley of the Bandicoots promised a good chance to see one of Australia’s native animals – the Southern Brown Bandicoot. Unfortunately when I did this trail I didn’t spot one. I was disappointed to see people walking their dog in this area which is strictly prohibited. I hope you have better luck spotting one than I did. Keep your eyes peeled at dusk when they come out to forage.
Chambers Gully is a moderate hike which can be completed in 2-3 hours. The 9.6 km loop has beautiful views of the city of Adelaide & coastline. There is a good chance of spotting kangaroos, koalas and plenty of birds like lorikeets & kookaburras.
Linear Park – This trail is a great place to take a stroll and take in the views of the Adelaide CBD. Linear park follows the Torrens River from Athelstone, through to Adelaide CBD, and then to the river mouth at West Beach. There are trails on both sides of the rivers for much of the river length, connected by numerous bridges.
Mt Crawford & Kuitpo
Mt Crawford & Kuitpo – These two pine forests in the Adelaide Hills are a wonderful place to explore if you want a low-effort stroll. I had the time of my life searching for the cute mushrooms that appear in amongst the rows of pine trees. Late September is a good time for mushroom foraging in the Adelaide Hills.
DISCLAIMER – PLEASE DO NOT PICK MUSHROOMS TO EAT UNLESS YOU KNOW WHAT YOU ARE DOING. IT CAN BE DEADLY IF YOU EAT A POISONOUS VARIETY
Onkaparinga National Park
The Onkaparinga National Park is centered around South Australia’s second-longest river. The Onkaparinga River is known as Ngangkiparri or Ngangkiparingga (“place of the women’s river”) in the language of the Kaurna people.
Locals Recommendation – Punchbowl Link Trail
“When hiking the punchbowl link trail, we checked out the punchbowl look out first, and then walked down to Punchbowl waterhole. It was about a 5.5km return! Very quiet, peaceful with the constant sound of the waterfall down the bottom. We saw kangaroos, Koalas and Possums!
The last part down to the waterhole was quite steep, and quite a moderate hike as expected when walking down a gorge. You can even go for a swim down at the bottom!”By Ellie Portlock – Follow Her Instagram
For other trail options in Onkaparinga Park – get all the info from Walking SA.
Adelaide Walking Trails – Resources
I recommend checking out these awesome resources when planning your walks.
All Trails – App with lots of walking trail info.
Strava – Fantastic for tracking your stats and fitness achievements.
Walking SA – The ultimate guide to walking in South Australia.
Maps.me – Fully offline maps! Great for off the beaten track.
Enjoy your walking in Adelaide!
Thanks for checking out my guide! I hope you get out and enjoy all of the fantastic walking trails in Adelaide. Let me know your favourite in the comments!
If you’re ready for a beach session after a hike check out my Adelaide Beaches Guide.