Freewheeling On the Fleurieu
Getting out and exercising in the fresh air is great for the body and the mind – especially when you’re experiencing the beautiful natural environment of the Fleurieu Peninsula.
There are lots of trails around the region for cyclists, whether you’re looking for a leisurely spin or take it a little more serious. There’s definitely a reason to pack your bikes (or hire them) when you come for a stay!
If you’re looking for a trail that will take you along scenic coastline, you should definitely check out the Encounter Bikeway.
The trail links the heritage towns of Goolwa, Port Elliot, Middleton with Victor Harbor over 31kms. You can complete the whole thing or do a section of it. Perhaps ride one way and catch the historic Cockle Train back. Just make sure you call ahead to ensure there is room for your bike.
Schedule a stop at one of the many cafes and restaurants along the way for a quick drink or refuel with a bite to eat. Flying Fish cafe, located on Horseshoe bay, is perfect for an early morning coffee or famous fish and chips in a cone. Kuti Shack and Bombora on the River, located at the end of the trail in Goolwa, are also great spots for a lunch featuring succulent seafood.
If you're riding May-October make sure you keep your eyes peeled for the Southern Right Whales that often rest and play in the bay. This is also a great way to keep the kids entertained.
Soak in the salty sea air and pedal at your own pace. Bliss!
Encounter Bikeway. Image courtesy of South Australian Tourism Commission.
Coast to Vines Rail Trail
For scenic sea views and vineyard vistas, you can’t go past the Coast to Vines Rail Trail.
At 35km in length, this trail follows an old steam train rail corridor. Starting in Marino, take a leisurely ride through McLaren Vale and finish up in Willunga – tasting your way, of course.
Extend your ride or take a smaller section on the Shiraz Trail. The trail is 8kms from McLaren Vale to Willunga and is mostly flat terrain. This area offers world-class food and wine, and cycling is an excellent way to explore the region. After a long day of riding, eating and drinking we recommend booking one of the many amazing accommodations on offer.
Food, wine and getting in your daily exercise? Sign us up!
Gone AWOL - Coast to Vines Tourt. Image courtesy of South Australian Tourism Commission.
Myponga Reservoir Trail
If something a little shorter is more your style (though still including the scenic views), the Myponga Reservoir Trail might be a good fit.
At just 3.3km, this unsealed trail loops around on itself for a very relaxed cycle. If you're an adventurous soul then the western loop will provide a bit more adrenaline. The 3km trail provides a few downhill sections for your enjoyment.
Along the way, you’ll get to experience the changing environment – open plains, forested areas and native vegetation. Our top tip- bring a picnic basket along and make a day of it!
It’s a beautiful part of the Fleurieu to explore.
Myponga Reservoir Reserve. Image courtesy of John Montesi/South Australian Tourism Commission.
Where does the trail start and end? Do we go one-way or return? Which wineries and cafes should we stop at?
These are just some of the few questions that will come up when organising your own self-guided bike ride. So why not take all the hassle out and go along on a guided tour! Not only will all of your stops and equipment be organised for you, but you will have the benefit of local knowledge and maybe even see the area from a different perspective.
Escapegoat Adventures McLaren Vale Wine and Bike Tour focuses on nature-based exploration, with a touch of wine and local produce. You'll ride on high-end mountain bikes which allows you to get off the beaten track. They'll even pick you up and drop you off in central Adelaide. The only decision you have to make is red or white?
If you want to give e-bikes a try then Gone AWOL's Best of McLaren Vale Tour will suit you. Ride from the beautiful beachside suburb of Moana to McLaren Vale and explore the many wineries, distilleries and breweries. This itinerary is negotiable depending on what interests your group has. After a mid morning wine-tasting the bikes are stored on a trailer so you can sip wine until your heart's content.
Gone AWOL - Coast to Vines Tour. Image courtesy of South Australian Tourism Commission.
If you don’t own your own bike or couldn’t bring it with you, there are plenty of options to hire one.
And you can’t go past the free – yes, free – bikes available from the Fleurieu Coast Visitor Centre in Yankalilla. They’ll let you borrow a mountain bike (adult and kids sizes) or a cool retro bike to explore the area around Yankalilla, Normanville and Carricklinga, which is mostly a flat, easy ride. You just have to complete a hire form and leave behind a valid photo ID.
For those who want some extra help, or just don’t want to break a sweat on a relaxing weekend, the Coast & Co Electro Bikes in McLaren Vale offer high spec electric bikes to give you that extra push. You can take the Shiraz Trail and enjoy all the wineries along the way without putting in too much effort!
SA eBikes also offers e-bike hire in the region, with bikes available on a full-day, half-day, 2-day or weekly basis from the McLaren Vale Visitor Information Centre.
Have you ever cycled to a campsite? Fleurieu Cycle Tours offers a self-guided 2 night 3 day cycle camping tour complete with camping equipment, pre-paid campsite fees, a detailed itinerary and, of course, a bike! Along the way, explore the Langhorne Creek wine region, Lake Alexandrina and the spectacular Fleurieu coastline, all with a flexible but clearly marked guide.
Hither & Yon. Image courtesy of Meaghan Coles.
Cycling is an excellent way to explore this beautiful part of South Australia so what are you waiting for, on your bike!