Cycle Adelaide, Sightseeing Ride, Seppeltsfield Loop
If there’s any one place significant enough to plan a sightseeing bike ride or wine tasting experience, it’s got to be Seppeltsfield. Originally a family estate, it’s now a grand winery and tourism complex surrounded by century old vineyards, and a piece of local history. Set in rolling hills, it makes for a moderately strenuous ride – but at under 25kms you’ll have energy left for tasting when you’re done.
The route starts in Tanunda, the central town of the Barossa. Climbing gently out to Stonewell, we get our first view of Seppeltsfield Road to the north-west, delineated by its famous avenue of palms. They drop from view as we edge past Marananga and down into Greenock, a quaint and quiet village known locally as ‘little Scotland in the Barossa’.
A few rolling climbs later we hit Seppeltsfield Road, descending to the winery and the avenue of palms. Lining the roads through Seppeltsfield, the palms were planted during the 1930s depression, when wine production was suspended. Instead of laying off their employees, the Seppelts provided them with free rent and food in return for work of a different kind - propagating and planting palms. Within several years more than 2000 palms had been grown - from just two provided by the Adelaide Botanic Gardens - and a 2km avenue of palms had been created.
From Adelaide, follow the Adelaide Hills scenic route to Tanunda, or drive straight up Main North Road, the Sturt Highway and Gomersal Road. If you’re feeling energetic, catch the train to Gawler and ride up Barossa Valley Way through Lyndoch (31km). Do the loop, ride back to Gawler and reward yourself with pizza at Café Nova.
Food and Drink
Cafes, restaurants, take-away and a supermarket in Tanunda. En-route, the Greenock Creek Tavern for a cold drink, or espresso at Seppeltsfield Winery. Wineries will happily refill your water bottles.
Go tasting at Barossa Brewing Company in Greenock. Their hand-made beers are produced under the German purity laws of 1516 and have a growing cult following. Open Saturday and Sunday 11-4.
The Seppelt story started in 1850, when Joseph Seppelt bought 158 acres in the western Barossa. In 1852 he started planting vines and in 1855 built the family homestead, followed in 1867 by the first winery building. The main three-storey bluestone building took another 20 years and the gravity-fed winery quite a few more, and by 1906 Seppeltsfield as we know it was complete - bar one element. Finished in 1927, the Seppelt Family Mausoleum was built in the style of a Greek Doric temple - but with a winemaker’s twist: the landscaping represents a wineglass, with the hedge near the road the base, the path up the hill the stem and the walled tomb the bowl of the glass.
Overall, it’s a pretty impressive place – especially the avenue of palms, which lines the rolling route past Gnadenfrei Church into Marananga. It’s not far back to Tanunda from there so, unless you’ve got any pressing business, take some time out for a visit to Seppeltsfield’s cellar door and the nine million litres of fortified wine aging in the cellars. One of the largest – and arguably the best – collections of fortified wines in the world, it’s an opportunity not to be missed.
- 0.0 Starting at the band rotunda, take Bilyara Rd to the right.
- 0.6 Veer right into Langmeil Rd.
- 0.9 Turn left into Smyth Rd and carefully cross the old one-way bridge to the first of many small climbs.
- 2.9 Turn right onto Stonewell Rd, signposted to Seppeltsfield and Marananga, watching for traffic on the dirt road to the left. Continue along several rolling climbs.
- 5.2 At the staggered intersection, turn left onto Seppeltsfield Rd and then right back onto Stonewell Rd. Four palms transplanted from Seppeltsfield mark an information bay.
- 7.6 Turn left onto the Nuriootpa-Greenock road, signposted to Greenock. Take care along this short stretch, which is the main access road to the highway.
- 8.3 The turn-off to the highway goes left. Continue across the overpass, watching for traffic entering on the other side.
- 8.8 Enjoy the long descent into Greenock.
- 10.0 At the T-junction, turn left onto Adelaide Rd.
- 11.8 The highway comes into view ahead. We go underneath, then tackle a couple of challenging short climbs.
- 13.0 The crest of the hardest climb on the ride, then a downhill for momentum up the next.
- 13.7 The second crest, with views through to Mt Lofty, descending into a sweeping left hand turn.
- 14.7 A steep descent down into Seppeltsfield, past the winery and cellar door, and the start of the avenue of palms. Watch for pot-holes and traffic leaving the winery.
- 15.5 Turn left and continue along the avenue of palms.
- 16.0 Turn right.
- 16.4 The Seppelt Family Mausoleum on the left, followed by another left hand turn.
- 17.2 Turn right and continue past the Gnadenfrei church, then descend into Marananga.
- 17.8 The avenue of palms ends and a gentle but steady climb up out of Marananga begins.
- 19.1 At the information bay, turn right back onto Stonewell Rd.
- 21.5 At the top of the climb, turn left onto Smyth Rd for one more small climb before the descent back down into Tanunda.
- 23.5 At the T-junction, turn right onto Langmeil Rd.
- 23.8 Turn left and head back up Bilyara Rd.
- 24.5 The rotunda and the end of the ride.
24.636 km / 15.308 mi
129 m / 424 ft
129 m / 423 ft
313 m / 1,028 ft