Santos WTDU: Explore Novatech Stage 2
Novatech Stage 2 kicks off in the ‘crown’ of the Murray Region – Murray Bridge – and will see the women’s peloton race along a 115km route through hillside towns before finishing in the heart of Birdwood.
If you’re looking to explore the regions, we have the perfect recommendations to ensure a memorable day out for everyone!
We hope you like your wine, because the Novatech Stage 2 route is home to some of the state’s best wineries and cellar doors.
Stop off at Sidewood Estate in Nairne for a drop of sparkling or cool cider, or give Howard Vineyard’s impeccable wines a try with their tasting experience.
In Balhannah, you’ll find the ever-popular Nepenthe and Shaw + Smith cellar doors. And when visiting Gumeracha, you can book a tasting with the Unico Zelo team (above).
Eat while the peloton eats by stopping off for a bite in Woodside. Here you will find Melba’s Chocolates, Lovell’s Bakery and the Bedford Hotel.
We’ve also been told by Race Director, Kimberley Conte, that a stop off at Osteria Sanso back in Kanmantoo cannot be missed!
Things to see and do
If you’re planning on hanging around the Mighty Murray for the day, a day on the green at the Murray Bridge Gold Club may tickle your fancy.
Or perhaps you’re interested in a nature walk along the 325km volunteer-built Lavender Federation Trail – a 325km walking trail from Murray Bridge to Clare (of course, we don’t recommend walking the whole thing if it’s too hot).
Towards the Adelaide Hills, you can explore the Heysen Trail that passes through some of the state’s most breath-taking views. From the coast to native bushland, pine forests to vineyards, you’ll see it all. And if you explore closer towards Hahndorf, you’ll stumble upon The Cedars which was home to well-known Australian artist, Sir Hans Heysen, of whom the trail is named after.
For those at the finish line, you simply must stop past the National Motor Museum in Birdwood. Here, you’ll find the country’s biggest motoring collection (and you may even see some of them lining the streets).
The kids – big and small – will have the time of their lives at a visit to the famous Monarto Zoo. You can hop on the bus for a chance to see the wildlife in their element or mingle with the meerkats. Get up close and personal with some of the country’s most endangered native animals, the Tasmanian Devil, or be one of the first to experience Australia’s only 360-degree lion encounter! Trust us, it’s well worth the visit.
The Murray River SPLASH Festival is month long festival of events for school children in the riverfront at Sturt Reserve, Murray Bridge. Beginning on New Year's Eve you will find something new and amazing to do every week. The highlight will be the Slip 'N' Dip which is an inflatable Water Park on the Murray River. Other activities will include mini golf, laser tag, climbing wall and outdoor movies. It's the perfect way to cool off on those warm summer days. You'll find it located at Sturt Reserve, Murray Cods Drive, Murray Bridge.
Closer to the finish, you can head to and check out the Big Rocking Horse & Toy Factory. Here, you’ll not only get to climb the World’s Biggest Rocking Horse, you can meet the animals in the Wildlife Park and see how wooden toys are made in the Toy Factory.
Of course, you can’t forget to stop by Gorge Wildlife Park to cuddle a koala and meet native wildlife such as the wombats, echidnas, kangaroos and wallabies.
Where to stay
A trip to Murray Bridge offers all kind of accommodation arrangements!
The Murray Bridge Marina Camping & Caravan Park is perfect for bringing the tent or caravan out with the kids. You’ll also find cabin options that sleep up to six people.
For something a little out of the box, a night at the floating Bill’s Boathouse II is a must-do. The gentle rock of the waves in the self-contained, sustainable boathouse will put you to sleep in no time!
You can also explore the rooms at the Murray Bridge Hotel (pictured above) for something super close to the race route.
A short walk from the finish line, you’ll find the Birdwood Motel – a fantastic option for families or those wanting a room with a view.
For more accommodation options, click here.