Cycle Belair National Park MTB Ride 2

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.

Side trip

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.

Ride Log

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.

  • 0.0 From the information centre, ride straight ahead past the ticket booth and then the turn-off to the Main Oval.
  • 0.2 Turn right onto Creek Rd.
  • 0.8 Turn right onto Valley Rd, signed to Long Gully, Willows and Karka.
  • 1.9 Continue past the Joseph Fisher Pavilion, with its giant Sequoias and Californian Redwoods, and along a shady stretch adjacent to a creek.
  • 2.4 At the Long Gully Oval, turn left up Saddle Hill Rd.
  • 3.2 Ignore the dirt track to the left and follow the bitumen road past a sign saying No Exit Waverley Gate. Change into your granny gear now, as it’s steep from here to the ridge top.
  • 4.7 At Waverley Lodge and the top of climb, turn left and continue onto the dirt Queen’s Jubilee Dr, signed for the Tom Roberts Horse Trail. Ignore all tracks going off and stay on this main path for the descent.
  • 5.6 At a junction of paths and an electricity pylon, a single track to the right leads to waterfalls and an optional detour.
  • 6.4 Enjoy the views over the park and beyond.
  • 8.5 Pass around a gate and then the State Flora Nursery and Old Government House onto the bitumen access road in front. Continue straight ahead.
  • 9.2 Continue straight ahead through an intersection and again at a give way sign shortly afterwards.
  • 9.7 Pass the ticket booth and circle around the carpark area.
  • 9.8 The ride finishes back at the information centre.
  • Trail map

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    10.47 km / 6.506 mi

    Total Distance

    262 m / 861 ft

    Total Ascent

    260 m / 855 ft

    Total Descent

    485 m / 1,591 ft

    Highest Point

    Ride type:
    Mountain biking
    Road riding
    Kid friendly
    Rail Trail
    Difficulty: Beginner (Green)
    Ride Duration: options
    Fitness Level: Medium
    Shared Bike Path - Paved
    Shared Bike Path - Dirt
    On-Road Bike Lane
    Off-Road - Fire Trail
    Off-Road - Rail Trail
    Off-Road - Single Track
    Off-Road - Downhill
    Mobile Coverage: Excellent
    Estimated Distance: 10.5
    Elevation Gain: 273
    First Aid
    Bike hire
    Bike servicing
    Accessible by bike
    Accessible by car
    Accessible by public transport
    Accessible by shuttle / uber
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