Which is Australia’s best bike town?

Australia ain’t Holland. It has a long way to go before bikes are the norm. But although we are dragging the collective chain compared with Europe, there are some Aussie towns that are streaking ahead with their bike-friendliness. Here is my pick:

Port Douglas

Well I don’t know about Best Bike Town, but Port Douglas certainly earns moniker of Best Bike Beach. And the town ain’t too shabby either.

Port Douglas’s biking credentials aren’t well publicised, seems the reef gets all the attention. But it’s small, quiet, the traffic is calm, there’s good coffee and I defy anyone to not LOVE cycling along the beach.

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Canberra

Not just coz of the bike cafes, but Canberra exudes bike city charm, with loads of cycling trails that are not just used on weekends, but people genuinely cycle them to work. Well, some people anyway. It’s cool climate, except in summer when it’s bloody hot and in general the traffic is ordered and not nearly as angry as up Sydney way. Plus it has the infrastructure, with bike racks, signage and funky bike cafes.

Lonsdale Street Roasters, Canberra - second outlet on Lonsdale St

Beechworth

Pint-sized Beechworth punches above its weight in biking and general eco-living with a dash of wine. As part of the Rail Trail it has good coffee, food and quiet streets and ambiance in spades. There’s also loads of history and a great old-school sweets shop if you are in need of some sustenance.

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Bright

The starting block for the Rail Trail, Bright is a very cycle-friendly town with its own cycling hotel and cycling cafe, Bright Velo, run by cycling legend, Wayne Hildred. Bright is that much bigger than Beechworth with loads more cafes so I think it might get my Victorian award, and maybe the overall award. It’s hard not to love Bright on so many other levels, but I like its mix of family-friendly, picnic-basket type rides on the Rail Trail and tough-guy off-road tracks in the hinterland surrounding Bright.

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Mudgee

Well, certainly Mudgee must win the NSW award, unless it gets pipped at the post by the rogue Mystery Location that appears next.

Mudgee oozes lifestyle, vino, good life and sustainable living. But maybe, just maybe it is lacking on the infrastructure side. I’d love to see the bike track from town extended into the heart of wine country, which is where you really need it. I just feel a little vulnerable sometimes on those country roads when utes whizz past. But for around town and a short way out of town and Mudgee is gorgeous. Or there is always the Easter Bike Muster where you can go riding in big packs and cars play second fiddle to the bikes.

Mudgee

Mystery Location

Wow, I love it, it’s got water views, looks quiet, the people look well-fed so maybe there’s a cafe nearby and it looks like a dedicated bike track. Could it be? No, it couldn’t, could it? Sydney?

And finish up at The Armoury for a coffee

Other places

I hate to lump Adelaide, Hobart and anywhere west of Melbourne into Other, but I’m not that familiar with these areas. I hope to remedy that soon! So any other places you recommend, let me know and I’ll definitely put it on the bucket list.

One thought on “Which is Australia’s best bike town?

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  1. Recently I went to Woolgoolga in Northern NSW and found the region is doing some great things with cycleways. I wrote a post about it called “The Woopi Wander”.

    It’s great to read that Canberra has some good bikeways for getting from ‘a’ to ‘b’. I’m heading there next week so it sounds like I’ll have some good riding ahead of me – oh yes, and perhaps a bit cold too!

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