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Nature's Pathways Adelaide's Top Bushwalking Escapes

Nature’s Pathways: Adelaide’s Top Bushwalking Escapes

Whether you crave the thrill of spectacular waterfalls or the serenity of sun-dappled woodlands, Adelaide’s bushwalking spots offer a personal sanctuary for every wanderer. 

Are you looking to navigate the verdant trails of Cleland Wildlife Park or the silent pathways of Belair National Park? Well, you can find out more by reading our article below, brave bushwalker!

Mount Lofty Botanic Garden

Address: 16 Lampert Rd, Crafers SA 5152
Contact Details: (08) 8370 8370
Operating Hours: Daily – 8:30 am to 4 pm

With awe-inspiring vistas and trails that are as accessible as they are enchanting, it’s no wonder our team finds ourselves irresistibly drawn to Mount Lofty Botanic Garden.

One such trail that holds a special place in our bushwalkers’ hearts is the Rhododendron Gully Trail. Stretching for about 1 km, this newbie-friendly pathway leads through a symphony of vibrant blooms. 

Another favorite of ours is the Nature Trail, a shaded passage that unveils a mesmerizing dance between sunlight and shadow. Wandering along its gentle 0.8-km stretch will bring you to areas brimming with towering gum trees and pines.

Walking Wisdom: No matter what trail you take, make sure to reach the summit of Mount Lofty for a complete experience!

Moreover, when bushwalking in Mount Lofty Botanic Garden, remember the meme “Improvise. Adapt. Overcome.” Be sure to pack layers of clothing, as the weather can change quickly, especially during winter. 

Cobbler Creek Recreational Park

Address: Salisbury East SA 5109
Operating Hours: Daily – 24 Hours

Cobbler Creek Recreational Park is a fantastic choice for bushwalkers looking for a mellow outing. 

Our first destination here is the 2.2-km Mai Tappa Circuit, gently meandering through the park’s grassy hilltops and woodlands with a serene backdrop of the vast Kaurna country.

We also love the scenic sights along Babbler Loop, a 3-km trail where you might catch a glimpse of native roos and magpies hopping along Christmas bush-adorned pastures. 

Moreover, this one is our sunset trail, as it provides an enticing golden view of Gulf St. Vincent typically around 4 to 5 pm. 

Walking Wisdom: Safety is paramount at Cobbler Creek Recreation Park, a shared space for cyclists, joggers, and bushwalkers. We strongly suggest staying vigilant and maintaining focus to ensure everyone’s well-being here.

Belair National Park

Address: Upper Sturt Rd, Belair SA 5052
Contact Details: (08) 8278 5477
Operating Hours: Daily – 8 am to 7 pm

The Lorikeet Loop Trail in this park drew us with its wild pathways with koalas and well…lorikeets. This route spans 3.5 km and is enriched with majestic red and blue gums serving as guides toward the historic Old Government House.

In addition, Belair National Park also has the forested 1-km Valley Loop Trail. 

This walkway is close to the dam wall and offers stunning vistas of undulating hills, the slippery slopes of Minnow Creek, and crystalline waterways where you can stop by for a picnic! 

Walking Wisdom:

  • Before visiting Belair National Park, check the website or contact the visitor center for fire restrictions and closures to ensure a safe and worry-free bushwalking adventure.
  • Also, be on the lookout for native birds such as rainbow lorikeets, crimson rosellas, and superb fairy wrens! If you explore the park’s uncharted territories and get lucky, you might even encounter echidnas and possums.

Cleland Wildlife Park

Address: Cleland SA 5152
Contact Details: (08) 8339 2444
Operating Hours: Daily – 24 Hours

  • Adult – $31
  • Concession – $26
  • Child (5 to 15 yrs old) – $16
  • Family – $77
  • School group (per student) – $12.50
  • Adult group (per adult) – $25.00
  • Child group (per child, minimum of 10 people) – $13.00


The true stars of Cleland Wildlife Park are undoubtedly its furry, cuddly, and scaly superstars!

We were delighted by the company of cheeky kangaroos and wallabies that accompanied us on our bushwalk along the breathtaking Chambers Gully Trail, 7 km of rugged, ascending, and steep terrain!

If you prefer an easier one, the 1-km Discovery Trail offers thick vegetation and ample chances to unwind amid sunlit clearings or alongside a babbling creek. If you want free lunch, why not fish for some freshwater bass or perches?

Walking Wisdom: If the sweltering heat is getting to you, why not cool off by dipping your toes or taking a refreshing swim at the mesmerizing Waterfall Gully? 

To get here, you can either take the daunting 10-km Adventure Hike Trail or the easy-peasy 4.5-km Waterfall Gully Hike!

Morialta Conservation Park

Address: Morialta Falls Rd, Woodforde SA 5072
Contact Details: (08) 8336 0901
Operating Hours: Daily – 24 Hours

This century-old park boasts a treasure trove of natural marvels that bushwalkers love. Morialta Conservation Park has winding woodlands, astonishing gorges, and cascading waterfalls! 

We advise novice bushwalkers to hone their skills at First Falls Walk, a simple 1.6-km trail toward the Morialta Gorge, Giants Cave, and First Falls. 

If a 7.3-km bushwalking challenge is what you’re looking for, you should try Third Falls Hike, a steep and rough range of cliffs with dramatic views of Morialta’s waterfalls! 

Along the hike, you’ll step foot on heart-pumping, peakturesque lookout points such as Deep View and Kookaburra Rock, allowing you to marvel at the magnificent Morialta Gorge.

Walking Wisdom: 

  • When hiking at Morialta Conservation Park, make sure to wear sturdy footwear with good traction to navigate uneven terrain and rocky surfaces. 
  • Additionally, carry sufficient water, sunscreen, and a hat to stay hydrated and protected from the sun’s rays, as parts of the trail may be exposed. 
  • Finally, be cautious when approaching the waterfall area, as rocks can be slippery, and stay on designated paths to ensure a safe and enjoyable hiking experience.

Onkaparinga River National Park

Address: Port Noarlunga South SA 5167
Contact Details: (08) 8552 0300
Operating Hours: Daily – 24 Hours

This national park’s towering cliff formations and proximity to the glistening Onkaparinga River make it a top-tier bushwalking site. 

There are multiple trails here, but we’ll go with the 2-km Punchbowl Lookout Trail for starters, as it’s less complicated and best for amateurs and animal lovers. Around dawn, roos flock in this path’s grasslands, so better bring your cameras!

For those who dare to venture beyond their comfort zones, don’t miss the exhilarating challenge of the 6-km Gorge Hike. This tough hike takes you on a steep descent from the Sundews lookout all the way to the bottom of the gorge.

Walking Wisdom: 

  • For those looking to conquer Gorge Hike, wear appropriate footwear with good grip to navigate the uneven terrain and steep sections. 
  • In addition, be mindful of your surroundings and watch for wildlife. Don’t rush. Give them space by observing from a safe distance. Spooking a kangaroo is a terrible idea. Like Roger from Tekken, roos are always down for a tussle!

Para Wirra Conservation Park

Address: 38.9 km from Adelaide
Contact Details: (08) 8336 0901
Operating Hours: Daily – 24 Hours

Situated on the peaceful foothills of the breathtaking Mount Lofty Ranges, Para Wirra Conservation Park is an incredible alternative for bushwalkers who favor flatlands. 

We usually take the 1-km Lake Discovery Walk, a fam-friendly trail along waterbirds and glistening waters!

Then, there’s the 5-km tree Creeper Loop, a leafy and tree-covered passage offering glades ideal for family get-togethers and romantic getaways. Aside from these, searching for wildflowers like pink heath and spider orchids is huge here!

Walking Wisdom: With its extensive network of trails that intertwine and connect with numerous other pathways, navigating Para Wirra Conservation Park can be confusing. Carry a map or a reliable GPS device to ensure you stay on your designated trails!

Anstey Hill Recreation Park

Address: Perseverance Rd, Tea Tree Gully SA 5091
Contact Details: (08) 8523 7700
Operating Hours: Daily – 6:30 am to 7 pm

Anstey Hill Recreation Park has several easy paths for novice bushwalkers, like the 650-km Little Quarry Loop and the 1-km Geological Hike, old but flowery trails mainly used by children and photographers.

For a come-what-may type of adventure, our go-to choice is the 4-km Bursaria Loop. This trail will lead you to the remote corners of the park blooming with rare bursaria flowers!

Walking Wisdom: Anstey Hill Recreation Park is often packed during its peak hours. This bushwalking haven is popular, so if you prefer a dash of serenity to your stroll or hike, arrive around 6:30 am to 7 am.

Hallett Cove Conservation Park

Address: Hallett Cove SA 5158
Contact Details: (08) 8130 9050
Operating Hours: Daily – 24 Hours

Hallet Cove Conservation Park boasts a blend of cultural and geological heritage, resulting in a unique and educational bushwalking experience. Additionally, this park has evidence of an Australian Ice Age that occurred nearly 280 million years ago! 

You can see this evidence by taking the 3-km Glacier Hike along the park’s northside cliffs, where remarkable Permian glacial pavements can be seen. 

This moderately challenging trail also presents a convenient asphalt path leading to the gripping Black Cliff Lookout.

Don’t miss out on the seaside serenity of Marion Coastal Park Path, too! 

Stretching from Marino in the north to the Hallett Headland Reserve in Hallett Cove in the south, this trail covers a sandy distance of 7.2 kilometers—each step bringing pristine shoreline zen! 

Walking Wisdom: Read the abundance of interpretive signage that lines the walking trails. These writings can provide valuable insights into the purpose, history, and significance of this conservation park. 

Black Hill Conservation Park

Address: 115 Maryvale Rd, Athelstone SA 5076
Contact Details: (08) 8336 0901
Operating Hours: 

  • Mon to Fri – 9 am to 4:30 pm
  • Sat to Sun – Closed


A quick 18-minute drive from the CBD will take you to this slice of paradise free from the city’s grime and grit. 

Black Hills Conservation Park is a nature lover’s dream come true, with hills serving as feeding grounds for wallabies and floral gardens bustling with butterflies!

The 1.25-km Buffer Zone Track is this spot’s most popular bushwalking trail and our team’s top pick. Along this path, you’ll witness a striking contrast between the park’s native scrub and the neighboring suburban surroundings in the nearby plains.

Walking Wisdom: We understand how the view of the suburbs can be jarring to those looking for a true-blue retreat with nature. 

Our solution? The Orchard Hike: a 2-km trail offering a trip into the wilderness, leading you to a rocky waterfall and a charming historic orchard. 

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