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Adelaide Airport Trails

Home > Adelaide > Cycling | Fun for Children | Outdoor | Parks | Walks
by Steve Hudson (subscribe)
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Published December 14th 2016
The complete 360 degree view of our Airport
Airports around the world are great attractors for young kids. The chance to see a big plane, to hear the noise, to watch a landing and take off are all enough to keep kids occupied for hours. Now, with thanks to the City of West Torrens, a network of cycling and walking paths provides almost 12km of opportunity for some of the best views of Adelaide Airport.

Adelaide Airport Trails, Smith Brothers Walking Trail, Harbourtown, Anna Meares Bike Path, Reece Jennings Bikeway, Captain McKenna Path, Things to do in Adelaide
Airport Entrance - Steve Hudson
Adelaide Airport Trails, Smith Brothers Walking Trail, Harbourtown, Anna Meares Bike Path, Reece Jennings Bikeway, Captain McKenna Path, Things to do in Adelaide
Viewing Seat - Steve Hudson


For those thinking of completing the 12km in a loop, the best place to start is at the northern end of Frank Collopy Court (behind Masters) when a small sign recognises one of South Australia's greatest ever cyclists, Anna Meares.

Adelaide Airport Trails, Smith Brothers Walking Trail, Harbourtown, Anna Meares Bike Path, Reece Jennings Bikeway, Captain McKenna Path, Things to do in Adelaide
Anna Meares Bike Path - Steve Hudson


The Anna Meares Bike Path heads west for some 2km alongside the stormwater drain and Sir Donald Bradman Drive, taking visitors on a pleasant path through some natural reserve complete with spring flowers. The view from the bike path is mostly obstructed by large buildings and the taxi overflow rank, all of which are critical to ensuring that the airport continues to function.

Adelaide Airport Trails, Smith Brothers Walking Trail, Harbourtown, Anna Meares Bike Path, Reece Jennings Bikeway, Captain McKenna Path, Things to do in Adelaide
Anna Meares Bike Path - Steve Hudson


The Anna Meares bike path ends at Tapleys Hill Road where it joins the Reece Jennings Bikeway. Reece Jennings twice served as Mayor of the City of West Torrens, and has a long association with the Council. The Reece Jennings Bikeway formally starts at the River Torrens and heads south to Glenelg providing a riding and walking alternative that avoids the busy Tapleys Hill Road.

Adelaide Airport Trails, Smith Brothers Walking Trail, Harbourtown, Anna Meares Bike Path, Reece Jennings Bikeway, Captain McKenna Path, Things to do in Adelaide
Reece Jennings Bikeway - Steve Hudson


Heading south, the Bikeway is on the western side of Tapleys Hill Road and provides changing views of the Airport and Harbourtown on the left, and a combination of houses, horse paddocks and the Patawalonga Golf Course. A small plaque acknowledges the existence of the former property of Frogmore, just before reaching the popular aircraft viewing area.

Adelaide Airport Trails, Smith Brothers Walking Trail, Harbourtown, Anna Meares Bike Path, Reece Jennings Bikeway, Captain McKenna Path, Things to do in Adelaide
Safe travels for all - Steve Hudson
Adelaide Airport Trails, Smith Brothers Walking Trail, Harbourtown, Anna Meares Bike Path, Reece Jennings Bikeway, Captain McKenna Path, Things to do in Adelaide
Frogmore - Steve Hudson


The Bikeway continues south across the Patawalonga Creek past the end of the runway where some exceptional views of the undercarriage of planes can be seen from the West Beach Skate Park and surrounds. The Bikeway continues to Glenelg where it joins the Mike Turtur Bikeway and the Westside Bikeway. But before this, we head east across the road and join the Captain McKenna Pathway.

Adelaide Airport Trails, Smith Brothers Walking Trail, Harbourtown, Anna Meares Bike Path, Reece Jennings Bikeway, Captain McKenna Path, Things to do in Adelaide
Captain McKenna Pathway - Steve Hudson
Adelaide Airport Trails, Smith Brothers Walking Trail, Harbourtown, Anna Meares Bike Path, Reece Jennings Bikeway, Captain McKenna Path, Things to do in Adelaide
Take off time - Steve Hudson


The Captain McKenna heads northeast and runs alongside the Brownhill Creek Drain, as it eventually finds its outlet near the sea. The eastern side of the Airport is in view the whole time, and yet another different perspective is gained of the size and complexity of an Airport.

Adelaide Airport Trails, Smith Brothers Walking Trail, Harbourtown, Anna Meares Bike Path, Reece Jennings Bikeway, Captain McKenna Path, Things to do in Adelaide
Brownhill Creek - Steve Hudson
Adelaide Airport Trails, Smith Brothers Walking Trail, Harbourtown, Anna Meares Bike Path, Reece Jennings Bikeway, Captain McKenna Path, Things to do in Adelaide
Morning walkers - Steve Hudson


The Pathway ends near Watson Avenue at Netley where it is replaced by a series of Bike Direct signs along low trafficked suburban streets before crossing the Brownhill Creek Drain, passing the northern end of the runway and finishing at the traditional entrance to the Airport. A jump across the traffic lights, and a trip through the Ikea car park, and then you are back where you started.

Adelaide Airport Trails, Smith Brothers Walking Trail, Harbourtown, Anna Meares Bike Path, Reece Jennings Bikeway, Captain McKenna Path, Things to do in Adelaide
Northern end of runway - Steve Hudson


Travel on the Adelaide Airport Trails is generally available all year, notwithstanding that some of them are emergency access points should they be required. The paths are flat so are great for walkers and riders of all ages. Plans have been drafted to formalise the complete off road loop of the Airport by adding a path in place of the not-so-busy roads around Netley with works expected to commence as soon as funding becomes available.
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Why? Everybody loves seeing planes
When: Any time
Where: Adelaide Airport
Cost: Free
Your Comment
Fantastic article Steve! I drive past these bikeways all the time - I think it might be time to take a closer look!
by Paula McManus (score: 3|2620) 284 days ago
Great article. Thanks
by Ann Lund (score: 1|64) 281 days ago
I ride these pathways quite often and it would be great to have them really and truly go around the airport without having to go on the roads .
by peter (score: 1|16) 276 days ago
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