Cycle Adelaide, Road Ride, Waterfall Gully
Short and sweet, to a great destination – that pretty well sums up this bike ride. Set in the eastern suburbs of Kensington, Burnside and Waterfall Gully, it’s a relatively easy ride to one of Adelaide’s most accessible natural features, the stunning waterfalls of Waterfall Gully. There’s almost no navigation – just three turns – and the 170-odd metres of climbing is gentle all the way. It’s a great bike ride to share with family or friends, with the chance to lock up your bikes and check out the waterfalls when you get there.
Head out of the city along Rundle Street, The Parade West and The Parade. Turn right into West Terrace alongside Kensington Gardens.
Food and Drink
Shops on The Parade and Kensington Road near the start, cafes at the top of Glynburn Road. The Waterfall Gully Kiosk is open for lunch or snacks, Thursday to Monday 11.30am-5pm.
Lock up your bike and tackle the 3.8km walk from Waterfall Gully to Mt Lofty Summit, a weekly challenge for many Adelaide walkers and runners. Enjoy the cafe and incredible views at the top, then amble back down the track for the ride home.
The ride starts from Kensington Gardens, a shady reserve with tennis courts and ovals, and home to the Burnside Adventure Park. There’s plenty of parking, toilets and picnic facilities, so it’s a great place to spend some time before or after the ride.
A short side road leads to Glynburn Road, a major thoroughfare but also a recognised cycling route. While there’s a bike lane all the way, commuter traffic is very heavy, so plan your ride for the weekend or during the day. Here the ride passes through Burnside, one of Adelaide’s most beautiful residential areas, with one-eighth of the suburb designated as parks and reserves and some 50 sites included on the State Heritage Register.
The majority of the ride is along Waterfall Gully Road, a shady, winding lane running alongside First Creek, and a popular cycling route. It is, however, also the public access road to the Waterfall Gully carpark, so keep to the left and ride single file along the narrow road.
A short way along is Langman Reserve, created in the 1960s on an old quarry site. The large recreation area includes an oval, toilets, BBQs, tennis courts and a ‘playground’ of refurbished old machinery. There’s also a lookout over the city and a walking trail through native woodland, restored from 2001 as a community Greencorp project.
The road accesses a number of other walking trails further on, including the Pioneer Women’s Trail through Mount Osmond Reserve. Established in 1980, the 22km trail honours the Hills settlers who supplied fresh produce to Adelaide in the 1840s-50s. Carrying dairy products and vegetables, the women would trudge 35km from Hahndorf to Adelaide along a rough bush track, returning with supplies for the village - and two bricks each for a church. The trail became the main supply route for provisions to Adelaide and remained so until the late 1850s.
At the road’s end we enter Waterfall Gully and Cleland Conservation Park, declared a recreation reserve in 1884. In the early 1900s the National Pleasure Resorts Board built the chalet and most of the paths, and in 1963 it gained protection as a conservation park. Covering 1000 hectares, it’s a dramatic landscape of rocky gorges and deep valleys, with the waterfalls and Cleland Wildlife Park its major attractions. Admire the waterfalls, grab a coffee or icecream at the kiosk, then head back along the route to Kensington Gardens.
12.571 km / 7.812 mi
209 m / 687 ft
209 m / 687 ft
280 m / 919 ft