Find your Perfect Cycling Tours in Queensland

“Beautiful One Day, Perfect The Next” is the “Sunshine State’s” tourism slogan and it is a hard statement to argue against when considered from a weather and cycling point of view. If you pick your Queensland destination whilst keeping in mind the time of the year you wish to ride, it is possible to find that perfect cycling tour in Queensland, particularly in winter.

Queensland is a state of diverse natural attractions, landscapes and experiences, the most iconic being the Great Barrier Reef. But there are many other experiences you can’t get anywhere else in Australia including 5 of Australia's 11 World Natural Heritage Areas, outback landscapes and pristine surf beaches. Queensland is also famous for its Gold Coast theme parks that draw thrill-seekers and adrenaline junkies from all over.

Turquoise blue sea beneath light blue sky and white fluffy cloud. Gloucester Island is on the skyline.

View from Flagstaff Hill, Bowen, Queensland

About Queensland

Referred to as the “Sunshine State”, Queensland (abbreviated QLD) is the third most populous (4.7Million) and the second largest of the 8 Australian States and Territories accounting for 22.5% of Australia’s landmass.

The capital city of Queensland is Brisbane. More than half of Queensland's population lives outside the greater metropolitan area of Brisbane which when compared with the rest of highly urbanised Australia is higher than any other state.

Queensland shares borders with New South Wales to the south, and the Northern Territory and South Australia to the west.

There are 13 tourism regions in Queensland each with their own character and peculiarities and all embracing bicycle tourism.

Brisbane Bundaberg Capricorn
Fraser Coast Gladstone Gold Coast
Mackay Outback Queensland Southern Queensland Country
Sunshine Coast Townsville Tropical North Queensland

A triptych of 3 photos. Left - Limestone wall covered with red and yellow ochre stencil art of hands, arms and boomerangs. Middle – Hand feeding dolphins. Right – Cyclist on outback road near sunset.

Queensland bike tour destinations. Aboriginal stencil art gallery in Carnarvon Gorge. Feeding dolphins at Rainbow Beach. Cycling into Undara Volcanic National Park.

What is the best season to visit Queensland?

Due to its size and location Queensland has a very varied climate. Some regions have four distinct seasons (spring, summer, autumn and winter) whereas some only have a wet and dry season.

Australia's seasons are the opposite to the northern hemisphere, it is summer in Australia when it’s winter in the northern hemisphere.

A very useful tool for working out the best time to go riding in the different regions of Queensland 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 Queensland local government boundaries. The planning authorities use the zones to determine the heating, cooling and insulation requirements for new buildings.

Queensland’s tourism regions are also defined by local government boundaries so the climate zone model can easily be used to inform your decisions about the most comfortable and best time for your bike ride in Queensland.

To assist with the planning for your Queensland bike ride we have matched the climate zones with each of the Queensland tourism regions.

Two coloured maps of Queensland, one beside the other. The left map shows the four climate zones experienced in Queensland. Each zone is represented by a different colour – Tropical, Sub Tropical, Hot Arid and Warm Temperate. The right map shows the 13 tourism regions of Queensland. Each region is represented by a different colour, the regions are – Brisbane, Bundaberg, Capricorn, Fraser Coast, Gladstone, Gold Coast, Mackay, Outback Queensland, Southern Queensland Country, Sunshine Coast, Townsville, Tropical North Queensland and Whitsundays.

Climate Zone map of Queensland and Tourism Region map of Queensland

Zone 1 – Tropical: Highly humid summer, warm winter. Cyclones in summer with high rainfall and local/wide flooding. ‘Dry season’ in winter. High temperatures year round with minimum seasonal temperature variation. Lowest daily temperature range. Read about Queensland’s 2019 February flood event.

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 3 – Hot Arid: Distinct wet and dry seasons. Hot to extremely hot dry summers, cool to warm winters, low rainfall and low humidity.

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.

When planning your trip to Queensland you may wish to consider:

  • 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.

    More about this tour

What is the best time to visit Queensland?

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 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 Cyclone Season in Queensland?

On average 4.7 tropical cyclones will affect the Queensland coast between November and April each year. During cyclone season the Bureau of Meteorology provides a Tropical Cyclone Warning Service. If you are travelling in Queensland during this time it is important that you monitor this service for the most up to date information about any impending cyclones.

A list of all Queensland Weather Warnings and Emergency Alerts including cyclone, flood, fire, wind, surf and severe weather warnings can be found here.

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 Queensland

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 Queensland can be found here.

Silhouettes of people against an orange and salmon sky watching the sunset over the Gulf of Carpentaria.

Champagne Sunset at the end of Mulga Tours Cairns to Karumba bike ride.

Supported cycling tours in Queensland

Mulga has a full calendar of supported Australian 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 tours in Queensland.

If none of these 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.

  • Carnarvon Gorge & The Great Inland Way Bike Tour

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

    More about this tour

  • 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.

    More about this tour

Supported tours in NSW

  • 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

  • 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.

    More about this tour

  • 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.

    More about this tour

  • 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.

    More about this tour

Supported 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 - 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.

    More about this tour

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.

    More about this tour

  • 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 your guide, bike, helmet and a small bike mounted bag to carry your gear.

    More about this tour

Supported tours in 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.

    More about this tour

  • 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.

    More about this tour

  • 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.

    More about this tour

  • 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.

    More about this tour

Supported tours in South Australia

  • Spirit of Eyre Peninsula 12-Day Cycling Tour

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

    More about this tour