Athelstone to Cudlee Creek, Adelaide Hills, Australia
Not only is Adelaide one of the most picturesque and uncluttered places imaginable; the 1.3 million inhabitants of this sundrenched South Australian city have some of the most challenging driving roads right on their doorstep.
Just 20 minutes from the city are the expansive Adelaide Hills, a Mecca for thrill-seeking drivers and the centre for numerous stage rallies. There are plenty of stand-out routes, but the one that has it all is the Gorge Road, switching its way over 12 miles from the east Adelaide suburb of Athelstone to Cudlee Creek.
Here, it is vintage 911 territory. The now defunct Classic Adelaide and current Targa Adelaide rallies that use Gorge Road as closed road stages are filled with 911 entries from every era.
They’re successful here thanks to their ability to get the power down early through tight and slow corners. But be it rally or road car, a highlight is the boxer six’s sound reverberating off the massive gorge walls.
Heading past the tiny town of Castambul, Gorge Road heads up to Kangaroo Creek Reservoir, with dominating rock walls making you think twice about cutting the inside apex. When the sun shines on these rock slabs they glow almost golden, making for a spectacular backdrop as the corners flow back to back.
In most places the tarmac is smooth and grippy, but caution must be advised, as mistakes aren’t forgiven. Rock walls don’t give easily, while the alternatives are Armco barriers close to the road shoulder or gum trees that are best not argued with either.
Location: Adelaide Hills, South Australia, Australia
Latitude: -34.870453N, 138.701779E
Length of drive: 12 miles
Points of interest:
National Motor Museum, Shannon St, Birdwood, S A 5234
Gorge Wildlife Park, Cudlee Creek
Food and accommodation:
The Scenic Hotel, Norton Summit
Mount Lofty Hosue, Crafers, SA
But there’s no need to push the limits. The maximum is 50mph, but the turns and odd hairpin make even slow-speed playing a joy.
Old stone settlers’ cottages can be spotted, along with a few boutique wineries, and lazy koalas are visible in the National Park trees. Moreover, driving routes are plentiful.
Head back along Gorge Road after visiting the motor museum at Birdwood, and you can take the aptly named Corkscrew Roa d south from Montacute. Getting lost can lead to another joyful driving adventure.