Tips & Resources

Australia’s top 50 bike riding experiences

From the tropical beaches of far north Queensland to the arid Nullarbor Plain, we searched the nation to discover the best bike experiences Australia has to offer.

Australia’s top 50 bike riding experiences

Australia is a vast and diverse nation offering myriad opportunities for riders of all disciplines and abilities, and we have endeavoured to include something in our list for everyone: challenging alpine road rides, laid-back beachside trundles, epic multi-day tours, seriously muddy mountain bike adventures and everything in between.

From a long list of hundreds, we narrowed the field to arrive at a varied mix of riding experiences in each state and territory. They are numbered so as to be identifiable on the maps, but they are not ranked.

🚨 ATTENTION 🚨

We compiled this list back in 2013. Now we need your help updating it!

Please let us know your thoughts on the latest and greatest riding spots around the country in the Facebook comments and we will update the list accordingly. We apologise for any errors or unforgivable exclusions.

LEAVE A COMMENT

Legend

Australian Capital Territory

Australia’s top 50 bike riding experiences

1. A Dawn Chorus

    

The birdlife in Canberra and its surrounds is richer than that found in any other Australian capital city. This 22km route passes through the city’s hotspots for birdlife. It begins on the banks of Lake Burley Griffin at Black Mountain Peninsula, rides past the zoo, through Aranda bushland and Bruce Ridge Reserve and back to the lake via Black Mountain. It is best ridden at dawn to the accompaniment of an avian choir.

More info: www.bike-it.com.au

2. Canberra art and architecture by bike

       

A specific route was published in Bruce Ashley’s book Cycling Around Canberra – and is an ideal way for families and visitors to get a taste of Canberra’s culture, taking in some of the city’s key architectural features, galleries and museums. Although less than 23km in length, the route’s wealth of landmarks offers days of exploration.

See a version of the ride here: www.boy-on-a-bike.com

Stromlo Forest Park
Stromlo Forest Park Photo: Damian Breach

3. Stromlo Forest Park

      

Host of the 2009 UCI Mountain Bike World Championships, and showcasing a world-class downhill track and double black diamond runs as well as a multitude of easier tracks, Stromlo Forest Park is the place for mountain biking in the nation’s capital.

More info: www.stromloforestpark.com.au/mtb

New South Wales

4. Byron Bay and Hinterland

                    

There’s great riding to be had where one of Australia’s most famous stretches of coast meets the mountains. Wait for low tide and ride along the beach from Broken Head to Cape Byron, the most easterly point of the Australian mainland, tour the off-road bike paths in Byron Bay, or, if you’re keen for a challenge, discover secluded rainforest mountain passes.

More info: www.byron-bay.com

5. Narrow Neck and Hanging Rock (Blackheath), Blue Mountains

       

The Blue Mountains offers spectacular fire trails, such as those at Narrow Neck and Hanging Rock, Blackheath. Aside from a few steep climbs and water bars, they are not technically difficult and the views off the plateau are truly spectacular.

More info: bit.ly/W9VHxC

6. Sydney Harbour Bridge

             

What could be a more quintessential Aussie bike experience than riding over the Sydney Harbour Bridge? The iconic landmark has a dedicated bike path which is used by more than 1,600 commuters on weekdays, making it the busiest link in the Metro Sydney Bike Network. It also offers spectacular harbour views and is a must-do experience for visitors to the city.

More info: www.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au

7. Sydney to Wollongong (The MS Gong Ride)

               

A scenic 90km ride from Sydney to Wollongong via the Royal National Park and the breathtaking Sea Cliff Bridge, The MS Gong ride is one of Australia’s most celebrated mass participation bike events. The event attracts around 10,000 riders each year and raises money for MS Australia.

More info: www.msgongride.org.au

8. Thredbo

    

While traditionally known for its ski runs, from November to May Thredbo is also home to some of Australia’s best mountain biking. There are easy and intermediate trails close to the village, while thrill seekers can take the Kosciuszko Express chairlift to the top of the mountain and experience the Kosciuszko Flow Track and the legendary Thredbo Downhill Trail.

More info: www.thredbo.com.au/activities/biking

Northern Territory

9. Simpson’s Gap Bicycle Path

                    

Discover central Australia by bike on this 17km off-road path that travels from Flynn’s Grave, 7km out of Alice Springs, to Simpson’s Gap – a spectacular waterhole on the edge of the MacDonnell Ranges. The path winds through a wild landscape of river red gum woodlands, mulga and witchetty bush groves and past exposed rocky hillsides. The trailhead is also located near the Alice Springs Desert Park, and both are accessible via an off-road bike path from Alice Springs.

More info: www.australias.guide

10. The Great Outback Escape

                

The pilgrimage to Uluru and Kata Tjuta is a unique and special journey that is up there on a lot of Australian’s bucket lists… and best done by bike.

In 2019 the Great Outback Escape took 125 people to central Australia for a life changing experience. Over eight incredible days, riders experienced the desert wind, the changing colours of sacred landscapes and the red dirt under their tyres. 

More info: www.bicyclenetwork.com.au/great-outback-escape

Queensland

11. Border Ranges ramble

        

Roadies up for a challenging ride through mountainous rainforest will enjoy this hilly 120km loop beginning in the small town of Rathdowney, 95km south of Brisbane. The route explores the Border Ranges, following Lions Road into New South Wales and continuing down to Grady’s Creek. It then heads north-west past Grevillia and Dairy Flat to travel through the Unumgar, Donaldson and Mount Lindesay State Forests before climbing past Mount Lindesay and descending back to Rathdowney via the Mount Lindesay Highway.

More info: www.ridewithgps.com

12. Brisbane to the Gold Coast Cycle Challenge

            

An iconic on-road adventure, the Brisbane to the Gold Coast Cycle Challenge is Queensland’s largest mass participation event. Riders can choose either 100km or 60km ride options. The full 100km route leaves from Brisbane’s South Bank and rolls along the Pacific Motorway to Broadwater Parklands in Southport. The ride also has exclusive use of the South East Busway, and riders can celebrate their achievement at a special post-ride festival featuring live music and entertainment.

More info: b2gc.bq.org.au

13. Cairns

                

One of Australia’s most sought-after holiday locations, Cairns offers something for riders of all disciplines and abilities. Families and leisurely holiday makers can explore a scenic network of off-road paths taking in the Esplanade lagoon, the Cairns Botanic Garden, Cairns Central Swamp and other scenic waterways, while keen roadies can head out to the rainforest or take part in the region’s many road events. Cairns is also home to the Smithfield Mountain Bike Park which features cross country, downhill and mountain X trails for riders of all abilities.

More info: www.cairnsattractions.com.au/explore

14. The Big Beach Ride

                 

Queensland’s newest bike ride is a massive celebration of riding with a number of different distances to enjoy the magical scenery the Sunshine Coast. Starting near Noosa Heads and travelling along the coast, around Maroochydore and finishig in Caloundra, where everyone gathers to celebrate.

More info: www.tbbr.com.au

15. Daintree and Cape York

           

Discover a tropical paradise of white sandy beaches, majestic waterfalls and lush rainforests. Those who enjoy a long day in the saddle can use Port Douglas as a base and ride to Cairns, Cooktown and Cape Tribulation, or take an epic tour up to Cape York. There are several  tour companies operating in the region offering everything from fully supported rides to rough and muddy mountain bike adventures.

More info: bit.ly/UyUDVx

16. Mt Coot-tha Forest

            

Located just 5km from Brisbane, Mt Coot-tha Forest, with its waterfalls, creeks and spectacular city vistas, caters to all types of riders with 31km of shared use paths and 12.1km of mountain bike trails winding through 1,600 hectares of eucalyptus forest. Keen roadies can attack the mountain by taking on Bicycle Queensland’s annual Coot-tha Challenge.

More info: www.brisbane.qld.gov.au 

17. Mt Joyce Recreation Park

        

Located an hour south-west of Brisbane, Mt Joyce Recreation Park offers some 40km of multi-use trails for horses, bushwalkers and mountain bikers, including 25km of International Mountain Bike Association (IMBA) standard singletrack. The trails cater for cross country, all mountain, downhill and four-cross riders of all levels of experience, with green right through to double black diamond runs, although this last is reserved for event use only. The park also features camping, picnic and watersports facilities, making it a perfect location for an active weekend getaway.

More info: www.trailforks.com 

18. Robbie’s Gran Fondo

            

Aussie cycling legend Robbie McEwen brings an annual taste of the big European tours to Queensland, exploring the Gold Coast hinterland. The 102km loop leaves from Emerald Lakes at Carrara, and riders are joined by members of the Orica GreenEDGE pro cycling team as they take on epic climbs up Mt Tamborine and the back side of Beechmont to soak up the dazzling views at the top.

More info: www.robbiesgranfondo.com

South Australia

Australia’s top 50 bike riding experiences

19. Adelaide Hills region

                    

From challenging world-class mountain biking to family-friendly cycle trails, travelling on two wheels is a great way to enjoy the varied landscapes of the Adelaide Hills.

For keen climbers, the Adelaide Hills offers challenging ascents, in particular the popular route from the tollgate, past Eagle On the Hill, through Crafers to the Mount Lofty summit. From the tollgate, riders can travel on a separate paved veloway beside the South- Eastern Freeway, to the quiet Mount Barker Road with its breathtaking vistas stretching to the coast. There’s also the renowned Eagle Mountain Bike Park and the Amy Gillett Bikeway, formerly the Adelaide Hills Rail Trail, to explore.

More info: www.adelaidehillsrailtrail.org.au

20. Encounter Bikeway

        

Located just over an hour’s drive from Adelaide, the adjoining coastal towns of Goolwa, Middleton, Port Elliot and Victor Harbor are favoured weekend getaways. The Encounter Bikeway is a mixed on-and-off-road route linking the towns. Winding through quiet back streets and along the stunning foreshore with views of the Bluff, Granite Island, Horseshoe Bay and the Lower Murray River, the 30km route makes for a relaxing, scenic ride suitable for the whole family.

More info: encountervictorharbor.com.au

21. Kangaroo Island

               

Accessible by ferry from Cape Jervis on the Fleurieu Peninsula, Kangaroo Island is a popular but relatively remote holiday hotspot. Its untouched bushland teems with native wildlife, while its coast is home to some of Australia’s most pristine beaches, making it an ideal destination for the keen and experienced tourer. The island boasts 509km of coastline and is 155km from the East Coast to the West Coast, perfect for exploring by bike.

More info: tourkangarooisland.com.au

Outback Odyssey Photo: Bike SA

22. Outback Odyssey

            

Organised by Bicycle South Australia, this epic 900km adventure ride tackles the iconic Mawson Trail, which stretches from Adelaide to Blinman in the Flinders Ranges. Over fourteen days the ride passes through some of Australia’s most sublime and unique landscape, from the rolling vineyards of the Barossa to vast outback teeming with native flora and fauna.

More info: www.bikesa.asn.au/outbackodyssey

24. Riesling Trail

            

One of South Australia’s first rail trails, the Riesling Trail follows the old Riverton to Spalding railway line between the historic towns of Auburn and Clare and explores the lush Clare Valley wine region, with cellar doors conveniently dotted along the trail. The total route extends 36km, with bikes available for hire in Clare.

More info: http://www.southaustraliantrails.com/

25. Santos Tour Down Under

            

Adelaide’s Tour Down Under makes the list not as a single ride, but a must-do bike trip. TDU is the biggest professional cycling race in Australia and the opening event of the UCI WorldTour, and when it’s on, Adelaide is taken over by people on bikes. You can head out for daily rides and tackle some of the above routes, or visit stages of the race to see your favourite cyclists hit it out. You’ll be one of thousands of other riders doing the same. There are also official challenge and family rides that you can enter, but the pinnacle of the event is the pilgrimage to Willunga Hill. Ride out to Willunga, get a prime viewing spot and watch the peloton tackle the climb.

More info: www.tourdownunder.com.au

Tasmania

26. Bay of Fires

            

Accessible via a partially sealed road from St Helens, the Bay of Fires is one of Australia’s hidden coastal gems. Fiery red lichen clings to the rocky shoreline and from a distance it appears the beach is literally ablaze, striking a sharp contrast to the turquoise waters more commonly associated with far-North Queensland. A day trip from St Helens is roughly 100km return.

More info: www.parks.tas.gov.au

27. Devonport to Penguin

        

Split between off-road cycle ways and sleepy coastal roads, the route largely travels along the Bass Straight coastline past Mersey Bluff to the banks of the Don River through tea tree and wetlands before heading inland to climb through lush pastures and finally returning to the coast. The route from Devonport to Penguin is one of Tasmania’s most scenic rides and makes for a relaxing holiday trundle.

More info: ridewithgps.com

28. Deloraine Great Gourmet Ride

    

An easy pedal through the lush valleys and farmlands west of Deloraine full of opportunities to stop and sample the local produce in one of Australia’s most hailed gourmet regions.

More info: www.greatwesterntiers.net.au/cycling

Outback Odyssey Photo: Bike SA

29. Giro Tasmania

            

Compact and diverse, Tasmania is an ideal destination for bike tourists and boasts everything from dazzling coastline to rugged mountains, wild rivers, rain forests and historic villages. The Giro Tasmania explores the island’s highlights, takes approximately three weeks to ride and uses mostly sealed roads.

More info: www.biketas.org.au

30. Hobart to MONA

                

Discover Tasmania’s artistic side by bike. Visitors to Hobart can borrow an ‘art bike’ from Arts Tasmania to explore the city or cruise the 12km scenic off-road path along the banks of the Derwent River to MONA, arguably the country’s most bizarre art gallery. Enjoy a picnic lunch on the gallery lawns and a refreshing ale from the neighbouring Moo Brew, or indulge your sweet tooth with a detour via the Cadbury factory on the return trip to Hobart.

More info: www.ridewithgps.com

31. Maria Island

     

Only accessible by boat or plane, Maria Island is a virtually untouched sanctuary for native plants and wildlife, with stunning beaches, weathered rocky outcrops, open grasslands and hilly peaks offering majestic sea views. Mountain bikes are available for hire, though accommodation and water supplies are limited and there is no electricity on the island. An ideal rustic retreat for tourers keen to get away from it all.

More info: www.parks.tas.gov.au

32. The Tasmanian Trail

            

The Tasmanian Trail is a 480km multi-use trail that offers a rugged, cultural and nature-based experience for keen bike riders. It often passes through or close to small towns, allowing travellers to visit local attractions while using as little or as much as they like and to take advantage of local accommodation, hospitality and specialist services. The official route runs north to south of the island, from Devonport to Dover, but you can jump on jump off as you please.

More info: www.tasmaniantrail.com.au

33. Wellington Park

        

Located just out of Hobart, and home to the imposing Mount Wellington, Wellington Park offers challenging on and off-road adventures for roadies and mountain bikers. The former can take on the challenge of the mountain, while the latter have Glenorchy Mountain Bike Park, linked to popular picnic and meeting spot The Springs by the North-South Track, a 10.5km cross country track within the park.

More info: www.wellingtonpark.org.au

 

*Yes, we know about the world-class and award-winning Blue Derby Mountain Bike Trails that have popped up in Tassie’s north-east since this list was created back in 2013. Derby will be first on our list of updates! Let us know what else you think should make the new list.

Victoria

34. United Energy Around the Bay

                 

Australia’s largest one-day mass-participation ride has been running for over 25 years, raising money for the Smith Family and attracting riders from all over the country. The full 300km challenge route circles Melbourne’s Port Phillip Bay with its stunning coastal vistas and includes taking the Ferry between Queenscliff and Sorrento. Over the years the event has added a number of shorter routes that incorporate major landmarks like crossing the Westgate Bridge, ensuring that there’s an option for all ages and abilities, and a big party in Albert Park at the end.

More info: www.aroundthebay.com.au

35. Bright alpine region

                    

The rich and varied rides in and around the Bright alpine region make it one of Victoria’s most popular destinations for keen riders of all disciplines. For roadies it offers some of Australia’s most challenging climbs and alpine events, including Peaks Challenge Falls Creek and the Alpine Classic, while mountain bikers eagerly await the snow to clear to ride the thrill seeker’s trails at Falls Creek and Mt Beauty. Tourers more keen on taking in the region’s scenery and gourmet delights will enjoy the Murray to Mountains Rail Trail and Pedal to Produce ride.

More info: www.ridehighcountry.com.au

36. Forrest MTB Trails

       

Some of Australia’s best mountain biking finds its home at Forrest, a small town in the spectacular Otway Ranges. There are currently fifteen trails open in the region, with bike hire available from the Forrest Corner Store. Those keen to explore beyond the trails can take a guided mountain bike tour.

More info: www.rideforrest.com.au

37. Gippsland Region

        

Rich in rail trails and small historic townships, the lush farmlands of Gippsland in Victoria’s south-east make for idyllic touring country. Of particular note are the East Gippsland Rail Trail and the Great Southern Rail Trail, though there are also many shorter trails that make for good part-day side trips.

More info: www.visitvictoria.com

38. The Great Victorian Rail Trail

                    

Travelling 134km between Mansfield and Tallarook through north east Victoria, the Great Victorian Rail Trail is Australia’s longest continuous rail trail. It winds along the banks of the Goulburn River, through rich farmland and into the high country foothills, with many towns along the way where riders can rest and join or leave the trail.

More info: www.greatvictorianrailtrail.com.au

39. The Great Ocean Road

                

A truly iconic ride, the 243km Great Ocean Road, which stretches between Torquay and Warrnambool, climbs through the Otway Ranges and descends to take in some of Australia’s most spectacular coastline. Several major bike events explore the road or you can freestyle it comfortably. In 2019, the Great Victorian Bike Ride incorporated the entire Great Ocean Road as part of an epic 10 day riding and camping adventure. 

More info: www.visitvictoria.com

40. The Great Victorian Bike Ride

        

Exploring a different, iconic region of Victoria (and neighbours) each year, the week-long fully supported Great Victorian Bike Ride is the state’s biggest and one of Australia’s favourite organised bike tours. In 2020 we’ll visit Australia’s greatest outdoor art gallery, the Art Silos, and the majestic Grampians. 

More info: www.greatvic.com.au

41. The Goldfields Track

        

The Goldfields Track is a point-to-point 210km Track that takes mountain bikers and bushwalkers through some of central Victoria’s most historic towns and beautiful forests. It includes singletrack, quiet country lanes and forest fire trails. It’s most suitable for mountain bikes, though parts of it can be ridden on a gravel/CX bike. As well as the beautiful scenery, the trail is a history buff’s delight, passing many ruins, old gold diggings, and towns that were transformed by the world’s greatest gold rush.

More info: www.goldfieldstrack.com.au

42. Lilydale to Warburton Rail Trail

            

Travelling 39km through Yarra Valley vineyards, farmland and forest with mountains rising beyond, the ‘Warby’ trail has been described as “one of the great railway journeys of the world – minus the train” and is suitable for riders of all ages and abilities.

More info: www.railtrails.org.au

43. Main Yarra Trail

            

A 33km shared use path from Melbourne’s outer-eastern suburbs to the CBD, the Main Yarra Trail is one of the city’s most popular walking and bike riding trails and makes for a great family adventure, winding through dense Eucalypts and past quiet billabongs on the banks of the Yarra River.

More info: www.visitmelbourne.com

44. Mt Buller MTB Park

   

Biking with altitude. Mt Buller was the first destination in Australia to receive huge honour of becoming an IMBA Ride Centre (bronze level). Its downhill trails are exhilarating thrill rides, while its cross country trails take in the breathtaking alpine scenery. Riders of all abilities are guaranteed to improve their skills while having a wild time on the mountain.

More info: www.mtbuller.com.au

45. You Yangs

       

The You Yangs have over 50km of sustainable mountain bike trails divided into two separate areas. The Stockyards, ideal for experienced riders, boasts two downhill tracks, flowing single track and steep technical sections through rocky terrain, while the Kurrajong Plantation offers a more relaxed option for new riders, with 20km of looped tracks winding through established Eucalypt plantations. In recent years the Gravel Grit series has led adventurous riders on a popular off-road adventure around the region.

More info: www.parks.vic.gov.au

Western Australia

46. Dams Challenge

        

Western Australia’s most epic road event is a 205km loop with 2,600m of vertical climbing around Perth’s five metropolitan dams. Participants have a set amount of time to complete the fully-supported challenge. Riders can also chose the he 134km 3 Dams Challenge or the 54km 2 Dams Challenge. This popular event is a rite of passage for Western Australian riders and a bucket list item for many other riders around the country.

More info: westcycle.org.au

47. Railway Reserves Heritage Trail

             

The Railway Reserves Heritage Trail follows the route of the old Eastern Railway in a 41 kilometre loop. The popular trail passes through quaint hills communities including Darlington, Parkerville and Mundaring, and covers a wide range of terrains with amazing views and points of historic and natural significance. The trail spans from Bellevue to Wooroloo in the Perth Hills and can be joined at numerous points. Many of the reserves are now community parks providing picnic tables, toilets and other facilities. 

More info: www.bwa.org.au/events/609

48. Kep Track

                    

This 75km trail connecting the hills outside of Perth to the Avon Valley follows a route used by Aboriginal groups, gold prospectors timber workers and farmers between watering holes, such as the Mundaring Weir, Chidlow Wells and the Avon River. The track is best explored at a slower pace, allowing time to soak up its rich history and take advantage of the many photo opportunities en route.

More info: www.trailswa.com.au

49. Munda Biddi Trai

        

Stretching 1,000km between Mundaring (near Perth) and Manjimup, the Munda Biddi Trail truly is one of Australia’s most epic and diverse riding experiences. The trail is rich in Aboriginal history and offers a completely unique experience with each day’s riding, winding through towering Eucalypt forests, wide expanses of untouched bushland and rich wine country.

More info: www.mundabiddi.org.au

50. Rottnest Island

            

Accessible by ferry, plane or boat, Rottnest Island is an A-class nature reserve famous for its unspoiled, sandy beaches and abundance of wild and marine life. With cars prohibited, bikes are the ideal vehicle for exploring the island and there are plenty available for hire.

More info: www.rottnestisland.com

We compiled this list back in 2013. Now we need your help updating it!
Please get in touch to let us know the latest and greatest riding spots around the country.

SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS