Australia's Top 10 Cycling RoutesSee the real AustraliaView the list
6
Moderate to Challenging
Activities
  • 3 days cycling
Accommodation
  • 4 nights hotel

Price

5 daysfrom

$920AUD

 
 
Trip Code: CVW

Clare Valley Cycle Explorer Trip highlights


  • Enjoy the independence of self-guided cycling with all logistics taken care of for you
  • Discover charming rural towns and settlements.
  • Cycle through the picturesque wine regions of the Clare Valley SA
  • Visit the historic Sevenhill Cellars winery with Mary Mackillop connection
  • All inclusive round trip from Adelaide

The Clare Valley is a celebrated wine region not just in South Australia but nationally and internationally yet its appeal extends far beyond the cellar door. The township of Clare is a classic South Australian town with heritage buildings built predominantly out of stone, a result of limited access to timbre during the colonial period. Unlike much of Australia there are few heavily timbered forests in this part of Australia and early architects had to work with what was available, mainly rocks. Consequently many early buildings in South Australia, from a humble workers cottage to government institutions, where built out of stone and earth, and at times constructed under the earth for shelter. In fact South Australia is the driest state within the driest continent on earth, Australia, and this is evidenced as you travel throughout the state with scarce water, scarce trees and often baron landscapes but set against these odds is the iron cast character of South Australians, Indigenous and more recent, who have carved a niche and made a home here against the odds. The Clare Valley is typically South Australian with the burning heat of summer perfect for rising the sugar levels of the wine grape and the dry weather of Autumn perfect for preserving the fruit free of moulds and mildew at harvest time. It is South Australia's harsh yet predicable climate that has made the wine regions of South Australia perfect for growing grapes and producing wine renowned around the globe. Yet despite the acclaim of the wine regions the townships that pepper the valley are equally charming and alluring. Over three days of cycling you'll cycle the full length of both the Riesling Trail and the Rattler Rail Trail, take a detour along the Spring Gully and other cycle loops and have the opportunity to visit wineries and sample the local produce and perhaps pack the panniers with a few treats to take home.

Itinerary

Leaving Adelaide late afternoon you’ll have plenty of time to explore the states capital city known as the ‘City of Churches’. In early colonial history South Australia, from Adelaide, governed the northern regions of Australia now known as the Northern Territory. It is a state with considerable history being the first colony in Australia and only the forth place in the world where woman were given a vote back in 1894. It was also the first electorate in the world to give woman equal political rights in not just being able to vote but being able to vote irrespective of marital status and also being allowed to stand for parliament. It is a city where the global media tycoon Rupert Murdock began his empire taking over the daily newspaper the Adelaide Advertiser, a publication he still owns, from his father. It is from Adelaide that explorer Charles Sturt ventured north to become the first European to travel through the harsh interior to the north of the continent which until this time remained uncharted and often thought to contain an ocean or inland sea. Your journey north by coach will thankfully not experience the hardships of Sturt but it will give you the opportunity to reflect on this unique state as you pass through the small towns and villages on your way to Clare around two hours north.

Meals:  Nil

Today you’ll collect your bikes from our local supplier who will fit you up for the cycling days ahead. The day begins by heading south for around half a kilometre and through the township of Clare which might be a great place to fuel up with a good coffee and snacks for the ride. From here you will join the Riesling Trail briefly then on the outskirts of Clare you’ll leave the trail and head west along the Spring Gully Loop then turn onto the John Horrocks Loop, a combined section of around 15km. This section takes in some wonderful wine country and vineyards before coming back to meet the Riesling Trail south of Sevenhill. From here we cross the trail and head out along an 8km section known as the Father Rogalski (Polish Hill) Loop where you’ll pass a number of wineries with great opportunities for lunch and wine tasting. Our suggestions include the Pike Winery and Brewery’s Slate Restaurant or equally Paulett Wine’s Bush Devine Restaurant. These two establishments are often very busy and require prebooking online, but you could chance it on the less busy days. From here you’ll head north to meet up again with the Riesling trail at the township of Sevenhill then finish the day of cycling heading straight back along the trail with a slight variation on the last section back to your accommodation than the morning cycle through Clare.

Meals:  B

Today you’ll cycle the full length of the Riesling Trail south to Auburn but the morning begins with a cycle to the northern end of the trail to the township of Barinia. From here you’ll cycle back to Clare returning along rural roads with a detour to the Gleeson Wetlands. You could also choose to sleep in, explore Clare and more local wineries or create your own itinerary for the morning, the choice is yours. Regardless of your morning cycle choice the remaining ride (25km) follows the Riesling Trail route which was part of the former Spalding railway branch line. The line was opened in 1918 and ran between Riverton in the south to the northern terminus at Spalding. It operated until 1983 and ceased after the Ash Wednesday bushfires burnt through the valley and damaged much of the track. The rails and steel bridges were removed and in 1993 this part of the line was converted to a walking and cycling trail. Heading south you will pass through the townships of Sevenhill, Penwortham and Leasingham before arriving at Auburn and along the way you’ll pass bakeries, cafes, coffee shops, pubs, Art Galleries and of course numerous wineries. The dominant variety of grape is the aromatic Riesling, as the name of the trail suggests. The township of Sevenhill has a great winery just off the trail which you would have passed yesterday, the Sevenhill Cellars. This establishment is steeped in history with a walking trail of around 3 km taking in Sevenhill’s significant wine and spiritual sites, including the Underground Cellar, old-vine vineyards, St Ignatius of Loyola Shrine and St Aloysius’ Church with its crypt. It was at this location that Saint Mary Mackillop took refuge with her brothers for an extended period. From here you cycle south to the town of Auburn at the southern end of the rail trail. Your night will be in a stone federation style country pub where you’ll spend the next two nights.

Meals:  B

The Cycle Premium Explorer tour incorporates the two iconic Clare Valley trails, both the Riesling Trail and the Rattler Rail Trail. Having put the Riesling Trail behind over two days today you’ll cycle further south along the lesser travelled Rattler Rail Trail doing a return cycle to the township of Riverton. This is another great cycle journey with plenty of time to set your own pace and itinerary for the day. It is an easy loop ride with plenty of time to amble, perhaps taking in a scroll around the township of Auburn in the morning, maybe stopping for a leisurely lunch in the country pub in Riverton or simply stopping off at wineries along the way. That night you are back in Auburn and the old world ambience of your federation stone hotel in Auburn.

Meals:  B

Today you’ll head back to Adelaide with a morning coach (Friday return) or afternoon coach (Sunday return) depending on your Adelaide day 1 departure day, (Monday or Wednesday respectively). Your coach will transfer you to the conveniently located Central Bus Station in downtown Adelaide where arrangements end.

Meals:  B


Map

Elevation

The map and elevation chart are for illustrative purposes only and meant to provide general guidelines.
On self guided trips, actual route information provided before departure will be more detailed.


Inclusions

  • Coach transfer from Adelaide to Clare on day 1 and Auburn to Adelaide day 5
  • 2 breakfasts - basic continental style
  • 4 nights in twinshare accommodation - Motel accommodation (2 nights) and federation hotel room with ensuite bathroom (2 nights)
  • Hybrid bike hire with panniers, phone holder and repair kit (electric bikes can be hired for a supplement)
  • Navigational App and route book with maps
  • Luggage transfer Clare to Auburn

  • Travel to/ from Adelaide
  • Accommodation before or after the trip in Adelaide
  • Items of a personal nature such as alcoholic beverages, car parking, towel etc
  • Travel insurance
  • Meals not listed as included

Trail Surface


Accommodation


Grading

Moderate to Challenging  
6

This self guided trip involves 3 days of cycling on bitumen and well graded dirt roads as well as along the Riesling Trail and the Rattler Rail Trail with daily ascents of 182m to 447m. Some sections of the daily cycles may have traffic, including trucks. Daily activity is usually between 3 to 5 hours. This tour has been graded overall as ‘moderate to challenging’ due to the terrain along the Spring Gully, John Horrocks and Father Rogalski Loops yet the rail trails themselves are graded as introductory to moderate. You will need a reasonable level of fitness and good health and be a capable cyclist. Ebikes are available at a supplement price and in the case of ebike usage the overall grading would scale down to introductory to moderate. Be prepared for potential variable weather conditions which can also add to the timing and comfort of a trip, for example riding into a head wind will take more time than when the wind is behind you. If bringing your own bike please ensure that your bike is fit for purpose - road bikes are not suitable for this trip unless they have been fitted with wider tread tyres. The best bike is a hybrid, gravel bike or mountain bike.


Departure dates

Mondays and Wednesdays from 1 Mar to 15 Dec

Want to organise a customised tour?

School groups, friends, family trips, corporate events or just tailoring a trip to suit your own needs - learn how you can tailor your own Customised Tour.

Total Priceper person from

$920AUD

Options & Supplements*
  • Ebike Upgrade SurchargeAUD$130
  • Single SupplementAUD$420
  • Single Traveller SurchargeAUD$450
*Prices listed are per person and also from

Essential Information

Ready to book? Make sure you download and read the detailed Clare Valley Cycle Explorer trip notes which contains all the essential information you need to know before booking. Once you’ve booked, we will supply you with a Pre-Departure document which contains a detailed gear list and other important information to help you prepare for your adventure ahead.


Frequently Asked Questions

Adelaide airport has flights to/from all major Australian cities and a few international destinations and is also a rail hub for the Ghan (Adelaide Darwin) and the Indian Pacific (Sydney Perth) rail services as well as being connected by numerous intra and inter state coach services

Breakfasts are simple continental style - think cereal and toast. There are cafes close by in Clare and Auburn to purchase a more substantial breakfast with good coffee. There are lunch options at a number of wineries from simple snacks to a full set lunch menu as well as a number of hotels providing pub food. Similarly there are local options for the evening meal in both Clare and Auburn from café to restaurant and a number of hotels.

Basically no, a bicycle is a vehicle like any other and you can be charged and fined for drink driving (and lose points off your drivers licence). The consequences of falling from a bike can result in serious injury including death and most insurance policies exclusions for drink driving would extend to cycling under the influence . Most wineries promote a 'sip and spit' approach to wine tasting. It is always going to be far better if you take a bottle or two of wine home with you and celebrate your days cycling there at the end of the day.

Yes, you need to be a capable cyclist. You will cover up to 51km in a day, across undulating terrain and various trail types as well as road cycling so you would need a degree of confidence on this cycle tour. Some sections are along well graded dirt roads yet as always attention should be paid to any road sections that may have deteriorated or are in need of repair. Excessive rain or adverse weather conditions will always require more care while cycling. Always ride to conditions and your ability and don't hesitate dismounting for any section you are not comfortable with.

Yes, e-bike hire is included in this trip cost. Please let us know if you would like to hire a standard bike. A supplement may apply.


Clare Valley Cycle Explorer Trip reviews


Why cycle with us

SELF GUIDED EXPERTS

As the pioneers of self guided active travel in Australia you can expect a seamless experience. Our quality tour notes and logistical expertise sets us apart and ensures a quality experience for you.

TRUSTED LOCAL ADVICE

Our team is passionate about cycling and their extensive knowledge and experience means you get the very best advice - every time. We will help you tailor the right cycling itinerary for you.

Quality services

Expect first-class and flexible support both on and off the trail. We've sourced the highest quality bikes and most authentic accommodations so you can enjoy a stress free cycling trip.


Positive Impact Travel

By joining this trip you are directly supporting positive impact projects in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

We’ve offset the carbon emitted by this trip by purchasing credits that support important projects that address the UN’s seventeen SDGs, like reducing poverty, affordable and clean energy, reducing hunger, clean water and climate action.

Proceeds from this adventure purchase carbon credits through the world’s largest and most awarded carbon project developer, South Pole, which are invested into projects accelerating the transition to renewable energy sources in developing countries.

Supported projects are based on internationally recognised standards and are third-party audited. They entail a series of positive impacts on the ground, which benefit local communities and ecosystems, that are aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Similar trips

Join Newsletter
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/ADS.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Adventures South"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Adventure South</div>
Adventure South NZ is unrivalled in their geographic coverage, originality and overall quality of adventures holidays in New Zealand. Choose from walking, cycling, winter or multi-activity holidays, on either the North or South Island.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/AWH.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Australian Walking Holidays"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Australian Walking Holidays</div>
Australian Walking Holidays specialises in small group guided walking adventures. Since 1982 we have been guiding small groups of travellers on Australia's finest walks across our tropical, coastal or red centre landscapes.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/GCT.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Great Canadian Trails"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Great Canadian Trails</div>
Great Canadian Trails specialises in active holidays in Canada. With both guided and supported self-guided options available, our unique itineraries draw upon some of Canada's most inspiring parks, trails and landscapes from coast to coast.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/HUM.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Humac Challenge"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Huma Charity Challenge</div>
Huma enables those with adventurous spirits to challenge themselves and make a difference for a cause close to their heart. Travel, fundraise and meet life-long friends on one of Huma's meaningful and unique challenges around the world.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/WB.jpg?v2' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Walkers’ Britain"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Walkers' Britain</div>
Walkers' Britain (formerly Sherpa Expeditions) have specialised in walking and cycling trips in the United Kingdom and Europe since 1973. Explore iconic trails and destinations on a self guided or small group active holiday with Walkers' Britain.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/WB.jpg?v2' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Walkers’ Britain"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Walkers' Britain</div>
Walkers' Britain (formerly Sherpa Expeditions) have specialised in walking and cycling trips in the United Kingdom and Europe since 1973. Explore iconic trails and destinations on a self guided or small group active holiday with Walkers' Britain.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/TAS.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Tasmania Expeditions"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Tasmanian Expeditions</div>
Tasmanian Expeditions is the most experienced operator of treks and adventure travel holidays in Tasmania. We own and operate the most comprehensive range of adventure holidays available across Tasmania's varied landscapes.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/UTX-new.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Utracks"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>UTracks</div>
UTracks are the active European holiday specialists. Whether you prefer cycling or walking, 2-star or 4-star, small groups or self guided, land, river or sea – UTracks can help you to explore Europe exactly the way you want.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/WYA.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="World Expeditions Schools"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>World Expeditions Schools</div>
World Expeditions Schools is our specialist division dedicated to organising tailor made overseas school group adventures. Specialists in Service Learning projects, choose from more destinations than any other school group provider.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/YOM.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Yomads"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Yomads</div>
Yomads offers adventures for the 20s and 30s on six continents. Designed as a way to bring young and likeminded travellers together, Yomads caters to those interested in lightly structured and active trips that allow freedom to roam and explore.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/ACT.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Australian Cycle Tours"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Australian Cycle Tours</div>
Australian Cycle Tours specialises in high quality self guided and guided cycling experiences in a selection of the most beautiful regions in Australia.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/WEX.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="World Expeditions"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>World Expeditions</div>
The pioneers of original, worldwide adventure travel holidays since 1975
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/TJX.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Trail Journeys"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Trail Journeys</div>
Self-guided cycling experts on New Zealand's Otago Rail Trail and more
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/BMAC.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Blue Mountains Adventure Company"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Blue Mountains Adventure Company</div>
The original Blue Mountains canyoning, hiking, climbing and abseiling experts
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/GWNZ.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Great Walks of New Zealand"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Great Walks of New Zealand</div>
Explore New Zealand's most spectacular wilderness regions with the self-guided hiking experts
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/NAA.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="North America Active"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>North America Active</div>
USA Canada hiking & cycling tour specialists, choose from self-guided or guided trips