With daylight savings short after-work hikes are a great way to get out and experience nature and the sunshine.
We’ve updated our previous list to add 20 more hikes, showcasing 45 short hikes which are close to Adelaide. All are an hour or two, up to three hours.
45 Bushwalks close to the city for evening hikes
EAST: Sugarloaf Circuit
5.8km, 3 hours
The Sugarloaf Circuit hike is a 3 hour, 5.8km circuit through the cool sanctuary of Chambers Gully and Woolshed Gully, with splendid views of the city and coast. Watch out for koalas and kangaroos.
FOOTHILLS: Microcarpa Hike, Belair National Park
4.5km, 1hr 45mins
Walk through one of the most diverse and best-preserved woodland areas remaining in the Mount Lofty Ranges. An off-road stroller would be suitable in dry conditions.
HILLS/EAST: Loop of Mark Oliphant Conservation Park
4km, 2 hours
A stringybark forest with numerous hiking trails. The park entrance appears rundown, but don’t be deceived – this park is a gem for walkers. Trails are marked, and firetracks named with street signs.
HILLS: Lobethal Bushland Park
4.2km, 2 hours
Explore this hidden wonderland which is just outside of Lobethal. The park features two reservoirs and tall stringybark forest with fern undergrowth. Hiking here, even on warmer days, is a delight.
HILLS: Walking Trail Around Mount Barker Summit
2.4km, 1.5 hours
This 2.4km circuit hike is an alternative walk to the easy Summit Walking Trail. The trail is easy to follow, and provides views to the east and west.
NORTH: Old Kersbrook Loop and Devils Gully Link Trails, Mount Lofty Ranges Trails, Kersbrook
7.5km, 2.5 hours
Meander through pine plantation forest and native scrub along fire tracks. Extend the hike from the north and south along sections of the Devils Gully Link Trails.
SOUTH/HILLS: Mount Magnificent Summit Hike Loop
3.5km, 1 hour
Follow the Heysen Trail in Mount Magnificent Conservation Park, through the forest up to the summit of Mt Magnificent, where there are spectacular views of the surrounding countryside.
SOUTH/HILLS: Myrtaceae Hike, Kyeema Conservation Park
5.8km, 2.5 hours
Explore a longer loop Kyeema Conservation Park. The trail follows some of the Heysen Trail, before following some walking trail further west, returning along fire tracks. A shorter loop is the 1.3km Mulurus Hike.
SOUTH: Echidna Hike
3.5km, 2 hours
A narrow trail takes you over moderate slopes and through lovely pink gum, grey box and sheoak bushland. Enjoy the winter and spring floral displays, including stunning orchids. You will see some ruins, get great views of the gorge, and get a good workout.
SOUTH: Nature Hike
3.5km, 3 hours
An easy trail though regenerating pink gum and grey box woodland. This trail is a fine example of these unique plant communities. On the eastern section of the trail you’ll have fabulous views of the gorge.
SOUTH: Sundews Ridge Hike
4km, 2 hours return
Take a short hike to view the rocky outcrops and meandering river from the Sundews Lookout. From the book 12 More Walks in the Onkaparinga River National and Recreation Park.
NORTH: Wren Walk, Sandy Creek Conservation Park
4km, 1 hour
Explore Sandy Creek Conservation Park on this walk which includes the main sandy ridge in the park, which provides attractive views across the park’s heath country and peppermint box woodland. Look out for the superb fairy-wren.
SOUTH: Willunga Hill Trail
2.6km, 1 – 1.5 hours return
Enjoy a walk up Willunga Hill Trail from the John Yeates memorial lookout. The walk follows a narrow corridor between Old Willunga Hill Road and the Victor Harbor Road up Willunga Hill, although with the dense trees you wouldn’t often nice that. Thanks to environmental work the area has protected 85 indigenous plant species, including a Eucalyptus fasciculosa (Pink gum) population which is rated rare in South Australia.
FOOTHILLS: Walking Loop in Craigburn Farm
5.8km, 2 hours
Craigburn Farms Shared Trails are a trail network in Sturt Gorge Recreation Park. As with the Recreation Park, most of the marked trails are one-way/return trails, not loop trails. We’ve outlined a 5.8km walking loop, following several one-way trails, to make a circuit hike: the Lake View Trail, the Little River Trail, the River Trail and the Magpie Creek Trails.
FOOTHILLS: Lake View Trail (Craigburn Farm)
1.2km, 30 mins
Enjoy a stroll around the lake in the Craigburn Farms Shared Trails network in Sturt Gorge Recreation Park. Start from the trailhead on Bonython Way, and follow the Lakeside Trail (marked with blue markers), walking downhill towards the lake, then following the loop around the lake.
SOUTH: River Hike, Onkaparinga Gorge
4.2km, 2.5 hours
Walk down into Onkaparinga Gorge, experiencing spectacular views across the gorge and walking to the edge of waterholes. This area has the most intact native vegetation in the park. It starts off along gentle slopes, but becomes steeper as you descend into the gorge.
SOUTH: Chapel Hill Lookout Loop
1.6km, 45 mins return
Walk across the gentle slopes of the upper gorge to enjoy views from the lookout deep into the river gorge below.
SOUTH: The Botanical Trail, Marino Conservation Park
1.5km, 45 mins
Enjoy a wander through Marino Conservation Park on the Botanical Trail, which meanders through coastal heath to the Marino Rocks Lighthouse. There are views up the coast to Brighton and Holdfast Bay, and south to Port Stanvac, as well as views to the city skyline.
SOUTH: Old Noarlunga Hike, Onkaparinga River National Park
3.5km, 2.5 hours
Experience a hike along the Onkaparinga River, starting from the ford in Old Noarlunga. The walk takes in part of the Gorge Trek, but this walk only includes one rock scramble but does include some narrow walking trail. The trail climbs the hill following the pipeline, before descending steeply back to the river.
EAST: Michael Perry Botanic Reserve
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.
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.
EAST: Wirraparinga Trail Loop, Brownhill Creek
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.
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.
EAST: Toll Gate Circuit – Circuit A, Burnside Walks
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.
EAST: Beaumont Circuit – Circuit D, Burnside Walks
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.
SOUTH: River Red Gum Loop, Shepherds Hill Recreation Park
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.
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.
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.
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.
NORTH EAST: Pink Gum Loop, Anstey Hill Recreation Park
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.
NORTH EAST: Wednesday Loop, Anstey Hill Recreation Park
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.
EAST/FOOTHILLS: Lorikeet Loop Walk, Belair National Park
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.
EAST/FOOTHILLS: Waterfall Hike, Belair National Park
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.
NORTH, NORTH-EAST: Porosa Hike, Cobber Creek Recreation Park
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.
SOUTH: Loop in O’Halloran Hill Recreation Park
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.
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.
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.
SOUTH: Pingle Farm Trail via estuary, Onkaparinga River Recreation Park
90 mins, 3.3km
Walk along the estuary before returning via the ruins of the former Pingle Farm farmhouse and sheds.
SOUTH: Wetlands Loop Trail, Onkaparinga River
2 hours, 4.5km
The Wetlands Walk is located on the Onkaparinga River estuary with opportunities for walking, birdwatching and photography, with interpretive signs.
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.
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.
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.
EAST: Lynton Reserve and Sleeps Hill Reserve Loop
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.
NORTH: Devils Nose and Back Hike, Para Wirra
2 hours, 5km
Enjoy this hike out along a long ridge to Devils Nose Lookout, with views along the ridge and lookout.