Are you looking for a fun way to explore in South Australia? Want to try something you haven’t done before? How about a Segway tour? With Segway Sensation SA you can Segway in Adelaide, Glenelg or the Barossa Valley. I jumped on a Segway with them at Glenelg to test out this way of getting around. I could tell you it’s educational and I learned a lot, which is true, but really, it’s mostly just a lot of fun! Read all about my experience and learn exactly how fast these Segways go!
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But First – What is a Segway?
The first Segway’s were invented in 2001, so they are celebrating their 20th birthday this year. I’m happy to admit, I’m no Segway expert, so this is the layman’s definition. A Segway is a two wheeled vehicle that works with just the pressure of our feet to get it going forward and backwards. The handle is only used for your own balance and steering to the left and right. They do look like they might be tricky to ride, but it really only takes a minute or two to get used to what you need to do. They are surprisingly stable, and as someone who does not have the best sense of balance, I had absolutely no issues on the Segway and was soon zipping around like everyone in our group.
Why Explore by Segway in Adelaide?
I love walking tours. I like to take in the essence of a place by exploring on foot. Being on a Segway has that same type of feeling – except it’s even more fun. Some parts of the tour are a little slower and the guide will talk about the area, but there is always some free time in an open area where you can zip around testing out how fast the Segways can go! There’s nothing like a little bit of adrenaline as you zoom around to add something special to a tour.
If you are concerned you are too old, too unbalanced, too scared to give this a go, let me reassure you that people of all ages can enjoy this. I’m quickly heading towards my fifties (gulp!) so no spring chicken. I am also well known in my family for being particularly uncoordinated so if I can do it, you certainly can too! Shane, the owner of Segway Sensation SA, told me they have had people well into their eighties enjoy their tours, so even more proof anyone can give this a go.
Segway Sensation SA offer three different tours in South Australia – Adelaide Riverbank in the city, Glenelg for the beaches and Seppeltsfield for the vineyards of the Barossa Valley. A warning though – the Segways are addictive! Once you try one tour, you will want to do all three. But that’s not a bad thing. It’s such a fun way to explore and each of the tours offers very different scenery, atmosphere and information. You certainly wouldn’t be that only one who does more than one tour, with many people choosing to do two, or even all three!
My Segway in Glenelg Experience
As with all outdoor attractions, the weather plays a huge part in the enjoyment – a cold and rainy day just isn’t as fun as a lovely warm day. I was lucky enough to not have rain, and instead have a stunning sunny day welcoming me at Glenelg.
The Segway Sensations marquee is set up in a prominent position right on the foreshore in from of the Stanford Grand and is very easy to find. Look out for their signature orange. I had noticed them when I was in Glenelg a few weeks ago so I knew exactly where to go, but if you are coming by tram, jump off and walk towards the beach, you will soon see them on your left.
I was greeted by Shane and the tour leader Olivia. Both would accompany our group on the tour, one at the front, one at the back, to ensure safety and have a second person to help at some of the trickier parts. As our group assembled, we filled in the indemnity & Covid paperwork, donned our safety vests, earpieces and helmets ready to go.
I was happy to see that the Segways had a bar attached to the handle. I had packed really light, only having my phone and keys with me because last time I did this there was nowhere to put things. The bag made it easy to keep my phone handy for photos, but still out of the way and safe when I didn’t need it. There was room for the other girls to put their handbags too. If it’s warm I suggest bringing water with you too.
Before we even got near the Segways, we were given a run down on what they were all about. Segway Sensation SA has two different types of Segway, with the tour participants using ones with wider types. I didn’t ask why, but I am guessing this provides a more stable vehicle – or perhaps it was a “4WD version” for when we got onto the beach later!
When it was time for us to get on, it was done one at a time with a staff member holding it and making sure we were comfortable with going forward, turning and stopping. Safety is key here, and that became apparent throughout the whole tour. Before we took off along the path – shared with pedestrians, dogs and cyclists! – we had a few more minutes zooming around on the grass to ensure we had the feel of the Segways.
Manoeuvring the Segways is as simple as leaning forward slightly to go forward, straightening up with the weight on your heels to stop, and leaning backwards to reverse (although moving backwards on the Segway is not a good idea). Steering is done by moving the handle either left or right. The further you move it to each side, the tighter the turn. Likewise, speed is dictated by how far you lean forward. Lean just a little, you will go slowly, lean more and you will speed up. This all means the rider is in complete control of the Segway the whole time simple by using the body position.
The tour started by going south. We learned a little about the history of Glenelg and some of the prominent beachfront buildings. After a short while we stopped and jumped off the Segways to stretch our feet. Because it’s all controlled with the weight either on the ball or heel of the feet, new riders often find their feet get tired, so getting off to stretch is a nice break. I hadn’t realised until I got off that yes, my feet were a little stiff from being held rigid.
We were soon back on the Segway and heading north. We weaved back along the path and navigated the crowds in Moseley Square. In summer this is a busy hive of activity, with the largest transportable ferris wheel in the Southern Hemisphere taking up residence, right alongside the Moseley Beach Club and a fabulous ecological playground. We had to take particular care here with dogs and kids – as our leader said, they are really hard to clean out of the tyres 😂
There were plenty of stops along the way for photos, with Shane and Olivia working as photographers for us all.
We continued on north through the marina and over the Patawalunga weir, making our way to the Glenelg North beach. It was in this section that it was clear that two tour leaders were useful. We had to cross a slightly busy road, which was made easier with them helping us with the bumps, the traffic and the Segways! They also were nearby as we made our way up and down the ramp to the beach, which was much steeper than any other area we had been in.
Once on the beach we had about ten minutes of free time. This was when we could really test the Segways out. We could go as fast as we liked – up to the maximum of 20km/hr. We took some more photos and videos, group members had races, and we generally just went for it.
It was time to make our way back to the starting point to end the tour. Even though we were going back the way we came, Olivia kept filling us in with interesting bits and pieces about the areas we were passing.
The tour lasted for around ninety minutes, but it was so much fun I barely noticed the time passing, and was surprised to see how long it went for. I have to say that even though I had been on a Segway before about five years ago, I was not expecting it to feel this easy. I remember it being harder last time (or was that just my family making fun of my lack of balance I remember 😂) and this time felt like within a few minutes I was relaxed and having fun rather than focusing on how to work the Segway.
Book your own Adelaide Segway Tours
Ready to book your own Segway tours in Adelaide? First you will need to decide which tour is for you – the city, the beach or the vineyards! While I admit I haven’t done all the tours, if this is your first time on a Segway Glenelg is a good option. I was the only one in our group who had been on a Segway before, and everyone had a great time. The free time on the beach was great. The sand was flat and smooth and it was great fun zooming along the beach.
To book your own Glenelg Segway tour >> CLICK HERE
To book a Segway tour of Adelaide Riverbank >> CLICK HERE
To book a Segway tour in the Barossa Valley >> CLICK HERE
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Josie Kelsh is South Australian, born and bred. She has lived in the state for almost her whole life, just one short stint away as a teenager with her family. Travelling all over the world has shown her exactly how amazing South Australia is to live and travel in and she uses her passion to show it to you the way a local sees it.