Australia has gone from cycling footnote to prime time destination in the space of a few short years. Many credit hero’s of the road like Cadel Evans and Richie Porte for Australia’s rise to cycling prominence, but that still doesn’t account for the main factor: Australia is simply a breathtaking place to ride a bike.
It’s easy enough to say Australia, but considering how monumentally vast the country is, it’s an entirely different matter to travel between its best cycling destinations. Depending on which destination you choose, you may be in for long hours behind the wheel or cross-country flights.
Such extensive traveling means you’ll need to pack your bike away safely in a bike travel bag. Keeping your bike packed up in a road bike bag is the only way to assure yourself that when you get to a beautiful cycling destination like Tasmania, your bike is one piece.
Without further ado, let’s take a look at some of Australia’s best destinations for cycling.
A conversation about the best places to ride a road bike in Australia can’t begin without mentioning Ballarat. As the host city of the Road National Championships 13 times in the last 15 years, Ballarat is the undisputed seat of Aussie cycling.
What makes Ballarat special may not be immediately obvious, however, after spending a short amount of time there, you’ll get why some of the most successful riders in Australian history champion the region. Once in the city of Ballarat, you can pedal in quite literally any direction and, after just a short amount of time, find yourself rolling along country roads that are remarkably similar to those used in European classics like Paris Roubaix and E3.
The riding in Ballarat is predominantly flat but contains just enough hilliness at times to make you sweat and break up your rhythm. Given that, don’t worry over breaking out the compact crank – a standard will do just fine.
Getting to Ballarat from Melbourne is simple. At just 116km away and connected by highway and train, you can find yourself ready to roll within an hour and a half from the Melbourne CBD. Take the Ararat – Melbourne Via Ballarat line from Southern Cross Station in Melbourne or the National Highway M8.
Melbourne is famous for its coffee, CBD, and glorious quality of life – but only recently has it seen an uptick in its cache as a cycling destination. That’s funny enough considering that pristine cycling routes reign supreme in and out of the city, making it arguably the best city in the world for cycling.
Old classics like Beach Road, the painfully steep Arthurs Seat, and anywhere in the Dandenong Ranges are enough to convince anyone that Melbourne is worth the trip. Of course, no bike ride is complete without a fine cup of coffee and a pastry or two. Melbourne’s vibrant cafe scene is world renowned and is the perfect way to fuel your ride, regardless of the distance.
Melbourne is an international destination with a major airport serving connections the world over. Non-stop flights from Sydney to Melbourne take about 1.5 hours and are the perfect way to make use of your SCICON bike bag.
3. VICTORIA’S HIGH COUNTRY
It may surprise you to find out that the Alps aren’t only in Europe – they’re in Australia, too! Victoria’s High Country contains what many refer to as the Australian Alps, a region with above-treeline mountaintops etched with fantastic roads for cycling.
In the Victorian High Country, you’ll find more than just brutal climbs in a region also known for its amazing vineyards and vibrant gastronomy scene backed by pristine organic produce. However, if you do come to the Victorian Alps, it’s probably because you’re after long climbs – and that’s exactly what you’ll find there.
Mt. Buffalo, Mt. Hotham, Falls Creek, Dinner Plain, and Mt. Buller all punch in at 15km to 42km in length. You’ll find every imaginable twist, turn, and gradient as you power up the climbs dotting this unique Aussie landscape.
The Victorian High Country is a destination covering lots of land, so your best bet will be to focus on the specific climbs you want to do and head directly to nearby towns like Bright, Harrietville, Falls Creek, and Oxley.
Tasmania is the home of Aussie cycling legend Richie Porte and is, without a doubt, one of the world’s premier cycling destinations. Tasmania is often overlooked in favor of mainland cycling locales, yet it surely deserves a place in your itinerary.
As one of the Earth’s last truly wild places, cycling in Tasmania is rough, rugged, and immensely rewarding. Old growth rainforests, rock-strewn bays of azure water, and apple orchards await you as the road winds up and down. Tasmanian riding is exceptional for road bike riding, especially if climbing is your thing.
To get to Tasmania, you’ll need to take a flight or ferry to Hobart, the Tasmanian capital. The ferry makes for an adventurous overnight cruise, but because of the often rough seas between the mainland and the Tasmanian isle, you’ll want to make sure your bike is packed up tight in a bicycle travel bag.
The Tour Down Under has found its place as the first race of the season for many World Tour cyclists. Titans of the sport like Chris Froome have kicked off their season preparations at the TDU which, as it just so happens, takes place in and around Adelaide.
Corkscrew Road, one of the main features of the TDU, is located within the Adelaide Hills, as are many of the roads featured in the race. From within Adelaide city limits, you can easily reach the Adelaide Hills in 30 minutes or less, depending on how quickly you’re riding.
Getting to Adelaide is simple from Melbourne, Sydney, or Perth, as it’s well connected by train, plane, and automobile. We recommend taking a flight, however, as the distance by land to Adelaide is somewhat imposing. Regardless of how you choose to travel, packing your bike safely inside of a road bike bag is critical to making sure your precious cargo arrives unscathed.
When travelling with your bike, make your journey as seamless as possible by travelling with SCICON. Whether it’s packing your bike into an AeroComfort bike travel bag, using the customised Luggage Trolleys, or transporting your essentials in the SCICON Race Rain Bag, we’ve got a luggage solution for you.