Best Gravel Rides in Australia

A man riding a bike on the side of a road.

Introduction to Gravel Riding in Australia

Gravel riding has become increasingly popular in Australia, attracting adventure-seeking cyclists who crave a different kind of cycling experience. This emerging trend involves taking to the unpaved roads and exploring the vast and diverse landscapes that Australia has to offer. In this section, we will delve into why gravel riding is gaining popularity in Australia and the benefits it brings in terms of fitness and scenic exploration.

Why gravel riding is gaining popularity in Australia

Gravel riding has gained traction in Australia for several compelling reasons. Firstly, it offers cyclists the chance to escape from the confines of busy roads and immerse themselves in natural surroundings. The vast expanses of untamed terrain make for a truly immersive riding experience, allowing riders to connect with nature on a deeper level.

Additionally, gravel riding provides a sense of adventure and exploration. Australia is known for its varied landscapes, from rolling hills and farmland to dense forests and breathtaking coastal routes. Gravel riding allows cyclists to discover hidden gems and uncover new routes that are off the beaten path.

Furthermore, gravel riding in Australia provides a unique challenge to cyclists. The unpaved gravel surfaces demand a different set of skills and require riders to adapt their techniques. This variety in terrain and riding conditions adds an exciting element to the sport, attracting riders who are seeking new challenges beyond traditional road cycling.

Benefits of gravel riding in terms of fitness and scenery

Gravel riding not only offers an exhilarating cycling experience but also brings significant fitness benefits. The uneven terrain engages different muscle groups and requires riders to constantly adjust their balance, resulting in an intense full-body workout. The continuous resistance provided by the gravel surfaces also helps build strength and endurance, making it an excellent cross-training option for road cyclists.

Moreover, gravel riding allows cyclists to explore some of the most awe-inspiring landscapes Australia has to offer. From the rugged coastlines of the Great Ocean Road to the expansive Outback, gravel routes take riders on unforgettable journeys through stunning scenery. The opportunity to witness breathtaking vistas and encounter native wildlife along the way adds an extra element of enjoyment to the sport.

In conclusion, gravel riding is gaining popularity in Australia due to its ability to provide a unique and immersive cycling experience. With its diverse landscapes and challenging terrain, Australia proves to be the perfect playground for adventure-seeking cyclists. Whether it’s the sense of exploration, the physical fitness benefits, or the opportunity to soak in the breathtaking scenery, gravel riding in Australia offers something truly special for cyclists of all levels.

Victorian High Country

Best gravel rides in the Victorian High Country

If you’re an adventure-seeking cyclist looking for the best gravel rides in Australia, the Victorian High Country should be at the top of your list. This region offers a variety of scenic and challenging routes that will take you through breathtaking landscapes and provide an unforgettable cycling experience.

Here are some of the best gravel rides in the Victorian High Country:

  1. Buckland Valley Loop: This picturesque 36-kilometer loop takes you through the tranquil Buckland Valley, passing by historic goldmining sites and offering stunning views of the surrounding mountains. The ride is moderately challenging, with some steep climbs and rough gravel sections.
  2. Mount Samaria State Park: Located near Benalla, this state park offers a range of gravel tracks that cater to all skill levels. From the easy-going Mount Samaria Road to the more challenging Broken Dam Track, there are options for everyone. The park is known for its stunning vistas, with panoramic views of the snow-capped Victorian Alps.
  3. Upper Murray River: Following the banks of the iconic Murray River, this gravel route offers a mix of scenic beauty and historical landmarks. Starting from the town of Corryong, you’ll pass through picturesque farmland, dense forests, and charming riverside towns. The ride is relatively easy, with mostly flat terrain.
  4. Mount Buffalo National Park: For those seeking a more challenging ride, Mount Buffalo National Park is a must. The ascent to the summit is rewarded with breathtaking views of the surrounding alpine landscapes. The gravel road winding up the mountain is steep and demanding, making it suitable for experienced riders.
  5. Beechworth to Yackandandah Rail Trail: This converted rail trail offers a gentle and family-friendly gravel ride. The 43-kilometer route takes you through picturesque countryside, vineyards, and historic towns. Along the way, you’ll have the opportunity to sample local produce and explore charming cafes and shops.

Scenic highlights and difficulty levels of each ride

Each of these gravel rides in the Victorian High Country offers a unique experience and showcases the region’s stunning landscapes. Here’s a breakdown of the scenic highlights and difficulty levels of each ride:

  • Buckland Valley Loop: This ride treats you to picturesque views of the Buckland Valley and surrounding mountains. The moderate difficulty level ensures an enjoyable challenge without being too demanding.
  • Mount Samaria State Park: Stunning panoramas of the Victorian Alps await you on these gravel tracks. The difficulty level varies depending on the chosen route, with options for both beginners and experienced riders.
  • Upper Murray River: This ride combines scenic beauty with historical landmarks along the Murray River. The flat terrain makes it suitable for riders of all levels, from beginners to experienced cyclists looking for a relaxed adventure.
  • Mount Buffalo National Park: The challenging ascent to the summit is rewarded with awe-inspiring views of alpine landscapes. This ride is recommended for experienced riders due to its steep and demanding gravel roads.
  • Beechworth to Yackandandah Rail Trail: Enjoy a family-friendly ride through picturesque countryside, vineyards, and historic towns. The flat terrain and gentle slopes make it suitable for riders of all ages and skill levels.

Whichever gravel ride in the Victorian High Country you choose, you’re guaranteed an adventure-filled experience. From breathtaking vistas to historical landmarks, these rides offer something for everyone. So grab your bike, explore the beauty of the Victorian High Country, and create lifelong memories on these incredible gravel routes.

South Australia’s Barossa Valley

Gravel rides in the picturesque Barossa Valley

If you’re a cycling enthusiast looking for a new adventure, South Australia’s Barossa Valley is the perfect destination for gravel rides. This region, known for its world-renowned wineries and stunning landscapes, offers a variety of scenic routes that cater to riders of all skill levels.

One of the most popular gravel rides in the Barossa Valley is the Kaiserstuhl Conservation Park Loop. This 30-kilometer loop takes you through the beautiful Kaiserstuhl Conservation Park, where you’ll be treated to breathtaking views of vineyards, rolling hills, and picturesque valleys. The ride is relatively flat, making it suitable for beginners and experienced cyclists alike.

For those seeking a more challenging ride, the Barossa Ranges Loop is a great option. This 60-kilometer route takes you through the scenic Barossa Ranges, offering stunning panoramic views of the entire valley. The ride includes some steep climbs and rough gravel sections, providing an exhilarating challenge for experienced riders.

Wine regions and charming towns along the routes

One of the highlights of cycling in the Barossa Valley is the opportunity to explore its world-renowned wine regions and charming towns along the routes. As you ride through the vineyards, you’ll have the chance to stop at various wineries and indulge in wine tastings, experiencing the region’s rich wine culture firsthand.

The town of Tanunda is a must-visit for wine lovers. Known as the heart of the Barossa Valley, Tanunda offers a charming blend of history, culture, and gastronomy. Take a break from your ride and explore the town’s historic buildings, boutique shops, and cozy cafes. Don’t forget to sample some of the region’s finest wines at one of the cellar doors.

Another town worth exploring is Angaston. Known for its gourmet food and wine scene, Angaston offers a range of culinary experiences that will tantalize your taste buds. From farm-to-table restaurants to local food markets, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to savor the flavors of the Barossa Valley.

In addition to wine and food, the Barossa Valley is home to several iconic landmarks. Make sure to visit the Maggie Beer’s Farm Shop in Nuriootpa, where you can taste and purchase a range of gourmet products. The Whispering Wall in Williamstown is another must-see attraction. This engineering marvel allows you to hear whispers from one end of the dam to the other, captivating visitors with its acoustics.

In conclusion, South Australia’s Barossa Valley offers an unforgettable cycling experience with its picturesque gravel rides, world-renowned wineries, and charming towns. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced rider, there are routes to suit your skill level. So grab your bike, immerse yourself in the beauty of the Barossa Valley, and indulge in its wine, food, and culture as you pedal through this enchanting region.

Queensland’s Gold Coast Hinterland

Gravel rides amidst the lush beauty of the Gold Coast Hinterland

If you’re a cycling enthusiast looking for a new adventure, Queensland’s Gold Coast Hinterland offers a stunning and exhilarating experience. Nestled inland from the famous Gold Coast beaches, this region is known for its lush rainforests, breathtaking landscapes, and challenging gravel routes perfect for those seeking an adrenaline rush.

One of the best gravel rides in the Gold Coast Hinterland is the Lamington National Park Loop. This 50-kilometer route takes you through the heart of the national park, where you’ll be surrounded by ancient forests, majestic waterfalls, and staggering mountain views. The ride features both uphill and downhill sections, testing your endurance and skills while immersing you in the tranquility of nature.

For a more challenging adventure, the Springbrook Plateau Loop is a must-try. This 80-kilometer route takes you through the picturesque Springbrook National Park, offering breathtaking views of the surrounding valleys and waterfalls. Be prepared for some steep climbs and technical descents as you navigate the winding gravel roads, making this ride suitable for experienced cyclists looking for an adrenaline-pumping challenge.

Challenges and rewards of exploring this region

Exploring the Gold Coast Hinterland on a gravel bike comes with both challenges and rewards. The diverse terrain and elevation changes make it a thrilling and physically demanding experience, but the rewards are well worth it.

One of the key challenges is the undulating topography. The region’s hilly terrain demands strength and endurance, pushing your limits as you conquer each climb. However, as you take on these challenges, you’ll be rewarded with stunning panoramic views of the surrounding mountains, valleys, and forests, providing a sense of accomplishment and awe-inspiring beauty.

Another challenge is navigating the gravel roads, which can be rough and unforgiving. It requires skill and concentration to maneuver your bike through the uneven surfaces, but this adds an extra layer of excitement and adventure to your ride. The sense of freedom and immersion in nature as you explore the hidden gems of the Gold Coast Hinterland makes it a truly unique and unforgettable experience.

Along the way, you’ll also have the opportunity to discover charming towns and immerse yourself in the region’s rich culture. Tamborine Mountain, for example, offers a delightful blend of art galleries, boutique shops, and local produce markets. Take a break from your ride and explore the quaint streets, indulging in delicious food and refreshing drinks at the local cafes and restaurants.

The Gold Coast Hinterland is also home to several renowned wineries and distilleries, allowing you to indulge in tastings and experience the region’s vibrant food and wine scene. Savor the flavors of locally produced wines, spirits, and gourmet delights as you take in the beauty of the surrounding vineyards and rolling hills.

In conclusion, Queensland’s Gold Coast Hinterland offers an exhilarating gravel cycling experience amidst lush rainforests and breathtaking landscapes. The challenging terrain and rewarding views make it a paradise for adventure-seeking cyclists. So gear up, immerse yourself in the beauty of this region, and let the gravel roads lead you to incredible vistas and unforgettable moments of exploration.

Tasmania’s Bay of Fires

Gravel rides through the stunning Bay of Fires

If you’re a gravel cycling enthusiast looking for a breathtaking adventure, look no further than Tasmania’s Bay of Fires. This stunning coastal region offers a unique and exhilarating riding experience, combining unspoiled beaches, vibrant orange lichen-covered rocks, and captivating scenery.

The Bay of Fires gravel rides take you along a network of exhilarating routes that wind their way through this pristine landscape. As you pedal along the gravel roads, you’ll be mesmerized by the contrast between the white sandy beaches and the intense hues of the orange lichen-covered rocks that line the coast. This surreal combination creates a visual feast for the senses and makes every moment on the bike truly unforgettable.

One of the most popular routes in the Bay of Fires is the Bay of Fires Loop. This scenic ride takes you on a journey along the coastline, allowing you to soak in the beauty of the turquoise waters, secluded coves, and pristine beaches. The loop covers approximately 60 kilometers of undulating terrain, offering a mix of challenging climbs and thrilling descents that will test your cycling skills and endurance. Along the way, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to stop and take in the panoramic views, snap some photos, and immerse yourself in the tranquility of this unspoiled paradise.

Unspoiled beaches and vibrant orange lichen-covered rocks

The unique beauty of the Bay of Fires lies in its unspoiled beaches and vibrant orange lichen-covered rocks. This natural phenomenon creates a stunning contrast against the clear blue waters of the Tasman Sea, making it a photographer’s dream.

As you cycle along the gravel roads, you’ll have the chance to witness this captivating scenery up close. Feel the soft breeze on your face as you ride alongside the pristine sandy shores, witnessing the waves rhythmically crashing against the rocks. The vibrant orange hue of the lichen-covered rocks adds an element of magic to the landscape, creating a surreal and almost otherworldly atmosphere.

Take the time to explore the hidden gems of the Bay of Fires, such as the breathtaking Binalong Bay and the secluded coves scattered along the coastline. These secluded spots give you a chance to relax, unwind, and connect with nature. Dive into the crystal-clear waters for a refreshing swim, lounge on the warm sands, or simply sit and marvel at the beauty that surrounds you.

In conclusion, Tasmania’s Bay of Fires offers a gravel cycling experience like no other. The combination of unspoiled beaches, vibrant orange lichen-covered rocks, and breathtaking scenery creates a captivating and unforgettable adventure. So gear up, hop on your bike, and immerse yourself in the beauty of this coastal paradise. Let the gravel roads lead you to incredible vistas and moments of pure joy as you explore the stunning Bay of Fires.


Australia is a true paradise for gravel riding enthusiasts, offering a wide range of breathtaking routes and stunning landscapes to explore. From the rugged mountains to the coastal trails, there is something for everyone in this vast country. Whether you are a seasoned rider or a beginner looking for an adventure, Australia promises to deliver unforgettable experiences on its gravel roads.

Why Australia is a paradise for gravel riding enthusiasts

Australia boasts an abundance of natural beauty, making it an ideal destination for gravel riding enthusiasts. Here are a few reasons why Australia stands out as a paradise for gravel cyclists:

1. Diverse Landscapes: From the picturesque coastlines to the majestic mountain ranges, Australia offers a diverse range of landscapes to explore. You can ride along the golden sandy beaches, venture into dense forests, or tackle challenging gravel climbs in the highlands. Every ride presents a unique and mesmerizing experience.

2. Endless Gravel Trails: Australia is blessed with an extensive network of gravel trails that cater to all levels of riders. Whether you prefer smooth and leisurely paths or rough and adventurous routes, you will find a plethora of options to suit your preferences. These trails vary in length and difficulty, ensuring that there is always a new adventure waiting around the corner.

3. Wildlife Encounters: Riding through the Australian countryside allows you to observe and appreciate the country’s diverse wildlife. From kangaroos hopping alongside you to colorful birds soaring above, these encounters make your gravel riding experience even more incredible.

Tips for planning your own gravel adventure in Australia

Planning a gravel adventure in Australia requires some preparation to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

1. Research the Routes: Australia is vast, and there are countless gravel routes to choose from. Research and select the routes that align with your skill level and interests. Consider factors such as distance, elevation gain, and trail conditions to find the perfect fit.

2. Check Weather and Seasons: Australia experiences diverse climates across its regions. Check the weather conditions of your chosen destination and plan your trip accordingly. Some regions might be best explored during specific seasons to avoid extreme temperatures or rainy seasons.

3. Be Prepared: Carry essential items such as extra water, snacks, bike repair tools, and navigation aids. Gravel rides can be remote, so it is crucial to be self-sufficient and ready for any situation that may arise.

4. Safety First: Always prioritize safety when riding in unfamiliar territories. Wear appropriate protective gear, obey traffic rules, and be aware of your surroundings. It is also advisable to let someone know about your intended route and estimated return time.

In conclusion, Australia offers a paradise for gravel riding enthusiasts with its diverse landscapes, endless gravel trails, and unique wildlife encounters. By researching routes, planning ahead, and ensuring safety, you can embark on an incredible gravel adventure in this captivating country. So, dust off your bike, grab your gear, and get ready for an unforgettable experience on Australia’s gravel roads.

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