Melrose – a pretty little town about three hour’s drive north of Adelaide. In recent years the town’s embraced two-wheel travel in a big way, thanks to the passion of Richard Bruce at “Over the Edge” cycle shop. The former Kiwi’s determined to convert more Aussies to the joys of mountain biking.
Here you can hire E-bikes – with its electric motor is the easy option for those wanting to explore the growing network of bikes trails built by Richard and fellow enthusiasts Kristen and Don Norton. But before going off-road there are a few heritage gems to explore – like the old Jacka Brothers Brewery.
It was built as a flour mill in 1877 and then sold to William and Joseph Jacka in the 1890s. The Brewery closed in the Great Depression but now there’s a real buzz about plans to turn this into a major mid-north tourism complex. Earlier this year it was one of the hubs for the Melrose Fat Tyre Festival.
Melrose’s expanding network of specially built cycling paths has brought a peloton of pedal-powered visitors to Melrose in recent years all in the constant shadow of Mount Remarkable.
In the back valleys around Melrose, the intrepid pedaller comes across a few secret gems – like Bartagunyah Estate. Here cyclists can sip a shiraz or two.
The rustic and unhurried appeal of the Southern Flinders certainly played a key part in Don Norton’s tree change several years ago. Here at “Under The Mount” this former cabinet maker’s built a cyclist’s retreat for those who’ve enjoyed a long day in the saddle.