A push for a major new bicycle trail in South Australia has come as regions aim towards recovering from the coronavirus.
- A 250-kilometre cycle trail has been proposed for the Adelaide Hills and Barossa Valley
- The Barossa Council is seeking federal funding
- It could help communities affected by fire, drought and COVID-19 restrictions
The Adelaide Wine Capital Cycle Trail would extend from the McLaren Vale to the Clare Valley, via the Adelaide Hills and Barossa.
Six councils — Onkaparinga, Mount Barker, Adelaide Hills, Barossa, Light, and Clare and Gilbert Valleys — have signed a memorandum of understanding for the development of the project.
The Barossa Council mayor, Bim Lange, said they were seeking federal money through the Building Better Regions Fund.
Mr Lange said the 250km trail would cover varied terrains and surfaces and travel through 22 towns.
He said there was no better time for the economic stimulation it would generate, both during the construction phase and through increased tourism.
“This is something that will be there for many generations,” he said.
Mr Lange said a key part of the cycle trail’s attraction would be its length and variety.
“We think this is something very unique for Australia. There’s nothing like this to this degree in Australia, and there’s only a few places in the world that have something like this,” he said.
“It’s something we believe will be of significant regional benefit.”
An expert in community rejuvenation said country communities would have to be innovative to regain tourism markets.
Peter Kenyon, the founder and director of the consultancy firm Bank of I.D.E.A.S, said there would likely be a rise in domestic tourism.
But he said it was “cuckoo land” to think business life would return to how it was.
“But offering boutique forms of tourism — people have discovered walking, people have particularly discovered cycling — how do we actually start using these opportunities to get the tills ringing?”