Adelaide is packed to the brim with recreation parks filled with spectacular hikes and walking tracks laid out for your feet to wander. While some might already be scattered through your friend’s social media feeds and others discussed as fitness triumphs over Monday morning coffee conversation, there’s plenty more to choose from in our beautiful state.
So, we’ve put together a little go-to guide for all you avid walkers (you’re welcome). From those searching for the ultimate view at the end of the trail, those who want to impress their fitbit, those with little humans in tow, or with furry friends too, and even those who would really rather a slow stroll, preferably with a picnic in between.
Go on, take a gander, and then get out there and put those walking shoes on.
Pretty as a picture...
If you’re a sucker for waterfalls (who isn’t), the Waterfall Gully track is a no-brainer for you. While you can take the whole track right up to Mount Lofty, you can also take the easier route around the Waterfall itself, if you’re after a picturesque Sunday stroll. Why not take a picnic to enjoy when you finish?
One of the more popular coastal walks in the state, the Marion Coastal Walk spans from Marino to Hallett Headland Reserve. Complete just a portion with spectacular views of the sea from the boardwalk, or take on all 7.2 kilometres for a lengthier hike. In Summer, slip your bathers underneath your active-wear and take the stairs to the sea.
If you need a little inspiration - a light at the end of the tunnel - when it comes to your walking expeditions, the Max Holbrook trail is perfect for you, offering panoramic views from the top of Brownhill at the trail’s finish. Remember to pack your camera. It’s downhill back to the Carrick Hill carpark from there, so it’ll be smooth sailing once you’ve reached the peak.
Perfect for pooches...
The Onkaparinga River Recreation Park is full of picturesque walks, and the Pingle Farm Trail is a particularly popular one with the pooches. Pass by historic ruins, as well as the unique Encounter Marine Park - the perfect mix of bushland and waterways for your pooch to sniff and trott their way around, and only a 2 hour round trip (if you choose to conquer it all that is).
Meandering its way through the centre of the Forest, the Tinjella trail is just one of many different trails you and your furry friend can enjoy around beautiful Kuitpo. Start at the Tinjella hut, or off Christmas Hill road and take it as long as you like (12km round-trip if you’re feeling up to it). The great thing about Kuitpo is your pooch can run loose (within reason), unless there’s other hikers or animals around, so make sure to be responsible for their whereabouts at all times.
At only 40 minutes round-trip, and with gorgeous views along the track, this is the ultimate dog friendly walk (hence the name!). There’s a number of different easy loops around the Gorge, so make sure you check out the others while you’re there too.
Take the kids…
Whether you’ve got small children, teenagers, strollers or pets (or all of the above), this trail is one for everyone. With a number of ponds along the way, each supporting local wildlife, this is a good one to keep little tackers entertained, and a relaxing stroll for parents at the same time (let’s be honest, this is equally important!).
While Belair National Park hosts a myriad of trails and tracks for all sorts of skill levels, the Wood Duck Walk is ideal for those with little feet in tow, or those with mobility limitations. Feed the ducks and slowly make your way around the picturesque Playford Lake. Just 30 minutes return journey.
Just off Salisbury Highway, you’ll find Greenfields Wetlands - 114 hectares of urban wetlands waiting to be explored. The Watershed Function Centre and Cafe is where you start your journey, the cafe and trail open 7 days per week, 8am - 4pm. The area is well-loved by small children and families, and parts are also wheelchair accessible.
We’ve all heard about the Mount Lofty Summit Climb, and many of us may have done it. But for those of you who need the extra encouragement to conquer this Adelaide walking track icon - here it is! The views at the top are spectacular, and it’ll be worth it to get that finish photo in celebration. The journey from Waterfall Gully to the Summit is approximately 2 hours return. Why not treat yourself to a drink or a nibble at the cafe afterwards if you need the motivation.
A whopping 13km loop, this really is an adventure not for the faint-hearted. Not only is this trail physically challenging, but it’s also only recommended for experienced hikers. Technical twists and turns around the park’s steepest sections of the valleys requires some pretty savvy hiking skills.
Named for it’s sightings of the gorgeous native Yellow-tailed cockatoo, this loop trail is for the nature lovers amongst us. Still a decent 6.2km track, it’s still a tad tricky, but you can always turn back if it’s well beyond your reach. Like a challenge? Why not take on the whole track, which traverses through some of the park’s most popular attractions, including the Newman’s Nursery ruins.
Take it easy...
A great one for beginners, or those wanting a slow Sunday stroll, the Morialta Valley Walk offers picturesque waterfall vistas, and accessible trails (wide enough for a stroller). Only 45 minutes duration, it’s ideal if you’re low on time (or just really want to get to that Sunday brunch afterwards).
Incorporating a beautiful bushland section of the famous Heysen trail, the Mylor Conservation Park also offers a very easy stroll between Gates 1 and 2 of the park along a bitumen track. Suitable for kids, strollers and wheelchairs too, the short track takes in the gorgeous local native woodland. If you’re feeling adventurous afterwards, you can always tackle a part of the Heysen track that follows towards Cleland.
With a number of different tracks throughout the wild beachside scrub, you can stroll as far as you like, wherever you like. Just make sure to remember your way back, and say hello to the locals (kangaroos of course) on your way through. Why not make for the beach at the end of your stroll, just a hop, skip and a jump away...sink your toes in the sand, relax and take it all in.