Best place in Australia to be a cyclist?

Questions about bike hire abroad and everything light bike related. No off-topic chat please

Moderator: Moderator Team

Posts: 139
Joined: Fri Jan 21, 2011 5:27 pm

by xcnick

I might have the chance to head over to Oz from the UK to work and have the choice of almost anywhere. The most important thing for me is having the best area to be a cyclist! Obviously we all want the best weather and a few big hills nearby would be nice! Any recommendations welcome :)

Posts: 778
Joined: Thu Sep 04, 2008 9:48 am
Location: Mountains, Portugal

by aerozy

Strangely enough Im in a similar situation and have been wondering the same.

From a very superficial google research I would bet Adelaide is the best place with many mountains (large hills?) close to town. Tour down under ring a bell? :thumbup:

I've lived in Melbourne and can say its generally nice with a mix of flat and many climbs relatively close by to town. Roads are generally in very poor condition though. I had two of my biggest ever crashes whilst in Melbourne due to faulty asphalt (flat at high speed and pothole). Another negative aspect is that it was a bit of nightmare to get out of town with red lights every 50m. On a positive side Kinglake is a great climb and generally a beautiful place to ride. A little further out to the east you've got a great climb in Mt Donna Buang. Here's the two strava segments:

Mt Donna Buang


To the west of Melbourne if you head past Geelong you have of course the great ocean road which is amazing to ride along, up and down with great scenic ocean views.

Love to hear more about Brisbane, Canberra and Sydney. Aussie WW's please pitch in :beerchug:
Sunny cycling holidays in Portugal @ Cherry Cottage Vintage B&B

Posts: 78
Joined: Fri May 18, 2012 3:35 am

by stax

I moved to Melbourne a few years ago from the UK and stay in the NE suburbs 30k from Kinglake. It's a nice place to live and cycle with a lot of good routes and plenty of nice hills nearby. I agree getting out of town is a ball ache if you're obliged to stay in the city. Beware the tram tracks!
I found the roads to be a bit better condition than the UK but obviously well behind Norwegian standards- I must get over there to see what I'm missing. The drivers are bloody awful though. Really aggressive, no concept of safe distance between car/car or car/bike and will change lanes erratically.
The climate is great- only occassionally too hot or cold to ride. All in all, a good place to be.

Posts: 1021
Joined: Sat Nov 20, 2010 6:06 am
Location: Perth, Western Australia

by Ozrider

Adelaide is pretty good for cycling, specially if you like riding in the hills.
A few pretty god bike shops, great coffee shops, good cycle paths and the hills start on the edge of the city.
Weather is generally good but can get really hot (35-40 Deg C) over Jan Feb
Perth, where I live is great as summers are dry, and winter is not too cold or wet. Even with winter rain you can generally get in a few days of dry riding each week. Hills are about 15-20 km out of the city, and easily accessible, there are pretty good cycle paths and quite a few good bike shops and coffee shops.
Hills aren't as big as Adelaide, but not bad. A good racing scene, both Open and Masters. Quite a few pro riders live or originate here, Cameron and Travis Meyers, Graham Brown, Luke Durbridge to name a few.

Victoria has fantastic hills / mountains, but generally far from Melbourne. Weather is very variable. A few board members from over there could give better info.
Ozrider - Western Australia
Parlee Z5 XL (6055g/13.32lbs) Trek Madone 5.9 (7052-7500g)Jonesman Columbus Spirit (8680g)
Chase your dreams - it's only impossible until it's done

User avatar
Tinea Pedis
Posts: 8456
Joined: Sat Mar 14, 2009 6:08 am
Location: Geelong

by Tinea Pedis

Racing, Victoria. Within Vic, Melbourne has better general access to climbs. My way (Geelong) much less traffic and lights - but a long way to anything decent to climb. Does have one very lovely Great Ocean Road though.

But riding in general, Adelaide. It's also an unreal city to live in. And I say that as a very proud (adopted) Geelong boy.

User avatar
in the industry
Posts: 1800
Joined: Wed Jan 19, 2011 11:14 am
Location: SYD

by sugarkane

Sydney is pretty good... Plenty of racing, plenty of punchy climbs in town and bigger stuff outa town, good roads. And awesome weather.. Last winter I managed 300kms per week on average and only road in the rain twice..

To be honest move where the work suits you.. All the regions have great riding except Brisbane and only because the bris-bogans feel the need to constantly hurl glass bottles out the window of their cars ensuring that the roads are constantly bathed in broken glass :mrgreen:

Posts: 383
Joined: Thu Feb 03, 2011 2:28 pm

by Privateer

I'm from Sydney, and have ridden and raced in Sydney, Newcastle, Melbourne and Adelaide.

Adelaide is easily the best of the four in terms of traffic and places to ride. The Adelaide hills are beautiful, with nice climbs, decent roads and very little traffic, only about 15-20km from the city centre. The city itself is very small and easy to get around by bike.

The racing scene is much much stronger in Sydney and Melbourne though. The Heffron Park (Syd) and St Kilda (Melb) summer series crits attract domestic pro level riders, with speeds in A grade exceeding 45km/hr average. The weather in Sydney is better than in Melbourne. It gets more rain by volume, but has fewer wet days.

Newcastle is in between Syd/Melb and Adelaide, the riding is not as nice as Adelaide, but it's a smaller beach town that is more bike friendly than either of the big cities. There's a lively club scene with regular mid-week bunch rides and racing every weekend. The racing isn't anywhere near as hard or as varied as Sydney or Melbourne though.

Coming from the UK you can't really go too far wrong. Wherever you end up the weather and the roads will be better, and the drivers worse.

Posts: 778
Joined: Thu Sep 04, 2008 9:48 am
Location: Mountains, Portugal

by aerozy

Its funny that you all say the drivers arent very cycling friendly in Oz. I kinda realized that in Melbourne. From what I could tell though drivers are far less hectic than lets say southern europe. People usually respect the speed limits and there are very few accidents. So why all the hatred against cyclists? Australians are known to generally love sport and the outdoors in general so I dont get it.

Funny enough the place in the world with "less road rage drivers" that i've cycled in is Portugal and they have one of highest road mortality rates in the world and drive like rally drivers. But with all that speed in mind they generally respect cyclists... and actually most of time look up to us. I get so many "thumbs up" and support by drivers when Im over there
Sunny cycling holidays in Portugal @ Cherry Cottage Vintage B&B

User avatar
Tinea Pedis
Posts: 8456
Joined: Sat Mar 14, 2009 6:08 am
Location: Geelong

by Tinea Pedis

Same in Thailand. Not a single road rage incident in all the training/time I spent there - but with an annual road toll that is through the roof.

I think it's got little to do with sport and a lot to do with drivers having a false sense of 'entitlement'.

Posts: 204
Joined: Mon Jan 16, 2012 7:03 am
Location: Queensland Australia

by austke

Hey steady up Sugarkane,
Us Bris-bogans aren't all bad. :)
I am from Brissy, and havent been down south, (only Sydney). So cant compare much. I dont race either.
But I am on the Sunshine Coast these days, and love the cycling here, really good cycling culture here. And the traffic is very respectful of cyclists, especially around Noosa. But once you leave the city, and go regional, the cars can get a little close for comfort, ( I think somebody mentioned the hill-billy factor, yep we have that too.). :noidea:
No hills or mountains that are worthy of a mention when compared to down south. When I go up north, I tend to take my bike and ride the Atherton Tablelands, which includes Mount Bartle Frere, Qld's hightest climb of 1622m. 8)
I will have to get my self down south sometime and ride some real climbs. :beerchug:
Family are down Sydney way, but I have'nt ever takin' my bike with me down there.
Oh we have the best Surf too. :thumbup:
2013 Giant TCR Advanced SL 0, 6.92kg
2013 Giant Defy Composite 2 M, 8.5kg - Wife's
Azzurro Torino 8.55g
Fuji 650 10.8kg
Miele Lupa Triple Tandem 38,89kg

Posts: 139
Joined: Fri Jan 21, 2011 5:27 pm

by xcnick

Some great info thanks!

Initially from reading the above Adelaide sounds like it fits the bill. I don't like big cities and don't want to be in the centre of one. Decent road surface would feel like heaven too! I'm not bothered about any race scene because I don't race anymore.
Cheers :thumbup:

User avatar
Posts: 2585
Joined: Thu May 03, 2007 10:39 am

by Tapeworm

I have travelled to, lived in and/or riden the vast majority of locations around Australia. IMO Adelaide wins it hands down. Good roads, decent climbing, plenty of good towns (and bakeries!!) to ride to from the city and an excellent velodrome. Not to mention an actively "pro cycling" approach by local government for a change.
"Physiology is all just propaganda and lies... all waiting to be disproven by the next study."
"I'm not a real doctor; But I am a real worm; I am an actual worm." - TMBG

Posts: 344
Joined: Fri Feb 11, 2011 4:23 am

by drmutley

For Australian capital cities, nothing comes close to the accessibility that Adelaide has with the Adelaide Hills, and coast all being within 30mins RIDE of the CBD.

Climate is great, generally drier in winter than other cities, and milder temperatures. Can get hot in summer (40 deg celcius plus) Only drawback is the drivers, who are generally morons, but u will get that everywhere I guess.

As said earlier, there are some beautiful places/mountains to ride around Melbourne, but generally some distance from Melbourne. Melbourne is a fantastic place to live if u like sport, and night life. The weather in winter is generally shitty tho!

User avatar
Posts: 256
Joined: Tue Apr 26, 2011 8:09 pm
Location: London

by Maximilian

All this talk of good weather is making me rather jealous (its snowing in London, this time last year we had 24 degrees but that was our summer too). I think I need to get on the university exchange programme with Monash...

Posts: 58
Joined: Fri Nov 09, 2012 4:57 am

by doomith

I live in Melbourne! Great cycling community here, lots of climbs not too far of the city and it's 1-3 hours in the car to get to some cat 2, 1 and HC climbs ... pe/terrain

In summer there is racing every night of the week apart from Monday, that I'm aware of and in winter road racing on Saturdays - if that's your thing!
Pretty night weather over all, but you'll defiantly need some proper winter and summer kit as the season difference can be pretty extreme.
Melbourne is a pretty nice place to live in overall as well!

Post Reply
  • Similar Topics
    Last post