Cycling the Rattler Rail Trail – Clair Valley South Australia

Auburn Station Rattler Rail Trail

We have not been able to get out for a while due to lockdowns and quarantine requirements. Fortunately, we live in South Australia which is currently Covid free with no community cases. After traveling to Adelaide for work we decided to take advantage of the freedom after all who knows how long it will last! We continued130 kilometres North of Adelaide to explore the Clair Valley wine region and the Riesling and Rattler Rail Trails.

Bike and Motorhome Auburn Caravan Park SA
Bike and Motorhome Auburn Caravan Park SA

We arrived in small town of Auburn at the southern end of the Clair Valley just before Midday and checked into the Auburn Caravan Park for a couple of days. This left the afternoon free to explore the Rattler Rail Trail from Auburn to Riverton.

Something new, as this will be an out and back trip using the new ET-CYCLE e-bike rather than hiking. The plan is to ride the 19 kilometres out to Riverton with no battery assist to take it slower and get more exercise, a quick look around Riverton then speed up the return trip using more battery assist to get back before the forecast rain arrives.

We will both ride the Reisling Rail Trail tomorrow but for today Trish waved me off from the former Auburn railway station (now home to Mount Horrocks Wines). The trail heads south past the Auburn Caravan Park where a grove of trees shades the trail. It is not long before the landscape opens up and the trail passes through open farmland most of the way through to Riverton.

The trail is relatively flat with hills only 1% or so grades. There are several interesting interpretative signs which make interesting stops to learn more about the history of the railway, stations, geology, flora and fauna.

Devils Dice

Would not have noticed the devils dice embedded in the sandstone if not for the interpretive sign.

Rattler Rail Trail devils cubes

Devils Dice. These are actually Iron pyrite crystals embedded in the sandstone.

This rock was laying next to the track.

Rhynie is an intermediate town with a rest shelter, a seat and table at the site of the former Rhynie Railway Station just 6.2km north of Riverton. The small Rhynie township and hotel is not on the track but is not too far away from the shelter if you need supplies or lunch.

Rattler Rail Trail SA  Rhynie rest shelter

The trail out ends at Riverton Oval as the old Riverton station is now a private residence.

Riverton Station which is now a private residence

Took some time to Ride around Riverton for a while admiring the old buildings some restored and some derelict. The remnants of the railway still pass through the town.

Riverton is a small town in the Gilbert Valley and continues to thrive as the commercial centre of a rich farming district. If you have more time to explore Riverton is also home to world renowned artist Robert Hannaford’s Riverton Light Gallery, the Scholz Park Museum complex, featuring an historic stone cottage, wheelwright and blacksmith shops and historic walks.

Riverton Station is the site of Australia’s first political assassination. In 1921 several people were wounded and two were killed, including Percy Brookfield — a charismatic, maverick MP who had held the balance of power in the New South Wales Parliament. The story can be found here . The bullet holes are still visible in the walls.

There are a couple of long bridges which add some excitement, especially as the deck is just a grid that you can see through, and the distance between the railings is quite narrow.

Rattler Rail Trail Bridge
Rattler Rail Trail Bridge over Rice Creek

The old telephone box at the site of Undalya siding is still there. These telephone boxes were located at unmanned stations and sidings so that the train drivers could phone ahead to the next station and ensure the track was clear to proceed.

Rattler Rail Trail  phone box
Rattler Rail Trail phone box

From Undalya, it is an easy, gentle, six kilometre climb back to Auburn.

In early 2010, the Rattler Trail was officially opened, providing an extension to the Riesling Trail running south from Auburn to the town of Riverton

Car parking is available at Riverton Oval, Rhynie and in Auburn by the old station. There are public toilets at all three towns.

Click here to download the Rattler Rail Trail GPX file

Or click here to download the Rattler Rail Trail KML file (for Google Earth or Maps Me)

The Riesling and Rattler Rail Trail Brochure is also available.

Next will be the Riesling Rail Trail and may be some wine tasting…………