There’s no denying Canberra is one of Australia’s most cycle-friendly cities. The nation’s capital boasts well-connected bike paths surrounded by nature, making cycling easy for the everyday commuter. There are also plenty of options for those looking for adventure or a more leisurely weekend ride.
So, put on your helmets, get outside and discover some of Canberra’s best bike rides!
1. Cotter-Uriarra loop ride
This loop is one of Canberra’s most popular bike rides. With rapid descents and challenging climbs, it is perfect for the adventurous cyclist. Plunging into, and climbing out of, the Uriarra and Cotter river crossings will give you a true feel for Canberra’s countryside.
This ride is recommended for advanced (black level) riders and takes one to two hours (37.4km). More information.
2. Glebe Park to Gungahlin café jaunt
For cyclists who love to brunch, this ride is hard to beat. Starting at Glebe Park in the city centre, the ride follows Northbourne Avenue and skirts around the suburbs before heading north to the outer areas of Gungahlin. It finishes with a short sprint down the Federal Highway and winds back into town. Park your bike and treat yourself to a hearty brunch for a positive start to the weekend.
Taking two to four hours (50.7km) this ride is ideal for intermediate (blue level) road riders. More information.
3. Lake Burley Griffin central basin loop ride
This bridge to bridge cycle is a 4.9-kilometre loop passing many of Canberra’s popular attractions. Not only is it the perfect way for visitors to enjoy the sights, but it also provides stunning views over the famed Lake Burley Griffin. Highlights include the Captain Cook Memorial Jet, Questacon, the National Gallery of Australia’s Sculpture Garden and more.
The ride takes less than one hour and is suitable for beginner (green level) riders. More information.
4. Googong Dam
Looking for a more scenic journey? This ride from the east of Canberra to the Googong foreshore passes through woodlands, forests and grasslands. If you’re looking for hills and thrills this undulating ride is for you. On a clear day, spectacular views over the Googong Reservoir are inevitable.
This bike ride can take up to half a day (66.5km) and is both rewarding and challenging. It is recommended for intermediate (blue level) cyclists. More information.
5. Canberra to Bungendore
Explore Canberra’s rural community and its pleasant surroundings before heading to the historic village of Bungendore. Full of galleries specialising in fine art, leather ware and crafts you won’t be disappointed.
The ride is great for intermediate (blue level) riders with its smooth, rolling roads and occasional sharp pinches. It’s approximately 35.7 kilometres in length and can be completed in two to four hours. More information.
6. Tuggeranong Pines
Breathe in the fresh pine scent in the heart of the Tuggeranong Pine forest on this all-abilities bike ride. Choose from on-road, off-road or even challenging hills for more advanced cyclists.
For those looking for a more relaxed ride, single-tracks pass through the pine plantation and are ideal for beginner to intermediate level cyclists. This ride is great because you can choose your own duration and kilometres. More information.
7. Canberra six peaks ride
Feeling adventurous? This bike ride is not for the faint-hearted, with climbs to the top of six peaks: Mount Stromlo, Red Hill, Mount Pleasant, Mount Ainslie, Black Mountain and Dairy Farmers Hill in the Arboretum.
The ride is 118 kilometres for total elevation gains of about 2000 metres. Luckily there are great café stops to break up the ride at the top of Mount Stromlo and at the Arboretum.
This cycle takes a full day and is recommended for expert (double black level) cyclists. More information.
8. Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve
Located on the edge of Namadgi National Park in Canberra’s southeast and joining the northern section of Kosciusko National Park in NSW, this ride is peaceful with stunning scenery. You may even encounter local wildlife, including wombats, echidnas and emus.
The ride takes one to two hours (16.5km). The roads are smooth and quiet, so it’s suitable for beginner (green) level riders. Why not see how many kangaroos and other animals you can spot? More information.
These bike rides make it easy to discover Canberra’s picturesque scenery and surrounding areas while exercising and enjoying the outdoors. Adventure is waiting for you in Canberra. Get your bike into gear and test out some of these great rides!
Which ride are you keen to try first? For more of Canberra’s best bike rides, check out CycleLifeHQ’s complete list of bike rides in the ACT.