Bicycle tour of NSW and Canberra's Enlighten Festival

The side panel of one of the Enlighten information pillars between the Questacon building and the National Library of Australia. The top of the sign reads “Enlighten – Culture and Creativity Illuminate The Capital”. The panel below is titled “The Electric Garden” and begins “Autumnal landscapes and childhood dreams breathe life into Canberra after dark as Enlighten returns in March.” Lights colour the path red and purple and the trees are illuminated an autumnal golden brown. Blurred images of people hover over the coloured path.

Ride, Eat, See and Explore

“Criminally overlooked Canberra packs a big punch …  [with] opportunities to connect with nature or indulge in a range of gastronomic delights, along with a smorgasbord of cultural, artistic and sporting events, Canberra should be on everybody’s 2018 travel wish list,” Chris Zeiher, Lonely Planet

Relish the wide blue skies and clean crisp air on our bicycle holiday through the Canberra region, and see why Lonely Planet voted our home town third in the world’s top 10 cities to visit in their ‘Best in Travel 2018’.

See Canberra light up after dark with the spectacular Enlighten Festival. With unbelievable architectural projections transforming buildings within the Parliamentary Triangle, and with live music, performances and delicious food stalls to explore, Enlighten is a feast for the senses.

Soak up the region’s contrasts as you go from urban delights to country hospitality, with overnight stays in Canberra as well as the South East NSW townships of Bungendore, Gunning, Crookwell and Goulburn.

Transfer options: If you’re coming from Sydney, why not catch the train and meet us in Goulburn? We can also provide transfers to and from Canberra. Simply book a transfer with us on the tour booking form.

If you are looking for a shorter bicycle tour in the Canberra region we also have a three-day option.


Canberra, Australia, Listed as a top 10 city in Best in Travel 2018

 

BOOKING FEE

$500.00 incl. GST per person


Payment Methods:

Payments can be made via Visa, MasterCard or electronic funds transfer.


Highlights:

Country wildlife and city nightlife: this bike tour is all about contrasts. Visit the Enlighten Festival and Canberra’s national attractions. Explore the delights of the surrounding countryside including rural villages and nature reserves. A cycling holiday with something for everyone.


Start/Finish locations:

Goulburn, NSW–Goulburn, NSW


Tour Grade:

Grade 1

Find out how we grade our tours


Total distance:

280km


Daily distances:

Average 56km.
Ranges from 40km to 70km per day, with one rest day.


Bike Hire:

If you do not wish to bring your own bike, you can hire a bike from us for $250. Please select the "Bike Hire" option when completing the booking form. For more information on our hire bikes click here.


FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:

Answers to our most commonly asked questions can be found here - Multi day tours - FAQ


Included:

Accommodation, all meals and snacks (except for dinner on Day 3), drinks and snacks from the tour support vehicle, tour guides, daily maps and itineraries; use of support vehicles as required.


Excluded:

Alcoholic drinks, food, beverages, and other personal items you purchase;  room service and mini bar charges; telephone calls made from the telephone provided in your accommodation; laundry costs; parts required to repair your personal bicycle and repairs to your personal bicycle undertaken by Mulga Bicycle Tours or in a third party’s bicycle shop.


Transfers:

Guests are responsible for transfers to and from the tour.

Mulga can provide transfers from Canberra to Goulburn the day before the tour commences. We can also take you back to Canberra at the conclusion of the tour. You can book a transfer with us on the tour booking form.


Tour Itinerary

Day 1: Goulburn to Bungendore - Cycling Distance 68km

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 tree-lined village of Lake Bathurst before arriving at Tarago, known most recently for its renewable energy projects and impressive wind towers.  

We’ll jump back on the bikes for the undulating climb and a final, rewarding descent into Bungendore, home to a thriving local arts scene, galleries and plenty of top-notch cafés.

Tonight we’ll settle back at the historic Carrington Inn, built in 1885 as a stopover on the Cobb & Co. route, now a cosy getaway.


Day 2: Bungendore to Canberra - Cycling Distance 40km

Except for the short climb up Smith’s Gap, today is a relaxed, rolling, 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 of Australia with its stunning sculpture garden.

We’ll finish with a circuit  of new Parliament House before arriving at our accommodation in Kingston, known for its lively restaurant and café scene.

This evening we will take in the splendour of the Enlighten Festival, which sees buildings in the Parliamentary Triangle brought to life with stunningly colourful and brilliantly clever light projections.  

Live music, interactive performances, food markets, and exclusive events at some of Canberra’s most captivating landmarks are all part of the fun.


Day 3: Canberra

Today guests are free to choose between a trip to the Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve, or to stay in Canberra and explore the city’s many treasures.

Check out the shopping and foodie scene in Braddon. Enjoy an exhibition at the National Museum of Australia. For those who feel like cycling, Canberra has many on- and off-road cycle paths, or a tour around Lake Burley Griffin is a great way to unwind.

Alternatively you can join us to visit Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve. Here we’ll cycle the 16-kilometre loop road and immerse ourselves in the reserve’s rich natural surroundings, before stopping to enjoy a sumptuous picnic lunch.

On our way back into Canberra, if time permits, we’ll visit the Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex and the impressive Cotter Dam. And when evening falls, there is the option to once again take in the splendour of Enlighten.


Day 4: Canberra to Gunning - Cycling Distance 74km

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, keeping a lookout for the abundant 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 in the Yass Valley that has retained its special 19th-century character. 

After lunch, we’ll tackle some steady climbs affording gorgeous rural views. This is an area famous for its 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.


Day 5: Gunning to Crookwell - Cycling Distance 45km

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 its gem fossicking, and treasures 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, after which you are invited to tour a famous Crookwell landmark: the Lindner Sock Factory. Here colourful, Australian socks, including hand-dyed local merino versions, are made by this family-owned company.


Day 6: Crookwell to Goulburn - Cycling Distance 52km

Today we’ll cycle through quiet backroads 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.

We’ll arrive 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.


Goulburn – A wealth of heritage

Today the tour concludes at checkout. You may wish to spend some time exploring the many fascinating architectural gems around town before heading home.

If you like your cycling tours with a healthy dose of rural charm, historic insights and floral spectacle then don’t delay. Book your spot on this tour now.

NB: If you are looking for a shorter bicycle tour in the Canberra region we also have a three-day option.