Bike to the beach
Slip on a rashie, slop on sunscreen and slap on your helmet—it’s time to ride down to the beach. Simon Vincett suggests bike-friendly routes in six cities.
For the freedom of a broad ocean view, a cooling swim and a coastal breeze to ease the summer heat, you can’t beat a great beach escape. Many of our local beachfronts are liberally endowed with shared paths, picnic spots, cafes and attractions, making them an ideal summer-ride getaway.
These routes all offer patrolled beaches with picnic facilities and cafés nearby. The destinations are kid-friendly as well. Train stations in the vicinity are marked on the maps – use them to shorten your ride.
Some beaches are at their best at high tide, such as Pandanus Beach in Brisbane and Sydney’s Manly tidal pool. You can check tide times at tides.willyweather.com.au to plan to be there in the best conditions.
Pack your favourite magazine, towel, swimwear and money for an ice cream and off you go!
Sydney – Manly, Dee Why and Curl Curl
Via ferry, shared paths and on-road bike lanes
The northern beaches of Dee Why and Curl Curl are well worth the ride, but you only have to catch the ferry to Manly Wharf and ride the short distance to Manly Beach for a great day out.
Shelley Beach around the corner is more protected and good for kids. Thetidal pool on the harbour side is a netted expanse of still water for more relaxed swimming. Check tides.willyweather.com.au for high tide at Fort Denison as a guide for best conditions.
Leave your bike at home and grab one when you get there with Manly Bike Tours www.manlybiketours.com.au.
There are also waterslides at Manly Waterworks www.manlywaterworks.com.
Brisbane – Wynnum Wading Pool and Pandanus Beach
Via on-road bike lanes and shared paths
Ever a popular seaside destination, the Wynnum Wading Pool was built in 1931 by unemployed men and in 2008 received a $6.5 million upgrade.
The adjacent Wynnum Waterpark provides hours of fun for the kids.
If the tide is high, take an ocean swim at Pandanus Beach. Check the tides at tides.willyweather.com.au for high tide at the Brisbane Bar as a guide for best conditions at Pandanus.
At low tide, kids will love watching soldier crabs teeming across the sand flats.
Wynnum Central Train station provides an easy way to get there and enjoy the foreshore path.
Gold Coast – Nobbies Beach and Tallebudgera Reserve
Via on-road bike lanes and beach side shared path
It’s hard to beat Nobbies for the quintessential south-east Queensland beach: a wide, golden expanse of sand and perfect weather.
Tallebudgera Reserve offers beach on one side and calm estuary swimming on the other, so it’s great for the whole family.
Robina train station provides a convenient link from other parts of the Gold Coast and also from Brisbane via the metro rail network.
Perth – Sorrento Quay
Via shared paths and on-road bike lanes
You could pick so many beaches to while away your day along Perth’s beachfront. Why not try them all though the rest of summer? The shared path provides an ideal route for your beach crawl.
Sorrento Quay is highlighted here because it has a kid-friendly swimming beach and a playground as well as all the food and cafes of Hillarys Boat Harbour.
The links are largely off-road from Greenwood and Warwick train stations, so these are great options for shortening your journey.
Adelaide – Henley Beach and Glenelg Beach
Via the Linear Park Trail, West Side Bike Path or Mike Turtur Bikeway
Wide, white-sand beach and gentle surf: chillax! There are the bars, cafes and food outlets right behind you in Henley Square. There are even festivals and regular live entertainment in summer. There’s a jetty to explore and fishing is permitted.
The beachside shared path can take you to several patrolled beaches north and south of where the Linear Park Trail meets the coast.
To the south at Glenelg, The Beachouse has paid waterslides and ‘wet and wild’ fun www.thebeachouse.com.au. Alternatively, you can ride directly to Glenelg via the West Side Bike Path and Mike Turtur Bikeway, which are mostly off-road or through quiet back streets.
Melbourne – Mordialloc Beach
Via Bay Trail from Carrum to the south (11km) or from port Melbourne to the north (32km)
Did you know there’s a great beach and playground at this popular roadie turnaround spot? Yes, it’s actually worth a visit in its own right, with a wider beach than most spots on the Bay and a pleasant backdrop of boats bobbing in little Mordialloc Creek marina.
A large, well-shaded playground adds another dimension for kids and there’s a kiosk café just off the sand.
The Bay Trail makes an easy, scenic route to get there from the north or the south, or you could arrive at Mordialloc train station and take a trundle on the Trail from your beach base camp.
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