35 of the Best Walks in Adelaide (Beautiful Hikes)

Coming up with this extensive list of the best walks in Adelaide took me a while to settle on but now that it’s finally done I’m half convinced that I’ve done a pretty good job.

Yeah sure, I may have missed out on someone’s favourite Adelaide walk or hike which always has the potential to upset someone. When it comes down to it though keep in mind that this is my own list of the best walks in Adelaide!

Even Adelaideans would probably agree that the city of Adelaide, which is the capital city of South Australia isn’t as popular with tourists as the likes of the eastern states of Australia where you’ll find Sydney and Brisbane.

Adelaide really does fly under the radar and is often skipped or overlooked, especially by international tourists who have limited time when visiting Australia.

Australian tourists from other states even make jokes about Adelaide as being a bit of a backwater.

One thing’s for sure though, Adelaide has many beautiful scenic places to discover with great walking and trekking adventures if you know where to go. Believe it or not but Adelaide is a walker’s paradise!

I’m sure you’ll want to go on at least a few of these walks if you’re in Adelaide. Anyone actually living in Adelaide who considers themselves a keen walker or hiker should really take the time to go on all of these wonderful walks. It’s a great way to keep fit!

One of the most enjoyable things to do in Adelaide or any city is to go for a walk in beautiful surroundings. I’ve done all of these hikes and walks in Adelaide and I can honestly say that you’ll be glad to have walked each one of them given the chance. Here’s where to go.

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Best Walks in Adelaide (Waterfalls)

Everyone loves a good waterfall, so let’s take a look to see what Adelaide has on offer. I will admit that Adelaide doesn’t have the best waterfalls in Australia. I’ll give that accolade to Queensland. Even so Adelaide does have a few walks where you’ll see some impressive waterfalls worth checking out. Let’s take a look.

1. Three Falls Grand Hike, Morialta Conservation Park

This hike a a beauty. It will take you to three waterfalls known as First Falls, Second Falls and Third Falls inside Morialta Conservation Park.

The first thing I suggest doing when you get there is the very easy walk to the bottom of First Falls where you’ll find a viewing platform. It will take you about 20 minutes to get there.

Best Walks in Adelaide Morialta Falls

When I was there I could see some sort of photo shoot taking place close to the 30m high waterfall. You can just see the girl posing while holding an umbrella in the photo above.

After you’ve checked out the waterfall make your way back and climb up the stairs to the Giants Cave. A sign at the bottom will inform you that there are 89 steps to the cave and 134 steps to the lookout.

Climb the steps to the Giants Cave and take a look inside. The featured image of this post shows walkers making their way up the staircase to the Giants Cave. It looks a bit as if the photo was taken in Tibet somewhere but that’s not the case, it’s in humble Adelaide.

The first time I had a look inside the Giants Cave I was shocked to see an African looking guy sitting all alone eating some food from a plastic container. I could see a table, a couple of chairs, as well as what looked like bags filled with stuff. It looked as if he had made the cave his home. I really thought that he was living inside the cave and it made me feel sad for him. What had the world come to? There’s more to this story which I’ll explain soon.

There’s a viewing platform only a few steps higher, so it’s definitely worth the extra steps to take in the views from the lookout. At this point you have two options. You can continue going up which will lead you to a junction that tees off onto the Three Falls Grand Hike, or you can make your way back down again. If you decide to go down you can then head back to the very start where the Three Fall Grand Hike begins.

Personally, I recommend to continue going up. The path will allow you to turn left not too far away which is the Three Falls Grand Hike trail so it will save you a bit of time.

This will lead you to the top of the First Falls where you can get an awesome view of the waterfall from above.

Looking down from First Morialta Falls

After that you can make your way to Second Falls. There’s a wooden walkway over Second Falls to keep you safe. Some individuals though were seen close to the clifftop edge on the rock face where the water drops down. It looked a bit risky to me and I was happy to take in the awesome views from the bridge platform.

Second Falls Morialta Conservation Park Adelaide

After Second Falls you can turn around or head over to Third Falls. On my way to Third Falls it began pouring with rain so I decided to turn back so I don’t know what I missed.

It was during my return journey when I first discovered that the path teeing off from the Three Falls Hike Track led to the Giants Cave and back down to ground level.

As I passed by the Giants Cave I was pleasantly surprised because this time I saw a photography shoot taking place inside the cave. The guy I thought who was a cave dweller was actually part of a film crew. I breathed a huge sigh of relief. The girl I had previously seen under the waterfall holding the umbrella was dining with a guy at a table while they were being photographed. I never thought to ask what it was all about.

Pro Tip: The Three Falls Grand Hike trail can be accessed by the staircase leading to the Giants Cave. You can either use it at the start or at the end of your hike, or both times if you want.

Start of hike: Morialta Conservation Park. 20 minute drive from the Adelaide CBD.

Hike Distance: 7.5km round trip

Best Walks in Adelaide Verdict: The walk to the first falls at ground level is suitable for everyone including young kids. The Three Falls Grand Hike is what makes it a very beautiful hike. Try visiting Morialta Falls on a nice day after heavy recent rains for the best experience.

2. Waterfall Gully to Mount Lofty Summit

If you only have enough time to see one waterfall in Adelaide then this is the one I recommend.

This is the Adelaide equivalent of hiking to the top of Mount Olympus in Greece. Instead of standing next to the Greek flag on Mount Olympus, you’ll be standing next to a lighthouse at the top of Mount Lofty.

Waterfall Gully is a very popular spot to start the hike. The carpark next to Waterfall Gully can get full very quickly especially on weekends so finding a carpark could be your biggest frustration. Believe me it can be very hard to find on a sunny weekend. Many people even settle on finding a carpark 1km or 2km away by the side of the street on Waterfall Gully Road and then they walk to the main carpark.

From the main carpark you can easily walk to the base of the First waterfall which is only 100m or so away. Here’s a pic of the First Falls.

Hikers posing at Waterfall Gully

The added benefit about this place is that there is a restaurant at the beginning of Waterfall Gully and a cafe/restaurant at the top of Mount Lofty.

This is a fantastic hike to keep you fit. You can to hike to the top of the waterfall and from there you can visit the Second Waterfall, a much smaller waterfall with its own appeal.

The main goal on this walk is to reach Mount Lofty Summit, Adelaide’s highest peak which rises 710m above sea level. Standing on the summit will give you great panoramic views across Adelaide’s city skyline to the coast. It doesn’t give you the best views of the Adelaide city though. I’ll reveal the better ones shortly.

Mount Lofty Summit is where you’ll find a towering white obelisk and the Summit Cafe. The cafe has really good coffee so getting to the top does have its rewards.

Mount Lofty Summit Best Hikes in Adelaide

Pro Tip: If you want to pack in the best bits in the least amount of time then my suggestion would be as follows. Hike up to the top of the First Falls and then visit the Second Falls which isn’t too far away, before going back down again. You can always drive to Mount Lofty Summit if you want.

Start of hiking trail: Waterfall Gully Road, Waterfall Gully. 20 minute drive from Adelaide CBD.

Hike Distance: 7.8km round trip

Best Walks in Adelaide Verdict: This is probably the best walk in Adelaide and it’s very popular for good reason.

3. Sturt River / Sturt Gorge

This is a real hidden gem of a walk in Adelaide. It’s a nature walk at its finest! The added beauty about this walk is that you won’t see to many people around which makes it quite peaceful and soothing, provided you don’t meet the barking dog.

I remember the first time I discovered this walk. As I began the walk I talked to someone briefly who was walking a small dog regarding directions. He told me to keep to the track and to avoid someone’s property as the grouch who owned didn’t like anybody near his property. I was told to stick to the higher path on the left side which at the time I didn’t take much notice.

A little while later I found myself approaching a house in the distance. It seems out of place  compared to the surrounds so I thought that this could be the place. I couldn’t see any other path so I kept on walking. There were a few loud dirt bike riders riding around the place which spoilt the serenity and as I approached the house they stopped in front of it. An older guy who was probably their father was with them. One of them yelled out what I wanted. I told them I going for a walk. He pointed his finger in the other direction telling me to go back and around. I didn’t understand what he meant so I kept on walking towards them.

While this was all happening a mean looking German Shepard was barking at me furiously. The dog ran towards me like he was going to jump on me. I had been warned and now I was probably going to be be bitten. It didn’t look good. The dog got very close to me and gave me some ferocious barks. To add to the attack another smaller dog came running at me to join in the attack, or maybe it was two smaller dogs. The older guy then stuck out his arm and pointed his finger as if telling me to get out. Luckily I didn’t get bitten.

While walking back I figured out that a narrow pathway existed on the left hand side of the road was out of view. I approached the house again and the dog noticed me so the mad barking began all over again. I was a bit hesitant to continue but the narrow path trail was fenced off with wire so I felt a bit safer.

A short while later I found myself in another world of peace and tranquility. The three headed monstrous watchdog Cerebus guarded the entrance to the Underworld in Greek Mythology, so entering this new land felt as if I had entered a new world.

Walking across the Sturt River in Adelaide

Getting to the waterfall will require some clambering over rocks so it will be a little fun adventure to get there. It will require a long walk but when you do reach it, it’s magic!

Best Hike in Adelaide Sturt River

Pro Tip: Follow the Gorge Trail and you’ll eventually reach this waterfall. If you continue to follow the river, at one point the gorge splits into two. Keep to the right side and you will eventually hit a dam wall. This is one epic hike! I’ve done it twice and I can highly recommend it.

Start of hiking trail: Park you car on Riverside Drive, Bedford Park. 25 minute drive from the Adelaide CBD

Hike Distance: 7.5km round trip to the dam wall, which includes seeing the waterfall.

Best Walks in Adelaide Verdict: Hikers with a taste for adventure will love this hike.

Best Walks in Adelaide (Urban Street Walks)

4. Goddess Venus Walk

I describe this walk in more detail in another post telling you about the best things to do in Adelaide. You won’t want to miss out on finding Venus if you’re in Adelaide.

Venus Statue Adelaide

One day I wanted to take a photo of Venus and was hoping to take a photo of a beautiful woman walking past in the background. This was no easy feat and the chances were slim to none.

I was standing next to Venus for about ten minutes when I was about to leave after no such luck. Before I left I thought I would ask Venus for a divine sign. At that moment I was facing North Terrace when all of a sudden I heard some giggling around me. As I turned around to see what was happening I saw two young girls playing around Venus. One of the girls then called out I found you! I found you! That’s when I realised they were playing hide and seek. Did Venus give me a divine sign? I wonder…

Interesting fact: Adelaide has two prominent Venus (Aphrodite), Goddess of love statues. One is located on North Terrace in front of Government House (as seen above), and the other is located inside the Adelaide Botanic Garden.

Pro Tip: Ask Venus for a divine sign and see what happens.

Start of hiking trail:  North Terrace in front of Government House.

Walk Distance: 3km

Best Walks in Adelaide Verdict: I’m pretty sure you will love this walk.

5. Wonderwalls Port Adelaide 

The God of love is normally hard to track down but then again in Port Adelaide you do have a very good chance of finding Cupid (Eros).

Eros Cupid Mural Port Adelaide South Australia

Port Adelaide which is a suburb of Adelaide located next to the Port River has some awesome murals to discover. Many of these artworks were created during the Wonderwalls Festival in Port Adelaide which has been held every couple of years or so.

No one knows how long the artworks will be around for so you’ll always be in for a surprise. I’m hoping Cupid sticks around for a long time to come.

Pro Tip: Foodies will love Port Adelaide. The cafe next to Hart’s Mill is worth visiting for a coffee to reenergise after all the walking around.

Start of walk:  Port Adelaide Lighthouse.

Walk Distance: 1-3km

Best Walks in Adelaide Verdict: Awesome walk.

6. Hahndorf Town – Main Street Walk

This charming Bavarian town located in the Adelaide Hills is where many Adelaide locals take interstate or overseas visitors for a great day out. Actually it’s a bit of an excuse to visit Hahndorf because you can visit this town over and over again.

Hahndorf Town Garden South Australia

Walking up and down the Main Street of Hahndorf is a real treat for foodies. This is one of those walks where instead of burning calories you will likely gain them with all the delicious food on offer. You can easily keep going back to this town just to eat, it’s that good!

Pro Tip: Autumn is a great time to visit Hahndorf as the tree leaves take on a beautiful reddish orange colour.

Start of walk:  Hahndorf Main Street. 40 minute drive from Adelaide CBD

Walk Distance: 2-3km

Best Walks in Adelaide Verdict: A great place to spend a relaxing afternoon.

Best Walks in Adelaide (Beach & Coastal Views)

Who doesn’t love the beach? Here are my favourite walks in Adelaide with stunning views of the ocean.

7. Marion Coastal Walkway (Marion to Hallet Cove)

This walk is quite challenging because there are countless steps you need to step on so you need to be pretty fit to take this on all the way. It’s so worth it though.

Best Hikes in Adelaide Marion Coast

The track winds its way all the way to Hallet Cove from Marino.

Best Walks in Adelaide Marion Coastal Walk

This is a very popular walking track so you can expect to see loads of other people enjoying the hike.

Adelaide Coast Hike

I saw these orange flowers and wondered whether they were real. They look so out of place in this very dry soil.

Flowers next to hiking track in Adelaide

At a certain section of the track you can even walk down a staircase onto the rocky beach below.

Marion Coastal Walkway Steps

There are plenty of interesting sights along the way. Someone even made this pile of crap wooden boat and placed it outside their house. There are lookouts and a few benches around the place to relax but right at the end of the hike there’s a green grassy area which looks super inviting.

Marion Coastal Walk Adelaide SA

The big attraction in Hallett Cove Conservation Park is Sugarloaf, named so because of its resemblance to a mass of hard refined sugar.

Pro Tip: When returning instead of backtracking on the same path all the way, take the path to the higher point which eventually joins back onto the coastal pathway.

Start of walk: Marino Rocks Cafe carpark, 1 Marine Parade, Marino. 30 minute drive from Adelaide CBD

Walk Distance: 7.2km one way

Best Walks in Adelaide Verdict: On a beautiful day this hike is world class. You may even start thinking you’re somewhere in Greece or Spain.

8. Glenelg Jetty to Brighton Jetty

A beach walk from Glenelg to Brighton in summer is a must-do walk. Walking on the beach is one of the most enjoyable things to do in my opinion.

Glenelg Beach Love Heart Sculpture

You can walk along the sand or walk on the pathway next to ocean, so you don’t have to walk on the sand if you don’t want to.

Best Walks in Adelaide Glenelg to Brighton Beach

It’s almost impossible that you’ll see Neptune (Poseidon), God of the sea at Brighton Beach but I did.

King Neptune Sea God Statue Brighton Beach

Pro Tip: Make sure you take a photo of the love heart in Glenelg. I really think that the love heart is the number 1 spot for photos in Adelaide. In summer you’ll probably have to wait for your moment to get in front of it.

Start of walk: Glenelg Jetty. 20 minute drive from Adelaide CBD

Walk Distance: 5km one way (10km return)

Best Walks in Adelaide Verdict: Reserve this walk for a sunny beach day and you will love it.

9. Star of Greece, Port Willunga Beach Walk

If you want to feel as if you’re in Greece while in Adelaide then this is the walk I recommend in Adelaide. The Star of Greece ship was wrecked just off this coastline. Today you can even snorkel over it. Another good alternative is to relax at the Star of Greece cafe.

Walkers at the Beach Port Willunga

Most people just go down to the beach very close to the Star of Greece cafe. What I’m suggesting is that you do the walk from the other end of the bay. Then make your way to the old Port Willunga jetty pylons. These old jetty pylons are another favoured spot for photographers in Adelaide, especially with Instagrammers.

Walking at Port Willunga Beach

Pro Tip: Make sure you also walk up to the top of the cliffs overlooking the old jetty pylons for incredible views. You really need to be in Port Willunga Beach in summer to experience the beauty of this pace at its best.

Start of walk: Blanche Point, Port Willunga, just off Bowering Hill Road before it turns right onto Tuit Road. Park your car in the carpark at the end of the road. It’s a 50 minute drive from Adelaide CBD, 40 minutes from Glenelg. I suggest taking the scenic coastal roads to get there starting at Brighton Road. You can also stop by Port Noarlunga for a bit of beach time as well. You can also do this walk in the other direction if you wish.

Walk Distance: 2.5km one way (5km return)

Best Walks in Adelaide Verdict: It will feel as if you’re in Greece. I’m pretty sure Neptune, God of the sea sunk the Star of Greece ship to forever link this Adelaide beach with Greece. You can read more about this fabulous beach in another post by clicking on the link.

10. Port Elliot to Victor Harbor

I haven’t walked this track but I have riden my bike along the coastal path which also requires you to use a few roads along the way. The beauty with walking along the trail is that you can stick to the coastline all the way and walk on the sand where you have to.

Top Places around Port Elliot

Pro Tip: Make sure you walk under the train bridge. You can access the pathway just after the wooden bridge over the creek. The Port Elliot Bakery is a must at some point. You can expect long lineups if you’re there on a weekend or public holiday.

Start of walk: Park your vehicle in Victor Harbor, and catch the steam train from Victor into Port Elliot where the start of the walk begins. Getting to Victor Harbor from Adelaide CBD will take about 70 minutes.

Walk Distance: 8km one way

Best Walks in Adelaide Verdict: A great day out. Victor Harbor is another very popular day trip place for Adelaide locals.

11. Port Noarlunga Beach to Onkaparinga River Mouth

In summer you will absolutely love this walk. This walk also includes a walk on the jetty which you will no doubt want to do. At the end of the jetty is a reef perfect for snorkelers.

Best Walks in Adelaide Port Noarlunga Jetty

After you have spent sometime on the jetty walk south on the sand beach towards to Onkaparinga River mouth in the distance. You can sometimes cross the river mouth by walking in shallow water but it all depends on the tide. The other way to get to these steps is to walk over the Southport footbridge and make your way around.

Onkaparinga River Southport Port Noarlunga

Pro Tip: If you’re into snorkelling then you can either bring your own gear or hire it close to Port Noarlunga Jetty. Body surfing is also hugely popular at the Onkaparinga River mouth. If the conditions are right you can even find surfers enjoying themselves here.

Start of walk: Port Noarlunga Jetty. 40 minute drive from Adelaide CBD.

Walk Distance: 3km one way (6km return)

Best Walks in Adelaide Verdict: It doesn’t get much better than this on a good summer’s day.

12. Henley Beach to Glenelg, or Grange Jetty

Two Options: Henley Beach to Glenelg, or Henley Beach to Grange Jetty

Lady walking along Henley Beach
Henley Beach on a foggy day

Henley Beach to Glenelg will take you past Neptune on a toilet block wall. Yes, you heard me right. The Greek God is on a toilet block.

This walk will take you past West Beach. Below is a paved walkway in West Beach which is about halfway between Henley Beach and Glenelg. The better option is to walk on the sand however if the tide is really high you’ll have to walk on the pavement. The rainbow in the pic below seems to be over Glenelg.

Pathway to Glenelg

The next beach you will reach is Glenelg North Beach. It’s a long walk so save this one for a day when you really feel like a big workout. The beauty about walking to Glenelg is that you have a variety of cafes, bars and restaurants to choose from after you arrive, with plenty of options for icre-cream and gelato.

Glenelg Love Heart Sculpture
Glenelg on a foggy day

The other option is to walk from Henley Beach Jetty to Grange Jetty. Adelaide locals love walking from Henley to Grange so it’s not an easy choice to make. I’ll leave it up to you to decide.

Pro Tip: Reward yourself with an ice-cream or gelato at either Henley Beach or Glenelg.

Start of walk: Henley Jetty. 20 minute drive from Adelaide CBD

Walk Distance: 8.2km from Henley Beach Jetty to Glenelg (located on the southern side of Henley Beach), 2km from Henley Beach Jetty to Grange Jetty (located on the northern side of Henley Beach).

Best Walks in Adelaide Verdict: A walk in summer offers the best experience. Walking from Henley Jetty to Grange is very enjoyable. Walking from Henley Beach Jetty to Glenelg is a bit too long in my opinion so it’s only worth doing when you’re in the mood for a very long walk. Remember you will have to walk back as well unless you plan on getting a ride back.

13. Tennyson Dunes to Semaphore Beach

A great walk along the beach through sandy dunes, green grass, sandy beach and pavements.

Tennyson Dunes Discovery Trail

If you feel like a Yiros or something else to eat, then all you have to do is walk down the main street. Semaphore has plenty of food and drink choices available. The place is very similar to Glenelg with the advantage that it is a bit cheaper.

Walkers at Semaphore Beach

Pro Tip: The fabled Star of Greece anchor can be found in front of the jetty.

Start of walk: Access via Military Road, Tennyson. Getting to Tennyson from Adelaide CBD will take about 25 minutes.

Walk Distance: 5km one way

Best Walks in Adelaide Verdict: A similar feel to Glenelg.

14. Granite Island and The Bluff at Victor Harbor

Victor Harbor is the most popular seaside town in Adelaide for day trips. Granite Island is a small island off the coast of Victor Harbor connected to the mainland by one long bridge. You can walk on the bridge to get to the island. The other way of getting there is by paying to go on a horse drawn tram which is very popular with kids. Once you’re on the small island you can easily walk around it if you’re reasonably fit and able.

Stairway Granite Island

You can see the long jetty structure in the pic below. Walking around Granite Island will show you some interesting rock formations but the big attraction on the island is the artwork and sculptures.

Granite Island Victor Harbor Best Walks in South Australia

After you’ve finished with Granite Island drive to The Bluff which is just around the bay. The short steep walk up The Bluff will give you some fantastic views of the beaches and small islands on either side.

Hikers The Bluff Victor Harbor

Pro Tip: You may think you can walk to The Bluff from the start of Granite Island’s Jetty but it’s still about 5.5km away, even though it looks much closer. It’s much better to drive there after you’ve walked around Granite Island.

Start of walk: Granite Island Jetty. Victor Harbour is about is 70 minute drive from Adelaide CBD.

Walk Distance: 3.3km around Granite Island. The Bluff is a short hike up a steep hike. It will take about 10-15 minutes to get to the top.

Best Walks in Adelaide Verdict: Both of these walks are great to do all year round. Experiencing this walk in winter compared to summer will be different, but it will still be awesome in its own way.

The Best Walks in Adelaide (Beautiful Gardens)

15. Adelaide Botanic Gardens

The Adelaide Botanic Garden is a large 51-hectare public garden located at the north-eastern corner of the Adelaide city centre. Visitors are greeted by a statue of Venus when walking through the northern entrance on North Terrace.

Venus Statue Adelaide Botanic Gardens

You can also enter or exit the Adelaide Botanic Garden from the southern side.

Adelaide Botanic Garden SA

Pro Tip: Don’t forget to walk through the Bicentennial Conservatory which is home to a variety of rainforest plants.

Start of walk: North Terrace, a 5 minute walk from the end of Rundle Street in the city.

Walk Distance: Anywhere from 500m to 2km.

Best Walks in Adelaide Verdict: A great place to spend a couple of hours.

16. Pan to Himeji Gardens

This is where you can find the goat God Pan playing his musical pipes within a rectangular pond filled with fish, with water squirting out of the pipes creating a fountain.

Pan Fountain South Terrace Parklands Adelaide

Go for a walk along a pathway winding its way close to South Terrace in the parklands until you make your way to the Hemeji Gardens.

Veale Gardens Adelaide South Australia

Spending twenty minutes inside this beautiful Japanese garden (below) will give you a feeling of Zen.

Adelaide Himeji Garden South Australia

There’s also a nice stretch of lawn to relax on and a section with Japanese style benches inside a rectangular raked-sand area where you can sit and pass the time away.

The Himeji garden was created in 1982 to show the sister city bond between Adelaide and the city of Himeji in Japan. A granite lantern, Okunoin, next to the entryway has an inscription that reads: “For the friendship of the two cities”.

The city of Himeji is known for its white Himeji Castle, one of the few original castles and the finest one to survive from Japan’s feudal period.

Pro Tip: See if you can spot a turtle or some fish in the the pond as it contains goldfish, medaka fish, yabbies and long-necked tortoises.

Start of walk: Eastern side of Glen Osmond Road and South Terrace intersection.

Walk Distance: 1km to 1.5km one way from pan to Himeji Garden. The walk inside the Japanese Hemeji Garden is a very easy stroll, say around 100m all up so it’s very easygoing.

Best Walks in Adelaide Verdict: Fantastic hidden Japanese oasis in Adelaide.

17. Mount Lofty Botanic Garden and Mount Lofty House

Mount Lofty Botanic Garden is located in the Adelaide Hills not too far away from Mount Lofty Summit. This is one of three botanic gardens in Adelaide and is the second most popular botanic garden in Adelaide. The most popular one is located in the CBD. The third botanic garden, known as Wittunga Botanic Garden, is located in Blackwood but I’d give that one a miss.

Best Walks in Adelaide Mount Lofty Botanic Gardens Footpath

I think the French painter Monet would have loved Mount Lofty Botanic Garden.

Mount Lofty House which is close by has a small garden which is a bit of a hidden secret. This garden is definitely worth a quick visit before you make your way to the Mount Lofty Botanic Garden. You will be able to get some great views overlooking Piccadilly Valley in the Adelaide Hills.

Mount Lofty House Gardens

Pro Tip: Mount Lofty House is also a great place to stay for the night, have a meal or a drink.

Start of walk: There are two entrances to the Mount Lofty Botanic Gardens. The upper entrance and car park is located on Mount Lofty Summit Rd, Crafers. Mount Lofty House is closest to the upper entrance. The lower entrance and car park is located on Lampert Rd, off Piccadilly Rd, Crafers. The main lake is most easily accessed from the lower entrance.

Walk Distance: Numerous walking tracks are available. I would park my car close to Mount Lofty House and walk these gardens first before driving to the upper entrance of Mount Lofty Botanic Gardens. I would go for a little stroll around there and then drive to to the lower entrance where the main lake is. This is where I’d spend the majority of my time.

Best Walks in Adelaide Verdict: Great walk for garden lovers.

18. Carrick Hill

If you time your visit properly to Carrick Hill you can go on a walking tour. The first time I visited I got lucky as the guided walk was just about to start. I always go on guided walks given the chance as you learn so much more about a place.

Carrick Hill Walking Tour

The beautiful gardens cover a large estate. Here’s a part of the garden with a rowboat resting on a tranquil small pond.

Boat floating on pond at Carrick Hill

If you have kids you have to take them for a walk through the Children’s Story Book Trail.

Pro Tip: Carrick Hill has a great cafe. The gardens are fantastic for a picnic lunch with plenty of lawn area to find your own cosy spot. Keep this a secret.

Start of walk: Carrick Hill carpark

Walk Distance: A very easy walk. You will probably walk less than 1km all up.

Best Walks in Adelaide Verdict: If you want your own Downton Abbey experience in Adelaide then Carrick Hill is the place to be.

19. Urrbrae House Historic Precinct Gardens

Historic Urrbrae house has its own Labyrinth. This estate was gifted to the University of Adelaide in 1914 by the wealthy pastoralist and businessman Peter Waite.

Waite Arboretum Labyrinth Adelaide

Next to Urrbrae House within the gardens you’ll find a sculpture of Dancing into the Light.

Dance into the Light Sculpture Urrbrae House

This sculpture is dedicated to Ceres, the Roman name for Demeter, the Greek Goddess of agriculture and harvest, and her daughter Persephone. I only found this out when I read the plaque at the bottom of the sculpture, otherwise I would have never known.

Dance into the light Ceres Plaque

The myth of Ceres (Demeter) and her daughter Persephone who Hades had abducted into the Underworld tells a story of transition, from darkness into light, from winter to spring.

It makes sense when you think about it because the Dancing into the Light sculpture is located within the Waite Historic Precinct which is a highly respected agricultural research and teaching facility.

You can even find a Dragon’s Blood Tree when walking around the Waite Arboretum.

Urrbrae House Gardens

I would say 1-2 hours would be more than enough to appreciate the grounds so it is easy to squeeze in this beautiful place with something else on a day out. Carrick Hill is very close by so you could visit this place earlier or later in the day.

Waite Arboretum Urrbrae House Garden Grounds

The Waite Agricultural Research Institute has a Greek triangular pediment. It was built in 1924 and has the prestige of being having the largest concentration of agricultural research and teaching expertise in the Southern Hemisphere.

Pro Tip: You can go on a tour of Urrbrae House which is now a museum.

Start of walk: 12 Walter Young Ave, Urrbrae

Walk Distance: About 1km

Best Walks in Adelaide Verdict: To have been able to play in this garden as a kid would have been a dream.

20. North Adelaide Golf Course

There are actually three public golf courses to choose from including the Par 69 North Course, the Par 71 South Course, and an 18 hole Par 3 course.

North Adelaide Golf Course

Pro Tip: Play all of them if you can.

Start of walk: From the city, head up Montefiore Road and along Strangways Terrace.

Walk Distance: About 6-8km

Best Walks in Adelaide Verdict: A fantastic golf course walk within the heart of the city.

Best Walks in Adelaide (Rivers and Lakes)

Walking along the beach is the best however walking along a river or next to a lake can be just as good. Here are my top picks for walks in Adelaide beside rivers and lakes.

21. River Torrens Linear Park to Adelaide University

The River Torrens flows 85km (53 miles) from its source in the Adelaide Hills near Mount Pleasant and ends at West Beach, between Henley Beach and Glenelg.

If you want to experience a great section of the River Torrens first head over to Bonython Park where you’ll find a circular lake were you can often find remote control boats whirling around.

Bonython Park Pond Adelaide

Then make your way to Adelaide University along the pathway.

River Torrens Adelaide

You can see the Adelaide University footbridge in the distance in the pic below.

River Torrens Linear Park Trail near Adelaide University

Pro Tip: If you have some more energy visit the Adelaide Botanic Garden after which isn’t that far away.

Start of hiking trail: Bonython Park Lake. You can leave a car in the Bonython Park free car park on Port Road. The other option is to start the walk from Adelaide University in the CBD and walk to Bonython Park Lake.

Hike Distance: 4km return

Best Walks in Adelaide Verdict: An enjoyable walk that showcases the best of the River Torrens.

22. Onkaparinga River Recreation Park

Follow the Onkaparinga River away from the beach.

Onkaparinga River Sidewalk

You can enter scrub area but watch out for deadly brown snakes.

Onkaparinga River Hiking Track

There are quite a few hikes to choose from in Onkaparinga River Recreation Park. You have the Pingle Farm Trail, Wetland Loop Trail, Gorge Hike, Sundews Lookout to name a few.

A hidden gem of a walk is to go down to the bottom of the gorge at a place called the Punchbowl Waterhole.

Punchbowl waterhole Onkaparinga Gorge

There’s also a very scenic lookout from up high on a platform which overlooks the gorge called the Punchbowl Lookout.

Punchbowl Lookout

You have to visit both places if you’re in the area.

Pro Tip: Mainly for Adelaide locals who want to discover new walking trails.

Start of hiking trail: Onkaparinga River

Hike Distance: 1km – 6km

Best Walks in Adelaide Verdict: Something for everyone.

23. West Lakes

West Lakes is a man-made lake with plenty of housing around the shoreline.

West Lakes Adelaide SA

Here’s a map showing you where you can start the walk.

West Lakes Walking Map

Pro Tip: Delfin Island is the destination point.

Start of hiking trail: Refer to map.

Hike Distance: Refer to map.

Best Walks in Adelaide Verdict: A great walk especially on a sunny day.

Best Walks in Adelaide (with great City Views)

If you’re in Adelaide and you want to see the city from up high where do you go? Here I combine my favourite walks with awesome views of the city.

24. Max Holbrook Walking Trail and Brownhill Reserve

The Max Holbrook walking trail starts from the Carrick Hill carpark. The very first time I arrived at the top of Brownhill I saw a glimpse of a rainbow in the distance. I had to take a photo of it. Facing the other direction will give you a great view of Adelaide.

A man-made pile (or stack) of stones is known as a cairn, which I didn’t know until I did some research. I just thought they were a pile of rocks/stones but historically cairns have been used to mark locations of trails and burial sites as well as food (amongst other things). In 1837, Brown Hill was used by Colonel Light as a survey point to map what is now the centre of Adelaide. This spot marks Trigg Point, the top of Brown Hill.

Brown Hill Trig Scenic Lookout

Carrick Hill contains approximately 26 hectares of native bushland which includes the Yurrebilla Trail and the Max Holbrook Trail. Before you go straight up the hill I suggest walking the Yurrebilla Trail on the left for a little while before turning back and continuing the hike up the hill.

Once you’ve reached the top of Brownhill you then have two options. You can enter this pathway which has a sign stating it is private property. I have seen quite a few people enter so I’m sure you’re allowed to walk there. It looks inviting enough.

Top of Brownhill

The other option is to walk down the hill. I took this photo while hiking up Brown Hill. I could really see the walkers in the distance however my Sony HX90V (30x) zoom camera managed to capture a pretty decent shot.

Walkers Brownhill Reserve

This will take you to a small park known as McEllogott’s Quarry Reserve which also has a small carpark. From there you can walk down to Brownhill Creek via the Peter Nelson Walking Trail.

Brownhill Creek SA

When you get down you can cross to the other side of the creek and start a walk along Brownhill Creek. Make your way to the manure pits and then turn back. You will know what I’m talking about when you see them.

Pro Tip: Instead of walking all the way back along the same route, when you reach the small par with carpark walk down the road and enter Carrick Hill though the same gates you drove through. Then walk to your vehicle.

Start of hiking trail: Carrick Hill carpark.

Hike Distance: 6km return.

Best Walks in Adelaide Verdict: This walk combines a bit of everything with great views of the city, a nice creek and the best part is that you end up in Carrick Hill so you can also spend time in the beautiful gardens of Carrick Hill.

25. Mount Osmond

A relatively quick hike up a hill that gives you the best views of Adelaide in my opinion.

Mount Osmond Adelaide

Pro Tip: Visit Beaumont House, a Romanesque-Classical brick residence on 631 Glynburn Rd in Beaumont while you’re in the area.

Start of hiking trail: Park your car on Dashwood Road in Beaumont, and park close to Short Crescent. You’ll probably see a few cars parked in close proximity to one another in this area.

Hike Distance: 3km one way

Best Walks in Adelaide Verdict: You can do this walk over and over again.

Best Walks in the Adelaide (Adelaide Hills)

26. Winter Track, Long Ridge Track, Cleland Perimeter Track

The Winder Track leads onto Long Ridge Track.

Long Ridge Track Adelaide

If you walk up the hill to a place called Long Ridge Lookout you will find great views of Adelaide city. What surprised me the most was that there were kangaroos in the area.

Winter Track

Long Ridge Lookout has a couple of benches up there where you can sit and take in the awesome views. This is another fantastic spot to get great views of Adelaide.

Long Ridge Lookout

Once you’ve taken in the views turn back and walk towards Cleland Wildlife Park. There is a perimeter track that will take you around the park. It’s just as good as going inside.

When I first saw a dog approaching me I wasn’t sure what it was. A couple of more appeared and they started walking towards me and the fence line probably just as curious as I was. I later learned that they were Dingos.

Cleland Conservation Park Dingoes

You can walk around the entire perimeter of the park which is fenced off. I was surprised by how much wildlife I saw. Here’s a Yellow-footed Rock-Wallabie.

Cleland Wildlife Park Crafers SA

Pro Tip: This is the free way of visiting Cleland Wildlife Park. If you’re lucky you might get to spot koalas, red kangaroos, western grey kangaroos, emus, bettongs, swamp wallabies, echidnas and wombats. I actually saw most of these myself. Even when hiking along long ridge you can often easily spot koalas in the trees.

Start of hiking trail: Waterfall Gully Road. Park your car next to a small shed situated on the side of the road.

Hike Distance: 3km one way

Best Walks in Adelaide Verdict: If you want to get a big surprise with what you’ll see then this is the walk for you.

27. Chambers Gully

This hike is also extremely popular with mountain bike riders. In actually fact I took more notice of mountain bike rider enthusiasts than hikers.

Chambers Gully

Chambers Hike South AustraliaPro Tip: There is a signed path about 200m before Long Reach Lookout which leads down to Chambers Track. This path offers spectacular views of the country side. The beauty about this path is that it slopes down making it very enjoyable.

Start of hiking trail: Chambers Hike car park on the side of Waterfall Gully Road.

Hike Distance: 7km circuit

Best Walks in Adelaide Verdict: The stretch from Long Reach Lookout which takes you back down to the start of Chambers Track is the best section. You can also easily combine this walk with the Cleland Park Perimeter Track as well if you want.

28. Aldgate Valley Nature Walk

I have to say I was pleasantly surprised by this very beautiful walk. It is easily one of the best walks in the Adelaide Hills.

Aldgate Valley Nature Walk

Pro Tip: Make sure you don’t return via the exact same track. Once you reach Mylor Conservation Park walk away from the netball courts towards the road bridge. Walk over the bridge and that’s where you can walk part of Heysen Trail back to where you started.

Start of hiking trail: Mount Barker Road. There is a large information sign in the carpark near the public toilets. Very close to the Aldgate Pump Hotel.

Hike Distance: 14km return

Best Walks in Adelaide Verdict: Very enjoyable walk through the Adelaide Hills. There’s a nice creek crossing over a bridge and many more surprises.

Best Walks in Adelaide (Hidden Gems)

29. Waterfall Hike, Belair National Park

Walking through Echo Tunnel in Belair National Park will eventually take you to the Upper and Lower Waterfalls. These waterfalls are generally only seen after heavy rain so don’t expect to see anything. It sort of makes it a bit more fun. Even if you don’t get to see a waterfall I’m sure the hike would have been worth it. Walking through Echo Tunnel is an adventure in itself. If you don’t know about the Greek myth of Echo, you may want to read about it in a popular post about Greek myth love stories.

Echo Tunnel Belair National Park

The lower waterfall has a viewing platform and the walking trail passes along the top of the upper waterfall.

Pro Tip: The Adventure Loop Trail in Belair National Park is another great option. You have to pay to enter the national park with a vehicle but you can save some money by parking outside and walking in for free. It will add an extra couple of kilometres to your walk all up but you will have saved a bit of money for your extra effort.

Start of hiking trail: Belair National Park. 25 minute drive from the Adelaide CBD

Hike Distance: 6.5km circuit.

Best Walks in Adelaide Verdict: Walking through Echo Tunnel is really worth the hike. Bring a head lamp or a torch to make it a bit easier. It can get pretty dark in there.

30. Black Hill Conservation Park

This hike was awesome. I really enjoyed it even though I still had my doubts when I started it. It’s a beauty! Highly recommend this walk.

Lake Black Hill Conservation Park

The funny thing about this walk is that there are two hills in close proximity to one another so when I was going up I wasn’t sure which one I would be going up. The peak that I thought I was going to ascend wasn’t the one which was a bit of a surprise. I actually thought I would end up on the peak seen in the pic below.

Black Hill Conservation Park

Behind this peak in the distance is the Adelaide CBD.

Pro Tip: Do it counterclockwise. I did it this way and I think it was the best option even though someone one told me to do it the other way.

Start of hiking trail: Black Hill Conservation Park. You can park inside. Maryvale Rd which is just outside of the conservation park has carpark spaces available on the side of the road. Park there if you think you could possibly return a bit later than when the gates close.

Hike Distance: 14km return

Best Walks in Adelaide Verdict: The perfect hill hike.

31. Yellow-tailed loop, Anstey Hill Recreation Park

Dare I say it but I think this could be the biggest hidden gem hike in Adelaide. The Yellowtail Loop is easily the most popular hike at Anstey Hill Recreation Park and will take you past the ruins of Newmans Nursery. I enjoyed it very much.

Newmans Nursery Anstey Hill Recreation Park

There are also eight mountain biking trails that cater to varying skill levels. I didn’t see any mountain bike riders when I was there but there were quite a few walkers around the place.

This is dog-friendly (on-leash) park and I did see a few of them with their owners. I really wanted to see a kangaroo and luckily it did happen. Two of them were spotted up on a hill when a climbed a narrow off-the-track path that led up to a higher peak which had a picnic bench nearby.

Kangaroos in Anstey Hill Recreation Park

Anstey Hill Recreation Park is also a great place for bird watching. Here’s a very cute kookaburra. They have a very unique laugh which easily draws your attention. Something that goes something like koo-koo-koo-are-are-are-koo-koo-koo-are-ya-ya, at a very fast pace. It is found only in Australia and New Guinea.

Kookaburra bird in tree

Pro Tip: This track is named for it’s sightings of the native Yellow-tailed cockatoo. I don’t think I saw any but keep your eyes open for them.

Start of hiking trail: Carpark on Perseverance Rd.

Hike Distance: 6.2km return

Best Walks in Adelaide Verdict: Hidden gem perfection.

32. Jupiter Creek

Jupiter Creek is an old goldfield in the Adelaide Hills, near Echunga. The name comes from the Roman name given to Zeus, the king of the Gods. This walk has a very eerie feel about it. The drive from Stirling to Jupiter Creek is a highlight and is very scenic.

Jupiter Creek Adelaide

Pro Tip: Try and find the Beatrice Chimney.

Start of hiking trail: Berry Road. Located approximately 30km south east of Adelaide.

Hike Distance: 1-2km

Best Walks in Adelaide Verdict: Be in awe of Zeus.

Best Walks in Adelaide (for Wine Lovers)

33. The Shiraz Trail, McLaren Vale

The Shiraz Trail is a 8km trail running from McLaren Vale wine region to the town of Willunga. It is part of the 37km Coast to Vines Rail trail, once a historic steam train line.

Winery close to the Shiraz Trail McLaren Vale Wine Region

Pro Tip: There are plenty of wineries worth visiting in McLaren Vale. I have written a post showing you my top picks for the best wineries in McLaren Vale. You will be more than happy to stop by at Hugh Hamilton Wines.

Start of hiking trail: The Almond Train at 196 Main Rd, McLaren Vale.

Walk Distance: 8km

Best Walks in Adelaide Verdict: A very pleasant way to spend a morning, afternoon or the whole day. Keep in mind that the Willunga Farmers Market is open every Saturday from about 8am to 12:30pm.

34. The Barossa Trail – Lyndoch Hill to Hemera Estate 

Start your walk on Lyndoch Hill at the Barossa Chateau.

Barossa Chateau Barossa Valley

Pro Tip: Barossa Chateau has one of the largest Porcelain collections in Australia collected over 35 years by Hermann Thumm. The favourite piece of Thumm happened to be a porcelain depiction of Helios the Sun God, by artist Kaendler.

Start of hiking trail: Lyndoch Hill

Walk Distance: About 3km one way. Hemera Estate is named after Hemera, the Goddess of day. She is thought to be among the first gods, the generations before the Titans and Olympians. According to Hesiod’s Theogony, Hemera was the daughter of NYX (Night) and Erebos (Darkness), two primordial deities born from Chaos, the void or chasm before creation.

Best Walks in Adelaide Verdict: Even the Queen of England has walked around this beautiful garden.

35. The Riesling Trail, Clare to Sevenhill

The Riesling Trail is better known as a cycling trail as it is 33km in length. That would take at least a couple of days to walk so I recommend walking from Clare to Sevenhill which is about 6.5km in length. Turn back after that.

Riesling Trail Clare Valley SA

Pro Tip: Stay the night for a better experience.

Start of hiking trail: Clare. You will need to allow a 2 hour drive from Adelaide to get to Clare and 2 hours to return so make sure you leave Adelaide by 9am at the latest to get the most out of the day.

Walk Distance: 6.5km from Clare to Sevenhill (13km return)

Best Walks in Adelaide Verdict: It may even inspire you to walk or ride the whole Riesling Trail one day.

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35 of the best walks in Adelaide Beautiful Hikes in Adelaide