So many places to visit, so many cycle trips to do, so many cycle paths to follow. Here are a few cycling adventures you may want to investigate further…
South Australia – Flinders Ranges By Bike
Flinders Ranges in the northern region of South Australia is the gateway to the Australian Outback. Within this region is a 210-kilometre bike path that can be tackled by the mountain bike athlete in a day, or by the cycle tourist at a more leisurely pace. Here is our adventure in this magical place.
South Australia – Adelaide to Willunga Return
We took a 2-day return trip from Adelaide to Willunga all on bike paths. Read all about it…
South Australia – Around Adelaide
The South Australian capital city of Adelaide offers fantastic climate and geography for cycling. The Torrens River runs some 18 kilometres from the CBD to the beach, Adelaide Hills is a location for the Tour Down Under and has some challenging climbs. The city and surrounding suburbs are relatively flat and bike paths abound. Here are a few routes you may want to investigate for yourselves.
An overnight cycle trip to McClaren Vale via established bikepaths – a wine drinker’s paradise and Willunga Hill – a famous stage of the Tour Down Under.
The Indian summer gives us a perfect excuse for two days of fine weather riding, and we hope to link up bikepaths for the entire 100km return trip from Adelaide to Willunga. Well thats the plan!
Grade: Easy, mostly rolling country, sealed paths, one steep (2.5km) uphill.
With no need of cold and wet gear and a room booked, our light pack comes in well under the maximum for our Topeak bags.
Mike Turtur Bikepath – Sturt River Linear Park
The Mike Turtur Bikepath, gives us an easy downhill to hook up with the Sturt River Linear Park path. Its not clearly signposted but easy to find, – just after Marion Road, near the Tram depot.
The route follows the river ( really a concrete floodway at this stage) moving from side to side over bridges and crossing a few busy roads, passing though small reserves and the backs of industrial and residential blocks. There are useful signs at each road crossing giving more info on the next stage of the ride.
We have been gently heading uphill getting nicely warmed up and finding the many wetlands and trees providing welcome shade as the day heats up. The path tunnels under the Southern Expressway and we turn Right onto the footpath of the Sturt Road and 100 meters ahead, is the start of the Veloway and the end of our shade.
Veloway bike path – Sturt River to Noarlunga
It’s a hard and hot 2.5km climb to the top of O’Halloran Hill, but we are rewarded with great views and a wind that helps ease the humidity and heat. From here, the Veloway follows the Southern Expressway; surprisingly not noisy thanks to well designed landscaping.
The veloway comes to a T junction end with another bike path. With absolutely no signs anywhere, we take an educated guess and turn right, to discover that we are now on the Coast to Vines path.
This route continues down a wide gully – with housing estates sprawling down the tops – where we find the first shelter, seating and much needed drinking water before it flattens out and we cross the Onkarparinga River.
Once past the Seacliff train station (a possible start point for those who want a shorter route) the path makes for easy riding though reserves and residential areas before plunging down though an old railway cutting, offering a cool pine scented respite from the heat.
Leaving the cool, it’s a railway gradient downhill to McClaren Vale, ducking under the highway to find vines forever leading the eye astray. Known for it’s consistently stunning vintages McLaren Vale is one of the top Shiraz wine regions of the world. We leave the path temporarily for a ride though the main street, in search of water and a late lunch. Best veggie burger at the café beside the old church – home of Dave Clark and the Singing Gallery.
McClaren Vale – Willunga, via The Shiraz Trail Bike Path.
Fuelled, and back on bikepaths, now called the Shiraz Trail Bike Path we follow the old railway line to Willunga (and our accommodation) a further 7kms of gentle uphill gradient.
The heat (36 + ) and humidity has sapped our remaining energy and enthusiasm to ride Willunga Hill, but we console ourselves that we did grind our way up it last year, before watching the riders of the Tour Down Under, flash their way up.
Our room for the night is wonderfully cool, the shower strong and bed comfy. Heading out for dinner we notice huge black clouds forming over the hills begin to regret the lack of wet weather gear. However the publican reassures us, that, the clouds will just sit there. The next morning he is proved right and we get the benefit of a gusty tailwind as well as a cooler day.
Flying into McClaren Vale, we pause for coffee at the Almond Train, and then check out the Info place, to find a family fair in full swing. We resist adding more bottles to our panniers and head back up the railway cutting, taking the same route back to the T Junction.
Coast to Vines bike path – Noarlunga to Hallett Cove
This time, we continue on the Coast to Vines path when it meets the Veloway at the un-signposted T Junction, discovering that this is the old Hallett Cove to Noarlunga railway line – which proves to be a lovely tree lined route through residential areas. Great gradient too.
The Coast to Vines path leaves the old railway line, crossing a major intersection before dropping under Main South Road – keep an eye out for the cardboard sign! – This directs you to the right bike path that curves over the Veloway and Southern Expressway to Sheidow Park.
Residential reserves link up and soon we are greeted with sea views crossing over the new railway line at Hallett Cove Station. From here, it’s a downhill coast to Kingston and the end of the Coast to Vines path.
The next 2 kms of road travel bike lane is unavoidable, but we did descend to the Brighton Caravan Park to pick up the Esplanade and the start of the Marino Rocks to Glenelg bike path. Although today, the sand is firm and the tide out – a great choice for our MTB bikes all the way to Glenelg and our favourite café – The Broadway Kiosk.
A late lunch fuels us up for the last 10k leg home, on the Mike Turtur bike path, bringing to an end a great two days cycling – all on bike paths, with a 2km exception. Fantastic.
A 38.9km ride on a very pleasant spring afternoon in Adelaide takes me along the Mike Turtur Bikeway to Glenelg, then south to the start of the Marino Rocks Greenway ride back to the city.
Check out the stats and map on the Garmin Website here.
The bikeway is sprinkled with quirky works of art along it’s length that keep riders entertained.
A “chainlink” couple take their “chainlink” dog for a walk above.
This collage can be seen in the section just after the Morphetteville Race Track.
Standing Tall On Surf-Ari – A Sculptor by Chris Murphy
I still have no idea why this giraffe is here. The plaque reads….
“Hi my name is Gene The Giraffe. I was created on 20th January 2014 at Blue Temper Ironworks Middleton. My internal frame is made of round bar and 215 patches were hand cut and shaped to make my legs, head, body and my cheeky smile.”
The cycle path ends at the junction of Brighton Road and Jetty Road at Glenelg some 15km from the city centre. From here follow Jetty Road down to Mosley Square where the tram terminates. Here you will find a vibrant cafe and resturant pedestrianised square perfect for a rest before tackling the beachfront path south to Marino Rocks.
At this point you can of course point your front wheel north and follow the cycle path some 25kms as far as Port Adelaide. We will leave that for another day though as we continue south.
Approximately 2km south of Mosley Sq will bring you to a funky little cafe situated right on the waterfront. The cafe is popular with cyclists and dog walkers alike. Very popular on weekend mornings, I can vouch for the quality of the coffee.
The beachfront esplanade ride south of the cafe is very pleasent and offers stunning views along the coast as far as the Fleurieu Peninsula, South Australia.
You can of course elect to drop down onto the sand if the tide is out. Not recommended on a swish road bike however. There is something extremely satisfying about riding on the sand with a warm breeze at your back.
The area around Brighton Jetty offers good value cafe and resturant dining with a fine pub (or hotel as the Ozzies say) right on the front. You may even be rewarded with a sighting of local dolphin cruising past the end of the jetty.
From Brighton Jetty the bike path turns inland through back streets of Brighton and Marino but as no less interesting.
More to come…….