Crankboutique brings you the greatest in two wheeled rides in WA and adventures, both on road and off.
Western Australia may be one of the most sparsely populated states in the country, but it’s full of amazing roads to ride. While maybe better known for mountain bike events like the annual Cape to Cape, there’s a huge amount to explore on the state’s tarmac. WA also has a huge amount to offer for those of a gravel or bike packing sensibility and we’ve listed some rides and resources for you below.
Our top recommendations across WA’s different regions follow below. Additionally we’ve also included links to some of the state’s clubs and races if you’re feeling more competitive.
Best Bike Rides in the Perth Region
The City of Churches has consistently ranked as one of the world’s most liveable cities since the 90s and cyclists will find plenty to like about its vibrant café scene, plentiful parklands and easy access to the surrounding hillsides and countryside.
Kings Park is a nearly 1,000 acre public park that has dominated the centre of Perth since its founding. For cyclists it offers dedicated bike paths around the 7km of round, several memorials and points of interest and great views over the Swan River and City. A great place to train, ride with friends or for some souvenir snaps.
Yanchep to Cottesloe Cycle
If you want to see the coastal side of Australia’s western city you could do worse than this stunning 150km ride along Perth’s seaside suburbs. Makes for a great Sunday morning ride from Autumn to Spring with a coffee stop and some friends. Alternatively take it in sections and dip your toes in the Indian Ocean along the way.
Swan Valley is WA’s sun soaked vinyard region, bursting with grapes, local breweries and food producers. The Swan River and rolling hills of the area also make it an amazing destination for amateur and seasoned cyclist alike who can either do large loops of the valley, or take some more leisurely routes, stopping off to enjoy some of the local produce along the way.
Rottnest island is a protected reserve just off the coast of Perth which offers an abundance of track for day tripper or weekend adventure. Either load you bike on the ferry from Perth or visit the rental store on the island to grab a bike – although we recommend booking ahead of time if you’re going for the latter. There’s a mix of sealed and unsealed paths and routes from 1 to 20km.
Best Bike Rides in the Mandurah & Peel Region
Peel is the region of WA immediately south of the Perth metropolitan area. A relatively small region compared to the vast expanses of the rest of the state, the area stretches from the population centre of Mandurah on the shores of the Indian Ocean to the Boddington on the cusp of the outback.
Marrinup Cycling Trail
You’ll need some fat nobbly tyres for this one! Just outside the town of Dwellingup you can find the Marrinup Cycling Trail. While it’s a relatively short 8km loop, you’ll be exposed to the distinctive flora and fauna of the region cycling through the Jarah forest. A slight detour also takes you to an old WWII PoW camp.
Another one for the lovers of adventure and gravel biking, the Waterous trail is a 60km loop that forms part of the far far larger Munda Biddi Trail. The route starts from Waroona Dam on Lake Navarino with the Lane Pool reserve and covers over 20km worth of the Munda Biddi trail. There is some accommodation mid trail if you’d like to explore at a more leisurely pace.
Serpentine Dam Hills
If you find yourself with some time to explore or you’re in the hinterlands of the region, why not take in a cycle featuring the Serpentine Dam? The dam was built in the 50s across the Serpentine River to meet the growing demands of the regions and these days is also built up a nature park and resort which has a few paths for cycling. Alternatively the Hills route that the local club has as a weekend route takes in the dam with another 90km or so of WA scenery.
Best Bike Rides in the Gasgoyne Region
Gasgoyne stretches for 600km of coastline and about 500km inland. The region is famed for the Gasgoyne river for which it is named and it’s sunny tropical weather. Despite being the least populated of all WA’s regions, you’ll still find plenty to do to keep you active.
Geraldton to Carnarvon (Murchison River)
For those of you with a penchant for wide tyres, solitude and bikepacking might want to consider a 7 day jaunt from Geraldton to Carnarvon. Avoiding the main road between the two cities, this routes carves inland and follows the Murchison River for much of its route taking in the Murchison Settlement and Bilung Pool. Best done in early spring to take in the wildlife and avoid the heat of summer.
Best Bikes Rides in the Goldfields-Esperance Region
Goldfields-Esperance is the largest and one of the driest regions in the state and Australia. Covering an area bigger than Texas, the region incorporates the Nullabor Plain which stretches all the way out to South Australia. Despite the scorching heat and desert there’s a couple of highlights in the region for those with two wheels.
Great Ocean Drive
It may surprise you to know that there’s more than one Great Ocean Drive in Australia! Both shorter and warmer than its more famous cousin in Victoria, WA’s Ocean Drive takes in a 40km loop starting in the town of Esperance. You’ll get to take in the beautiful beaches of the area plus visit the famous pink lake. Some moderate hills, but well worth it if you’re in the area.
Best Bikes Rides in the Great Southern Region
The Great Southern region is one of WA’s bread basket areas with a Mediterranean climate providing the perfect conditions for crops and livestock. The Mediterranean climate and location incorporating the ocean and Kalgan river also make it a popular tourist and outdoor sports destination. There’s a couple of highlights in this region, but you’re sure to find some great rides around the major population centres if you look.
Albany to Frenchman Bay Return
Albany is very pretty. See that picture? Want to go there? Of course you do. This route takes in a big loop starting out in Albany and heading out all the way to Frenchman Bay. You get town views, harbour views, bay views, ocean views, beaches, unsealed roads, abandoned colonial building and epic scenery. We think this is one of the best rides you can do in Australia. If we haven’t convinced you, take some time to read the Cyclist article below.
Munda Biddi Trail – Albany to Denmark
Rightfully we could cover a separate section of the Munda Biddi track in all of these regional sections, but we’ll talk about this one because we’re suckers for ocean views. Start in Denamrk at Poddyshot Bay and follow the roads out of town, soon you’ll find yourself on the Wilson Inlet heritage trail and onwards taking in ocean views and the rolling farmland of the area. While it’s only 80km the terrain is mixed, so probably better for those who can fit some more comfy rubber.
Best Bike Rides in the Kimberley Region
The Kimberley is one of the most sparsely populated and most beautiful and wild regions of WA. Famous for its national parks and wilderness areas – including Purnululu, Danggu Gorge and Bungle Bungle – there is not a lot of infrastructure up here! But there are a couple of recommended rides if you’re in Broome or you’re looking for the ride of a lifetime.
Cable Beach, Broome
Cable Beach is the 20+km beach in Broome famous for its camel rides, 4WD drives and sunsets over the Indian Ocean. That same flatpack, firm sand that makes it great for camels and drivers also makes for a unique experiences for cyclists. You’ll probably want to rent a bike if you don’t have something with 650b tyres, but it’s worth the cost as probably the only time you’ll cycle on sand and enjoy it!
Gibb River Road
The Gibb River Road is a 600km+ route that takes you straight through the heart of the Kimberley. Running between Derby and Kununurra, the route is traversable in either direction for cyclist, although the westerly direction is probably more popular. While not overly difficult, you should be a fairly experience bike packer to undertake the route and plan on seven days to complete the trip.
Best Bike Rides in the South West
Like the Great Southern region, the South Western is famed for its greenery, rolling hills, produce, wine and spectacular scenery and beaches. All of this makes it an amazing destination for riding. You can head out covering the regions roads and tracks on all day epics or take life at a slower pace and cycle between the regions many vineyards. It’s one of Australia’s truly great places to ride.
Margaret River Food and Wine Cycle Trail
Margaret River has some of the country’s best vinyards and breweries and what could be more delightful on a balmy day than a leisurely cycle and sampling session? The Food and Wine Cycle Trail takes in some of the highlights of the town’s production while not straying too far from the main routes. One place that isn’t on this route is the Colonial Brewery on Osmington Road – a little bit of an excursion, but we think it’s well worth the effort!
Margaret River – Osmington and Redgate Route
While most of the Crankboutique’s time around Margaret River has been on mountain bikes, we have had a couple of occasions to enjoy the region’s tarmac and this route is one of our favourites. Starting and ending in town, head north and east out through the vinyards and farms surrounding the down before coasting down to Redgate beach and back to town. It’s a bit of a greatest hits, but be careful – there’s a couple of spicy hills.
Best Bike Rides in the Wheatbelt
The Wheatbelt region envelops the Perth and Peel region with it’s westerly extreme touching the ocean and the easterly border hitting the arid interior of the Goldfields. The region’s name gives a good idea of what to expect with plenty of rural scenery and rolling hills.
The Wheatbelt connects some of the region’s original colonial towns from when settlers were first making inroads into the interior of Western Australia looking for places to establish homesteads and farming. The trail covers sealed and unsealed roads and can be done as a point to point day trip between towns or a several day excursion if you have the time.
Golden Pipeline Heritage Trail
The Golden Pipeline was a huge infrastructure project undertaken at the end of the 19th century to get water from Perth’s well stocked reservoirs to the towns of the parched interior – in particular Kalgoorlie. These days the route is a well known tourist attraction and is easily navigable by bike. The total length of the route is 650km with most covering the golden fields of the state’s wheatbelt. You’ll need to do some planning if you’re looking to complete the whole route or break it up into stages.
Bike Races and Events in Western Australia
WA has some excellent road cycle races and events if you’re in the region – some of them are also well worth the trip if you’re on the East Coast too. Our selection below.
Tour of Margaret River
The TOMR is a team based, stage race taking in the amazing scenery around Margaret River. If you can get a team together this four day epic is well worth the price of admission.
The Pemberton Classic
The Pemberton Classic is a punchy one dayer set admits the giant trees of the Gloucester National park. 70-100km means its a shorter race, but the scenery and atmosphere makes it well worth it.
We’ve already covered the Gibb River Road in this article, but if you fancy a competitive race in one of the most remote places in Australia, here’s your chance! Get yourself a team of 2-6 together, raise some money and head to the Kimberley for one of the most spectacular stage races going.
The Life Ride
The Life Ride is part of the Tour de Cure race series. Another stage race in the Margaret River region, you’ll need to apply and raise money to be part of the crew that will tackle the 300-450km over 3 days.
The Dams Challenge is a challenge event in Champion Lakes where you race across the regions dams. Choose between 2 (53km), 3 (136km) or 5 (205km) dams but beware – this course is steep!