Your Complete Guide to Cycling in Melbourne

Melbourne truly stands out as one of the most cycling-friendly cities in the world, thanks to its exceptional cycling infrastructure and vibrant cafe culture. Whether you’re an experienced rider seeking challenging inclines or a beginner looking for level paths, Melbourne has it all.

As you pedal through the city, you’ll notice a multitude of fellow cyclists, creating a sense of camaraderie and shared passion. The allure of this cycling city will undoubtedly entice you to embark on a cycling adventure to explore the place with the wind in your hair. So, if you’re constantly seeking the best cycling destinations, keep reading to discover the finest routes and locations offering perfect views. Also, in this guide, we’ve collected accommodation options, bike rentals, and the best coffee shops to recharge and refuel along the way.

What’s Cycling in Melbourne Like?

Melbourne offers over 2,000 kilometers of cycling trails, ensuring a variety of urban and rural options for bike rides. The city is close to alpine climbs, providing additional options for experienced riders. Popular Melbourne cycling routes include Beach Road, Dandenong Ranges, Mt Pleasant Loop, Yarra Boulevard, Altona Beach—Williamstown Loop, and the Capital City route. These routes offer scenic views of the coast, riversides, creeks, and even kangaroo-dotted bushland. Despite being a metropolitan city, Melbourne’s diverse tracks and trails create a countryside-like biking experience. For those who prefer city riding, there is a 31-kilometer uninterrupted cycle path along the bay’s edge from South Bank to Mordialloc. 

Cycling in Different Seasons

The best thing about Melbourne is that you can cycle there all year round, depending on the temperatures you find comfortable.

December to February: If you enjoy riding in hot temperatures ranging from 30 to 40+ degrees, then the peak of summer is the ideal time to plan your visit. 

March to May: As summer transitions into autumn, Melbourne offers milder temperatures and lighter winds. It’s a pleasant time to explore the city without the scorching heat.

June to August: Winter arrives in Melbourne, and the average temperature hovers around 12-15 degrees Celsius during the daytime. 

September to November: Spring brings back warm temperatures, but it also introduces the possibility of windy conditions and unpredictable weather fluctuations. Despite the occasional wild weather, this season offers a pleasant climate for outdoor activities.

The Best Cycling Routes in Melbourne

Beach Road

Distance: 61 km with 230 meters of climbing

The course is predominantly flat and runs alongside the bay, offering spectacular views. Starting from South Bank and extending to Mordialloc, it passes through various notable spots such as Port Melbourne, Station Pier, Luna Park, the Fairy Penguin colony, Brighton Beach, and back. I’ve highlighted the key landmarks on the route, including the highly recommended Tour de Café for coffee lovers.

Mt Pleasant Loop

Distance: 87 km with 1,039 meters of climbing

Starting at the city center pub, this hilly yet serene route will lead you away to the suburbs to cycle along the Yarra River with its breathtaking views and through bushland teeming with kangaroos. Eventually, you’ll return to your initial starting point to savor a refreshing beer, a well-deserved reward for your journey.

Yarra Boulevard—Kew

Distance: 13 km single loop with 200 meters climbing

As part of the Mt Pleasant Loop, Yarra Boulevard stands out as one of the finest routes, providing an escape from the city’s hustle and bustle. It offers thrilling curves for those who enjoy elevation changes.

Nutfield Loop

Distance: 86 km with 1356 meters of climbing

A moderately hilly circular cycle route. A beautiful location to ride, with the opportunity to enjoy peace and quiet.

The Crucifix—Dandenong Ranges

Distance: 70 km with 1,830 meters of climbing

For those seeking a challenging climb, the route through the Dandenong mountain ranges and lush temperate rainforest is unparalleled. Beginning at Upper Ferntree Gully, accessible by train from Melbourne’s CBD, this stunning path leads through Dandenong Ranges National Park, reaching the highest point known as Sky High. Don’t forget to pause for a coffee break at the Proserpina Bakehouse in Sassafras.

Altona Beach—Williamstown Loop

Distance: 50 km with 172 meters of climbing

This route is relatively easy and flat, offering panoramic vistas of Port Phillip Bay, Point Cook, the You Yangs, and Altona Beach, while also passing through some of Melbourne’s historic industrial towns.

The Capital City Trail

Distance: 30 km with 55 meters of climbing

The Capital City Trail in Melbourne takes you along the Yarra River from Southbank through City, Richmond, Burnley, Collingwood, and Merri Creek to Clifton Hill, with stops at Royal Park and Moonee Ponds Creek. Enjoy cafes, bars, and restaurants along the way, and visit attractions like Polly Woodside and the Melbourne Star Observation Wheel.

Places to Stay (for Cyclists)

When looking for accommodations in Melbourne, the most cyclist-friendly areas include the CBD, Docklands, and South Bank. Alternatively, you can explore options along the bay towards St. Kilda or the Morning Peninsula, providing easy access to the Dandenong Ranges, Yarra Valley, and the Mt Pleasant Loop.

Travelodge Hotel Melbourne Docklands address | webInstagram

DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Melbourne address | webInstagram

Quest St Kilda Road address | webInstagram

Pan Pacific Melbourne address | webInstagram

Grand Hyatt Melbourne address | webInstagram

Pullman Melbourne On The Park address | webInstagram

Bike Rentals

Blue Tongue Bikes: 20 Rebecca Walk, Batman Park, Melbourne webInstagram

Livelo: Melbourne, Victoria, 3000 webInstagram

These guys provide a convenient service where they deliver the bikes to your hotel and collect them afterwards, saving you the trip to the rental shop.

St Kilda Cycles: 5 Vale Street, St Kilda web | Instagram

Port Melbourne Cycles: 107 Bay Street, Port Melbourne web | Instagram

Velocycles: 815 Nicholson Street, Carlton North web | Instagram

Top 2024 Bikepacking Events in Australia

If you plan to extend your cycling journey in Australia and seek more profound experiences, keep an eye out for bikepacking events scheduled for 2024.

Hunt Sydney to Summit 2024

The Hunt Sydney to Summit is a self-sufficient bikepacking challenge that takes riders through Australia’s most beautiful terrain.

Date: February 26, 2024

Location: Sydney, Australia

Distance: 422.5 miles / 680 km

Cost: Not specified

Event website

Monaro Cloudride 1000

Monaro Cloudride 1000 is an off-road unsupported bikepacking event suitable for experienced multi-day riders only.

Date: March 9, 2024

Location: Canberra, Australia

Distance: 621.4 miles / 1,000 km

Event website | Route

Cloudride Prologue 2024

The Cloudride Prologue is an entry-level for first-time bikepacking riders to test gear, navigation, and themselves over two or three days and gain an experience of the terrain and fatigue levels that they will encounter on the full 1000k Monaro Cloudride or similar multi-day bikepacking event.

Date: March 9, 2024

Location: Canberra, Australia

Distance: 327.5 miles / 501 km

Cost: Free

Event website | Route

2024 Super Jambo Grom Pre Max

The Super Jambo Grom Pre 1000 km is a self-supported bikepacking adventure in NSW, Australia.

Date: March 16, 2024

Location: NSW, Australia

Distance: 621.4 miles / 1,000 km

Cost: $78

Event website | Route

Terra Australis Bike Epic 2024

6,250 kilometers down Australia’s eastern regions, starting at Cape York, the northern tip of Australia, and finishing at Wilsons Promontory, the southernmost mainland point.

Date: September 1, 2024.

Location: Queensland, Australia

Distance: 3883.5 miles / 6,250 km

Cost: Not specified

Event website

If you come across any inaccuracies or wish to contribute additional routes, events, viewpoints, or places to the guide, please feel free to contact us. We welcome your feedback and are eager to make adjustments to enhance the guide.

Read more about adventuring in Australia:

7 Best Sydney Bike Rides with Josh Kwan & Anthony Nguyen

Cycling Australia: Exploring Geelong and the Surf Coast

Cycling Tasmania: The Insider’s Guide to Cycling the Island

Discover Australia’s Most Breathtaking Cycling Routes

Cycling Sydney: Six Unmissable Routes to Explore the Region

Australia’s Top Hiking Trails You Must Experience

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