No need to prove it anymore, we are hiking machines. Not only you work out, but you discover some outstanding landscapes. With good equipment, a yummy picnic and awesome hiking buddies, bushwalking becomes a real pleasure for all your senses. Let’s get to this review of the main hiking trails in Adelaide region.
What could be a better way to exercise and discover our new home going hiking in the numerous National Parks of South Australia?!! Dressed in our best hiking shoes and full of energy (but with sore legs the day after… right Steve?!), we’re ready to walk and climb for a few hours in outstanding forests, plains and waterfalls.
Where can you find hiking trails?
There are many parks in South Australia reserved for outdoor activities. Eight types of parks exist:
– National Parks are areas with a “national significance due to wildlife, natural features of the land, or Aboriginal or European heritage”.
– Conservation Parks are areas “protected for the purpose of conserving wildlife or the natural or historic features of the land”.
– Game Reserves are areas “set aside for conservation of wildlife and the management of game for seasonal hunting”.
– Recreation Parks are areas “managed for public recreation and enjoyment in a natural setting”.
– Regional Reserves are areas “proclaimed for the purpose of conserving wildlife or natural or historical features while allowing responsible use of the area’s natural resource.”
– Wilderness Protection Areas are lands “set aside to protect natural and remote areas”.
– Conservation Reserves are lands “set aside for conservation of natural and cultural features”.
– Marine Parks are lands “set aside to preserve the biological diversity of the state’s coastal, estuarine and marine environments while allowing ecologically sustainable use of the area’s natural resource”.
Whatever your favorite way to go on a trail is, you’ll definitely find something to entertain yourself for a weekend. Horseriding, canoeing, diving, hiking, walking, cycling or in a challenging way, many trails are to be discovered for free in South Australia. You can either enjoy it with your partner, some friends or join a walking group. Here are two main websites to know everything about trails in SA:
– Walking SA: you can find everything from walking guides, walking groups to walking events for a cause or submitting a walking trail.
– South Australian Trails: get to know the 40 greatest short walks in SA according to your preferences, motivation and search for adrenaline.
=> IMPORTANT: It is good to know that most national parks in Australia require a small fee. This fee should be paid online before entering the park for your convenience. Everything you need to know about National Parks of SA here.
Our favorite hiking trails around Adelaide
🗻 Mount Lofty
Located in the South-East of Adelaide, next to Cleland Conservation Park, we made it to the top of Mount Lofty Summit that day! This 2 to 3-hour trail will definitely warm you, especially on its steep section to the summit. When you get there, your muscles are sore, you’re out of breath, you’re sweaty… But you’re rewarded by an outstanding view of Adelaide and its surroundings until the Ocean! You can even rest and recover at their cafe and tourist shop.
This location is quite popular in SA and can get really busy during a sunny and warm weekend. It is also near a well-frequented wildlife park. At Cleland Conservation Park, you can discover many different animal species (kangaroos, wombats and much more), and even have a koala experience. However, get your credit card ready because entry and koala hold-up fees apply.
The first time we went there, a few friends accompanied us. Full of enthusiasm and motivation, they let us keep going on our own when they realized how scared they are of heights (was the hungover another factor?!). We enjoyed this short hiking trail (about an hour back and forth) and promised ourselves to come back for a longer trail.
Back to Morialta a few months later, this time we took an unforeseen long loop around the conservation park. We almost visited the entire park bushwalking and rockclimbing, also discovering each of the three waterfalls and creeks. It offered us a spectacular scenery of the city of Adelaide and the opportunity to admire Morialta Gorge and the nearby Adelaide plains until the Atlantic Ocean.
🗻 Deep Creek
We experienced the most amazing hiking trail and it left us speechless! Deep Creek Conservation Park is home to an array of native wildlife and an incredible bushland setting. This park offers up to 15 different walking trails which will feel like heaven to nature lovers and bushwalkers. We had the unexpected surprise to see hundreds of wild kangaroos chilling out and looking at us as we were weird creatures. This place is definitely not to be missed if you come to Adelaide and feel like taking a break away from the noisy atmosphere of the city. There you’ll find peace, quietness, beautiful nature and outstanding views.
Easy to access by train (30 minutes away from the city), Belair National Park is an active outdoor area where you can practice sport at one of the numerous tennis courts and cricket pitches, chill out around the lake, go see two heritage attractions as the Old Government House and the State Flora Nursery and hike within a forest full of wild animals like koalas, kangaroos, emus and other birds. You can even ride bikes or horses, have a picnic or a barbie.
☞ UPDATE – APRIL 2015 ☜
🗻 Flinders Ranges
The best spot to go hiking with its work out aspect and its beautiful landscapes. About a 5h-drive from Adelaide, the Flinders Ranges are a chain of mountains and plains in the desert of SA. This national park is made up of around 10 hiking trails. Our two favorite ones are Mt Ohlssen & St Mary Peak. Find all the brochures and maps here.
We camped once we arrived at the park and we stayed at Wilpena Pound. We bought a good tent, two sleeping bags. Luckily two friends who are experts in camping lent us their camping stove and cooking pan. It was a great experience that helps clear your mind, exercise a bit, get fresh air and enjoy some breath-taking landscapes.