Top bike and skate tracks in your capital city

Top bike and skate tracks in your capital city

You don’t need to be a professional cyclist to take in the sights by bike. Our cities and surrounds offer many cycling (and some skating!) options to suit riders of all skill levels.

Brisbane – Boondall Wetlands

Before you set off on your bike ride, stop in at the Boondall Wetlands Environment Centre to learn a bit about the surrounds and wildlife you could encounter on your trek, including 32 species of migratory shorebirds. Then take to two wheels. Part of the Moreton Bay Cycleway (MBC), this roughly eight-kilometre stretch of the track will have you pedalling through marshlands and woodlands featuring casuarinas, mangroves and paperbarks. The relatively smooth path – with sections of boardwalk, bitumen and concrete – makes for a leisurely ride, with occasional bridges, gentle inclines and views of Moreton Bay.

Hobart – New Town Rivulet Track

Beginning in New Town, wend your way through Lenah Valley on the 7.5-kilometre New Town Rivulet Track. The bike path follows the rivulet upstream from the Derwent River towards Tasmania’s majestic Mount Wellington. Along the way, you’ll get a dose of both the historical and cultural. See old colonial homes, a convict-built bridge and the convict-built (and Grecian-inspired) Lady Franklin Gallery. The gallery is open Saturdays and Sundays and features regularly changing exhibitions and workshops. Also on your journey, don’t miss ‘Flora, Fauna and Foray’, an artistic installation of two sculptures and five way-markers commissioned by the City of Hobart in 2014.

Adelaide – Riesling Trail

Less than two hours north of Adelaide, the Clare Valley wine region’s Riesling Trail lets you combine your bike ride with a bit of wine tasting! The 36-kilometre trail takes you past cellar doors and other local attractions – great when you need a break from the pedalling. Minus the wine stops, the ride takes about 2.5 hours and suits cyclists of all levels.

Canberra – Lake Burley Griffin Cycling Loops

Take a Canberra staycation and ride your bikes around the national capital’s three cycling loops, stopping for breaks at the many attractions along the routes. The 16-kilometre Western Loop encompasses the National Museum of Australia, Scrivener Dam, the National Zoo & Aquarium and the Government House Lookout. The primarily flat Central Loop is short at 4.9 kilometres and is filled with national attractions, while the flat 9-kilometre Eastern Loop boasts the natural beauty of the Jerrabomberra Wetlands Nature Reserve.

Darwin – East Point Reserve and Lake Alexander

Spend a nature-loving afternoon with a bike ride and so much more at Darwin’s East Point Reserve. Get up close and personal with the Northern Territory’s native flora and fauna, have a picnic – there are free barbecue facilities – cool off with a swim in Lake Alexander and stop by the fascinating East Point Military Museum. Try to time your visit so you can enjoy one of the reserve’s signature sunsets – they’re stunning!

Melbourne – St Kilda on inline skates

Admittedly, St Kilda is not ‘off the beaten track’ for Melburnians, but if you’re on rollerblades, it’s a whole different way to enjoy this oft-beaten track. Hire your skates (and pads!) at Bayside Blades in Highett (just a 20-minute drive from St Kilda), then roll past the fishermen and tourists on St Kilda Pier and enjoy the sea air on wheeled feet along the foreshore.

Perth – Railway Reserves Heritage Trail Loop

Less than an hour’s drive from the Perth CBD, this gentle 41-kilometre cycling loop goes along the old Eastern Railway route. The nifty sculpture park at Mundaring is well worth a stop, and there’s plenty to see in John Forrest National Park, including an old railway line and tunnel as well as cascading waterfalls. Worked up a thirst? The local wineries and tea rooms will wet your whistle.

Sydney – Sydney Olympic Park

Relive the glory of the 2000 games, channel your own inner Olympian and hop on your bike (or hire one) at Sydney Olympic Park. With three circuits offering more than 35 kilometres of cycle pathways plus a Children’s Loop in Bicentennial Park, there’s a ride to suit everyone.