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


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.

Important information

  • Acceptance of your booking is subject to Mulga Tours receiving a signed Waiver And Assumption Of Risk Form for each member of your party indicating acceptance of our Terms and Conditions, Safety Guidelines, Code of Conduct and Privacy Policy.
  • Your booking fee is not refundable, but is transferrable with at least 61 days’ notice.
  • Guests are responsible for choosing a trip that suits their abilities, fitness level, and state of health. See How Mulga Bicycle Tours Grades Its Tours for more information.
  • Guests are also responsible for ensuring they are adequately and appropriately prepared both physically and mentally for the tour. If you have any health issues or doubts prior to the tour, you should seek appropriate medical advice and contact us.
  • A list of mandatory safety equipment that you must bring with you on tour can be found in section 10 of our Terms and Conditions. We will ask to see your safety equipment prior to the commencement of the tour and we may also check it during the tour. If an item is missing or we form the view that a safety item does not comply, we may decide to exclude you from joining the tour or riding until you have acquired the necessary safety item or it has been serviced or recharged.
  • We are unable to delay the start of the tour for anyone who does not have the appropriate safety equipment.
  • We make every effort to stick to our plans, but tour details, such as non-riding activities, accommodation, menus, and sometimes routes, are subject to change.
  • For the safety of our guests and staff Mulga Tours will cancel riding on days where we consider conditions are such that it is unsafe to ride. This may be due to high or low temperatures, high or gusty winds, heavy rain, low visibility or any other condition or circumstances which we consider makes riding unsafe. In these circumstances we will transfer guests to our next destination by vehicle.
  • Fire Danger Rating. Mulga Tours will cancel riding on days when a fire danger rating of Severe, Extreme, Code Red or Catastrophic has been declared. On these days we will transfer guests to our next destination by vehicle.
  • Guests must read all correspondence and information provided by Mulga Tours before and during their tour.
  • Hotel credit card pre-authorisations. The tour price includes the cost of your accommodation each night of the tour. At check-in some accommodation providers may require you to provide a credit card pre-authorisation to cover expenses you may incur on top of the accommodation costs covered by Mulga.
  • You may choose to hire a bicycle from us. The price of hire will be added to the tour price.