Old Willunga Hill
Metres Climbed: 222
Avg Gradient: 7.4%
Road Surface: Good
Old Willunga Hill, famous for it’s position in the Queen Stage of the TDU each year, and a part of Amy’s Ride this climb is often somewhat overhyped, and even feared, but it’s not actually that difficult. Down south in Willunga, you’ll have to ride 50km or so from the CBD to reach the climb, but these can be done along bicycle paths, and it’s a rather pleasant ride. There’s not much traffic on the climb, because most cars take the new road, although there can be a little. The best way to think of this ride is a smaller version of Greenhill Road https://adelaidehillclimbs.wordpress.com/2013/02/12/greenhill-road/
The Climb starts on High St, as you pass St James St. There’s a pretty large gumtree on the left that signifies the start of the climb.
From here, you climb quickly out of the Willunga township, as you wind your way up the right hand side of a valley. The first part of this climb is the hardest – averaging around 8%, and reaching 9 or 10% in parts. This keeps on going for about a kilometre and a half, until the road nears Victor Harbor Road. You can see the cars racing past, and be glad they’re not trying to race past you.
From here on in, the climb is a little easier. The average settles down to about 6%, and the road becomes windier. At this point it really does resemble the middle section of Greenhill Road, albeit with a better road surface, and much dryer vegetation. Once you start seeing more graffiti on the road, you know that you’ve nearly reached the top, and it’s time to put the hammer down. The gradient gets shallower, and you’re finished when you cross the giant crown painted on the ground.
You can almost imagine that you’re racing up the hill, even if there aren’t any crowds. From the top, you can follow the road onwards, and it links to Victor Harbor Road, which is heavily trafficked and unpleasant, but can quickly turn off onto quieter roads (Such as Pages Flat Road, if you’re trying to get to Victor Harbor. Otherwise, turn left at the top to go towards Meadows, or descent back into Mclaren Vale.