The open road is calling. So are the back tracks, mountain passes and bike trails. Victoria’s got a strong claim on being the nation’s cycling capital, with beautiful rides throughout the state.

Whether you’re up for some heavy-duty bush bashing or a more relaxed ride, there are routes for cyclists of every stripe. Here are a few of our favourite bicycle tours – both day-long and overnight – across the garden state. 

Capital City Trail

Melburnians are lucky people; they don’t even have to leave their city to go for a great ride. The Capital City Trail follows the twists of the mighty Yarra River, with river gums bowing along the banks.

This trail runs all the way from the Charles Grimes Bridge to the Eastern Freeway. It’s an easy ride with only a couple of lumps, and it can be completed in a lazy morning. And, being Melbourne, there’s world-class coffee along the way: the path leads straight through Collingwood Children’s Farm, where lunch awaits.

Tiger Rail Trail

Just shy of the Great Ocean Road is the Tiger Rail Trail, running from the charming little town of Birregurra to Forrest.

While not all of this trail is officially open, the Tiger is a scenic cycle through Deans Marsh, Barwon Downs and on to Forrest. The route takes you through the Yaugher in the State Forest, and onto the mountain bike trails at the route’s current end.

Part of what makes this route special is the huge effort the community has put into its construction – by riding it, you are showing your support.

Lilydale to Warburton Rail Trail

Out among the towering mountain ash is one of Victoria’s most picturesque rides, the Lilydale to Warburton Rail Trail.

Stretching from the old Warburton train station to the current Lilydale station, this trail is a relatively easy ride, with a good-quality gravel road that’s well maintained.

You may be well outside Melbourne, but there’s a Bicycle Cafe at the midway point – they’ll even service your bike while you enjoy a friand. 

Great Victorian Rail Trail from Mansfield to Bonnie Doon

One of the most impressive cycling routes in the country is the Great Victorian Rail Trail, which stretches 134 kilometres from Mansfield and the foothills of Victoria’s High Country to Tallarook.

While it’s a gentle gradient most of the way, the distance means only hard-core cyclists will do it in a day.

While there are plenty of hotels, motels, resorts, bed and breakfasts, caravan parks and farm stays along the way, those looking for a more relaxing ride can follow the trail from Mansfield to Bonnie Doon – an easy 44km return, the path swings by the cool waters of Lake Eildon and leads to wood-fired pizza for lunch. 

Mountains Rail Trail from Bright to Porepunkah

For cyclists still on training wheels, an overnight ride is probably out of the question.

Thankfully, the family-friendly pedal along the Murray River from Bright to the Porepunkah River Pool at Riverside Park is a very gentle 12km return.

Kids will love the swimming hole at the half-way mark, while parents can look forward to the so-hot-right-now restaurants back in Bright.