The Best Bike Rides In and Around Brisbane
From leisurely city rides to stunning bush climbs, here are the best spots to glide around on two wheels.
Electric scooters may be Brisbane's flavour du jour for zooming about the city streets, but there's no substitute for the pedal-pushing rush and endorphin high of a good old-fashioned gumption-powered velocipede adventure. We're talking about hopping on your bicycle. As well as being a great way to get that fresh air and exercise doctors seem so keen on, you can also explore the city and its surrounds up-close and personal, all while setting your own pace. Whether you're looking for waterside views, off-road challenges or a route with opportunities for food and shopping pit-stops, Brisbane has cycling trails for every inclination (and of every incline). So, on yer bike — your journey awaits with the best bike rides in Brisbane.
RIVERSIDE BIKEWAY FROM HAMILTON
For a riverside ride that'll take you from suburbs to the city skyline, start at the Portside Wharf in Hamilton and follow the trail south. It's all smooth sailing along a flat and leisurely route with cooling river breezes and smatterings of mangrove growth. Watching the lazy river traffic float by, you'll get a tour of Brisbane's eclectic waterside architecture, including heritage buildings like the historic Newstead House, mansions, high rises and ex-industrial spaces. When you reach the mighty vista of the Story Bridge and CBD, you can stop in at Howard Smith Wharves for a breather before heading back. Or you can continue on along the river, over the Goodwill Bridge, and eventually hit West End.
BRISBANE VALLEY RAIL TRAIL
If you're yearning for country roads, head rural and check out the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail, which follows the path of the old steam train railway line. Running its entire length from Wulkuraka Station in Ipswich to Yarraman, it's a full 161 kilometres — and the longest rail trail in Australia. But you are under no obligation to take on the whole thing in one go. For a bite-sized segment, start near Fernvale Memorial Park, winding through the countryside to end in Ipswich. The terrain varies, but it's not too challenging. The full epic trail offers a vision of rural Queensland life, running past paddocks and dams, fields and farm animals, patches of bushland and wide open space, stopping in at country towns that would have been stations on this historic railway.
If you're more of a mountain biker – and keen for a bit of a challenge — Mt Coot-Tha offers a range of trails to tackle in Brisbane's bushland oasis. Depending on where you start your journey, you can set off along any of the 31 kilometres of multi-use tracks, or 23 kilometres of cyclist-only trails. Take in the vast swathes of open eucalypt forests at your own pace, whether you're starting out on the 'easy' Rocket Frog Trail for a little 2.2-kilometre ride or pushing yourself on the ten-kilometre Coot-Tha Circuit. As many of the trails intersect, you can map out your bush exploration any way you like. If you factor in the summit lookout, you'll also be rewarded with the best views of any Brisbane bike ride as you gaze out over the city, Moreton Bay and Stradbroke Islands. Plus, the cafe provides a welcome snack break before you descend the mountain.
SHORNCLIFFE TO SCARBOROUGH
Looking for a way to while away a Sunday by the sea? Take in a scenic stretch of Moreton Bay starting out at Shorncliffe Pier and following the cycle route all the way up to Scarborough. It's a trail with numerous points of interest. Crossing the Ted Smout Memorial Bridge, you'll pass the parks along Woody Point, including Gayundah Coastal Arboretum. You can hop off the bike and quickly dip your toes in at Suttons Beach, or check out the Bee Gee's Way in Redcliffe, a laneway tribute to the pop group.
KEDRON BROOK BIKEWAY
Running from Mitchelton to Nundah, this green corridor offers an easy family-friendly jaunt. At around 20 kilometres, it's a pleasant afternoon ride along a well-maintained path through salt marshes, mangroves and creek-side grassland. Although you're not that far from roads, this meandering waterway feels a whole world away from busy city motorways. It's a popular route with picnic areas and places to stop and rest. This trail can connect to the Boondall Wetlands up towards Nudgee, if you're looking to tack on about seven kilometres through some pretty wonderful native mangrove and paperpark wetlands. Despite being a well-used bike path, native bird populations live happily alongside the thoroughfare, and can be spotted by the attentive observer.
Top image: Kenny Smith/Tourism and Events Queensland
Published on October 23, 2020 by Stephanie Monteith