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The Mawson Trail

A resource for cyclists riding South Australia’s
Mawson Trail

The Mawson Trail is a dirt ride of some 900 km that meanders north from Adelaide on the South Australian coast to Blinman in the Flinders Ranges. It is surely one of Australia’s great bike rides.

This is an unofficial, personal and highly subjective site created by me as a resource to help those who want to ride the trail.

Please be safe – if you are reading this from overseas and thinking about bike touring in Oz, be aware that this is South Australia and in summer it’s fiercely hot up north and there is no water.

Sure – the southern parts of the trail are like you’ve seen on the Tour Down Under. A few hundred kilometres north of that though, the land is very different. It’s the outback up there, and on the northern sections of the trail if you break down without water you are in danger of dying.

On the other hand, in winter it rains, and when it does some roads turn to mud and cannot be ridden. The mud can snap a derailleur off and leave you stranded in wet and very cold conditions.

The trail goes from places in the south where it’s all wineries and coffee shops to the north where there is no phone coverage, no people, and (did I say this?) no water. This site does not hold enough info for a solo rider to plan their trip.

Please, do your homework and stay safe. When you’re on the trail listen to the locals. If folks in the outback give you advice, it’s for your own good.

This is a personal and highly subjective site, which I made because I could not find a decent online map of the Mawson Trail, and thought that information on the trail was generally lacking.

I’m not a hard-core tourer or MTB guy, just a bit of a bike tragic whose favourite rides are on dirt adventure roads. I’m a visual artist who paints abstract landscapes, and one of the things I love about the Mawson is the way the land changes as you travel north to the Flinders. It also changes at different times of the year, and autumn and spring are equally beautiful in their own ways.

When I heard of the Mawson I thought it had to be one of Australia’s (if not the world’s) great rides. I ride my favourite bits whenever I can get away, and I’ve done also done it in one hit  with the BikeSA Outback Odyssey.

I’m not claiming to be an expert of any kind, but before I rode the trail I wanted to get answers about all kinds of stuff and couldn’t. So I put the benefits of my experience here in the hope that it will be useful to people with similar questions to mine.

I made this website along with a series of paintings inspired by the land along the way.