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Tour de Riesling Rail Trail: Cycling Clare Valley
With more than 150 years of winemaking history, the Clare Valley is one of Australia’s oldest wine regions. Enjoy cycling the off-road, safe and relatively flat Riesling Rail Trail and have all the logistics done for you, whilst you visit some of the best cellar doors and food outlets in Australia. This self guided 3 day/2 night tour gives you the flexibility of choosing your own dates and cycling the Riesling Rail Trail at your own pace.
- CategoryEasy-going & Leisurely
- Duration3 days
- Culture LevelFamiliar
- Skill Level1 - Beginner
- Activity Level1 - Easy
- Elevation1 - Easy
- Distance40.4 miles
- Avg. Daily Distance20.2 miles
- Day 1Arrival in Auburn
Your starting point is the lovely town of Auburn, on the southern side of Clare. Your accommodation on the first night is at the local favourite, the Rising Sun Hotel or similar, depending on your dates and availability. There is no cycling planned for your arrival day; if you do arrive early, take the chance to explore the historic village of Auburn and try some of the great cellar doors nearby. Dinner tonight is included in your tour and will be a two course bistro standard meal (venue will be advised on booking confirmation),with drinks and/or extra courses being additional.
- Rising Sun Hotel in Auburn
- Day 2Cycling from Auburn to Clare
Today you will cycle approximately 35 km (21.7 mi) towards Clare, with lots of scheduled stops on the way. If you have booked bike hire this will be delivered to you on the first morning by the local representative. Whilst the trip navigation is fairly straightforward, your tour kit includes a marked map and detailed cycling directions with your itinerary. There is lots of signage so keep an eye out for it along the way.
Pack your bags ready for check out and leave them at reception. These will be collected and transported to your next night's accommodation for you. Your first visit is to Kilikanoon Wines for a pre-lunch wine tasting. The tour operator has selected this cellar door purely for the quality of the wines, some of the best Riesling in the world. If inclined, next door is Mitchell Winery, about 600 meters (1968 ft) up the road, which is also strongly recommended. Another 600 m (1968 ft) up the road is Skillogalee Wines & Restaurant, where a lunch booking has been made for you and is included in your tour (two course a la carte excluding drinks). Enjoy the amazing and highly regarded food at this wonderful winery. There is some cycling to do after lunch, so perhaps don’t indulge too much, including a short but small steep hill (walkable if dessert hasn’t quite settled!).
You will rejoin the rail trail and the cycling from here is flat, easy and scenic. It’s only 8 km (5 mi) into Clare. Upon reaching Clare, the tour operator recommends a visit to Knappstein Wines, also a brewery, and is a great location to finish the day. It’s a very short ride to your accommodation for the night, as advised in your detailed tour itinerary. Your bags will have been delivered and you can sit back and review your photos from the day.
Tonight is a free evening to dine at a local restaurant, or at your accommodation, as you choose (not included in tour). The tour operator recommends the award winning ‘Seed Kitchen’ restaurant, located centrally in Clare. Note, dinner on your second evening isn’t included in your tour.
- 21.7 miles
- Comfortable Accommodation in Clare
- Breakfast and Lunch
- Day 3Cycling from Clare to Auburn
Today you follow the Riesling Trail back to Auburn, taking a more direct and more downhill route. There are a myriad of wineries to visit, all marked on your provided tour map. For this itinerary the tour operator has scheduled what they feel are the best, but you may of course stop at any time or place you choose. Whilst you will ride the length of the Riesling Trail today, there is no need for an early start. Relax and enjoy the country air! A full breakfast is included with your accommodation. Leave your bags at reception to be collected.
No visit to the Clare Valley is complete without a stop at one of Australia’s oldest wineries and cellar doors, Sevenhill Cellars. Make sure you view the small museum and the barrel cellar downstairs; it's a step back in time. Oh, and the wines are worth a little taste too.
Suggestion: If you are an avid wine fan, and are keen to experience the product of the smaller, boutique wineries in the region, visit the Little Red Grape outlet in Sevenhill. There is also a bakery and a lovely crafts store next door.
Optional: For keen and fit riders, the Father Rogalski Loop (10 km/6.2 mi) is a worthy distraction. It is steep in parts, but the views and the wineries on route are great rewards, especially the brilliant Pikes Winery, which also has a highly regarded brewery. Continue along the Riesling Trail toward Auburn but keep an eye out for signs to any wineries you would like to visit.
Back on the Riesling Trail, the next scheduled stop is lunch at O’Leary Walker Wines. Stunning views, great wines and a gorgeous setting outside (on a nice day) with views over the valley. A gourmet platter lunch is booked and included in your tour package (excluding drinks). Your riding is almost done, with no further scheduled stops, but the operator does have some recommendations: Taylor's Wines, a lovely cellar door and great wines, a bit of a ride off the Riesling Trail heading into Auburn; Mount Horrocks Wine & Station Café, located on the edge of Auburn, is a great end of day visit, with terrific historical references, great wines, and superb coffee.
As the tour concludes you can return your bikes to The Rising Sun, where they will be collected for you. Your luggage will also be waiting. Relax and enjoy the ambience of this great hotel as you make your way onward.
- 18.6 miles
- Breakfast and Lunch