So I am in the mood for trying out a longer ride and Gawler seems like a good destination because it means I and my bike can take a train back home afterwards!

Is it a crazy idea to ride from the CBD to Gawler? Has anyone done this before and has a few tips on the route for me? I have looked it up on Cycle Instead, but it's hard to tell which roads are safe for cycling or not just from looking at a map.

Any hints are appreciated. Thank you!

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I've done that trip many times over the years, there are plenty of choices as to routes. Options will only increase in the near future as the Northern Connector and Gawler Greenway bike track works are completed. I went up that way a couple of Sundays ago and there are a plethora of new signs up for these tracks which are being built.

As for the current moment, I'd suggest the South Rd bikeway from Regency Rd north or Gallipoli Drive to Grand Junction Rd, filter your way through to Cormack Rd and head east along that to the Port Expressway bike deviation (sign posted) on Magazine Rd which takes you to Mawson Lakes. From Mawson Lakes head west on the Dry Creek Trail which joins up with the Little Para Trail, going under Port Wakefield Rd twice. Note that there may be some standing water in one of the underpasses depending on the tide.

Once you've cleared Port Wakefield Rd at Paralowie, head north in zigzag fashion on any side roads that keep you off the main highway, then take the expressway bike track the rest of the way to Gawler. There are also a bunch of new sealed trails around Gawler in the parklands around the river. You can access then from the west via Paternoster Rd once you cross the Gawler Bypass.

This way is mostly sealed but of course expect some dirt and leaf litter. A great ride to do on a day with a brisk breeze from the south west!

Thank you very much for the reply, those are exactly the sorts of directions I was after. I knew things were in flux up there due to works on all of the new roads so it is good to hear that you have made the trip recenly. Sounds like it's very possible then! I'll keep an eye on the wind forecast as I plan my ride ;)

I would catch the trainer to Gawler and then take the Barossa Trail through to Tanunda, Nurioopta then up to Angaston. From Angaston take the Eden Valley Road back to Adelaide or from Angaston go to Menglers Hill back to Tanunda then back to Gawler, then train home. Or Ride to Willunga via the Coast to Vines Trail and catch the train back from Seaford. Riding from Adelaide to Gawler is one ride I would never do.

Sundays is always better for train travel, only $2.07 with a Metro Card. Saturdays is $3.77 all day.

I'll agree to disagree with your opinion of the Adelaide to Gawler ride, but I'll add that if you catch the train on weekdays after 9am and before 3pm you get the off peak fare too.

Thank you for that suggestion. I would like to do the ride up to the Barossa from Gawler - maybe I could do that on another trip? :D

I'm very familiar with the Coast to Vines ride as I work in McLaren Vale once a week and train+bike more often than not. I've never ridden the full distance from Adelaide, however...

Or take some hills.

 Lower North East road, Anstey Hill, Range Roads, Seaview Road, Snake Gully, near One tree Hill, and either 1)Gawler-One Tree Hill Road or 2) Humbug Scrub Road to near Williamstown, and then on to Gawler.

There’s cafes in One Tree Hill and Williamstown. A couple of these roads are a little bit narrow, but in general it’s a very scenic ride. I like Humbug Scrub Road but it is substantially longer in time (a bit longer distance and more hilly).

Thank you for the route advice! I would love to ride in the hills, but as I have never done it before I am a little scared regarding vehicle traffic. There are so many blind corners. Maybe I need to go with a casual group one day to gain some confidence.

There’s a few groups. BikeSA do a nice series of 5 rides during the cooler months called the Grand Slam. They also publish a list of group rides.

Gawler Wheelers seem to be very active doing rides that would be good. There’s a Balhannah group on Tuesdays.

I've ridden Adelaide - Gawler 3 times this year (well, once out, twice back) with doing some work out there.

I join the Adelaide Uni-Mawson Lakes bike route that takes you through Clearview, back of the Velodrome etc.  A small section of Main North Rd from Pratt Ave to Montague Rd.  Then take Dry Creek Trail (unsealed to Park Way crossing) through to Mawson Interchange.  Next is excellent shared path between train line and Parafield Airport, nice peaceful cruise (starts at the creek north of the Interchange).  That gets you to Cross Keys Rd - no bike lane to Frost Rd, then bike lane from then on including Fenden Rd.  Left into Saints Rd and use path to cross Little Para Reserve to Porter St.  Do a left right combo using the lights onto Commercial Rd, and then right onto Kettering Rd (much better than Philip Hwy).  Left into Goodman Rd to Elizabeth Way. Left onto Winterslow Rd (I use wide footpath over bridge as road bit squeezy if not quick going up) and right onto Peachey Rd.  Cross Womma Rd then take first right Bratton St through to Heytesbury Rd.  Left here and along, becomes Coventry Rd.  Becomes Douglas Rd in Munno Para (nice park for a toilet stop along here), right at Light Ave roundabout then left at next roundabout gets you back on Coventry Rd (yeh, bit confusing).  Coventry takes you to Evanston Gardens, an 80 km/hr road with little shoulder for most part but light traffic load each time I was on it - I just took numerous glances over shoulder, especially when there was any oncoming traffic.  I take right at Clark Rd just before Angle Vale Road, then Dawson, left into Para and right into Hillier to make way towards Gawler itself.

First time I rode it for a decent ride rather than using train/ride combo from Mawson Lakes.  Found it was an interesting ride for a flat one, and flowed pretty well.

Hi BJ,

Thank you so much for this incredibly detailed route. I'll improvise my route to the Clearview bike route. Oh wait, is that the Levels-City bike route? I recall seeing signs for that once or twice while out riding. I'll head to North Adelaide and try to start to follow the signs there. Sounds like an adventure to me haha.

I think I am going to print out the directions and take them with me. Thank you so much again!

BJ's route is what I'd call a middle route, basically following the railway line north of Mawson Lakes. The Levels-City bike route is a favourite, sometimes acting as a return from my previously mentioned route north the Mawson Lakes. You don't have to use Main North Rd though if you can find the creek trail that comes out on Main North just south of Mawson Lakes Boulevard. The path is visible on this view, just north of Carlyle Reserve. The path forks just after the reserve, use the right branch.

There is also a nice eastern route, a powerline easement which starts some way north of the junction of main North Rd and the Little Para Trail. It becomes Adams Rd, when that runs out you dogleg to Bentley Rd until it runs out, then you cross Main North Rd at Dalkeith Rd to take Coventry Rd the rest of the way. Google Earth is a good way to troll these routes so you can note your key intersections on your chosen route. You can avoid bits of Coventry Rd too by using local streets near the Kudla railway station and in Evanston Gardens.

Yes, it's the Levels-City bike route (had a mental blank to that name).  Note that I'm on a MTB, so the unsealed section of the Dry Creek Trail with a gravelly section is no concern to me.  Also on Coventry Rd diverting to the unsealed shoulder if I felt I had to is an easy option as well.

Thanks for the tip on the eastern route Jilden, I'll try that too. 

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