The Ultimate Guide to Cycling in Adelaide: Australia’s Best City for Cyclists

Welcome to Adelaide, a city blessed with natural beauty that will leave you awestruck at every turn. Nestled between the glistening waters of the Gulf St Vincent to the west, rolling hills to the east, and a captivating peninsula to the south, this Australian gem offers a cycling experience like no other. As you pedal through this enchanting city, you’ll be greeted by the fresh sea air, breathtaking coastal vistas, and the lush greenery of the Adelaide Hills. So, hop on your pushy, feel the warm sun on your face, and immerse yourself in the stunning scenery of Adelaide—a cyclist’s paradise where every ride becomes a journey of pure bliss.

Where to ride in Adelaide

Adelaide Hills (to the east of Adelaide)

Nestled amidst the picturesque Adelaide Hills are several beautiful townships that offer cyclists a delightful escape into the region’s natural charm. Among these, Hahndorf stands out as a must-visit destination, exuding a quaint, old-world atmosphere with its German heritage evident in its charming architecture and delightful cafes. As cyclists pedal through the tree-lined streets, they can explore boutique shops, art galleries, and indulge in delectable local produce, making Hahndorf a captivating stop during any Adelaide Hills cycling adventure.

In the heart of the Adelaide Hills, cyclists will discover the famous Norton Summit, an iconic destination that beckons both locals and visitors alike. Norton Summit is renowned for its challenging yet rewarding cycling route that ascends to its namesake summit. As cyclists pedal up the winding roads, they are treated to breathtaking vistas of the surrounding countryside and Adelaide Plains below. The climb to Norton Summit offers a sense of accomplishment, attracting cyclists seeking a thrilling challenge and stunning panoramic views.

Another gem of the Adelaide Hills is Stirling, a captivating township known for its lush greenery and scenic surrounds. Cyclists will find themselves surrounded by leafy avenues and beautiful gardens as they explore Stirling’s streets. The town’s relaxed ambiance, coupled with cozy cafes and vibrant art scene, makes it an ideal spot for a leisurely break during a cycling excursion through the region.

Amidst rolling hills and vineyards, the town of Lobethal adds a touch of idyllic charm to any cycling route in the Adelaide Hills. Renowned for its Christmas lights during the festive season, Lobethal is equally enchanting year-round. Cyclists can enjoy the town’s warm hospitality, discover local craftsmanship, and take in the captivating views of the surrounding natural beauty.

Beach side (to the west of Adelaide)

The ride between Glenelg and Outer Harbour is a scenic and enjoyable cycling route that showcases some of Adelaide’s best coastal landscapes and maritime charm. This round trip takes cyclists from the vibrant beachside suburb of Glenelg to the picturesque Outer Harbour and back, offering a mix of coastal views, waterfront attractions, and a taste of South Australia’s maritime history.

There are options for on the path or on the road, both are very flat and safe. The path is wide and well-maintained, providing a smooth and safe ride for cyclists of all levels. If you prefer to ride on the road that’s no problem either, as this is a well ridden area so locals keep a lookout for cyclists.

Starting at Glenelg, riders can feel the refreshing sea breeze as they set off along the beachfront.  As you pedal northward past Semaphore, the stunning views of the Gulf St Vincent accompany you on the left hand side and if you happen to catch a sunset you won’t forget it, it’s beautiful. The roundabout at Outer Harbour acts as a natural turnaround point.

Further south from Glenelg is Brighton with it’s vibrant cafe culture. A brief rest at one of the beachfront cafes allows you to recharge and indulge in delicious treats while soaking in the coastal atmosphere.

Cycling at sunset is an unmissable experience in Adelaide. The magic of the coastal scenery intensifies as the sun dips below the horizon, casting a warm, golden glow on the sea. The beachfront bike paths become even more enchanting during this time, offering a romantic and captivating atmosphere for riders to savour.

Glenelg Beach

Fleurieu Peninsula

Fleurieu Peninsula (to the south of Adelaide)

Cycling through the Fleurieu Peninsula is a journey that unfolds amid breathtaking coastal beauty and captivating landscapes. One of the highlights of this enchanting region is the iconic Willunga Hill, a mecca for cyclists seeking a challenging yet awe-inspiring ride. As riders ascend the winding roads of Willunga Hill, they are rewarded with sweeping views of vineyards, rolling hills, and the azure waters of the Gulf St Vincent in the distance. The sense of achievement upon conquering the hill is matched only by the stunning panorama that awaits at the summit, making it a favorite among cyclists and an integral part of the Fleurieu Peninsula’s allure.

Aldinga, a coastal town nestled in the Fleurieu Peninsula, offers a serene and laid-back escape for cyclists and nature enthusiasts alike. Renowned for its unspoiled beaches and tranquil surroundings, Aldinga invites riders to explore its picturesque coastline and enjoy the refreshing sea breeze. The town’s charming atmosphere is complemented by the Aldinga Scrub Conservation Park, an ecological gem where cyclists can immerse themselves in the beauty of native flora and fauna. With a welcoming community and a slower pace of life, Aldinga is a haven for those seeking a peaceful and rejuvenating cycling experience amidst the natural wonders of the Fleurieu Peninsula.

Beyond Aldinga, the Fleurieu Peninsula offers a tapestry of picturesque coastal towns, each exuding its own unique charm. The quaint town of Victor Harbor beckons with its historic horse-drawn tram, connecting the mainland to Granite Island, and its picturesque coastal walks. Cyclists can enjoy the scenic journey along the Encounter Bikeway, which hugs the coastline, offering glimpses of rugged cliffs and pristine beaches. The charming town of Goolwa, nestled near the mouth of the Murray River, is another gem of the region, providing a tranquil ride alongside tranquil waterways and abundant birdlife. Cycling through the Fleurieu Peninsula allows riders to immerse themselves in its natural wonders, savoring the diverse scenery and warm hospitality of these delightful coastal townships.

What are drivers like in Adelaide

When it comes to drivers in Adelaide, cyclists will find a refreshing difference compared to some other parts of Australia (Sydney and Melbourne I’m looking at you!). While Australia, in general, can be a challenging place for cyclists due to the prevailing car-centric culture, Adelaide stands out as an exception. The people of Adelaide are known for their friendly and considerate demeanour and this extends towards cyclists on the road. Motorists in the city generally show a higher level of awareness and respect for cyclists, making it a safer and more pleasant environment for biking enthusiasts. This cyclist-friendly attitude is further supported by ongoing efforts from local authorities and advocacy groups, which have led to the implementation of cycling-friendly infrastructure and road safety campaigns.

Adelaide’s unique geographical features, such as its scenic coastal routes and hilly landscapes, may contribute to a more harmonious relationship between drivers and cyclists. The city’s natural beauty encourages people to embrace an active lifestyle, fostering a greater understanding and appreciation for cyclists’ presence on the road. While no place is entirely without challenges, Adelaide’s reputation for friendly and considerate drivers helps create an inviting and enjoyable cycling experience for both locals and visitors, making it a standout destination for cyclists in Australia.

Hidden paradise

Adelaide and its surrounding regions boast numerous hidden roads that are a delight for road cyclists seeking tranquil routes amidst nature. These well-hidden roads showcase Adelaide’s enchanting natural landscapes and offer road cyclists an opportunity to explore lesser-known routes away from the typical tourist spots. Embrace the tranquillity and serenity of these hidden gems as you pedal through the stunning scenery of South Australia. Here’s a few favourites:

Waterfall Gully Road

Waterfall Gully Road leads to the picturesque Waterfall Gully in the Adelaide Hills, making it a popular destination for both cyclists and nature enthusiasts. The road meanders through lush greenery and serene woodlands, offering a peaceful escape from the bustling city. As cyclists ascend the road, they’ll encounter the enchanting First Falls, a refreshing waterfall that serves as a perfect pit stop to cool off during warmer days. The road’s gradual climb and stunning surroundings make it an ideal choice for riders seeking a scenic and less crowded route.

Brown Hill Creek Road

Brown Hill Creek Road follows the tranquil Brown Hill Creek and offers cyclists a serene journey surrounded by natural beauty. The road winds through the Brown Hill Creek Recreation Park, providing opportunities to spot native wildlife and enjoy the calming sound of flowing water. This hidden gem is particularly popular among local cyclists looking for a peaceful escape close to the city. The road’s gentle gradient and well-maintained paths make it suitable for riders of various skill levels, and the shaded areas alongside the creek offer a pleasant respite from the sun during hot summer rides.

Belair National Park

Tucked away in the Adelaide Hills, Belair National Park is a hidden gem for road cyclists seeking a blend of nature and cycling adventure. The park features a network of picturesque roads and trails that wind through serene woodlands, lush vegetation, and tranquil lakes. Cyclists can explore the park’s scenic paths, passing by native wildlife and enjoying the fresh air. With several hilly sections and undulating terrains, Belair National Park caters to riders looking for a mix of challenging climbs and leisurely rides. The park’s natural beauty and peaceful ambiance make it a true haven for cyclists seeking an immersive experience in nature.

Anstey Hill Recreation Park

Anstey Hill Recreation Park, located in Adelaide’s northeastern suburbs, offers road cyclists a lesser-known destination with diverse terrains and captivating views. The park features a network of well-maintained roads and tracks that wind through rugged gorges and scenic hills. As cyclists pedal through the park, they’ll be treated to breathtaking vistas of the city and its surrounding landscapes. The variety of trails allows riders to choose routes that suit their preferences, whether it’s a challenging climb or a more leisurely ride through enchanting bushland. Anstey Hill Recreation Park provides a hidden escape for cyclists seeking a unique adventure just a short distance from the city.

Outer Harbor Greenway

The Outer Harbor Greenway is a hidden cycling gem that offers a refreshing coastal ride away from the hustle and bustle of the city centre. This hidden greenway starts from the Port Adelaide area and extends all the way to Outer Harbor, following a scenic route along the coast. As cyclists pedal along the greenway, they can enjoy views of the Port River and the St Vincent Gulf, passing by historic sites and maritime charm. The smooth and well-paved path makes it an enjoyable ride for cyclists of all levels, and the coastal scenery creates a peaceful and idyllic setting for a memorable cycling experience.

Adelaide Hills

The Best Adelaide Cycling YouTubers

CyclewithSerafina

CyclewithSerafina is a YouTube channel run by Serafina Tané, an Australian cyclist based in Adelaide. She shares her cycling adventures, training, and experiences with her audience. Serafina’s videos often showcase scenic rides, local cycling events, and her passion for exploring the beautiful landscapes of Adelaide and beyond.

durianrider

While durianrider is not exclusively an Adelaide-based YouTuber, he has featured cycling content from various locations, including his home town of Adelaide. While controversial, he is known for his advocacy for plant-based diets, lifestyle challenges and cycling in general. His videos may include segments from his cycling experiences in Adelaide and other parts of the world.

Ride Adelaide

Ride Adelaide is a YouTube channel dedicated to showcasing cycling routes, events, and experiences in and around Adelaide. The channel features group rides, cycling tips, and highlights of local cycling events and races plus personal product reviews. It helps to promote cycling in Adelaide and inspire others to explore the region’s cycling opportunities.