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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.