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10 Must-Visit National Parks in Adelaide

10 Must-Visit National Parks in Adelaide

If you’re looking for a rejuvenating getaway that’ll remind you of nature’s beauty, national parks are the answer! These protected havens offer an oasis of tranquility, adventure, and beauty far removed from city life.

Here, you can take a look at some of Adelaide’s best national parks to visit. There’s a park in this list ready to fulfill your every outdoor want, may that be hiking, swimming, or simply strolling.

Belair National Park

Photo by underthestars.imagery

Website: https://www.parks.sa.gov.au/parks/belair-national-park

Address: Upper Sturt Rd, Belair SA 5052, Australia

Contact details: +61 8 8278 5477

Operating hours: 

  • All week: 8 AM-9 PM

For your first national park trip, it’s best to visit Belair National Park, as it’s just 25 minutes away from the city center. Here, you can immerse in the gentle shade of the trees all lined up in a mostly flat and breezy walking trail. 

The park is home to the heritage building Old Government House and the oldest nursery in Adelaide, the State Flora. With the earth tones of the flora and foliage here, there’s always a sense of sentimentality and nostalgia for any visitor.

Pro tips:
If you’re practicing biking, the spot is a great choice because it’s mostly flat and has plenty of open spaces.

During the Fringe Festival, check out the Sleep’s Hill Tunnel here. The old rail line is adorned with projections and neon lights, making for a delightfully psychedelic visual experience.

Cleland National Park

Photo by _just_another_bloke_

Website: https://www.parks.sa.gov.au/parks/cleland-national-park

Address: Cleland SA 5152, Australia

Contact details: +61 8 8339 2444

Operating hours: 

  • All week long – 9:30 AM-5 PM

Cleland National Park is home to some of Adelaide’s iconic wildlife, including friendly kangaroos and loafing koalas. Here, you can also see the majestic Waterfall Gully that brings life to the vibrant moss and ferns nearby during winter and spring. 

The park is also your gateway to the Mount Lofty Summit, which brings a stunning vista of the Adelaide Plains. At its peak is a white obelisk, the Flinders Column, where you can also find restaurants and cafes where you can refresh.

Pro tips:
If you want to get in touch with Adelaide’s history, visit the Beaumont House, which has a beautiful garden and an olive farm. It perfectly encapsulates South Australia in the 19th century with its architecture.

If you happen to see a hopping kangaroo, it’s best to leave them alone or take a picture from afar to lessen your risk of being attacked. 

Morialta Conservation Park

Photo by zacknowbody

Website: https://www.parks.sa.gov.au/parks/morialta-conservation-park

Address: Morialta Falls Rd, Woodforde SA 5072, Australia

Contact details: +61 8 8336 0901

Operating hours: 

  • All week: 6:30 AM-9 PM

Morialta Conservation Park showcases a rugged rocky beauty and three majestic waterfalls. You get a great view of the latter through the three bushwalking trails near them. 

If you want to flex those rock-climbing skills, try the Mori­al­ta Rock-Climb­ing Zone. The Climbing Club of South Australia also frequents the area, ensuring you always have guidance when visiting. 

Pro tips:
The park is also home to South Australia’s largest playground: the Mukan­thi Mori­al­ta Playground. It’s more challenging and wider than your usual playground, making it great for energetic kiddos. 

Hallett Cove Conservation Park

Photo by vesuvius729

Website: https://www.parks.sa.gov.au/parks/hallett-cove-conservation-park

Address: Hallett Cove SA 5158, Australia

Contact details: +61 8 8130 9050

Operating hours: 

  • Open all week long

Hallett Cove Conservation Park is a very interesting national park given that it provides evidence of the Australian ice age dating back 280 million years ago. This geological wonder was also where 1,700 Aboriginal artifacts were found. 

But the real star of the park is The Sugarloaf, a cream-colored mound made through millions of years of erosion. Though its summit is inaccessible, the nearby trails give you a great view of it and the azure expanse of the nearby beach.

Pro tips:
Talk to the park rangers in the area! They’ll be more than excited to provide you with information about how erosion shaped this beautiful park. The nearby beach is a popular swimming spot, making the park an excellent choice if you want to cool off after a day of bushwalking.

Kyeema Conservation Park

Photo by our.simpleadventures

Website: https://www.parks.sa.gov.au/parks/kyeema-conservation-park

Address: Woodgate Hill Rd, Kuitpo Colony SA 5172, Australia

Contact details: +61 8 8532 9100

Operating hours: 

  • Open all week long

Kyeema Conservation Park brings a more untamed beauty with its densely vegetated land and its teeming wildlife. It’s a favorite of birdwatchers because 80 species of birds have been observed calling this area its home. 

The flora and fauna here are a stunning sight to see in person! Botany enthusiasts will especially have a blast seeing the exotic beauty of pink gum and stringybark trees up close.

Pro tips:
Watch your step! The long vines on the walking trail can trip you if you’re not careful.

There is a root fungus in the area that poses a threat to its plant life. Check out their brochure to make sure that you help in slowing down its spread.

Horsnell Gully Conservation Park

Photo by trailhikingaust

Website: https://www.parks.sa.gov.au/parks/horsnell-gully-giles-conservation-parks

Address: Horsnell Gully SA 5141, Australia

Contact details: +61 8 8336 0901

Horsnell Gully Conservation Park, once home to former state governor John Horsnell, still showcases remnants of its past through old trail signs and the quaint stone cottages named Hope, Faith, and Charity that remain here.

As you stroll along the winding trails, you can’t help but notice the serene atmosphere that the caretakers often describe as reminiscent of the 19th century. Here, towering plum, elm, and orange trees surround you.

Pro tips:
While the park is mostly flat and easy to follow, dogs aren’t allowed (except assistance dogs in specific areas).

Picnicking here is great since the park offers lots of open areas and is rarely frequented by wild animals.

Mount George Conservation Park

Photo by bertrama

Weddress: https://www.parks.sa.gov.au/parks/mount-george-conservation-park

Address: ​​Heysen Trail, Mount George SA 5155, Australia

Operating hours: 

  • Open all week long

Nestled within Mount George Conservation Park lies a beautiful backstory: lands once cleared by colonizers for farming were lovingly reclaimed by the local community. Their efforts aimed to restore the area to its glory as a sacred land of the Kaurna people.

It’s why the place is blooming with various spring flowers like sweet peas and correas. These exist alongside the thriving bird community here, which includes blue wrens and red-browed finches. 

Pro tips:
Be careful when climbing the upper slopes during winter, as it is very slippery. There are no garbage bins in the parks. Be sure to bring a big garbage bag with you especially if you’ll bring a dog.  

Mark Oliphant Conservation Park

Photo by blinklight

Website: https://www.parks.sa.gov.au/parks/mark-oliphant-conservation-park

Address: Heathfield SA 5153, Australia

Another favorite spot of birdwatchers is the Mark Oliphant Conservation Park where the likes of Eastern rosellas, yellow-faced honeyeaters, and superb fairywren are frequently found. In fact, there have been a total of 73 bird species observed here!

Even if you’re not a birdwatcher, you’ll still feel refreshed by the calm walking path bordered by tall stringybark gum trees that paint the park in shades of green and gray. For a quick 10-minute walk, try the Candlebark Trail that’s especially great for children. 

Pro tips:
The park is still in the process of being developed for more visitors, which is why its facilities are very limited. Be sure to have enough water and food when visiting here.

Take note that starting fires here is not allowed, so bring food that is already cooked if you want a picnic.

Aldinga Conservation Park

Photo by gascoigne.chris

Website: https://www.parks.sa.gov.au/parks/aldinga-conservation-park

Address: Aldinga Beach SA 5173, Australia

Operating hours: 

  • Open all week long

Just a few minutes from Aldinga Beach you’ll see the conservation park that hosts a diverse range of coastal vegetation and wildlife. It’s home to South Australia’s rare lacy coral lichens, nardoos, and other beautiful orchids.

It houses the Aldinga washpool, which is one of Adelaide’s last coastal freshwater lagoon systems. It’s how it can support up to 79 native species, making it especially recommendable for wildlife enthusiasts and photographers

Pro tips:
If you’re having trouble finding a specific animal in mind, just stay in one spot with a low profile, and you might be lucky enough to see them nearby. Check out the brochure made by the park’s keepers so you’ll be guided about the walking path of the park. 

Sandy Creek Conservation Park

Photo by cam_strike

Website: https://www.parks.sa.gov.au/parks/sandy-creek-conservation-park

Address: Barossa Valley Highway, Sandy Creek SA 5350, Australia

Operating hours: 

  • Open all week long

Nestled in Barossa Valley is the stunning Sandy Creek Conservation Park, a harmonious blend of creeks, farmland, and sand pits that make for a captivating landscape perfect for exploration and rejuvenation. 

All walking trails here are suitable for age ranges, making it fantastic for slow walks. Here, you can listen to some calm music while gazing at the pine and pink gum trees that line up along the path. 

Pro tips:
Visit the park during spring so you get to see the wildflowers in full bloom. If you catch a plonking sound, chances are a bullfrog is nearby! Grab your camera swiftly to take a picture of this green wonder. 
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