The Adelaide Hills gets a lot of press as a motorcycle riding nirvana and for good reason
One of our favourite reasons to ride there is the variety of routes you can take across the hills and myriad interesting destinations throughout the region to visit while you are there. As we were riding north across the hills on this trip, towards the Barossa wine region, we pieced together a series of the best stretches of corners we had ridden previously, with a couple of interesting looking link roads we identified on our maps.
We started out from the small town of Crafers at the bottom of the Mount Lofty Summit Road and cruised up the hill towards the lookout. Beyond Mount Lofty House a few tighter downhill corners lead to a left turn at Greenhills Rd, then only a short distance before another left onto Woods Hill Rd, which takes you out though the settlement of Ashton. There are a number of excellent smooth switchback turns as you pass the Marble Hill ruins and continue north on Montacute Rd, with excellent views across the surrounding area on both sides of the road.
There are only a couple of safe spots to pull up through here to admire the view but it is worth the effort. The Corkscrew Rd to the right is a new one for us and begins with a series of ridiculously tight downhill corners before opening up slightly for a great run through the valley and eventually intersecting one of the most famous riding stretches in the area, the Gorge Road.
From Castanbul, this piece of tarmac runs between awesome rock walls past the Kangaroo Creek Reservoir and on to Cudlee Creek, which is a popular spot for riders on the weekends. It is easy to see why the local riders love this route as the dynamic blend of great roads and good scenery make for an excellent way to spend a day out on your bike exploring. The road continues on a little further before joining the Torrens Valley Scenic Rd for the final short run into Gumeracha.
This 40km route across the Adelaide Hills is only one of many options for a good ride in the region and proved to be an awesome mix of great riding through the picturesque landscape. If we didn’t have to be somewhere else later in the day, we would have turned around and done it again in the opposite direction.
Of all the popular motorcycling locations close to capital cities across the country the ’Hills is right up there at the top of our list.
There is fuel at either end of this 40km ride with servos at Crafers and Gumeracha, as well as at several other towns across the region.
There are many good accommodation options from the majestic old Mount Lofty House to pub stays, cabins, and camping, as well as plenty of outlets for a meal or a drink.
You can always drop in on The Big Rocking Horse and Toy Factory in Gumeracha. It is set up for families and kids with a wildlife display, working toy factory, café, and the big horse out front to climb up. And, if that’s your scene, we won’t judge you, much. It’s open from 9am to 5pm seven days. 452 Torrens Valley Road, Gumeracha. (08) 8389 1085
Spot-On Motorcycles is on the main street at Mt Pleasant and offer good workshop facilities and spare parts.
122 Melrose Street, Mt Pleasant.
(08) 8568 2266, Mon-Fri 8.30-5.30pm and Sat 8.30-12.30pm
Mount Lofty House offers old world charm and excellent views. 74 Mount Lofty Summit Rd (08) 8339 6777
Cudlee Creek Restaurant Tavern has a camping area if you are looking for cheap accommodation right on the River Torrens, with a licensed bar next door – Gorge Road, Cudlee Creek. (08) 8389 2319
BP 3 Main St, Crafers.
(08) 8339 1746
Gumeracha Motors – Albert St, Gumeracha. (08) 8389 1011
Crafers Gourmet Deli
7 Main Street, Crafers.
(08) 8339 2725
This ride marks the start of the famous Barossa wine-producing region which offers a plethora of cellar doors and other outlets for connoisseurs of the grape. Whether you continue riding out through Springton to Angaston, or take the Para Rd to Williamstown, there are good riding roads and lots of places to stop and have a look around. The whole region caters well for a high number of tourists with a range of activities and plenty of accommodation and dining options. You could easily zig-zag across the hills over the course of a weekend and not ride the same road twice.
Things to do
Bill’s Bits & Bikes at Birdwood is a must-visit destination for motorcyclists passing through the area. Mark Mitchell is an enthusiast and has a decent collection of bikes and parts dating back to the vintage era, covering both on- and off-road models. Whether you are chasing old hard-to-find parts, or just want a squiz, it’s worthwhile. 26 Shannon St, Birdwood. (08) 8568 5756
Story & photography Tim Munro