10 Great Bike Rides in Brisbane
Brisbane, the beating heart of the sunshine state, has a vast network of rides and trails to help you discover the city and the surrounds. The rides will have something for everyone from the lycra clad road junkie through to families taking in the sights and sounds along the river or in forest parks.
Here we give you the low-down on ten awesome bike rides in Brisbane. If you like what you see, get out and start exploring today. If you need a bike or bike gear, come in to Reid Cycles store in Brisbane - Fortitude Valley and we'll help you out!
Mt Coot-Tha - road hill junkie’s delight
Photo Credit: Brisbane City Council
For the refined road rider head out of the CBD to Mount Coot-Tha, where you will find a solid hill climb with amazing views at the top. The main Mt Coot-Tha loop begins at the base on Sir Samual Griffith Drive. You have the choice to either ride in a clockwise direction for a moderate in-the-saddle climb, or in an anti-clockwise direction for a challenging, leg burning ascent. Either direction will see you gain around 220m. The loop on its own is approximately 10km.
Brisbane River Loop
If you want a scenic inner city loop that has bikeways, streets and roads then look no further than the Brisbane River Loop. It will take you through South Brisbane, Brisbane City, Milton, Auchenflower, Toowong, St Lucia, Indooroopilly, Chelmer, Graceville, Tennyson, Yeronga, Dutton Park, Highgate Hill and West End. There are lots variations to the loop and it can be done in either direction. Starting and finishing in South Brisbane is popular. The full distance is around 35-40 kilometres, but you can get on and off at many points.
Mini Brisbane Loop
The Mini Brisbane River Loop cuts out the Indooroopilly/Tennyson/Fairfield sections of the main loop by heading across the Eleanor Schonell Bridge. This short-cut effectively cuts the loop in half to around 20km. There a couple of options, avoiding the main roads is best done by going along Sandford Street at Toowong and take the back streets along the river rather than taking Sir Fred Schonell Drive.
Jim Soorley Bikeway
If your family enjoys a bike ride at a leisurely pace, look no further than riding along the Jim Soorley Bikeway from Toombul to Nudgee. The ride is 6.85 kilometres (one way). The flat, wide pathways are not only great for cycling, but walking, scootering and rollerblading. You can extend the ride to around 30km if you take in the Boondal Wetlands. In the wetlands you will cycle over the boardwalks that sit just above the wetlands and swamps – so many different terrains that unfold before you on this trip. On a nice day don't forget to pop down to Nudgee Beach! Check out the map here.
This beachside trail will eventually cover some 150km from Bribie Island to Redcliffe. However we suggest heading out to Redcliffe as this section offers spectacular views over to Morten Island and across the bay. In summer you can take a dip in the lagoon at Redcliffe, and year round there are markets, the beach and the cafes on offer. The trail is as long or short as you want to make it. Check out the map & get more info here.
No list of Brisbane rides would be complete without New Farm. It is tucked into the South East end of the Brisbane River and is one of Brisbane's oldest suburbs. New Farm is characterised by its large Queenslander style homes and leafy lined streets along the river. Take time to check out the area’s restaurants, bars and Arts community. We suggest starting in the historic area of Teneriffe and following the river down to the Brisbane Powerhouse and New Farm Park. Check out the map here.
A great ride for the roadies is from The Gap to Mt Glorious (via Mt Nebo) in the D'Aguilar Range. The ride has beautiful views, several long and challenging climbs and sweeping descents. Start at the corner of Settlement Road and Waterworks Road, The Gap. Head north for the tough Mount Glorious climb, or head west for the easier Mount Nebo ascent. The complete loop from The Gap is around 60km, but you can cut the ride shorter by doing an out and back. Check out the map here. Interpedalers have also published a great story on this ride, read it here.
Western Freeway cycleway
The Western Freeway Bikeway runs parallel to the Western Freeway from west of Toowong all the way south through to Richlands. The bikeway is ideal for getting to the western suburbs of Brisbane, and connects to the Bicentennial Bikeway via a short road section. Not strictly a great ride, but it does feature a number of parks including Anzac Park, Moore Park, Clivedon Park and Rocks Riverside Park along the way. This cycleway is quite hilly unlike many Brisbane urban cycleways. If you are up for a challenge use this to get to the Mt Coot-Tha lookout for stunning views of Brisbane but be prepared for a decent day in the saddle.
Wynnum Manly Foreshore
Head out to Wynnum Manly foreshore for a family day out. Bring your bikes and cruise along the scenic seafront pathways. Ride by the Manly boat harbour and marina, Manly Pool, beautiful parks including Wynnum Wading Pool and Playground (with Brisbane's only tidal wading pool) and Wynnum Pier. This ride is 6km one way and is along flat, shared pathways.
Check out the map here.
The Kedron Brook is one of the largest catchment areas in Brisbane. It comprises over 110 square kilometres of land in the northern Brisbane suburbs from Ferny Grove in the west to Nudgee in the East.
Kedron Brook has many creekside parks, some with picnic facilities and barbecues. The Brook's pathways and bikeways meander along much of the length of the brook making it a valuable corridor for family cycling without traffic or exhaust fumes.
See more at: http://cyclingbrisbane.com.au/bike-adventures/kedron-brook-family
Brisbane’s West End
The West End is a small Brisbane suburb that has a quirky, local characteristic described as a fusion of cultures and mix of alternative and vintage. This ride is great as part of an exploration on your own or hire bikes. You can experience the shops, restaurants and lively lifestyle and the music scene is pumping. If you choose to sample the local scene make sure you know where you stand if you want a few drinks (read the laws around drinking & cycling). Check out the map here.
Toohey Forest trail
With several kilometres of tracks and picnic areas the Toohey Forest is a great place for families to enjoy a scenic ride and picnic. For the more adventurous, ride up to the Mt Gravatt lookout for spectacular 360-degree views of Brisbane and surrounding suburbs. The park also has trails to suit the more enduro and downhill type of off-road rider. This forest park has a little of everything so prepare a picnic and spend the day.
Watch this Brisbane City Council video for ideas on what to expect.