Cycle Adelaide, Sightseeing Ride, Coastal Cruise

There are two really great things about this ride: the views along the esplanade and Coastal Path, and the scarcity of traffic lights – just one set the whole way. There are no hills either, so if you’re not a climber this is the bike ride for you. It’s also incredibly flexible: follow the log and enjoy a coastal meander, or take the on-road option and join one of the Adelaide cycling fraternity’s most popular training rides.

Access

By bike take the Westside Bikeway or River Sturt Linear Park to Glenelg, or follow the River Torrens Linear Park to Henley Beach and ride south along Seaview Road. By car, head out of the city along West Terrace and Anzac Highway to Glenelg.

Food and drink

There are cafes every few kilometres, or grab a snack at one of the beach kiosks. The esplanade and Coast Path have drinking water taps.

Side trip

Head to Port Adelaide and go dolphin-spotting on the Port River Dolphin Trail.

The ride heads out on through Glenelg and along the Patawalonga River, hitting the beachfront after about 4km. It continues along the esplanade for next 5kms, crossing the River Torrens and Henley Square.

More Details

We turn inland not long afterwards for a 5km stretch along Military Road. It’s a fast, smooth road with plenty of space, so if you want to do a bit of speed training this is certainly the place to do it. Otherwise, just enjoy the easy pedal alongside West Lakes and the rowing course.

At Fort Glanville we head back to the beach and the start of the Coastal Path. A shared-use path, it continues on to Outer Harbour alongside the esplanade, through coastal dunes and past the North Haven Marina. It’s a smooth, sealed path for most of its length, with boardwalk sections through revegetation areas.

Not long after we reach Semaphore Square. Once one of South Australia’s most important coastal towns, Semaphore was a booming seaside holiday resort, housed a signal station and had much of the state’s mail unloaded at its jetty. Today, aside from the many heritage buildings, its biggest drawcard is the square and funpark, with waterslide, Ferris wheel, carousel and a steam train to Fort Glanville.

From there it’s a scenic easy pedal to Outer Harbour and the end of the ride. While the big cruise and cargo ships are impressive, there’s more to Outer Harbour – like great beaches and a lot of history. Old Customs House is worth a look, and for a bit of background on the indigenous culture of the area, don’t miss the Bukki Yellaka Iamo Tarkarri mosaic at the Outer Harbour Railway Station. The Port Adelaide/Outer Harbour area has one of the highest representations of the Kuarna, Narungga and Ngarrindjeri people in the state, and the mosaic was created to acknowledge and honour the three groups within the community. The traditional greetings of Ninna marni -‘Hello’ – and Nakkuta - ‘I’ll see you again’ – are certainly apt for its site at the train station.

Ride Log

  • 0.0 The ride starts north of Moseley Square on Colley Tce, in front of The Beachhouse. Head north along the bike lane.
  • 0.2 At the roundabout, turn right onto Anzac Hwy.
  • 0.4 Turn left onto Adelphi Tce.
  • 1.0 Turn left and cross the Patawalonga Bridge.
  • 1.1 At the roundabout, turn right and continue along the Patawalonga Frontage.
  • 4.3 At the roundabout, turn left onto West Beach Rd, then right onto Seaview Rd. Continue along the beachfront.
  • 5.7 The road crosses the River Torrens, with access to the Linear Park path on the left.
  • 5.8 Turn left onto The Esplanade, following the road as it veers right and back onto the beachfront. Note: training ride option continues along Seaview Rd.
  • 7.4 At the Henley Kiosk, continue carefully through the car park.
  • 7.5 Go up onto the footpath and along the paved path in front of Henley Square.
  • 8.3 Take the path to the right and go back down onto the road.
  • 8.4 Turn left onto Seaview Rd.
  • 9.9 Turn right into Terminus St.
  • 10.0 Turn left onto Military Rd and continue past West Lakes on the right.
  • 13.2 The only traffic lights on the ride.
  • 15.6 Turn left into Bower Rd and head back towards the beach.
  • 15.8 The road curves right onto The Esplanade. Carefully cross the carpark and go down onto the Coast Park path. Note: training ride option continues along The Esplanade.
  • 16.5 At the fork, take the left path.
  • 17.2 Semaphore Square. Stop for a coffee at the Steam Train Kiosk or continue through the square.
  • 18.7 Largs Bay, the last cafe stop on the ride. Otherwise, continue along the path past a series of interpretive boards.
  • 19.5 Ignoring the boardwalk to the right, take the left-hand path through the dunes.
  • 20.4 The path meets the road and continues parallel.
  • 22.0 The path crosses a number of residential access roads – take care and give way to traffic.
  • 22.2 Turn left, then immediately right onto the marked pathway.
  • 22.3 Straight after the Cruising Yacht Club take the right hand path.
  • 24.1 Cross Lady Gowrie Dr and continue on the path alongside the railway line.
  • 24.4 At roadway by the Outer Harbour Railway Station, the ride ends.
  • Trail map

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    24.782 km / 15.399 mi

    Total Distance

    60 m / 196 ft

    Total Ascent

    59 m / 195 ft

    Total Descent

    10 m / 31 ft

    Highest Point

    Ride type:
    Sightseeing
    Mountain biking
    Road riding
    Commuter
    Kid friendly
    Rail Trail
    Difficulty: Easy (Blue)
    Ride Duration: 1-2 hrs
    Fitness Level: Medium
    Terrain:
    Shared Bike Path - Paved
    Shared Bike Path - Dirt
    On-Road Bike Lane
    On-Road
    Off-Road - Fire Trail
    Off-Road - Rail Trail
    Off-Road - Single Track
    Off-Road - Downhill
    Mobile Coverage: Excellent
    Estimated Distance: 24.7
    Elevation Gain: 87
    Services:
    Water
    Food
    First Aid
    Toilets
    Bike hire facilities
    Carparking
    Bike servicing
    Accessible by bike
    Accessible by car
    Accessible by public transport
    Accessible by shuttle / uber
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