Bushwalks close to the city for evening hikes

Now that daylight savings has started, short after-work hikes are a great way to get out and experience nature and the sunshine.

We’ve compiled a list of short hikes which are close to Adelaide. All are an hour or two, up to three hours.

Prefer easier walks around Adelaide along rivers, the coast and metropolitan parks?

Check out our accompanying article:
20 Evening walks to enjoy now that Daylight Saving has started

Throughout October we’re celebrating walking with walktoberSA. Watch out for some more lists of best walks and hikes throughout the month.

25 Bushwalks close to the city for evening hikes

Michael Perry Botanic Reserve1.

EAST: Michael Perry Botanic Reserve

Walk suitable for prams and strollers Walk suitable for dog walking

1 hour, 1.7km

Wander around a loop through the quiet reserve following Second Creek to see the wildlife, aquatic life and remnants of the exotic plants. Start the walk on Andrews Walk, near 66 Hallett Road, or from one of the nearby streets.


Morialta Falls Plateau Hike2.

EAST: Morialta Falls Plateau Hike

1.5 to 2 hours, 4.1km

Steep 6.5km walk offers spectacular views of Morialta Gorge’s towering cliffs and the First Falls, which flow in winter and autumn.


Wirraparinga Trail Loop, Brownhill Creek3.

EAST: Wirraparinga Trail Loop, Brownhill Creek

Walk suitable for dog walking

2 hours, 5.4km

The Wirraparinga Trail Loop meanders along the Brownhill Creek valley, through Brownhill Creek Recreation Park. A narrow creek flows through the steep-sided valley, with majestic river red gums, some more than 300 years old.


Waite Conservation Reserve Loop Walking Trail4.

EAST: Waite Conservation Reserve Loop Walking Trail

2-3 hours, 4.2km

On this sign-posted walking trail see how change rules in habitats, especially in grassy woodlands. Grab the excellent walking guide with notes and map which highlights the trail and its features. Follow the signposts with the ‘Blue Devil’ logo and blue arrows.


Toll Gate Circuit – Circuit A, Burnside Walks5.

EAST: Toll Gate Circuit – Circuit A, Burnside Walks

Walk suitable for dog walking

1.5 hours, 1.9km

A short loop past the Glen Osmond mine chimney, through Danthonia Reserve, looping back through a forested valley and along Gill Terrace.


Beaumont Circuit – Circuit D, Burnside Walks6.

EAST: Beaumont Circuit – Circuit D, Burnside Walks

Walk suitable for dog walking

1.5 hours, 3.5km

The trail follows a series of narrow switchbacks up the steep hill in to Mount Osmond Reserve, walking the Beaumont Link trail and some of the Pioneer Womens Trail. Options to use the very steep Centre Track, a fire track that intercepts the winding walking trail, as a shortcut.


River Red Gum Loop, Shepherds Hill Recreation Park7.

SOUTH: River Red Gum Loop, Shepherds Hill Recreation Park

Walk suitable for dog walking

1 hour, 2.3km

Explore the river red gums and wildlife along Viaduct Creek on this loop walk. A wide well-made trail suitable for prams which is shared with beginner-level cyclists.


Ridge Trail, Mount George Conservation Park8.

HILLS: Ridge Trail, Mount George Conservation Park

2 hours, 2.4km

2.4km hike along fire tracks & walking trails, through a secluded forest to the summit of Mt George, with magnificent views from a rocky outcrop lookout.


Measday Hike9.

EAST: Measday Hike

2 hours, 4.8km

Venture into the southern-most parts of the park, along this secluded track. Enjoy views over the gully below from the well-made track before plunging down to explore it at ground level.


Ambers Gully Hike and Sugarloaves Trail10.

NORTH EAST: Ambers Gully Hike and Sugarloaves Trail, Black Hill Conservation Park

2 hours, 4.4km

A short circuit hike through Ambers Gully in Black Hill Conservation Park, and on to the Sugarloaves Track. Good opportunities to spot koalas in Ambers Gully.

Nearby is the Black Hill Summit Hike which is also a great 2 hour, 4.2km loop.


Pink Gum Loop11.

NORTH EAST: Pink Gum Loop, Anstey Hill Recreation Park

Walk suitable for dog walking

90mins, 3.1km

A challenging circuit hike along wide fire trails climbing a steep hill. The trail is good for walking dogs and trail running, although the fire track can be dusty and loose gravel on the descent.


Wednesday Loop12.

NORTH EAST: Wednesday Loop, Anstey Hill Recreation Park

Walk suitable for dog walking

2-4 hours, 3.7km

The Wednesday Loop hike is 3.7km long circuit that mostly follows single trail which is used by hikers and mountain bikers. The trail begins near the main carpark in the former quarry. If you miss the formal trailhead and follow the main Quarry Track (also the Yellowtail Look), just 200 metres up the fire track the Wednesday Loop walking trail leaves the main fire track on the left.


Lorikeet Loop Walk, Belair National Park13.

EAST/FOOTHILLS: Lorikeet Loop Walk, Belair National Park

Walk suitable for dog walking

1h 25mins, 3km

Wind your way past Old Government House, State Flora Nursery, and adventure playground. The wide gravelled surface is suitable for most abilities, and for strollers. There are numerous flat rocks scattered along the trail for suitable as seating rest spots.


Waterfall Hike, Belair National Park14.

EAST/FOOTHILLS: Waterfall Hike, Belair National Park

Walk suitable for dog walking

3 hours, 6.5km

The most challenging trail in the park takes you through Echo Tunnel and to the picturesque rock escarpments of the Upper and Lower Waterfalls.


Porosa Hike15.

NORTH, NORTH-EAST: Porosa Hike, Cobber Creek Recreation Park

Walk suitable for dog walking

1 hour, 3km

Follows some of the original farm tracks, and a tranquil path through the valley of Cobbler Creek among stately river red gums. Takes in rewarding views of the Adelaide Hills and surrounding plains from the hilltop near Teakles Ruin as well as the site of the historic ‘Trevalsa’ homestead.


Loop in O’Halloran Hill Recreation Park16.

SOUTH: Loop in O’Halloran Hill Recreation Park

Walk suitable for dog walking

90 mins – 2 hours, 6km

A loop walk in O’Halloran Hill Recreation Park. Walkers, dogs (on-leash), mountain bikers and horse riders are welcome in the park. The park consists mostly of grassy hills and gullies with some trees.


Sturt Gorge Loop along the River Trail17.

SOUTH: Sturt Gorge Loop along the River Trail

3 hours, 7.1km

A walk along the River Trail in Sturt Gorge Recreation Park. See a Kaurna camp oven in a small cave in a cliff. The trail climbs out of the Gorge, following the Lomandra Trail with views over the Adelaide Plains, before returning back in to the gorge via the Spring Creek Trail.


Accessible Trail to Black Cliff and Waterfall Creek, Hallett Cove Conservation Park18.

SOUTH: Accessible Trail to Black Cliff and Waterfall Creek, Hallett Cove Conservation Park

1 hour, 1.1km return

The walking trail to Black Cliff in Hallett Cove Conservation Park is being upgraded to enable access for prams and assisted wheelchairs. The entire length of the 550m trail, starting at the Park’s southern entrance and ending at Black Cliff, is being paved to create a smooth, non-slip surface. The trail connects with the existing boardwalk, providing a 925m trail to Waterfall Creek, or a 1.8km return walk.


Pingle Farm Trail via estuary, Onkaparinga River Recreation Park19.

SOUTH: Pingle Farm Trail via estuary, Onkaparinga River Recreation Park

Walk suitable for dog walking

90 mins, 3.3km

Walk along the estuary before returning via the ruins of the former Pingle Farm farmhouse and sheds.


Wetlands Loop Trail, Onkaparinga River20.

SOUTH: Wetlands Loop Trail, Onkaparinga River

Walk suitable for dog walking

2 hours, 4.5km

The Wetlands Walk is located on the Onkaparinga River estuary with opportunities for walking, birdwatching and photography, with interpretive signs.


Punchbowl Link Trail (Sundews Carpark to Punchbowl Lookout)21.

SOUTH: Punchbowl Link Trail (Sundews Carpark to Punchbowl Lookout)

3 hours, 3km one-way (6.1km loop)

A new trail opened in mid-September 2017. The 6km loop trail visits a new lookout above The Punchbowl, where you can see spectacular views into the Onkaparinga Gorge. The trail is well contoured as it winds its way along the gullies heading out to the lookout. When it reaches the Punchbowl Lookout, it follows the Punchbowl Lookout Walk back to Piggott Range Road, where it follows a trail back along the road to the Sundews Carpark. An alternative way to do the hike is to retrace your steps from the Punchbowl Lookout, which would be 6.2km return.


Coral Lichen Circuit, Aldinga Scrub Conservation Park22.

SOUTH: Coral Lichen Circuit, Aldinga Scrub Conservation Park

1 hour, 1.1km

Circuit walking trail passes through Tall Shrubland, Mallee Box and Pink Gum. Viewing platform overlooks a colony of rare Lacy Coral Lichen – a spectacular Australian lichen.


Aldgate Valley Nature Walk23.

HILLS: Aldgate Valley Nature Walk

3.5 hour return, 13.6km

A walking trail connecting a series of nature reserves and some quiet country lane walking. The reserves and native bushland are home to Southern Brown Bandicoots, kangaroos, possums, echidnas and koalas.

As the hike is a return walk, it is easy to shorten it by turning around earlier.


Lynton Reserve and Sleeps Hill Reserve Loop24.

EAST: Lynton Reserve and Sleeps Hill Reserve Loop

Walk suitable for dog walking

2 hours return, 5.7km

A loop walk through the Lynton Reserve and Sleeps Hill Reserve walking trails. The park borders the Adelaide Plains and Belair, providing for some good climbs, city views, and walking through intact Grey Box grassy woodlands.


Devils Nose and Back Hike, Para Wirra25.

NORTH: Devils Nose and Back Hike, Para Wirra

Walk suitable for dog walking

2 hours, 5km

Enjoy this hike out along a long ridge to Devils Nose Lookout, with views along the ridge and lookout.