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Australia's best cycle trails the whole family can ride

5 Jul 2021

Taste the chocolates and wine of the Swan Valley, see the heritage-listed scoreboard at Adelaide Oval or visit the Yarra River's oldest boathouse - all by your two-wheeler. Whether you're a mountain biker, unicyclist, or penny farther, Australia has some of the most scenic cycling routes that can be enjoyed by any riding level.

Here are some of the best cycling trails you can enjoy with family or mates on your next holiday.

SA  |  VIC  |  NSW  |  WA  |  QLD  |  TAS

 

South Australia 

Barossa Trail (45km)

Aus cycling trails familes barossa trailBarossa Trail

Credit: South Australian Tourism Commission

Explore South Australia’s premium food and wine region by bike on a high-quality, sealed path extending from Angaston to Gawler through townships of Nuriootpa, Tanunda, and Lyndoch. The path is perfect for the slow traveller, intending to take their time to explore the region’s extensive vineyards and cellar doors.

Trail: Barossa Trail

Bike hire: Barossa Cycle Hub or Coast & Co Electric Bikes 

Where to stay: Discovery Parks - Barossa Valley

 

Riesling Trail (35km)

Aus cycling trails familes clare riesling trail

Riesling Trail

Credit: South Australian Tourism Commission. 

Since the late 1800s, the Clare Valley has been a flourishing wine-producing region in South Australia. True to the name, you’ll find some of the tastiest Riesling at the cellar doors that line this trail. The trail is leisurely, so leave the lycra at home. 

Spend a day or two riding the Riesling Trail and stopping at different vineyards along the way. For more tips, read our guide on how to make the most of your weekend in Clare. 

Trail: Riesling Trail

Bike hire: Clare park, Clare Valley Cycle Hire, or Riesling Trail Bike Hire 

Where to stay: Discovery Parks - Clare

 

River Torrens Trail (46km)

Cycling Trails blogRiver Torrens Track

Credit: South Australian Tourism Commission. 

Adelaide is a lucky place. Wine regions north and south, beaches to the east, and hills to the west. After you've finished cycling the Riesling Trail, make your way to the city centre to enjoy a leisurely bike ride meandering along the Torrens River past the Adelaide Zoo, Adelaide Oval, and the University of Adelaide. The Linear Park Trail has dedicated cycle paths. 

If you're more interested in the true Australian bush and getting your workout uphill, go east towards Athelstone. Our favourite part? Just as you approach the western end of the trail, you're welcomed by a near-white sand beach and sparkling blue waters - the river that flows out into the St. Vincent Gulf. 

Trail: River Torrens Linear Park Trail 

Bike hire: Port Adelaide Visitor Information Centre and Discovery Parks - Adelaide Beachfront

Where to stay: Discovery Parks - Adelaide Beachfront

 

Victoria

Bellarine Rail Trail (32km)

Cycling Trails blogQueenscliff Fort

Credit: Visit Victoria. 

Go on a gentle, off-road ride through Victorian farmland and along a sensational stretch of coastline on the Bellarine Rail Trail. There's plenty of birdlife worth stopping for, as they perch themsleves on the surrounding Eucalyptus - think kookaburras, blue wrens, and wattlebirds. 

Be warned that road bikes won't necessarily work on the trail, though. Better to take a mountain bike that can withstand the gravel - especially if its been wet. Also, 32 kilometres might be long enough to cover your exercise for a year, so consider taking the heritage steam train from Queenscliff back to Drysdale station. 

Trail: Bellarine Rail Trail 

Bike hire: Bella E-Bike Hire and Geelong Adventure Specialists

Where to stay: Discovery Parks - Geelong

 

The Capital City Trail (29km)

Cycling Trails blogRoyal Botanic Gardens, Melbourne

Credit: Visit Victoria. 

A trip to Melbourne usually involves a visit to the MCG, Botanic Gardens, Dights Falls, and the Yarra River - but how do you actually cram that all into one day? This city circuit starts at Southbank, crosses over wetlands, and clutches the banks of the Yarra River. The trail is flat and easy, with plenty of stops to grab coffee or ice cream. 

The Studley Park Boathouse, the oldest surviving boathouse on the Yarra, has a cafe with a range of fresh bread and pastries (not to mention uninterrupted views of the river that might turn your quick coffee stop into an entire afternoon!). 

Trail: The Capital City Trail

Bike hire: Rentabike and Bike Now

Where to stay: Discovery Parks - Melbourne

 

 

New South Wales

Thredbo Valley Track (16.7km)

Cycling Trails blogThredbo Valley Track

Credit: Tourism Snowy Mountains. 

As snow season ends, mountain bike season is just getting started. While we get all get a bit teary when the snow melts, we can't wait to see what's hiding underneath all of that powder: flowers, ultra-green wilderness, and Blue Lake. 

Biking along the Thredbo Valley Track is a brilliant way to welcome the warmer temps. The ride is easy, with few climbs, and cris-crosses the Thredbo River. We love the quiet hustle of the wind in the trees and the trickling of freshly melted water downstream. 

Trail: Thredbo Valley Track 

Bike hire: Sacred Ride 

Where to stay: Discovery Parks - Jindabyne

 

Western Australia

Gribble Creek Walk and Cycle Way (12km)

 Cycling Trails blogKalgoorlie Town Hall

Credit: Tourism Western Australia. 

You might have heard of Kalgoorlie's Super Pit, but possibly not much else. To uncover the towns gold mine of history, bring your wheels and hit up the Gribble Creek Walk and Cycle Way for a couple hours worthof sight-seeing. At the Gribble Creek memorial, pay your respects to the WWII servicemen who risked their lives on the Kokoda Track. Look up at the native trees in the Arboretum, and visit the impressive Edwardian-style Town Hall. 

Remember to pack your bags with water and nibbles, as you'll want to refuel before getting (happily) lost in the Eucalyptus woodlands and lavender fields in Karlkurla Bushland Park. 

Trail: Gribble Creek Walk and Cycle Way 

Bike hire: Avanti Plus

Where to stay: Discovery Parks - Kalgoorlie and Discovery Parks - Boulder

 

Swan Valley Heritage Cycle Trail (4km, 30km or 32km)

Cycling Trails blogMargaret River Chocolate Factory

Credit: Tourism Western Australia. 

When we found out that the Margaret River Chocolate Company was located somewhere along this trail, we had our helmets on and tyres pumped faster than you can say "how much are the truffles?" With several other amazing food and wine stops dotted along this route, rest assured that your taste-buds will thank you for staying on the pedals.

To achieve the full Swan Valley experience, pick up some fresh produce, browse market stalls and galleries and stop at a coulpe of wineries if you want. Along the way, read plaques outlining the history of the region, alongside tales of the people who made it what it is today. 

Trail: Swan Valley Heritage Cycle Trail

Bike hire: Swan Valley Visitor Information Centre 

Where to stay: Discovery Parks - Perth Vineyards

 

Queensland

Round Gladstone Trail (20km+)

Cycling Trails blogTondoon Botanic Gardens

Credit: Tourism and Events Queensland. 

Jog, bike, walk, or ride a horse around Gladstone. Opt for the road less travelled and witness the Gladstone Coast through a different lens: on the seat of your bike and through classic Queensland bush. Connecting up to network of different trails, we recommend you try them all and take each opportunity as it comes. 

Including a stop at the Gecko Valley Winery, a self-guided tour of the rainforest inside Tondoon Botanic Gardens, and majestic views of Port Curtis from the top of Police Creek, this easy to manage trail never gets old. Try it for yourself. 

Trail: Round Gladstone Trail 

Bike hire: Bring your own.

Where to stay: Discovery Parks - Tannum Sands

 

Mary to the Bay Rail Trail (13.5km)

Cycling Trails blogUrangan Botanic Gardens; Credit: Sabrina Lauriston, Tourism and Events Queensland.

When the light hits the water just right and you have a cold one in your hand, the Urangan Pier is a sight to behold. What appears to be a neverending jetty stretches for nearly a kilometre into the blue of the Pacific Ocean. With dolphins and schools of fish below, the vista is a welcome reward at the end of this peaceful ride. 

Beginning in Hervey Bay, cycle past the historical village & museum, through the beautiful botanic gardens and finally onto the Urungan Pier where you can take for a well-earned rest. There are several shops along the esplanade where you can purchase fish & chips; the perfect way to watch the sun go down as you contemplate your ride. 

Trail: Mary to the Bay Rail Trail

Bike hire: Hervey Bay Bike Hire and Hervey Bay Rent A Car

Where to stay: Discovery Parks - Hervey Bay

 

Tasmania

The Great Foreshore Ride (12km)

Cycling Trails blog

See the candy cane stripes of Mersey Bluff, the Devonport City Centre and the Mersey River in one spectacular ride. Featuring a path wide enough for walkers and cyclists alike, the Great Foreshore Ride is a chance to explore the gateway to Tasmania. 

The playground on the Mersey Bluff foreshore is a much-loved spot for families and well worth the detour. An all-inclusive play space with views of the water, let your little ones expend some energy while you enjoy the drama of Bluff beach next door. 

Trail: The Great Foreshore Ride

Bike hire: Ulverstone Bicycles

Where to stay: Discovery Parks - Devonport

 

Pipeline Track (24km)

Cycling Trails blog

Pipeline Track is easily one of the best and most scenic rides around Hobart for those looking for an easy cruise with friends or family. Not long into the ride the Derwent River will appear before you, over looking Mount Nelson. But don't stop for too long, as dense, sheltered forest and the famous Cathedral Rock are also along the trail. After you've reached this milestone, follow the path to Wellington Falls. 

When you reach Fern Tree, you're about 13km out, but the views along the track and the imposing height of the waterfalls all around you will make the effort worth your while.

Pro Tip: It goes without saying to make it to the top of Mt Wellington. You may even find some snow!

Trail: Pipeline Track

Bike hire: Cyclingo

Where to stay: Discovery Parks - Hobart

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