Beautiful Biking in the Barossa -Cycling through the Barossa Valley
It was a short but extremely busy ride from Riverton to Tarlee where we’d left the Clare Valley and entered the Barossa. The traffic kept us on our toes and we were extremely happy to turn off onto the Kapunda Road and some peace and quiet.
Our ride into Kapunda, and the Barossa Valley, has to be one of our shortest yet, with a total of 30 kms for the day, but headwinds to Tarlee and some tough hills for the first 7 kms from the turn-off kept us honest. Mind you…once we got to the top it was a sweet ride all the way down into town for about 5 kms. Now that’s what we like.
Kapunda is a pretty little town with plenty of historic buildings, cottage gardens and a couple of good museums. A combination ticket for the both of them will only set you back $5, well worth it to explore the rich history of mining in the area. It also has a very pretty caravan park with good facilities by the side of a lake. The neighbouring “Coat of Arms Park” with resident kangaroo and Emus was in full bloom. It’s a short walk into town for some nice cafes, bakeries, restaurants, a couple of supermarkets and, our favourite, country pubs
There was a large group of cyclists using the caravan park as their base to explore the surrounding area on day trips. One of the members was well versed in roads around the area (having helped to plot out the Mawson Tail) and suggested an alternative route from Tanunda to Adelaide without having to go through Gawler and down the main roads. He also said it was pretty flat…..Lets see how that one goes, shall we.
The next day’s ride into Tanunda (31km) was very pretty. Once again the pinchy hills and nasty headwind kept the blood pumping but we had a nice downhill run into Nuriootpa and Tanunda, passing some of the more famous wineries on the way (and resisting the urge to sample the offerings at each).
Tanunda is lovely with lots of gorgeous stone houses, cottage gardens, trendy cafes, great shopping and numerous cellar doors with local produce on offer. There’s dozens of B & B’s and boutique accommodation which, coupled with it’s close proximity from Adelaide,make it perfect for a romantic getaway. Jacob’s Creek is the big name here with prominent signs around town. The caravan park has been voted one of the top 7 in Australia and the friendly staff, excellent amenities and position, just a 5 minute walk from town justify the honour. We grabbed a basic cabin for two nights and settled in to explore the town for a couple of days.
The final, allegedly flat ride into Adelaide was a little more difficult that reported. It was a total of just under 70 km and the route took us via Lyndoch, Williamstown, Kersbrook, Chain of Ponds and down Gorge Road to Campbelltown. It had some challenging hills and the road was very narrow in places making it a bit hazardous with all the bends and fair amount of traffic. The biggest problem is we were moving quite slowly on the windy roads and the cars can’t see you until they are almost upon you. Extreme caution is the only way to ride it, which took away from some very spectacular scenery somewhat.
Once up the top at Cudlee Creek though, it’s a lovely ride alongside the Torrens, with some amazing outlooks over the Kangaroo Creek dam an onwards to Adelaide. And…it definitely looked and felt steeper if you had to ride it the other way, a fact for which we were thankful as we sailed down into Adelaide.
Adelaide is our old stomping ground. I had lived there for 3 years while I completed my first degree and Tim had joined me there in my final year. We have family there (who were kind enough to put up with us for a week) and a number of friends, both new and old. It was great to catch up with them all. The weather turned it on while we were there with the full spectrum of seasons. It was sunny and hot one minute, windy and cold the next. We ate too much, drank too much and managed to get most of our administrivia out of the way to set us up for the next leg into Melbourne. Now we just have to get over those damn hills again to continue our journey East.
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