The Shiraz Trail Willunga to McLaren Vale

Cycle Adelaide, Sightseeing Ride, Shiraz Trail

This is a ride for families, foodies and wine lovers – and anyone appreciative of a gentle, scenic ride through a region devoted to great food and wine. Leading on from the Coast to Vines Rail Trail , the Shiraz Trail is a new off-road route linking the McLaren Vale wine district and the regional produce centre of Willunga.

While there are a few road crossings along the way, the trail has long sections without a vehicle in sight. What you do see are spectacular rural views over vineyards and the Willunga Range, along a linear reserve lined with gums and wild olives.

Like the Coast to Vines Trail, parts are still under construction – in this case the route through the McLaren Vale township. Completion is not far off but in the meantime, if you’re riding with children and want to miss the main road, just pick up the path behind the Almond Carriage Café.

Access

From Adelaide, head out along Main South Road or the Southern Expressway, then follow the signs to McLaren Vale. The ride starts behind the Pedlar Creek playground, adjacent to the Visitor Information Centre.

Food and Drink

Shops, takeaways, wineries and restaurants in both McLaren Vale and Willunga; the Almond Carriage Café and several winery cafes along the route.

Side trip

Reinforce the positives of time on the bike on McLaren Vale’s unofficial chocolate trail. Visit The Chocolate Box, Bracegirdle’s House of Fine Chocolate and the Medlow Confectionary and Fruchocs Showcase – the ride justifies indulging at each!

More Details

The trail starts behind the McLaren Vale Visitor Information Centre. The centre of the Fleurieu’s most renowned wine district, McLaren Vale is a popular tourist town with a serious emphasis on food. Regional produce features strongly on local menus and many of the 76 cellar doors have cafes or restaurants. Some have taken the food/wine link even further, adding cheese making, chocolate or olive production to their operations and running cooking and wine education classes. Hands-on types can join sessions on cheese or bread making, preserving or wine blending at The Producers - just think what you could make at home!

Another option is the Fleurieu Cheese & Wine Trail, a culinary exploration matching cheeses to wines from cellar doors around McLaren Vale. And if you’re visiting the region from further afield, leave the organisation to the team at the Almond Carriage Café and Onyabike, who’ll set you up with bikes, picnic food and friendly local advice.

The path and its views will take you through to Willunga, a quiet town with a knockout reputation for almonds, olive oil and its regional Farmers Market. On the way, take time out at the Hans Christian Anderson Memorial Reading seat, an imaginative commemoration project funded by local groups including the Willunga Quarry Market. Along with the weekly Farmers Market, this monthly event forms the hub of the town’s community and economy, providing both an opportunity for producers to sell directly to their customers and a get-together for locals.

Time your ride for the Saturday morning markets, or just wander the town and its galleries, antique shops and cafes, then head back up the trail to McLaren Vale.

Ride Log

  • 0.0 From the trail signboards behind the Pedlar Creek playground, head south alongside Pedlar Creek and wetlands adjacent to the McLaren Vale Visitor Information Centre.
  • 0.7 At a T-junction with Main Rd, turn left and continue on-road through the town centre.
  • 1.5 Turn left into the Almond Carriage Café and pick up the path behind the café. This is the alternative starting point.
  • 2.1 Carefully cross a busy road and continue on the other side, as the path runs along through a linear park and alongside a playground.
  • 2.9 Another busy road crossing.
  • 7.6 Nearing Willunga, the trail passes the golf course on the left and then the school on the right.
  • 8.4 Carefully cross the staggered crossing to the path on the other side.
  • 8.7 The Hans Christian Anderson Memorial Reading Seat on the left.
  • 8.8 At the Coast to Vines/Shiraz Trail signboards and the former Willunga Railway Station, the ride ends. Return along the path to McLaren Vale or cross the carpark and continue along the road into Willunga.
  • Trail map

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    17.751 km / 11.03 mi

    Total Distance

    109 m / 356 ft

    Total Ascent

    109 m / 356 ft

    Total Descent

    107 m / 350 ft

    Highest Point

    Ride type:
    Mountain biking
    Road riding
    Sightseeing
    Commuter
    Rail Trail
    Gravel
    Various
    EPIC Ride
    Difficulty: Intermediate (Red)
    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
    Gravel Road
    Trail Signage: Poor
    Mobile Coverage: Excellent
    Estimated Distance: 17.7
    Elevation Gain: 144
    Services:
    Water
    Food
    First Aid
    Toilets
    Bike hire
    Carparking
    Bike servicing
    Accessible by bike
    Accessible by car
    Accessible by public transport
    Accessible by shuttle
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