The Top 5 Cycling Trips in Australia
Australian cycling does not get the praise and acclaim it deserves. Some of you reading this probably know exactly how great Australia is for cycling trips, but we think you’re probably in the minority of people reading this. Europe often steals the limelight, with its rich and varied landscapes, its deep history and innumerous cultures. But Australia has so much more to offer cyclists than many realise, and it’s important to take it on its own merit, without merely comparing it to Europe. So that’s what we’d like to do today: let’s look at our top 5 cycling trips in Australia. If we inspire you to start planning your next epic adventure, check out our entire collection of epic cycling tour experiences, and please get in touch if you have any questions.
Disclaimer: Before we get started, it’s important to clarify that any list of the top cycling trips in X destination can only ever be subjective. Anyone who thinks their opinion is 100% ‘correct’ is rarely worth listening to. We’d love to know some of the incredible cycling trips in Australia we’ve missed here, so please feel free to leave a reply at the bottom.
5) Cycling Around Ballarat
There’s a reason why Ballarat has been the host city of the Road National Championships more than anywhere else; the city is the home of Australian cycling and it would be a huge oversight for it not to make this list. That said, there are too many ways and routes to cycle around Ballarat to possibly summarise or do justice to here. It’s perhaps not immediately clear why this city and the surrounding area in the Central Highlands of Victoria is so great for cyclists, but it really is — just give it a minute to make an impression on you. Head out on your bike in any direction you like and you’ll discover the gorgeous landscapes and smooth surfaces that make this corner of Australia so great for cyclists. The roads are mostly flat, but they are occasionally interrupted by a decent-sized hill — just enough to get a real sweat going before rolling down the other side. It’s difficult to do justice to the roads and routes around Ballarat; as with all cycling, everyone agrees that much of what makes it so good simply can’t be transposed to words — you simply have to get out and experience it for yourself!
4) Rottnest Island
If you ignore the slightly unappealing name for a few seconds, you’ll have time to notice how incredible Rottnest Island is for cycling. This island just off the shore of Perth has some of the most beautiful coastline in Australia. The roads are fairly smooth and flat, and any hills that are there are gentle and rolling. The best part is that the roads of Rottnest are closed to all vehicles except the island’s buses. This means that it’s a paradise for cyclists! You can cycle the entire island in just a few hours, so the paradise is short lived. It won’t satisfy anyone in search of an epic adventure, but it is absolutely worth it if you’re looking for a short and satisfying cycling day trip in Australia.
3) Cycling Flinders Ranges
The only practical way to cycle Flinders Ranges is with a decent mountain bike. This fact alone can put off dedicated road cyclists, but we reckon this is a shame as the cycling routes through the largest mountain range in South Australia are some of the best in the country. Not only will you cycle past some of the wildest and most striking outback in the country, you’ll probably do so without seeing any vehicles on the road. So few cars go this way that it’s basically a playground for cyclists. That said, Flinders Ranges is so remote that it’s also common to cycle throughout most of the roads and still not bump into a single soul. If you’re seeking out true tranquil isolation on your next bike tour, Finders Ranges should be a very serious contender.
2) Cycling the Great Ocean Road
The Great Ocean Road in Victoria has arguably become Australia’s top driving route. The high cliffs and rugged coastline make for some of the most scenic and photogenic experiences, and while the Great Ocean Road is clearly a brilliant drive, it’s even better by bike, with no glass or walls between you and the open sea air as you look out over the crashing waves, ancient lighthouses, and the charming wildness of Great Otway National Park. While much of the roads on this route are smooth and easy, there is one part (the Otway Range) that proves very challenging. This will be a bonus for some people and perhaps a deterrent for others. On average, most cyclists seem to take around 4–5 days to cycle the Great Ocean Road. Our advice is to take it slow and to stop at the many beauty spots along the way.
1) Sydney to Hobart
It’s no conspiracy that we’ve chosen our own Australia tour first. After all, we created this experience over many months of careful planning. Ride and Seek has deep roots in Australia and creating a memorable cycling tour there had been long overdue for us. It was also incredibly rewarding to look at this vast country on the map, reflect on our own journeys there, and to start drawing out what we believe to be the best possible path. Starting in Sydney, we cycle the length of the Great Dividing Range from the Pacific Ocean to the Southern Ocean, making our way gradually to Melbourne and then across to Tasmania. There, we traverse this unique island landscape from Devonport to Hobart. There is a lot more to say about this 26-day trip, but we hope at least a few readers are interested. Check out our Sydney to Hobart Tour if you’d like to know more.
That’s all we have time for with this small glance into Europe’s truly epic collection of cycling tours. Over our many years as a cycling tour company, we’ve found that Europe’s reputation as a cycling destination precedes it, but everyone who embarks on any one of our European Cycling Tours is surprised by sights and experiences that simply can’t be summarised in a blog or travel book. If anything in this guide has inspired you to take your next big European cycling adventure with Ride and Seek, please feel free to get in touch to ask any questions. And if you’d like regular inspiration, please sign-up to our newsletter at the bottom of this page.