Cycle Adelaide, Mountain Biking, Belair national Park MTB Ride 2
In the midst of Adelaide’s suburban foothills, Belair is one of the most accessible national parks in South Australia – and one of its most popular recreation areas. And it well deserves its reputation, with an array of facilities spread the length and breadth of its 835 hectares of native bushland. Dedicated in 1891, Belair was South Australia’s first national park and led the implementation of the national park system across the state. Part of a chain of national park reserves along the Adelaide Hills Face Zone (Greater Mount Lofty Parklands – Yurrebilla), it provides both recreational opportunities and managed protection of this significant natural environment.
There are kilometres of trails throughout the park, designated for a variety of uses. Some are shared use for walkers, cyclists and horses, others for walkers and horses only, and still others are restricted to foot traffic. Two of the state’s long-distance routes also wind through the park, the Yurrebilla Trail (walking) and Tom Roberts Horse Trail. Not all are marked but routes are easily navigated via maps available at the park information centre.
For those not into trails, there are plenty of alternative activities on offer and a range of facilities for hire. More than 50 tennis courts and four ovals are dotted throughout the park, along with nine open space picnic areas - most with shelters, toilets and gas BBQs. There’s also a lake, waterfalls, adventure playground, caravan park and native plant nursery, and for historians Old Government House. There’s even a public golf course.
Ride 2 is, quite simply, gorgeous. There’s no other way to describe this fantastic ride, which traverses up and then down along the length of the park. A gentle start through the lower section leads past the towering Sequoias and Californian Redwoods of the Joseph Fisher Pavilion and on to the climb up Long Gully to the park boundary. It’s steep and it’s challenging but it’s worth getting up there - and from the ridge top at Waverley Lodge it’s downhill all the way on a well made 4WD track.
In fact, that’s probably the best thing about this ride: while there is that climb, there’s no steep descent and the track surface is good. The average cyclist can ride this, making it the perfect ride for those who want to get off-road with nature without the challenges of technical single track.
Catch the train to Belair station, 200m from the park entrance - couldn’t be easier!
Food and Drink
Drinking water, BBQs and picnic areas throughout the park. No food available to purchase, so pack your own.
Wander the impressive hallways of Old Government House, the grand summer residence of South Australian governors in the mid-1800s. Open Sundays and public holidays, and if closed the gardens and nearby State Flora Nursery are also well worth a visit.
Belair station to ride start (approx 2km): cross the tracks and carpark to Sheoak Rd. Turn right and 200m later enter the park via Gate 2 onto Sir Edwin Ave. Continue past Playford Lake, turn right and then left onto the access road to the information centre.
10.47 km / 6.506 mi
262 m / 861 ft
260 m / 855 ft
485 m / 1,591 ft