There’s no end to the list of things to like about South Australia, with its accessibility high among them. On a recent visit to Adelaide from Melbourne, I hopped on my bike to find out whether wine and cycling really can go together.
After a quick 40-minute flight from Melbourne, I was there before I knew it, and the greatest thing is there was no jet lag involved as it’s only a 30 minute time difference between the two states.
I had the opportunity to join Intrepid Travel's ‘Cycle South Australia Wine Regions’ tour. The tour started in Adelaide and took us to the beautiful wine regions of Barossa Valley, Auburn, Clare Valley, and McLaren Vale.
One of the great things about the tour was that travellers had the option to use regular bikes provided, electric bikes, or bring their own. There was even a support vehicle nearby at all times in case any riders needed assistance.
I have previously visited Adelaide before, but this trip was my first time exploring the scenic beauty of greater South Australia. I also realised every person I had met in South Australia in the past worked in the wine industry - which makes sense, as there are over 700 wineries in the state.
On this visit, the group was diverse, consisting of solo travellers from Australia and the UK, two groups of Australian friends, an Australian married couple and a brother and sister duo from the U.S. It was wonderful to meet and connect with so many different people from around the world who shared a passion for cycling and wine.
Amid perfect weather for cycling, we participated in a variety of activities that allowed us to fully experience all the region has to offer. Cycling was a big part of our adventure through the Riesling Trail, the Barossa Trail, and the Shiraz Trail. The scenic routes were perfect for taking in the beautiful surroundings while getting some exercise in.
We stayed in various types of accommodation during the trip, including centrally located hotels in the heart of the city with easy access to public transportation.
We also stayed in historic pubs, which were unique and memorable experiences, and self-contained apartments, which were perfect for longer stays. Experiencing different types of accommodation styles allowed us to appreciate the uniqueness of the places we visited and made our travels even more memorable.
We enjoyed indulging in the great food and wine of the region. We had a delicious wine and cheese board at Lambert, a beautiful lunch at Skillogalee Vineyard and did some wine tastings at Seven Hills Winery, Wirra Wirra Winery and Penfolds Estate. My opinion of merlot was changed after a tasting at O'Leary Wines.
We also made a stop at the charming town of Hahndorf, which has a rich history. Originally home to the Peramangk Aboriginal people, Hahndorf is now recognised as Australia's oldest surviving German settlement. It was interesting to learn about the town's heritage and see the ways in which it still celebrates its German culture.
The tour was a fantastic way to experience the beauty and culture of South Australia, and I highly recommend it to anyone looking for an active and immersive travel experience.
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