The Gold Coast is famous for its long sandy beaches, surfing and theme parks, but there are also many paths off the beaten track – perfect for those seeking adventure on two wheels!
Home to national parks, rainforests, ridges, valleys and picturesque backdrops, the Gold Coast is not just a paradise for surfers. It’s a great destination for cyclists too.
Get out of the surf and into the saddle, and experience another side of the Gold Coast.
1. Nerang (hard and easy loops)
Nerang offers two great rides through the native Eucalyptus forest, suitable for beginner to expert cyclists. The first is the Casuarina Grove Track, which is ideal for novice cyclists. The track features gradual ascents and descents and paths are clearly marked.
The second loop is for advanced riders and serious thrill-seekers. With intense climbs and descents, this adrenalin-pumping ride takes you deep into the forest. It’s easy to lose your path, but that’s all part of the fun!
Total ride time will vary depending on which loop you choose, but they’re both about 14 kilometres. More information.
2. Boondall to Kedron Brook
Escape the hustle and bustle of the city on this peaceful, smooth ride. Start by discovering the diverse wildlife of the Boondall Wetlands, home to an incredible variety of mammals, birds, frogs and vegetation. If you’re the lunching type, finish up with a picnic at Kedron Brook. It’s one of the largest catchment areas in Brisbane.
This pleasant beginner (green level) ride takes one to two hours. It is 20 kilometres long. More information.
3. Main Beach to the Spit
This beachside ride departing from the Southport Lifesaving Club leads you to the sand pumping jetty either via bushland or along the ocean. From there, continue under the jetty until you reach the Southport Spit wall.
This one- to two-hour ride is great for sight-seeing, stunning scenery and taking in the fresh sea breeze. You can even stop to taste some fresh prawns from the fishing trawlers on the way. The cycle is only five kilometres and is suitable for all level cyclists. More information.
4. Little Nerang Dam to Springbrook
This picturesque ride reaps great rewards. From Little Nerang Dam, enjoy a relaxed downhill cruise before commencing a challenging climb on Gold Coast Springbrook Road. The timber bridges can be slippery, but it’s worth it when you reach the cliff edge and are rewarded with stunning views over Springbrook National Park.
Be well-prepared for this half day cycle. It’s 24 kilometres and is recommended for intermediate (blue level) cyclists. More information.
5. Mount Tamborine, Canungra loop ride
Warning: you may have ‘jelly legs’ at the end of this ride! Starting from the town of Canungra, pass horse-riding studs and vineyards before beginning the climb to the volcanic mass, which was formed around 20 million years ago.
There’s a tourist hub full of antique stores and home-made treats at the top of the mountain. The perfect place to refuel! This ride is suited to advanced (black level) cyclists. It takes half a day and is about 43 kilometres. More information.
6. Tweed Coast
Looking for a short, laidback ride? This route runs along the coastline between two beachside towns. The best part: near-constant sea views. Bikes paths are mostly good quality, and there are great cafes and bakeries on the way.
This is an easy ride for beginner (green level) cyclists that can be completed in one to two hours (17kms). More information.
7. Redland Bay (Mount Cotton)
Starting from Redland Bay, meander by the charming Moreton Bay, taking in the unspoilt Southern Bay islands of Russell, Lamb, Macleay and Karragarra. It’s also worth mentioning that Redland Bay, known for its fertile iron-rich soil, has many great cafes for hungry cyclists.
This is a pleasant ride for intermediate (blue level) cyclists and takes one to two hours (36kms). More information.
8. O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat
Keen for an adventure? This is an arduous ride that also starts at Canungra. You’ll pass grazing farm-land before beginning a two-and-a-half-hour incline through ancient Gondwana rainforest.
After you’ve caught your breath, prepare for an adrenalin rush with an exciting downhill ride (easy on the brakes!).
The 70km ride takes half a day and is best suited to advanced (black level) cyclists. More information.
If you’re looking for adventure on the Gold Coast, you won’t be disappointed. These incredible rides offer diverse landscapes. From coastlines to forests, there’s a route for everyone and all cycling abilities!
Which rides are you tempted to try? For more of the Gold Coast’s best bike rides, check out CycleLifeHQ’s complete list of bike rides for the Gold Coast.