When you hear the words, ‘road trip’ it’s likely you’ll picture driving along a highway in a car. But road trips don’t always have to be done in cars – you could choose to ride your bike instead. Sure, you probably won’t go quite as far and you definitely won’t go as fast! But a cycling trip is a unique way to travel and one that’s definitely worth considering for your next getaway.
The great thing about travelling by bike is you can fully experience your surroundings. Rather than whizzing by at 60 or even 100 kilometres an hour, riding a bike allows you to take it all in as you go; every small town, every café, every scenic moment. You can ride through the back streets, zip down alleyways and even take a few shortcuts through fields (tyres permitting). So if you enjoy a bit of adventure and like to explore at your own pace, a cycling road trip might be just the thing for you.
One of the cruisiest ways to enjoy a cycling holiday is travelling through a wine region. Pedal at a leisurely pace past vineyards, stop for a wine tasting, visit a cheese factory and find a quaint bed and breakfast to rest up for the night. There are so many beautiful wine regions in Australia perfect for cycling around, such as the Hunter Valley in NSW, SA’s Barossa Valley and the beautiful Margaret River region in WA. Maui motorhomes has teamed up with wineries across Australia to offer the ultimate vineyard motorhome road trip. Just remember to keep your wine tasting to a minimum as drink driving rules apply to cyclists too!
Top cycling spots in wine regions:
- Barossa Valley, SA
- Clare Valley, SA
- Hunter Valley, NSW
- Margaret River, WA
When cycling around Australia the tropics can be a refreshing way to get around – particularly if you ride a hybrid bike that can switch between the road and dirt tracks. From Cairns to Port Douglas and Cape Tribulation you can ride through lush tropical rainforest, taking a break at waterfalls and swimming holes on the way. The Northern Territory’s also a great spot for cycling; pedal around the city of Darwin or ride through national parks like Kakadu and Litchfield. Just be mindful of the wet season when planning a trip to the tropics and aim to travel between April and September when it’s dry.
Top tropical cycling spots:
- Cairns to Cape Tribulation, QLD
- Darwin, NT
- Kakadu National Park, NT
- Litchfield National Park, NT
For a summer cycling road trip, keep yourself cool and stay close to the sea. Feel the ocean breeze along the Great Ocean Road, breathe in the sea air cycling around Noosa, or choose from an abundance of other coastal roads around Australia. To avoid overheating on a summer cycling trip, try to get up early and finish your biggest leg before noon. That way you can spend lazy afternoons relaxing on the beach and enjoying a well-deserved break.
Top cycling spots along the coast:
- Great Ocean Road, VIC
- Noosa region, QLD
- Grand Pacific Drive, NSW
- Pottsville to Coolangatta, NSW/QLD
Hills & hinterland
If you’re after an intense holiday that burns maximum calories, Australia has plenty of high altitude cycling routes on offer. Not for the faint hearted, cyclists wanting to test their limits should try the Snowy Mountain ranges, the Victorian Alps or the sensational Tasmanian West Coast – voted by Lonely Planet as one of the world’s best cycling routes.
Top cycling spots in the hills & hinterland:
- Snowy Mountains, NSW
- Victorian Alps, VIC
- Tasmanian West Coast, TAS
- Gold Coast Hinterland, QLD
Outback & off-road
What’s more Australian than an off-road adventure? For a mountain bike trail through native forest and bushland, you can’t beat WA’s Munda Biddi cycling trail or SA’s Mawson Trail in the Flinders Rangers. Or for a truly outback adventure through Australia’s Red Centre, try a guided desert cycling tour, stopping in outback towns like Alice Springs and Coober Pedy. Riding in the desert solo is not recommended, so always take a guided tour and be sure to stay with your group!
Top off-road & outback cycling spots:
- Munda Biddi trail, WA
- Mawson Trail, SA
- Uluru, NT
- Simpsons Gap bike path, NT
A road trip can be one of the most exhilarating ways to discover Australia. It gives you the freedom to travel at your own pace and appreciate the little things. Not to mention you’ll get a whole lot fitter cycling than sitting in your car for days! So whether you prefer a short day trip through vineyards, a long mountainous road trip or an off-road adventure, the most important thing is you have a bike that’s going to last the distance. Head to Gumtree to find the right new or second hand bike for your travels.