Cycling is not the first thing that springs to your mind when you think about Australia. Expansive landscapes of mesmerizing deserts, lush rainforests and unique biosphere usually evoke the idea of road trip, with passengers safely tucked away in a four-wheeler. Even though distances in the Land Down Under tend to be very intimidating, there are several stretches of the continent that are absolutely tailor-made for a mountain biking adventure. If you want to tackle at least some of them, here are five of the finest mountain bike trails in Australia.
This Australian National Heritage listed stretch of coastline road spreads for 243 kilometers between Torquay and Allansford. It is a well-known trail for road trippin’ enthusiasts who like to get around by car, but it also lends itself perfectly to cyclers. You can enjoy the iconic landscape as the ocean breeze caresses your cheeks and salty air refreshes your lungs.
All the renowned scenery – beaches, cliffs, rainforests, etc. – the Great Ocean Road leaves a higher quality of lasting impression when one’s not insulated by a glass window or tucked into the car seat. The only fragment of the road that is truly challenging is the Otway Range climb, but after you overcome it, the rest of the trail is a breeze. The journey in its entirety can last up to five days if you are really taking your time, so make sure to plan out the rest-stops and rent accommodations in advance.
Tasmania is a treasure trove of unbelievable sights and alluring scents for cycling lovers. Its colorful mix of endemic flora and fauna which goes hand in hand with incredible topography renders it a perfect playground for green-friendly two-wheelers. The increased presence of bikes in Derby, Tasmania just proves how attractive the bike trail that goes through this town has actually become due to these natural beauties.
In February of 2015, an ambitious network of picturesque mountain bike trails opened in this region – and it has been named Blue Derby. It is by far one of the finest bicycle playgrounds in this corner of the world that extends into the over 100 kilometers of webbing paths. Therefore, if you arrive to Tasmania over the weekends or during holidays – especially if you manage to catch a time window during Blue Derby Pods Ride in April – this is probably the ideal mountain bike trail.
Snowy Mountains are an extremely popular biking Mecca – it extends into hundreds of kilometers of terrain that is both easily traversable and breathtaking. Naturally, since the territory these mountains cover is so vast, a lot of it is divided into smaller regions and trails. Thredbo Valley Track has become one of the most popular mountain bike resorts of Australia over the hot summer seasons.
The adventure begins with a chairlift ride to Thredbo Village which is situated around 1,350 meters above sea level – which means the biking path itself is a downhill journey. While this 17 kilometers long Thredbo Valley Track sounds like a breeze due to its one-way downward nature, you should still make sure you are properly equipped for the journey. Also, don’t forget protective gear for your head, elbows and knees to be on the safe side.
Head straight to the picturesque corner of North East Victoria and revel in Australia’s premier rail trail. Murray to Mountains Rail Trail cuts through the bucolic region that has a charm of gentle Mediterranean slopes in France and Italy.
It starts in Wangaratta and goes through vineyards, orchards and culinary villages. Therefore, this biking trail also gives you an amazing chance to enjoy some truly amazing homegrown wine and delicious meals. It’s a perfect way to mix healthy lifestyle activity with a bit of decadent hedonism. The direct ride goes from Wangaratta to Bright and it is about 90 kilometers long. You can divide Murray to Mountain Trail into two sessions, with one overnight stop or you can go with two nights, if you are particularly bent on the hedonism aspect – and who would blame you if you did?!
Don’t let the peculiar name fool you, this is a tried and true bike trail that will present you with a particularly challenging length – a whopping 1000 kilometers long ride from Perth to Albany stretches with barely any contact with the road. This is the incredible adventure known as Munda Biddi Trail.
You will blaze your way through the bush and rest your feet in sleeping shelters and camps that are littered across the landscape. They are rarely more than 50 kilometers apart. This trail is not necessarily too hard in any of the regions it covers, but it is rather long – which means it is an Australian bike trail for true adventurists. It will take you around three weeks to complete.
If a cycling adventure beckons you, Australia can be just as perfect of a backdrop for a pedaling journey as any other. While it’s true most bike-enthused globe-trotters tend to associate European countryside with biking adventures, the Land Down Under is just as potent an option as any other. In fact, considering overall temperature changes in Australia are much milder throughout the year, it even might be a better candidate.