Amazing Cycling Road Rides in Brisbane & the Gold Coast

Words : Scott Macallister & Charlie Coquillard / Pictures: Charlie Coquillard 

Introduction

We know Brisbane and the Gold Coast are perfect regions to explore on your bike.

We’ve compiled the best road cycling routes to explore in Brisbane and the Gold Coast for intermediate and advanced cyclists.

Take to the road to see the River City, along it’s winding park-lined shores as you travel on the many cycling friendly roads around Brisbane.

Or, checkout the glitzy Gold Coast waterfronts and spend a day riding into the challenging and beautiful Hinterland to test the climbing legs.

We also share the top picks from Soomom Ambassador and Gold Coast local Emily Fowler's favourite local rides.

Here’s 8 of the best rides to see the South East coast of Queensland.

1. Inner City Brisbane River Loop

A great recovery ride or quick loop for those visiting the city to get a feel for Brisbane from the saddle.

Heading west out of the city along the Brisbane River through Milton you’ll cross the river over the bridge at Indooroopilly.

Complete the loop through Brisbane’s Southern Suburbs and connect back with the Brisbane River along Southbank, a cycle friendly tourist area that sits on the river's edge.

Throw in a quick pedal to Newstead and James Street in Fortitude Valley (checkout the cafe scene or one of the many breweries if that’s more your style).

Loop back into the CBD to finish your 26 km loop.

You’ll see everything on this ride, a short detour can even be made to the Brisbane City Botanic Gardens for a tourist friendly day on the bike.

Checkout the full cycling route here.

2. South East Coastal Loop

This loop takes in the South Eastern coastline of Brisbane that runs along the picturesque Moreton Bay Marine Park.

Starting down town you’ll head south via Fortitude Valley and Spring Hill onto the Pacific Motorway.

The Veloway, a cycling friendly bike lane adjacent to the motorway, will have you powering down for your turn off on to the Beenleigh Redlands Bay Road that will take you to the coast at Redland Bay.

Turning North you’ll follow the coastline through bayside towns like Cleveland and Wellington Point back towards Brisbane.

Cross the river into Eagle Farm and roll through Newstead on your way back to the CBD.

Checkout the full cycling route here.

Spend your day cruising and exploring along the Brisbane River

3. Northern Bikeways

Surrounding Brisbane are many cycleways that make the city accessible for cyclists.

These can follow along the Brisbane River, take you through wide open parklands, or follow safely alongside major motorways.

This 48 km cycling loop will take in a couple of the cycleways used frequently by Brisbane cyclists.

Heading out of the city through Redhill you’ll meet the Old Northern Road that connects to Beckett Road and the coast.At beautiful Bramble Bay you’ll connect with the Gateway North Cycleway running alongside the Gateway Motorway around Brisbane Airport.

Next, you’ll connect seamlessly with the Jim Soorley Bikeway at Nudgee that brings you back along a stunning river path, through some wetlands and deliver you back to Brisbane city.

Checkout the full cycling route here.

4. Ipswich & the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail

One for the adventure riders, you’re going to need your gravel gear to take on this icon of the Brisbane gravel riding scene along the 120 km route.

Head South West out of Brisbane along the river using the Centenary Highway through Riverhills and Goodna.

Before long you’ll hit Ipswich, a major town inland from Brisbane.

At Ipswich you’ll connect with the gravel road that makes up the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail.

The Brisbane Valley Rail Trail is a 161 km recreational trail from Wulkuraka to Yarraman in Queensland.

It’s a popular route for adventurers, hikers and gravel riders looking to get off the beaten track and explore nature a little more closely.

You’ll follow the trail North to Fernvale and head up Mount Needbo, climbing over 500 m.

It’s then a leisurely, mostly downhill cruise into Brisbane’s Northern suburbs for a well earned break.

Checkout the full cycling route here.

5. Two Peaks

This cycling routes going to take us exploring to a couple of challenging peaks North West of Brisbane City along it’s 73 km’s.

Using Waterworks Road head through The Gap towards our first peak, Camp Mountain.

Sitting just over 300m there’s enough elevation to test the legs and push yourself up the short, steep climb.

Roll down the other side and keep heading North for our second climb, Mount Samson.

At 200 m this climb is a short, sharp sprint so push yourself as you know the top is in sight.

Heading down you’ll connect with Old Northern Road for a cruise back into Brisbane City.

Checkout the full cycling route here.

Soomom Ambassador's Favourite Rides
Emily Fowler

Location: Gold Coast
Instagram

There’s no shortage of places to test your mountain climbing abilities in the Gold Coast Hinterland.

6. Coastal Cruise

The Gold Coast is all about the beach side strip and there’s no better way to see it than on your bike.

We’ve got two options here, 50 km or 120 km, both starting in the heart of the Gold Coast at Broadbeach and cruising South along the coast.

Heading South along the cycle friendly coastline past Mermaid Beach and Miami, areas popular with the younger crowds filled with hideaway cafes, restaurants and bars.

You’ll soon be at the uber cool and popular Burleigh Heads to soak in the atmosphere of absolute beachside living.

For those taking the shorter loop we’ll cross the Tallebudgera Creek bridge and hang a right and head inland towards the Hinterland.

Following Somerset Drive North as you loop back into Surfers Paradise through the outer suburbs.

For the longer route we’ll continue from Burleigh Heads South along the Coolangatta strip to Tweed Heads and the NSW border.

Further South we’ll turn right at Cabarita Beach and head up Mount Tomewin, which sits on the state border, climbing over 300m for the only major climb on the route.

It’s a long, mostly downhill ride back to Surfers Paradise through the beautiful Gold Coast Hinterland to complete this scenic cycling loop of the Gold Coast.

You can checkout the shorter 50km route here.

Or, if you're looking for a longer day on the saddle find the 120km route here.

7. Hinterland Hustle

There’s no shortage of places to test your mountain climbing abilities in the Gold Coast Hinterland.

Sitting inland from the famous beaches you can explore hundreds of kilometers of mountain roads through the stunning bush land.

This 100 km loop takes you up 2 significant peaks in the area to test your climbing legs.

Using the Gold Coast Springbrook Road you’ll head South West from Surfers Paradise for a steep, zig-zagging climb up to Wunburra Lookout.

At 500 m this is a very challenging climb on a winding road, but you’ll be rewarded with an exceptional view out over the nearby ranges.

Cruise down and rest the legs over the next 20 km before you begin to head up your second, and final climb on Turtle Rock.

It's another steep and challenging climb over 500 m, but after this it's a long cruise downhill back to the beaches to relax.

Checkout the full cycling route here.

8. Mount Tamborine

Bonus: Extend to the North Shore, grab a ferry back, or take a detour to Piha (be careful it's hilly)

Sitting in land from Surfers Paradise it’s hard to miss Mount Tamborine while you’re in town.

At 500 m with views back up and down the coast it’s a popular day trip for tourists, hikers and cyclists alike.

This 90 km trip will take you through two national parks, Tamborine National Park and Nerang National Park, and the seaside Bays that make up the Northern end of the Gold Coast.

Head directly West from Surfers Paradise and you’ll be in the foothills of the hinterland before long.

Mount Tamborine is made up of a few different peaks so you’ll need a couple of bursts of energy to make it to the top.

The view back is spectacular so get off the bike and enjoy it before you roll back down the other side.

Loop back to Surfers Paradise along the waterfront parks of Runaway Bay and Labrador to Surfers Paradise.

Checkout the full cycling route here.

Conclusion

If you’re looking for a cycling trip interstate there’s not many better options than heading to the Sunshine State this Winter.

The mix of warmer weather, cycling friendly roads and plenty of challenging terrain means you’ll never run out of places to explore.

Checkout our favourite Australian cycling routes for the best rides in cities around Australia here.

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