May 24, 2016

Adelaide’s Best Cycling Roads – David Fumpson

I often receive requests for suggestions of Adelaide’s best cycling roads to ride on. For my first blog for the year I thought I’d try to answer this question with some of my favourite roads in Adelaide.

As I live south of the city, most of my rides take place in the south eastern hills around the Chandlers Hill area and out towards McLaren Vale and Willunga. I find that once you’ve climbed up out the city the roads are usually quieter and there are some good views. You can use most of these climbs on a ride as they head down south and you can loop back via some of the same roads.

Here are some of the climbs and possible routes I’d recommend you use if you venture down to the southern areas of Adelaide.


Shephards Hill Road

Located in the southern area of Adelaide it can be accessed via south road at the Flinders university exit. It begins with a steep ramp on the flyover pass and then it drops off a little afterwards. After around 6 minutes of climbing it significantly flattens off for around 2km which means you can gather some speed before a final steep hill into the Blackwood township.  You can either go left at the top looping back down towards the city via Windy point with a winding technical descent, or you can go right out towards Coromandel Parade and head towards Clarendon and McLaren Flat

 You can view it here:

Windy point

Located near Mitcham you can get here via Springbank or Unley Road. It would have to be one of my favourite climbs in the Adelaide region, and my favourite way to get out of town. It begins climbing gradually from the lights up until the first bends where it steepens quickly before easing off as you reach the middle section through the long switchbacks. Be sure to stop at the lookout if you have time as there are top views across the city. Once you pass Kalyra Road the gradient picks up again with steeper ramps through the winding corners. At the top I would recommend following the main road through Blackwood and turning either down Shepherds Hill or straight towards Chandlers hill and Clarendon.

You can view it here:


Flagstaff Hill

You can get here via south road. Be warned, this is a steep start. Once you’ve finished the initial climb there is a flatter section where you can recover before one final gradual climb to the top. Once at the top I recommend going left at the roundabout towards “Humpty” hill or straight along Happy valley drive to the base of Chandlers hill.

You can view it here:

Chandlers Hill 

You can get to here via Flagstaff hill and Happy Valley drive. Begin the climb from the shops up to the intersection at the top of the hill. It has a steep start with some small ramps. Once you reach the top you can either go left towards Coromandel valley and up to Blackwood.  Alternatively, you can go right towards Clarendon and into the southern foothills.

You can view it here:


Wickhams Hill

Located south eastern of Adelaide just off the McLaren Flat road it usually takes around an hour and a half to get here via flagstaff hill, chandlers hill and then through Kangarilla.

One of my favourite hills in Adelaide it starts off steep but then the gradient drops as you round the first sweeping switchback allowing you to gain some speed before the gradient picks up more and more towards the finish. On the roads you can still see names painted from previous TDU’s. You can either head straight back down for a nice technical and fast descent or carry on along the range road and either go straight to Willunga or loop back down home via Pennys hill and McLaren Flat (Note. Pennys hill can be a very fast descent!)

You can view it here:

Willunga Hill

If you’re ready for a bigger day in the saddle, and then this is a nice loop. Many people will know this climb from the TDU. It is located in the far south east foothills of the McLaren Vale region. You can get here via the McLaren Flat road or the Pat Jonker Veloway which takes you down to Mclaren Vale.

 I like to break this climb up into three sections. Make sure you’ve got an easy gear ready to spin up the steep first section.  The middle section is an easier section, however if it’s windy it is very open and exposed which can make it hard.  The final section comes with around 1km to go as the trees give you some cover on the left as the road begins to steepen again. You can loop home across the top of the range road and down to Mclaren Flat via Pennys hill or Wickhams. If you have longer you can head back via meadows and Kangarilla.

You can view it here:


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