8 of the Best Bike Rides in Canberra
With an extensive network of bikeways and some of the best cycling trails in the nation, Canberra is a fantastic city to explore on two wheels. From casual, family-friendly rides to more advanced off-road mountain bike tracks, this cycling city has a plethora of bicycle paths suitable for all skill levels.
Not only is cycling a great way to soak up some sun and get some exercise, it’s also a fantastic way to experience Canberra’s great outdoors. So strap on your helmet, round up your cycling crew, and read on to discover some of Canberra’s most scenic bike rides.
Lake Burley Griffin Loop
Images via Visit Canberra | Canberra Urban Adventures
This iconic cycling circuit meanders along Lake Burley Griffin. Suitable for all bike types and all levels, Lake Burley Griffin Loop is divided into three scenic waterside cycling loops, dotted with cafes, local gems, and national landmarks.
The Western Loop winds through Yarralumla, the Governor-General’s residence and Scrivener Dam, and through the National Museum of Australia. At 16km, this is the longest trail on the loop. Stop by the Farmer's Daughter Cafe at Yarralumla for some great coffee and a post-cycling brunch.
If you’re looking for a shorter ride, take the Central Loop from Kings Avenue Bridge to Commonwealth Avenue Bridge to ride through the Parliamentary Triangle. This trail is a great choice for families with younger children or those short on time.
The Eastern Loop, trailing from the Kingston Foreshore towards Fyshwick and Jerrabomberra Wetlands Nature Reserve, has plenty of cafes for pit stops along the way. If you’re riding on a Sunday, be sure to visit the Old Bus Depot Markets at Kingston Foreshore.
Canberra Centenary Trail
Images via CycleHQ
For a ride that has it all, take on the Canberra Centenary Trail created to celebrate Canberra’s Centenary birthday. The 145km self-guided trail loops through the capital’s iconic sites, leafy forest parks, and beautiful bush area.
A full loop of this winding trail takes about three days at 45km per day, with a combination of easy rides to more challenging climbs and sweeping descents.
Don’t forget to take plenty of stopovers and enjoy the sweeping views of the stunning region, and be sure to keep an eye out for native fauna along the way such as wallabies and black shingleback lizards.
Stromlo Forest Park
Images via Stromlo Forest Park
Boasting over 50km of professionally built and maintained trails, Stromlo Forest Park is undoubtedly the most popular cycling spot in Canberra and one of Australia’s best mountain biking venues. It has played host to elite local and international competitions such as the Shimano MTB Grand Prix and UCI World Mountain Bike Championship.
Whether you’re a road cyclist, BMX rider, mountain biker, or just looking for a leisurely bike ride out in the sun, the park has a diverse range of facilities to suit riders of all types and skill levels. Keen cyclists can enjoy a criterium cycling circuit with mountain bike tracks backdropped by the stunning bush landscape.
Images via ABC | Majura Pines
Home to some of the oldest and most majestic Majura Pines in Canberra, this 20km trail is well mapped and clearly marked for cyclists of different skill levels and suitability.
The historic trails at Majura Pines are suited for more advanced riders who want to challenge their mountain biking skills with adrenaline-raising trails. However, you’ll also find less difficult single tracks for a leisurely weekend morning ride.
For decades, it’s been a favourite amongst local cycling aficionados for its varied terrain, lush flora, and well-kept tracks, carefully maintained by the Majura Pines Trail Alliance volunteer group.
Cotter - Uriarra Loop
Images via Visit Canberra | CycleHQ
No list of Canberra rides would be complete without the Cotter - Uriarra Loop, a popular training loop and the venue for major cycling competitions such as the Canberra Tour and the Australian Junior Road Championships.
Serious lycra-clad bike riders need to look no further than testing out their Tour de France skills on this challenging loop, studded with steep climbs, fast descents and river crossings.
Though challenging, the Cotter - Uriarra Loop rewards riders with its serene and stunning countryside surrounds, and a welcome break from the hustle and bustle of the city centre.
Mulligans Flat Woodland Sanctuary Circuit
Images via Mulligans Flat Woodland Sanctuary
There aren’t many places on earth where you can spot a striped legless lizard, hooded robin and other rare, endangered species all in one place!
Part of the Centenary Trail, Mulligans Flat cycling circuit is a serene ride where you can encounter many native and endangered flora and fauna such as the Eastern Bettong, Bush Stone Curlew, and the Eastern Quoll.
With clearly marked tracks and informative brochures, it’s easy to go on a self-guided wildlife tour across the sanctuary.
National Arboretum Canberra
Images via Visit Canberra | Canberra Urban Adventures
Tucked away in Molonglo Valley, the National Arboretum Canberra is a great spot for a fun day out with the whole family. With plenty of places to stop, packing a picnic to enjoy along the way would be a great way to spend time amongst the picturesque scenery.
On this bike ride, you’ll encounter an amazing collection of rare, endangered and symbolic trees from Australia and across the globe. Don’t forget to visit the Pod Playground - a sure-fire hit for both the kids and the kids at heart.
Part of the Centenary Trail, The Arboretum has well-connected tracks weaving through Stromlo Forest Park and Black Mountain. The trails have also recently been expanded, connecting the mighty Himalayan cedar forest and the historic Cork oaks forest - both of which are nearly one hundred years old!
Where to hire a bike in Canberra
Don’t have your own bike? No worries. Canberra has multiple bike hire facilities across the city. It’s a great option for visitors or casual cyclists.
- Canberra and Region Visitors Centre Bike Hire at Regatta Point, Parkes starts from just $20 for adults and $15 for kids.
- The Cyclery provides specialized mountain and road bikes for hire.
- Cycle Canberra Bike Hire has tandem bikes, kid carriers, and free delivery and pick up.
- Share-a-bike is an automated bike rental service with stations across multiple locations.