Floriade is the largest floral festival in the southern hemisphere and one of Canberra’s most spectacular annual sights, attracting almost half a million visitors every year. More than one million plants are used to make up each year’s display.
On this glorious spring tour, combine a visit to the world-class Floriade extravaganza plus all the historical, cultural and natural delights of our Bush Capital, with an invigorating cycle tour of the stunning Capital Region.
Ride under wide blue skies, breathing crisp, clean air on this peaceful journey through the quiet country roads, historic villages and sweeping plains that surround Canberra and Goulburn.
Leaving Australia’s oldest inland city, famous for its rich history, agricultural heritage and the iconic Big Merino, we’ll set off at a relaxed pace across the relatively flat southern end of the Goulburn plains. We’ll ride through the village of Lake Bathurst before arriving at Tarago, known most recently for its renewable energy projects. Then we’ll jump back on the bikes for the undulating climb and a final, rewarding five-kilometre descent into the charming village of Bungendore, home to a thriving local arts scene, galleries, and cafés.
We’ll spend the night at the historic Carrington Inn, built in 1885 as a stopover on the Cobb & Co. route, now a cosy getaway.
Except for the short climb up Smith’s Gap, today is a relaxed, undulating, downhill ride into Canberra.
With this relatively easy day done, we’ll have plenty of time to explore the Parliamentary Triangle, an area in the heart of Canberra that includes the Australian War Memorial and ANZAC Parade, and Canberra’s oldest building St John’s Church. Other sites around Lake Burley Griffin include the National Library of Australia, Questacon, and the National Gallery with its stunning sculpture garden. We’ll finish with a circumnavigation of new Parliament House before arriving at our accommodation in the thriving hub of Kingston, known for its lively restaurant and café scene.
Today we’ll take what may be the last opportunity to see Floriade in its current location near the shores of Lake Burley Griffin. We’ll stroll through splendid mass plantings of tulips and other seasonal bulbs in dazzling displays, sculptural flower arrangements, native and veggie gardens, as well as markets featuring the wares of local producers and craftspeople.
In the afternoon, you are free to enjoy exploring the historical, political, artistic, and cultural sites of Canberra. Wander around Lake Burley Griffin, visit national museums or take a tour of Parliament House or the War Memorial. If you feel like cycling today, Canberra has many on- and off-road cycle paths, or a tour around the Lake is a great way to unwind.
Although it’s the longest of the tour, today’s ride is very achievable and begins on the relaxing shared pathways and off-road cycleways of Canberra. We’ll take an easy roll through the Jerrabomberra Wetlands, once again on the lookout for birdlife, before a short cycle through the Royal Military College at Duntroon to see Duntroon House and the Changi Chapel. From Duntroon, we’ll join part of Canberra's newest bicycle infrastructure, the off-road cycleway alongside the new Majura Parkway, which will take us out to the Federal Highway.
Lunch today will be at historic Gundaroo, a unique town that has retained its special 19th-century character. Before we leave, we’ll visit the workshop of renowned ‘Bikecologist’ Wayne Kotzur, a bespoke bicycle builder who specialises in custom vehicles for people with visual or mobility impairment.
After lunch, we’ll tackle some steady climbs affording gorgeous rural views. This is an area famous for wind turbines, and these sometimes controversial structures dot the surrounding hillsides. We’ll arrive in the peaceful town of Gunning in time for a well-deserved afternoon tea.
Today takes us to the highest point of the tour. Crookwell is nearly 1,000m above sea level, and while short, today’s cycle features a steady, constant climb with a reasonably kind gradient – although a few short sections will challenge the legs. You will be rewarded, of course, with stunning views across the countryside, as well as a lovely, four-kilometre descent to our destination.
On the way, we’ll pass through Grabben Gullen, named after the local Aboriginal term for ‘small waters’. This town is known for gem fossicking, and sapphires, zircons, and garnets can still be found in the many streams that feed through the area into the Lachlan River.
We’ll arrive in Crookwell in time for a late lunch, and you are invited to tour a famous Crookwell landmark – the Lindner Sock Factory – in the afternoon. Here colourful, Australian socks, including hand-dyed local merino versions, are made by this family-owned company.
Today we’ll cycle through quiet backroads before taking the main road to Goulburn, reaping the benefits of yesterday’s climb and finishing the tour with a mostly downhill run into one of Australia’s first inland settlements. Before we arrive, however, we’ll stop at the locality of Roslyn for morning tea. Roslyn, formerly known as Cotta Walla, was the birthplace of Dame Mary Gilmore, who appears on the $10 note. We’ll arrive in Goulburn in time for a late lunch, and you are invited to spend an afternoon relaxing or exploring the town before we meet again for our end-of-tour dinner.
Today the tour concludes at checkout. You may wish to spend some time exploring the many fascinating architectural gems around town before heading home.