Cycling Tours in New South Wales

You can go bicycle touring any time of the year somewhere in New South Wales. With a rich indigenous culture and some of Australia’s most dazzling man-made and natural attractions, World Heritage national parks, historic colonial towns, spectacular desert landscapes, beaches, lakes and winding inland rivers; fresh local produce and wine experiences; not to mention the amazing art galleries and cultural festivals … the difficulty is going to be deciding on where to start.

A triptych of 3 photos. Left – A cyclist on bitumen road with yellow line markings indicating the road is above the snow line. Yellow grass, no trees, blue sky. Middle – a woman in a hat is standing looking at the Breadknife on the Grand High Tops walking trail. Right – Painted mural with 3 road cyclists on the side of the Bundanoon Café and Bike Shop.

Bicycle Tour destinations in New South Wales. Left – Snowy Mountains Highway near Kiandra. Middle –Warrumbungle National Park, Outback NSW. Right – Bundanoon, Southern Tablelands near Sydney.

About New South Wales

New South Wales (abbreviated NSW) is the most populous (7.5Million) and the fifth largest of the 8 Australian States and Territories accounting for 10.4% of Australia’s landmass. It borders Queensland to the north, Victoria to the south and South Australia to the west. The Australian Capital Territory is an enclave within NSW. The state of New South Wales is sometimes referred to as the “First State” or “Premier State.”

Its capital city, Sydney, is the home of Australia's most recognised icons - the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Sydney should not be confused as the capital of Australia, which is Canberra, located in the Australian Capital Territory, 280 km south-west of Sydney.

There are 9 tourism regions in NSW each with their own character and peculiarities and all embracing bicycle tourism.

Sydney Blue Mountains Central Coast
Country NSW Hunter Valley North Coast
Outback NSW Snowy Mountains South Coast

The Snowy Mountains host the L’Étape Australia by le Tour de France each December.

What is the best season to visit New South Wales?

New South Wales is a large state and as such has as a very varied climate. Some regions have four distinct seasons (spring, summer, autumn and winter) others only have two.

Australia's seasons are the opposite to the northern hemisphere. December to February is summer; March to May is autumn (fall); June to August is winter; and September to November is spring.

A very useful tool for working out the best time to go bicycle touring in the different regions of New South Wales is the climate zone model defined by the Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB). Using climate data from the Australian Bureau of Meteorology the ABCB has divided Australia into 8 climate zones of differing climatic characteristics.

The different climate zone boundaries are aligned to the NSW local government boundaries. The planning authorities use the zones to determine the heating, cooling and insulation requirements for new buildings.

New South Wales’ tourism regions are also defined by local government boundaries so the climate zone model can easily be used to inform your decisions about the best time for your cycling tour in New South Wales.

To assist with the planning for your bike ride we have matched the climate zones with each of New South Wales’ tourism regions.

Two coloured maps of New South Wales, one beside the other. The left map shows the six climate zones experienced in New South Wales. Each zone is represented by a different colour – Sub Tropical, Arid, Warm Temperate, Mild Temperate, Cool Temperate and Alpine. The right map shows the 9 tourism regions of mainland New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory. Each region is represented by a different colour, the regions are - Sydney, Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Country NSW, Hunter Valley, North Coast, Outback NSW, Snowy Mountains and South Coast.

Climate Zone map of New South Wales and Tourism Region map of New South Wales

Zone 2 – Sub-Tropical: Distinct summer and winter seasons. Hot to very hot humid summers, mild winters - a definite ‘dry season’. Moderate to low daily temperature range which can vary significantly between regions e.g. inland to coastal.

Zone 4 – Arid: Distinct seasons with low humidity all year round. Extremely hot dry summers, cool winters. Summers commonly have hot, dry winds; winters have cold dry winds. Extreme heat in summer can exceed human comfort range. Low rainfall. 

Zone 5 – Warm Temperate: Four distinct seasons, mild winters with low humidity, hot to very hot summers with moderate humidity. Extreme heat in summer and cold in winter can exceed human comfort range. Spring and autumn are ideal for human comfort. 

Zone 6 – Mild Temperate: Four distinct seasons, mild to cool winters with low humidity, hot to very hot summers with moderate humidity. Spring and autumn are ideal for human comfort. Heat in summer and cold in winter can exceed human comfort range. 

Zone 7 – Cool Temperate: Four distinct seasons, cold to very cold winters with majority of rainfall, hot dry summers. Comfortable spring and autumn conditions. Low humidity. High summer temperatures may exceed human comfort range. Winter can fall short of human comfort range

Zone 8 – Alpine: Four distinct seasons, cold to very cold winters with majority of rainfall and some snowfall. Winter can fall short of human comfort range. Warm to hot, dry summers. Variable spring and autumn conditions. Low humidity. 


The key is to time your cycling tour so that you are taking full advantage of the seasonal variations across the state. For example:

  • The perfect time for a bike ride through Outback NSW and the North Coast is between May and August when the Snowy Mountains are covered in snow.
  • June to August is Truffle Festival time near Canberra offering an opportunity to indulge the senses on a relaxed winter cycling tour. We suggest riding only between 10am and 3pm when the sun is at its warmest.
  • Capital Country, Truffles & Bettongs

    Rug up for a wonderful winter cycling experience. Take in all the delights of Canberra, take part in a thrilling truffle hunt, then ride through the spectacular scenery of the majestic Capital Region.

    More about this tour

  • Between November and March when it is hot in Outback NSW and humid on the North Coast, it’s the time to be visiting the Snowy Mountains and the South Coast.
  • Spring brings cherry blossoms and carpets of yellow flowering canola fields to Country NSW making this one of the most pleasant times for a cycling tour.

  • Country NSW Canberra To Dubbo 11-Day Cycling Tour

    NEW Tour in 2019. Enjoy the best of inland NSW on this easy-does-it cycling tour from Canberra to Dubbo. Ride past fields of golden canola. Visit charming historic villages, enjoy delicious local produce and take in some fascinating attractions.

    More about this tour

  • Autumn and Spring are the optimal times to be visiting the Southern Highlands and Blue Mountains with the contrasting autumn colours and spring bulb displays such as Floriade and Tulip Time.
  • Summer is the time to experience the beaches of the North, Central and South Coast.
  • Whale watching is popular between May and November

What is the best time to visit New South Wales?

High season or peak holiday times in NSW are linked to the state’s school and public holidays. Mostly these are the same, with some slight variations, as the other Australian states and territories. More information about high and low seasons, including dates, can be found in our answer to the question - “What is the best time to visit Australia?

How to stay safe in the sun?

The Australian sun can be extremely intense, which means if you do not take appropriate precautions prolonged sun exposure can be bad for your health. In fact, Australia has the highest level of skin cancer in the world. To avoid getting burnt by the sun, follow the 5 SunSmart rules – Slip, Slop, Slap, Seek, Slide.

What are Summer Heatwaves?

Summer brings an increased likelihood of extreme heat waves where very hot days are followed by hot nights making it hard for your body to cool down. Even fit and healthy people can become very ill during these periods, therefore, if you are on a cycling tour you should avoid strenuous activity during times of extreme heat. If untreated, heat illness can lead to the more serious and potentially life-threatening condition of heat stroke. Heatwaves should not be underestimated as they cause more deaths in Australia than any other natural hazard.

All sporting organisations in Australia have hot weather guidelines that they use to determine if a sporting activity needs to be modified or cancelled during periods of hot weather.

It is not uncommon for the Tour Down Under to shorten its competitive stages and cancel the community rides during heatwave conditions.

When is the Bush Fire Danger period? 

In New South Wales summer also brings an increased risk of bush fires. If you are planning a bike ride during the bush fire season it is important that you monitor the Fire Danger Rating each day. This will help you assess your level of bush fire risk so you can plan what to do if a fire was to start near you. It is important to understand that the Fire Danger Rating IS NOT a predictor of how likely a bush fire is to occur but an indicator of how dangerous a bush fire may be if it does occur.

A cyclist’s guide to road rules in New South Wales

Australians ride and drive on the LEFT SIDE of two-way roads.

Under the Australian Road Rules a bicycle is considered a vehicle and as such cyclists have the same responsibilities and rights as other road users. Some road rules are specific to bicycles and these vary between the states.

An explanation of the road rules and how they apply to cyclists in New South Wales can be found here

A triptych of 3 photos. Left – two female cyclists ride on a gravel road, blue sky. Middle – 4 riders on a bicycle tour stand beside their bikes in front of the red brick and domed Goulburn Court House, blue skies. Right, Two bike tourers in red tops and white helmets on a sealed road, long yellow/gold grass, white clouds, blue skies.

Biking tour destinations in NSW. Left – Mulligans Flat Road near Gundaroo. Middle – Historic Goulburn Court House. Right – Grabben Gullen Road near Gunning.

Supported cycling tours in New South Wales

Mulga has a full calendar of supported Australian cycling tours that fit with the seasons and optimum touring times. Tours vary in length from 3 to 12 days with daily distances averaging 70km.

Every Mulga tour is achievable by the average cyclist with the focus on enjoying each day, not stacking up the kilometres or racing the clock. Our goal is to soak in the scenery, marvel at fascinating stories, then recharge the batteries with a good feed and a good rest.

To see our calendar of guided Australian cycling tours please go here.

Mulga Tours offers the following supported cycling tours within New South Wales.

If none of these bicycle tours suit, or a tour in which you are interested is not currently scheduled, feel free to Contact Us and we’ll work with you to provide a customised or private alternative.

  • Country NSW Canberra To Dubbo 11-Day Cycling Tour

    NEW Tour in 2019. Enjoy the best of inland NSW on this easy-does-it cycling tour from Canberra to Dubbo. Ride past fields of golden canola. Visit charming historic villages, enjoy delicious local produce and take in some fascinating attractions.

    More about this tour

  • Sarah Maddock Sydney to Melbourne 125 Year Commemorative Cycling Tour

    Celebrate the achievements of Sarah Maddock the first woman to ride from Sydney to Melbourne in 1894. Our route is a modern day version of Sarah’s 1894 Sydney to Melbourne achievement taking in some new towns and the Murray to Mountains and Great Victorian rail trails.

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  • Bicycle tour of NSW and Canberra's Enlighten Festival

    This bike tour of Canberra and surrounding New South Wales is extra special. Why? Because it coincides with the renowned Enlighten Festival. You'll see Canberra in a whole new light. Ride, Eat, See and Explore.

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  • Capital Country ANZAC Day

    Our special ANZAC cycle tour combines an exhilarating autumn ride through the spectacular Capital Country with the chance to take part in a beautiful ANZAC Day ceremony at the Australian War Memorial.

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  • Capital Country Floriade

    This glorious spring experience combines the delights of Canberra, including a visit to the world-class Floriade festival, with an invigorating cycle tour through the spectacular scenery and historic townships of South East NSW.

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Supported cycling tours in the Australian Capital Territory

  • Canberra's Enlighten 3 Day Bicycle Tour

    Enjoy the scenery and tranquillity as you cycle from Canberra to Goulburn. Rest in charming country towns each night, then put your feet up for the transfer back to Canberra.

    More about this tour

  • Capital Country, Truffles & Bettongs

    Rug up for a wonderful winter cycling experience. Take in all the delights of Canberra, take part in a thrilling truffle hunt, then ride through the spectacular scenery of the majestic Capital Region.

    More about this tour

  • Capital Country 3 Day Floriade

    Join us for the last three days of our Floriade 2018 tour and enjoy the scenery and tranquillity as you cycle from Canberra to Goulburn. Rest in charming country towns each night, then put your feet up for the transfer back to Canberra.

    More about this tour

  • Capital Country Spring Tour

    A spring bike tour of Canberra’s most spectacular cycle routes. Be enchanted by Canberra’s delights and immerse yourself in the cultural, historical and natural highlights of the wider region.

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  • Capital Country Spring Tour - 5 Days

    Spring into the new season with this 5-day 4-night bike tour through SE NSW. Take in breathtaking views and all the highlights of Capital Country. Enjoy overnight stays in Gunning, Crookwell, Goulburn and Bungendore.

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Cycling day tours of Canberra and the ACT

  • Private Guided Bicycle Tours of Canberra

    You tell us what you want to see and how far you would like to ride and we will curate a private guided bicycle tour that is personalised and tailored to fit your schedule, ability, interests, and budget. 

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  • Capital Highlights Tour

    Explore the historical, political and cultural sites of Canberra on a bicycle. This tour provides an excellent orientation for all visitors to Canberra. Price includes a light lunch, guide, bike, helmet and a small bike mounted bag to carry your gear.

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  • Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve Tour

    Cycle through Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve on its 35kph 16 kilometre sealed loop road and experience Australian fauna and flora first-hand. Price includes a picnic lunch, guide, bike, helmet and a small bike mounted bag to carry your gear.

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  • Capital Twilight Tour

    This bike tour is a shorter version of our Capital Highlights Tour with a special side trip to the Australian War Memorial to attend The Last Post Ceremony. Price includes guide, bike, helmet and a small bike mounted bag to carry your gear.

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Supported cycling tours in Queensland

  • Cairns To Karumba Across Cape York Bike Ride

    A Queensland cycling adventure like no other. A 10-day bike tour from Cairns to Karumba, complete with plenty of spectacular scenery, intriguing wildlife & plenty of fascinating stories to keep you company.

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  • Cairns to Karumba across Cape York

    The outback experience of a lifetime. Start near the sea and traverse rainforest, mountains and savannah as we cross Cape York, arriving in the Gulf of Carpentaria to watch the sunset over the sea.

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  • Carnarvon Gorge & The Great Inland Way Cycling Tour

    A bicycle tour from St George to Emerald through the many changing landscapes of Queensland's Great Inland Way. Includes two days exploring the magnificent Carnarvon Gorge National Park.

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Supported cycling tours in the Victoria

  • North East Victoria 8-Day Spring Bicycle Tour

    Wrap yourself in the incredible natural beauty and history of North East Victoria’s mountains, valleys and rivers. On this bike tour you will enjoy gastronomic delights, visit wineries, distilleries and breweries and explore the alpine townships of Beechworth, Stanley, Myrtleford, Bright, Milawa and Whitfield.

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  • North East Victoria 8-Day Autumn Bike Tour

    Immerse yourself in the autumn colours of North East Victoria on this eight-day bicycle tour. Enjoy gastronomic delights, explore alpine townships from Beechworth to Bright, and take in some fascinating history along the way.

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  • Murray to Mountains 5-Day Autumn Bike Tour

    Enjoy the autumn colours of Victoria's High Country on this five-day bicycle tour along the Murray to Mountains Rail Trail. Learn about the regions history and explore the alpine townships of Beechworth, Bright, Milawa and Whitfield.

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  • Three Rivers

    Experience the beauty of the Kiewa, Ovens and King rivers and valleys. Appreciate the delicious food, local wineries and breweries, and learn about the region’s intriguing history on this 8-day biking tour.

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  • Three Rivers and a Waterfall

    This is a special version of our Three Rivers tour, offering two-night stays in each of four unique locations. Enjoy delicious food and wine, immerse yourself in the natural beauty of North-East Victoria.

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Supported cycling tours in the South Australia

  • Spirit of Eyre Peninsula 12-Day Cycling Tour

    NEW Tour in 2019. Mulga Tours will show you the best places to visit on Eyre Peninsula. You will ride, explore, relax and dine and if you wish we can ramp up the excitement and take you cage diving with Great White Sharks. What more could you want from a bike tour?

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