Planning a family holiday is not an easy task. There’s location to consider, meal plans to organise, budgets to keep to, and finally, ensuring there are enough activities to keep the kids (and adults) properly entertained.
If you’ve been scratching your head wondering where your next family holiday might be, why not consider a family-friendly cycling trip? From gnarly, off-road mountain biking to easy, coastal cruising for beginners, Australia has some great family cycling destinations that everyone can enjoy.
Enjoy this list of some of our favourites.
MISSION BEACH, QLD
Bike riding on Mission Beach. Credit: Darren Jew/Tourism and Events Queensland
Long lazy days in the sun, palm tree-lined white sand beaches, and seriously stunning sunsets are just some of the things you expect to find at Mission Beach Widely regarded as the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef, the area is made up of four beachside villages linked by 14 kms of wide, golden beach fronts - parts of which you can comfortably ride on!
For an easy ride exploring these villages, start from the Mission Beach Visitor Centre and cycle south along the coastline. Alternatively, if you’re looking for something a little more challenging, head west towards Djiru National Park and get on the Musgravea Trail.
HERVEY BAY, QLD
Beachside dining. Credit: Tourism and Events Queensland
If you already plan on heading to Hervey Bay to get in some whale-watching, why not add cycling to your list of things to do? The Hervey Bay Recreation Trail is an easy coastal cruise great for a day the entire family can enjoy. Pick from four different circuits along the esplanade and make your way on two wheels from Boat Harbour to Point Vernon.
The trail offers plenty to enjoy along the way, too. Stop at the beach, explore the botanic gardens, and even gain some insight into the area’s local and aboriginal history.
Cycling trail: Hervey Bay Recreation Trail
Bike hire: Hervey Bay Bike Hire or Surrey Bike Hire
Where to stay: Fraser Coast Holiday Park, Hervey Bay Tourist Park or Discovery Parks - Fraser Street, Hervey Bay
Cheviot Tunnel, Goulburn River High Country Rail Trail. Credit: Visit Victoria
If you want to skip the coast, head inland to the quiet country town of Yea (pronounced ‘yay’) in Victoria’s highlands for your next mini-break. Slow down as you explore the town’s historic buildings, witness the aquatic life of the floodplain wetlands, or put your feet up at a proper country pub or cafe.
Here you can cycle on Australia’s longest continuous rail trail - the Great Victorian Rail Trail. This will take you through gently rolling pastures and offers picturesque views, so be sure to stop and enjoy. Pack a picnic or stop at any of the townships for lunch before continuing the ride.
Along the way be sure to visit the historic Cheviot Tunnel, a key feature of the disused Tallarook to Mansfield rail line. Previously operated between 1883 and 1970, it was constructed using an estimated 675,000 handmade bricks sourced from local clay!
Port Noarlunga. Credit: Elise Cook/South Australian Tourism Commission
Complete your seaside getaway to Moana with a coastal ride on a dedicated walking and cycling path. The Coast Park Trail is a 70km stretch along the metropolitan Adelaide coastline from North Haven to Sellicks Beach.
Take in spectacular sunset views as you cruise along the dedicated path. From Moana, head north towards Port Noarlunga (6.5km), or south to Willunga (8km) where family-friendly activities like the Jungle in Willunga await.
Swan Valley, WA
Swan Valley. Credit: Tourism Western Australia
A trip to Swan Valley is guaranteed to be full of fun.. From outdoor concerts, gourmet food and wine experiences, to summer markets and wildlife encounters, there’s plenty for everyone - including the cycling family!
Make your way to the Swan Valley Heritage Cycle Trail, which comprises three routes at distances of 4km, 30km, and 32km. The trail is on a shared-use path, making it suitable for riders of all ages.
Pack a picnic and stop at any of the parks along the way to refuel. For dessert, head to the Margaret River Chocolate Company, an experience even the adults in your group will enjoy!
Byron Bay, NSW
Sunrise, Byron Bay. Credit: Pat Suraseang/Destination NSW
There’s more to do at Byron Bay than hit the waves! This laidback, coastal town offers plenty of trails and pre-mapped rides for you and the family to enjoy. The Tour de Bruns bike trail just north of Byron is a perfect example at just8.5km. Starting at the Brunswick Head Visitor Centre, the flat terrain of this trail is manageable for all levels and takes you to Torakina beach via the beautiful Brunswick River.
If you’re looking for something more challenging, the Byron Bay Tour is a longer ride at 19km and a great way to get acquainted with the area! Start from the Byron Bay Surf Lifesaving Club head through the parklands, past an assortment of cool cafes before finishing at the Byron Lighthouse.
Bouddi Ridge National Park, NSW
The Bouddi National Park, where the Bouddi Ridge Explorer starts and finishes, is the result of the work of devoted conservationist, Marie Byles. Growing up around this part of New South Wales in the early 1900s, Marie spent a lot of her time exploring the woodlands and the coast itself. Committed to preserving the natural environment, she campaigned to get it officially protected, which it was in 1935, allowing generations since then to enjoy the area in all its pristine glory.
The Bouddi Ridge Explorer combines several trails , and provides unforgettable views of Maitland Bay.
Cycling trail: Bouddi Ridge Explorer
Bike hire: Boat, Bike and Paddle Hire - Central Coast
Where to stay: Canton Beach Holiday Park, Toowoon Bay Holiday Park, Budgewoi Holiday Park or Norah Head Holiday Park