Clare Valley & The Southern Flinders Ranges


$500.00 incl. GST per person


14 Days: 13 Nights

Departure date:

21st October 2024

From (GST inc)

  • $5,970 pp twin share
  • $7,090 single

Pedal through time and the Clare Valley and Southern Flinders Ranges

Daily Overview

    • Day 1: Drive Adelaide to Watervale in the Clare Valley
    • Day 2: Riesling Trail - Watervale to Clare - 34km
    • Day 3: Riesling & Rattler Trails - Watervale to Riverton - 60km
    • Day 4: Watervale to Burra - 47km
    • Day 5: Cycling Free Day - Winery and Brewery tour
    • Day 6: Saddleworth Loop - 68km
    • Day 7: Watervale to Port Wakefield - 58km
    • Day 8: Halbury to Yacka - 70km
    • Day 9: Stone Hut to Wilmington - 66km
    • Day 10: Free Day
    • Day 11: Quorn to Hawker - 67km
    • Day 12: Quorn to Wilmington - 40km
    • Day 13: Quorn to Warren Gorge - 42km, Pichi Richi Sundowner
    • Day 14: Drive Quorn to Adelaide

About This Tour

This new two-week cycling holiday provides you with the opportunity to explore and experience two very unique and historically rich areas of South Australia – The Clare Valley and The Southern Flinders Ranges.

In week one, think rolling hills, fertile valleys, and lush green vineyards, and in week two, stunning, rugged outback landscapes. And in between, the rich colonial agricultural and mining past that was once connected by the now abandoned railway lines.

Another highlight of this new tour is you will only have to pack and move your bags three times. To make your cycling holiday more relaxed we will be basing ourselves in Watervale for 7 nights and Quorn for 5 with a single night in between at Stone Hut.

A common request on some of our tours has been to provide self-contained accommodation so you have the choice to cook your own evening meals or, if you don’t wish to self-cater, go out to a restaurant, and this is what we have done for this tour. We have still scheduled a number of evening meals for the group throughout the tour and we have also provided opportunities for you to visit supermarkets and have your purchases transported back to our accommodation in the mini-bus. If you don’t wish to self-cater your evening meals while we’re in the Clare Valley, we’ll run a “courtesy bus” each evening to one of the local establishments. In Quorn, the supermarket and pubs are within walking distance of our accommodation.

Please note this tour uses a mix of sealed and gravel rail trails and sealed and gravel roads suitable for all bike types, as long as the bikes are fitted with tyres suitable for gravel surfaces.

We hope you can join us on this unforgettable cycling adventure through the Clare Valley to the Southern Flinders Ranges.

What is included

  • Accommodation in 3 or 4 star properties
  • 7 x nights in Watervale, 1 in Stone Hut and 5 in Quorn
  • All breakfasts
  • Lunch on Days 5, 6, 8, 11 & 13
  • Dinner on Days 1, 7, 8, 9 & 13
  • Clare Valley winery tour
  • Pichi Richi Sundowner train trip
  • End of tour dinner on Day 13
  • Transfer from Adelaide to Watervale at the start of the tour
  • Transfer from Quorn to Adelaide at the end of the tour
  • Hot/cold drinks and snacks from the support vehicle
  • Support vehicle/s provided every day - ride as much or as little as you please
  • Custom-built support trailer for safe carriage of your bike and luggage
  • Luggage transfer between your accommodation
  • UHF radio link between yourself and the support vehicle
  • Mechanical assistance and support (conditions apply, limited spares)
  • Tour guides - the owners of Mulga Tours are with you every day

Payment Methods:

Payments can be made via Visa, MasterCard or electronic funds transfer.


Explore and experience the landscapes, history, food and wine of the Clare Valley and Southern Flinders Ranges. Ride the Riesling, Rattler, Southern Flinders and Shamus Liptrot Rail Trails. Take a ride on the Pichi Richi heritage train to Woolshed Flat.

Start/Finish locations:

Start and Finish: HotelMOTEL, 216-225 South Terrace, Adelaide, South Australia

Tour Grade:

Grade 1

Find out how we grade our tours

Total distance:

552km cycling

Daily distances:

Average 55km.
Ranges from 34 to 70 km, with 2 cycling free days


For an understanding of the weather experienced in October review the weather statistics recorded at:

Days 1 to 7 - Clare
Day 11 - Hawker
Days 9 to 13 - Port Augusta

E-Bike and Bike Hire:

If you do not wish to bring your own bike, you can hire a standard pedal bike from us for $590 or an E-bike (limited numbers) for $940. Please select your desired "Bike Hire" option when completing the booking form. For more information on our hire bikes click here.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Answers to our most commonly asked questions can be found here - Multi day tours - FAQ


Accommodation, continental breakfast on Days 2 to 14; lunch on Days 5, 6, 8, 11 and 13; dinner on Days 1, 7, 8. 9 and 13; drinks and snacks from the tour support vehicle, tour guides, use of support vehicles as required. Clare Valley Winery Tour, Pichi Richi Sundowner train trip; Transfer from Adelaide to Watervale at the start of the tour and Quorn to Adelaide at the end of the tour.


All drinks at dinner and alcoholic drinks at lunch; alcoholic drinks, food, beverages, and other personal items you purchase; room service and mini bar charges; telephone calls made from the telephone provided in your accommodation (see note on credit card pre-authorisation in Important Information); laundry costs; parts required to repair your personal bicycle and repairs to your personal bicycle undertaken by Mulga Bicycle Tours or in a third party’s bicycle shop.


Guests are responsible for transfers to and from the tour.

Bike Boxes:

Due to limited space we are unable to carry bike boxes of any kind. If you are bringing your own bike please ensure that you have arrangements in place with your pre or post tour accommodation provider for the bike box's storage whilst you are on tour.

Tour Itinerary

Day 1: Meet in Adelaide and Drive to Watervale, Clare Valley

We will meet you at HotelMOTEL, 216-225 South Terrace, Adelaide, between 9.00am and 11.00am to complete our pre-tour checks and load your luggage and bike so we are ready to depart for Clare Valley by about 12.00pm.

Tour check-in is by appointment and we will send you the link to enable you to book a time when we send you the detailed tour information pack 3-4 weeks before the tour.

For the next 7 days we will be travelling through Ngadjuri and Kaurna country. We will be using our accommodation in the Skillogalee Valley (Watervale) as our base and conducting day trips out and back each day. Accommodation at Watervale is at Watervale Retreat or you can choose to upgrade to Battuga Cottages which is next door. Select "Upgrade to Battunga Cottages" on the booking form.


Day 2: Watervale to Clare and return via Riesling Trail - Cycling Distance 34km

As Watervale is roughly in the middle of the Riesling Rail Trail, South Australia’s best known rail trail, we will take two days to ride the length of the trail. Today we will ride the northern section into Clare and take time to stop and look at points of interest along the way including the village of Penwortham and Sevenhill. Sevenhill is the location of Australia’s oldest winery with the first vines being planted in 1851 by the Jesuits who still run the winery today.

Whilst in Clare we will provide time for those interested in self-catering to do some shopping at the local supermarkets and we’ll transport your purchases back to Watervale in the bus.


  • Watervale

Day 3: Watervale to Riverton and return via Riesling and Rattler Rail Trails – Cycling Distance - 60km

Today we will be riding to Riverton and return on the Riesling and Rattler Rail Trails. The Rattler Rail Trail extends the Riesling Trail from Auburn to Riverton. We will stop in Auburn and Riverton for morning tea and lunch.


  • Watervale

Day 4: Watervale to Burra – Cycling Distance 47km

We will be riding to the historical copper mining town of Burra this morning - in search of Cornish pasties and other goodies.

In 1845 copper was discovered at Burra Burra Creek and mining commenced shortly afterwards. In search of a better life Cornish miners moved to South Australia and provided the mining knowledge and skills necessary to extract the ore from the underground mines. Between 1850 and 1860 the Burra mine was the largest mine in Australia producing 5% of the world’s copper. In 1895 when the mine was at its peak of production the mines employed more than 1200 workers. South Australia soon became known as the Copper Kingdom because of the importance copper mining and smelting played in the economic development of the colony.

One of the traditions the Cornish miners brought with them was the Cornish pasty made with meat, potatoes and onions wrapped in a thick pastry. A good Cornish pasty is considered to be made with a thick and wide crusty edge so it can be held with dirty hands, which made it a very suitable meal for the underground miners. Each time we visit Burra we go in search of Burra’s best Cornish pasty.

On our way to Burra, we will pass through the small town of Farrell Flat which is built beside the old Roseworthy to Peterborough railway line that connected Adelaide to Burra in 1870. The town is now famous for the very colourful mural on its silos.

Whilst in Burra we will take time to ride the Burra Town Heritage Trail.

We will be driving you back to Watervale. Before we leave you may wish to take the opportunity to restock your larder at the local supermarket.


  • Watervale

Day 5: Cycling Free Day

Today we will be taking you on a tour of some local wineries and a brewery - in the bus!


  • Watervale

Day 6: Saddleworth Loop – Cycling Distance 68km

Today we will take you on another route we discovered when we were undertaking reconnaissance for the tour. It is a circular route using the Riesling Trail and quiet sealed and gravel roads through the villages of Auburn, Saddleworth, Manoora, Mintaro, Penwortham and Watervale.

There are many points of interest along the way and in the small villages we visit. The most notable is Martindale Hall which is an example of the grand country mansions built by the pastoralists during the 1870s and 1880s. Used as one of the locations for the filming of the movie Picnic at Hanging Rock, it is also known as “The Picnic at Hanging Rock mansion”.


  • Watervale

Day 7: Watervale to Port Wakefield – Cycling Distance 58km

We are riding to the coast today or more specifically, Port Wakefield, which is at the top of St Vincent Gulf. This is another favourite ride from our reconnaissance for this tour. Our route mostly follows the old Gulf Road that was used in the 1850s by the bullock and mule teams that carted copper ore to port and coal and other materials back to the Burra copper mines. The route is especially picturesque, and we will use a mix of gravel country roads, gravel rail trails and sealed roads.

We pass through the small village of Hoyleton which was the terminus for the Port Wakefield to Hoyles Plains Tramway that was built to transport grain after the Burra copper mines closed. It was the first line built in South Australia just for agricultural use. Horses were used to pull the carriages up to Hoyleton where the wheat was loaded onto the tram. For the return journey the horses were loaded onto the back and the tram used gravity to take it back to the port. Although we don’t folIow the exact route of the tramway, our ride from Hoyleton to Port Wakefield does run predominantly downhill. We will stop in Balaklava for lunch.

We will drive you back to Watervale from Port Wakefield, and then we’ll conclude our time in the Clare Valley with a special dinner.


  • Watervale

Day 8: Halbury to Yacka – Cycling Distance 70km

Today we leave the Clare Valley and start heading north towards Quorn. This morning we will be driving you to the old railway village of Halbury which is where we will start riding.

Our cycling route takes us away from the main road onto the back roads for a ride through undulating grain growing country and the small farming towns of Blyth and Brinkworth. When we arrive at Yacka we will pack the bikes in the trailer and drive you to Stone Hut, our destination for the night.

Options: Stone Hut Historical Walk


Day 9: Stone Hut to Wilmington – Cycling Distance 66km

Our route today will use a mix of gravel rail trails and on road cycling. Along the way we will stop at Wirrabara and Melrose before arriving in Wilmington and then driving the rest of the way to Quorn.

In 2018 the Wirrabara silos joined the Australian Silo Art Trail so we will be stopping for a look before continuing on to Melrose. Melrose is at the foot of Mount Remarkable National Park and is a very popular cycling hub for both mountain biking and on road cycling.

Quorn will be our base for the next 5 nights.

Quorn is built on Nukunu country. The Nukunu people are the traditional owners of the Southern Flinders Ranges and Upper Spencer Gulf with archaeological evidence showing Australia’s First Peoples have been living and hunting in the Flinders Ranges for at least 49,000 years.

Quorn is a popular tourist town well known for its local history and its streetscapes which have made it a very popular location for the film industry. Well known Australian films including The Shiralee, Breaker Morant, Sunday Too Far Away, Gallipoli and, most recently, Wolf Creek, have been filmed in Quorn. In 2022 Quorn won the Tourism Industry Council South Australia’s award for the best Tiny Tourism Town.


Day 10: Free Day

We have nothing formally arranged for today, so you are free to do as you please - rest and relax or explore the many interesting aspects of Quorn including:

  • Quorn Heritage Walk
  • Powell Gardens
  • Pithi Kawi Bush Tucker Walk

Optional tour: Behind the scenes at Pichi Richi Railway's Quorn workshops - availability will only be known when we are in Quorn.


Day 11: Quorn to Hawker – Cycling Distance - 67km

Today we will be riding to Hawker, a small town north of Quorn and considered ‘The Hub of the Flinders’. Its origins, like Quorn’s, are linked to the development of the Great Northern Railway with the railway from Port Augusta arriving in 1880. During World War II this railway line saw 50 trains a day moving troops and supplies between Adelaide and Alice Springs.

The line between Quorn and Hawker finally closed in 1970 and was progressively dismantled. As you ride to Hawker today you can still see some evidence of the line through the stonework left at the creek crossings, the railway embankments and abandoned town sites and cemeteries. We will stop at some of these sites to take a closer look.

We will also stop at the Kanyaka Station Historic Site which is the ruin of a station settlement established to support a pastoral lease in the 1850s. By 1862 the station was the largest in the region and had taken on the appearance of a small village, employing and supporting 70 families. As an indication of the amount of activity being created, the Kanyaka station office which doubled as the local post office, received more than 23,000 letters in 1862. Unfortunately, Kanyaka was unable to survive the years of drought in the mid 1860s and was eventually abandoned, leaving behind what you see today.

Prior to European settlement the permanent waterhole close to Kanyaka was a significant site for Australia’s First Peoples. There is a short walk to the waterhole, and we will stop long enough to allow you go and have a look.

After a short break in Hawker, we will pack your bikes into the trailer and drive you back to Quorn.


  • The Great Northern Lodge

Day: 12 Quorn to Wilmington - Cycling Distance 40km

A morning ride to Wilmington, before returning to Quorn in the vehicles for lunch.

There are a couple of quirky points of interest in Wilmington:


  • The Great Northern Lodge

Day 13: Warren Gorge – Cycling Distance 42km - Pichi Richi Sundowner Train Trip

Warren Gorge is only 21 km from Quorn and our intention is to spend at least 3 hours at the gorge to provide you time, if you wish, to complete the 5.2km self-guided walking track. The Gorge has been a popular tourism destination for more than 100 years with the following description of a drive to Warren Gorge written in 1909. We think you will agree, other than the road now being sealed, the sentiment is little changed today:

One of the finest drives which the writer had the pleasure of taking … was to Warren's Gorge … situated some 13 miles from Quorn. The country passed through is most magnificent, also many farms, with wheat crops newly taken off, rather interest one, and illustrate the tenacity - real bull-dog pluck of the farmers who fought against all kinds of bad luck - the principal of which, of course, is "rain failure," they have gone on, and during the past few years have appreciated the meaning of the word "prosperity." At the end of the thirteen miles drive Warren's Gorge is reached, and one has the pleasure of gazing on the wonderful effect of nature. A creek runs quietly through the gorge and this adds to the comfort of the picnickers. The writer has visited the Naracoorte Caves, Mt. Gambier, and every other portions of South Australia, and willingly awards this rugged scenery at the Gorge first place. … There are many other places equally interesting and quite sufficient to cause the visitor to feel he has had a very pleasant, instructive, and interesting stay in the Quorn district.
Prosperous Quorn and Port Augusta: the seaside resort of South Australia, Robertson, J. Edward. (1909) (Accessed March 10, 2023)

The Warren Gorge walk is a great introduction to the Flinders, with excellent views from the ridge line above the gorge. The walking track has some short steep sections and some loose surfaces but it is very achievable, particularly for a fit bicycle rider. The walk will take about two hours to complete at a leisurely pace with plenty of time to take photos and admire the views along the way. Hopefully there will be plenty of wildflowers and birdlife as well.

The gorge is also a known habitat for the rare Yellow-footed Rock-wallaby which is listed as Vulnerable. Although they are best seen at dawn and dusk, they can sometimes be seen during the day. So be sure to put your walking shoes and a small pack for snacks, water bottle and camera in the bus before we leave Quorn this morning.

We will have a picnic lunch ready for your return after which we will ride back to Quorn.

See here for Warren Gorge Trail information

Late this afternoon we will be boarding the Pichi Richi Sundowner for a trip from Quorn to Woolshed Flat through the Pichi Richi Pass. This heritage listed railway line began operating between Port Augusta and Quorn in 1878 with the government of the day intending the line to connect Port Augusta with Darwin via Alice Springs. The railway took 51 years to reach Alice Springs in 1929, and then a further 75 years before it reached Darwin in 2004. The famous Ghan Expedition passenger train now uses this new railway line to travel between Darwin and Adelaide.

The original Ghan passenger service passed through the Pichi Richi Pass and Quorn to Oodnadatta and then Alice Springs between 1923 and 1957 before the track was moved further west to avoid the disruptions created by flash floods. The ride through the Pichi Richi Pass is considered the most scenic section of the old Ghan. The return journey to Woolshed Flat takes 2.5 hours and will have you back in Quorn for our end of tour dinner. Light refreshments are available at Woolshed Flat.


  • The Great Northern Lodge

Day 14: End of Tour. Drive Quorn to Adelaide

We will leave Quorn around 10.00am and drive you back to Adelaide, dropping you off at HotelMOTEL in South Terrace in the afternoon. We will have a couple of stops along the way to stretch our legs and get some lunch.