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Coast To Vines Trail

Home > Adelaide > Cycling | Day Trips | Free | Health and Fitness | Outdoor
by James Newcombe (subscribe)
Freelance writer for feature articles, web content and blogs. Specializing in non-fiction articles on a range of subjects including lifestyle, travel, architecture and product reviews.
Published December 17th 2013
Another of Adelaide’s hidden gems
Coast to Vines rail Trail Adelaide bikeride cycling Adelaide walking Adelaide Marino Rocks Hallett Cove Old Reynella Onkaparinga river Coorara Morphett Vale Hackham Korro Moana Willunga basin Pedlar creek McLaren Vale Shiraz Trail
View south from the Hallett Cove railway station overpass. Image by writer.

The 28 kilometre Coast to Vines Trail begins at Marino Rocks and meanders its way to McLaren Vale, where it links up with the 9 kilometre Shiraz Trail. The dedicated two-way bicycle and pedestrian path follows the original rail corridor from Marino to Willunga.

The Coast to Vines Trail is divided into five sections:

1. Marino Rocks- Hallett Cove shopping centre = 4.5 kilometres
2. Hallett Cove shopping centre- Old Reynella = 3.5 kilometres
3. Old Reynella- Hackham = 8 kilometres
4. Hackham- Onkaparinga river = 4 kilometres
5. Onkaparinga river- McLaren Vale = 8 kilometres.

You can check out a map here.

Coast to Vines rail Trail Adelaide bikeride cycling walking Marino Rocks Hallett Cove Old Reynella Onkaparinga river Coorara Morphett Vale Hackham Korro Moana Willunga basin Pedlar creek McLaren Vale Shiraz Trail
The trail moves inland from Hallett Cove following the valley. Image by writer.


Coast to vines trail Adelaide
The impressive new Glade crescent reserve near the Hallett Cove shopping centre has a playground for the kids.

The Coast to Vines Trail passes the Hallett Cove shopping centre and continues along a dedicated path that runs next to Patpa drive before entering the picturesque Hugh Johnson reserve.

Coast to Vines rail Trail Adelaide bikeride cycling walking Marino Rocks Hallett Cove Old Reynella Onkaparinga river Coorara Morphett Vale Hackham Korro Moana Willunga basin Pedlar creek McLaren Vale Shiraz Trail Hugh Johnson reserve children's playground.
The tranquil Hugh Johnson reserve has picnic areas, a creek and children's playground. Image by writer.

Through the reserve and beyond the wetland, the trail climbs to regain the original rail corridor. Travelling east the trail heads towards the Southern expressway (unfortunately interrupted by work on the Seaford Rail extension at the moment). The trail then turns south, sharing the track with the veloway, before continuing under South Road into Old Reynella.

Coast to Vines rail Trail Adelaide bikeride cycling walking Marino Rocks Hallett Cove Old Reynella Onkaparinga river Coorara Morphett Vale Hackham Korro Moana Willunga basin Pedlar creek McLaren Vale Shiraz Trail
At Old Reynella the track is lined with pine trees and is only a stone's throw from the main street (Old South rd) and its shops. Image by writer.

At Old Reynella the trail follows the original Goodwood-Willunga railway line, which opened in 1915. From Old Reynella to Hackham all the old station locations are marked with signs which have interesting facts on the area.

Passing through Coorara the path heads into Morphett Vale and along the old railway cuts and fills.

Coast to Vines trail McLaren Vale Adelaide
An elevated section of the track at Morphett Vale. Most of the track is tree lined from Old Reynella to Hackham.

An insight into suburban life can be glimpsed as you pass through Hackham. The track passes the Olive Farm, a heritage farmhouse built in 1850; the surrounding olive trees date to 1860. After leaving Hackham the trail continues parallel to Main South Road, the surrounding area opening up to wide, open fields and new housing estates.

Coast to Vines trail McLaren Vale Adelaide
The path passes under the Southern Expressway and Veloway through this long, echo filled tunnel at Huntfield Heights.

35kms south of Adelaide at Korro, you enter the spectacular Onkaparinga river reserve, which is a haven for native flora and fauna. Photography, canoeing, fishing, rock-climbing and bushwalking can be enjoyed by users of the recreation park and wetlands. Noarlunga gets its name from the Kaurna word Nurlungga meaning at the corner, which refers to the horseshoe shaped loop of the Onkaparinga river at Old Noarlunga.

Coast to Vines trail McLaren Vale Adelaide
View of the Onkaparinga river from the old 1930's girder bridge which has been restored for users. Image by writer.

After the Onkaparinga wetlands, the trail hugs the new Seaford rail extension before heading back inland through Moana, primarily a farming region until the late twenties when property developers subdivided the land. The last passenger train passed through here in 1957; in 1972 the rail track was removed.

Coast to Vines trail McLaren Vale Adelaide Noarlunga
Colourful, modern roadbridge over the new Seaford railway extension. Image by writer.

The trail opens out into the large expanses of Willunga basin which once supported a diversity of vegetation. However with its fertile soils and accessible plains, the basin was attractive to developers and sadly, now only 3% of the original vegetation remains. Further on is Pedlar creek, a site of environmental and cultural significance to the Kaurna people. This section of the track really feels like you are out in the countryside.

Coast to Vines trail McLaren Vale Adelaide Pedlar Creek
Old timber bridge at Pedlar creek. You can walk or cycle from Pedlar creek to the pristine beach at Moana. Image by writer.

Almond trees and scrubland gradually give way to green expanses of grape vines on the approach to McLaren Vale. If you are feeling extra energetic, you can continue past the McLaren Vale Fleurieu Visitors Centre and head the 9kms to Willunga on the Shiraz trail. All in all, a relaxing ride with varied and interesting scenery. And more importantly, flat most of the way!

What is your favourite trail in Adelaide? Leave a comment.
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Why? For a great ride all year round
When: All year round
Where: Marino Rocks to McLaren Vale
Cost: Free
Your Comment
Keeping fit still James :)
by Dave Walsh (score: 4|11258) 2128 days ago
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