Rides & Tours available at the 2018 AGM Event

The Riverland is well placed for many great ride destinations from the Event HQ at Barmera. Riders can chose from two long ‘all day’ rides, three half-day rides, or go on the shorter self-directed rides to local destinations and spend the day exploring the history of the Riverland at their own pace. We also are providing two ‘Adventure Tours’ for off-road and dirt-road type bikes with accompanying 4WD back-up and led by an experienced off-road Ride Leader. So there are many options for discerning riders of all abilities.

All Day Rides

1. A ride is planned to go to the National Motor Museum at Birdwood - a total distance of about 400 km for the day. The Museum is recognised as a premium collection of iconic cars and motorcycles from the amazing Standley Steamer, the very first Holden off the production line through to Tom Cruzse’s Birdsville Track truck to some of the latest Ferraris and Lamborghinis. This ride will pass through the Barossa Valley on its way to Birdwood and is for the more experienced rider and pillion not adverse to 400 km days.

2. The second option for a full day ride (345 km) is to the internationally famous Barossa Valley, first settled in 1840, with its wineries and eateries all enclosed by a magnificent Valley with stunning scenery in every direction.  Places visited will include the panoramic view of the Valley from Mengler’s Hill, lunch at Maggie Beer’s Pheasant Farm and food establishment, a must for discerning foodies, and Seppelts large winery with several accomplished in-house artisans at Seppeltsfield.

Both longer rides will be led by experienced Ride Leaders with quick access to breakdown facilities.  These longer rides will return to the Barmera HQ in good time to avoid any nocturnal wild life.

Half Day Rides

1. The first half day ride is a ‘History Ride’ covering 83 km and taking 3 hours. After a visit to a chocolate shop we ride to Loveday. Did you know that up to 3,000 Japanese, German and Italian prisoners of war were held in detention at Loveday Internment Camp? A few remnants of these facilities can be seen. We also visit two pioneer pubs used by the overlanders when droving cattle. One is in ruins, but the other is still operational. After morning tea lakeside, we visit the interesting display of the history of the internment camp at the Visitors’ Information Centre in Barmera.

2. The second half-day ride visits the four main towns of the upper Riverland and takes around 3.5 hours and covers 170 km. The ride also passes through several of the smaller towns on winding sealed back-roads in the region as it follows the mighty Murray River, the centre point of the Riverland. Of course, the local bakeries will be visited for your eating pleasure.

3. The third half-day ride covers 205 km and with a visit to the Morgan Museum and lunch in Waikerie, takes about five hours. This ride uses the ferry system that is still the back-bone of traversing the Murray as it has been throughout the years. Although the main river ferry crossings have been replaced by modern bridges, this ‘Four Ferry-Crossings Ride’ is just that – we cross on ferries that are still operating throughout the Riverland today and are still vital connections to all towns. These ferries are manned 24 hours a day and are free to use. This ride will give the users a great look at the whole Riverland and visits Morgan with its fascinating museum and Waikerie with its magnificent views of the Murray River from our lunch spot.

Self-directed Rides

Guide sheets for Self-directed rides are available at the RIDES area in the event HQ. You can do these on your own or with friends. They are all relatively short.

1. Self-directed Ride number one goes to the Historic Loxton Pioneer Village and features many historic exhibits and buildings from the early settlement days of the Riverland area. The Town of Loxton is close by and offers several eating choices. The ride distance is an easy 70 km return.

2. Ride two visits Olivewood House and Museum in Renmark West, the original home of the Chaffey Brothers who established the Renmark Irrigation System in the mid to late 1800’s. A visit to nearby Ruston’s Roses is also included with this ride where a welcome coffee break or lunch can be savoured. Although it is not the prime season for roses, you can see hundreds of different varieties planted over several hectares.

3. Ride three visits the World Heritage listed Banrock Station some 15 km from the Event site. Banrock has a wine and wetland centre on high ground overlooking the vineyards and wetlands where there are self-guided walking trails. The Restaurant has panoramic views over the Murray basin and features local produce with wine tasting facilities. A great place to spend an afternoon and just a 30 km return trip from Event HQ. Meals are available for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

4. Ride four is a ride to the Loch Luna Wetlands. A fascinating 3 hour cruise through the Murray wetlands is on offer with light refreshments served on the vessel. It is a photographer’s and nature lover’s delight. The cruise vessel departs from opposite the Kingston General Store at 9.30 am and takes 4 hours to complete. Total riding distance is 37 km. Bookings are essential. Contact the proprietor on 0449 122 271, or after hours on 08 8583 0155.

5. Ride five is to the Cobdogla Irrigation and Steam Museum, just 10 km from the Event site. There is a fascinating display of machinery and relics, and a small steam train ride. The star attraction is the mighty Humphrey Pump, which when working, operates with producer gas firing and forcing thousands of litres of water into a nearby channel. At this point, we are unsure whether we can arrange for this huge pump to be working during our AGM week.

6. Ride six is to the Belgian Chocolate Factory in Waikerie along some lovely winding road with river views and a ferry crossing. Chocoholics will relish the fine array of locally produced chocolate delights and no doubt stock up for their indulgence to last through the AGM. week. Waikerie is a pleasant town to have lunch, either in the town or at either the bakery or café just out of town on the Sturt Highway with river views from the high cliffs.

Dirt Road Rides

For riders with appropriate adventure bikes who are experienced in riding off-road, we will be running two challenging dirt tours with a back-up vehicle.

1. The first “dirt ride” will head to Wentworth via Chowilla Regional Reserve. The ride will be led by a member experienced in traversing these tracks, ably backed up by a fully equipped 4WD vehicle containing snacks, water, medical gear and satellite phone facilities. Be prepared to wash your bike (and yourself!!) on your return to civilisation!!

2. The second “dirt ride” with the same ride leader familiar with this area, is across the border into Victoria’s Sunset National Park, criss-crossed by a network of tracks and trails. Riders will traverse some of these, with the same back-up team, food, supplies and support. Again, both bikes and riders should return in a filthy condition.

This ‘Rides and Tours’ information will be updated as needed until the 2018 AGM Event start on May 7th.

Organised Tours

We are planning to have bus rides to some local attractions targeting the ladies, but gentlemen are most welcome as well.

Winery tours, Loxton Pioneer Village tours, Lavender Farm tours, Historic Chowilla Station tours and Paddle Steamer tours. Banrock Station Winery tours including their world renowned wetlands, Wilkadene Brewery, Murtho via Paringa.