One would think the goal of an Australian cycling tourist would be to ride along the coastal trails of Australia, see some surfers whilst enjoying a peaceful trail and some ocean breezes. To help you be the first, here are a list of trails that are over 15km long one way that mainly showcase beaches and are primarily on shared paths. For now I will show you where the trails are on the Australian map and give you a quick summary.
The Sunshine Coast – Queensland (90 km) Always great.
Ride and swim any time of the year, its a shared concrete path the whole way from Noosa Heads right down to Pelican Waters.
See the blue path
The Gold Coast – Queensland (59 km) Always great
Beaches don’t come any wider and whiter than the Gold Coast beaches.
See the blue path
Wollongong – NSW (65 km) Best in Spring to Autumn
Starting at Thirroul, the first 15km of this path is all beaches. You are going to wish you brought a surfboard and not a bike. Then we pass the wonderful Wollongong Lighthouse, check out Wollongong beach and head around the photogenic steelworks and back to North Beach at Port Kembla. You then head to the salt water Lake Illawarra.
See the purple path following the water to Kiama
Melbourne Beaches (70 km) Best from November to March
You can ride 70km along the coast of Port Phillip Bay in Melbourne on shared paths. When you get to the Yarra River, there is a really good option to use a punt to cross at the Westgate Bridge. Otherwise you ride back to Docklands and make your way around to the river again. Starts on shared paths at the waters edge in Mordialloc and you can still find more paths to ride at Altona on the other side of the bay.
See the Blue Path around Port Phillip Bay
Fremantle Coastal Rides (100km) All but winter
You can head south from Freemantle to Coogee for a great 30km loop. Follow that up with a ferry to Rottnest Island for 30km around the island. Finally top it off with some long riding up to Joondalup north of Fremantle. These are covered well by Uncool Cycling and links can be found on the blue Icons on the map
Find the coastal trails around Freo here in blue
Mandurah Coastal Ride – Western Australia (31 km)
Adelaide Beaches (70 km) Best in Spring and Autumn
Adelaide has the most wonderful trails around the city and even more wonderful trails in the remote regions around the city including the Wine regions. Its coastal trail is a bit patchy with good paths and bike zones on the coastal roads. Still its Adelaide and things are a bit more laid back on the road. For the best info on the beaches try the WalkingSA page >>
Some of the trail is shown here in blue On the map, find the Encounter Bikeway on at Victor Harbour south of Adelaide
Newcastle harbour and the Beaches (50 Km and a big hill)
Newcastle is a great working harbour and there are cycling trails on the city and the Stockton side. Both head out to sea on super long breakwaters. If you think the 30kms of flat riding around the harbour is not enough, head south for The Hill and Merewether Beach. Whilst you are at it, there is more coastal riding at Port Stephens, a one hour drive north of Newcastle.
See the blue trails on the map here
Botany Bay and around to Cronulla
This beach ride starts officially at Kyeemagh where there is a terrific bay pool to jump into at the end of the ride. You then ride on a combination of bricks and concrete shared paths all the way to Captains Cook bridge where you jump on the pedals for a a very big bridge ride. Next stop is Woolooware Bay and then you pass Shark Park and ride to Cronulla on concrete paths where there are more beaches. Some like to train from Cronulla back to Wolli to make it a 25km ride. Most do the return trip to Kyeemagh.
Near Misses and Other Ideas
Manly beach is a fab beach ride and if you go up to North Head and Seaforth, you will think its Australia’s best beach ride. It just squeaks in at 20km. Try the Boat Harbour low tide option here
Why Not this Famous Ride
Just for the record, the Great Ocean Road in Victoria is not eligible because it involves riding on reasonably busy roads. Find out about it here.
If I have missed a decent beach trail, let me know on Facebook.