The Best Cycling Routes on the Sunshine Coast
As you explore the rolling hills of the Sunshine Coast Hinterland and the lush coastal plains fringed by some of Queensland’s best beaches, flocks of multicoloured parakeets aren’t the only splashes of colour you’ll notice cycling across the beautiful landscape.
Groups of bike-riding enthusiasts, resplendent in coloured Lycra, are an equally common sight. And why not? The Sunshine Coast’s year-round perfect weather certainly lends itself to any activity that gets you out into the great outdoors.
If you’re looking for a Sunshine Coast cycling escape with gentle climbs, winding descents and hinterland views, there’s a coastal ride for every experience level or group, whether you’re a beginner, family, intermediate or would-be professional.
What are you waiting for? Time to hit the road.
Distance: 15km round-trip
Nearest bike hire: Bike On
A visit to the holiday hotspot of Noosa is high on the list of must-dos for many visitors to the coast. If you can drag yourself away from the beach and boutiques, this circuit ride starting at pretty Sunshine Beach is perfect for social riders, with non-stop blue skies, bush and beaches as you ride.
Make your way down David Low Way, past the Noosa National Park on your right, and along famous Hastings Street. Stop for a coffee at one of the many cafes that line the strip (Cafe Le Monde is a Noosa institution and one of the best coffee spots on the Sunshine Coast). Head back up Hastings and onto Noosa Parade, following the picturesque Noosa River on your left – be careful on the narrow bridges that cross some of the canals.
Take a break and stop at Rickys River Bar for lunch. Enjoy their local, seafood-focused menu as you catch the breeze off the Noosa river.
Finally, follow Noosa Parade in a semi-circle all the way back to where you started. There are a few hills to tackle, but, if you travel in this anti-clockwise direction, a lot of them are downhill.
Location: Mooloolaba to Picnic Point
Distance: 7km one-way
Nearest bike hire: Hire Hut
For family groups, this leisurely ride offers a good network of bike paths and lanes and is largely downhill. It’s part of the Sunshine Coast Council’s Coastal Pathway, and offers some of the best ocean views when cycling on the Sunshine Coast.
Head down Alexandra Parade past the Alex Surf Club towards Maroochydore. Take a right-hand turn onto Sixth Avenue then double back onto the extension of Alexandra Parade and continue past the Maroochydore Surf Club towards Cotton Tree.
Grab fresh fish ‘n’ chips from Cotton Tree Seafoods and make your way to Cotton Tree Park for lunch by the river.
Had enough? You can turn back here; if not, cross the bridge and continue along Duporth Avenue through the Maroochydore Town Centre. Keep heading north on Duporth until you get to the right-hand turn onto Picnic Point Esplanade. This is one of the coast’s best-kept secrets, complete with resident pelicans and lots of great spots for a paddle.
Distance: 12km one-way
Nearest bike hire: Bike On
The coastal route between Sunshine Beach and Coolum Beach is one of the Sunshine Coast’s prettiest drives – and it’s also a great ride! There are dedicated bike paths and tracks for much of the way and, while there are a few hills to contend with, a proportion of the ride is reasonably flat.
Peregian is a great spot to stop for lunch. Try Raw Energy with its emphasis on vegan and vegetarian eating, or Le Bon Delice for top notch coffee and fresh baguettes.
Nearest bike hire: You’ll need to BYO
Nambour isn’t generally renowned as a tourist centre, but this road-ride to the iconic Eumundi Markets and back will challenge serious riders and take you through some of the Sunshine Coast’s most beautiful rural scenery.
Start with an early breakfast at local favorite, Nambour Social. Head north on the Nambour Connection Road towards Yandina – the ideal spot to stop for a restorative latte. Keep heading north on Bunya Road and cross under the Bruce Highway. From there it’s a short ride into the historic Eumundi township, home to the Sunshine Coast’s most popular market, The Eumundi Markets.
Once you’ve had your fill of local produce, head for home but take a left-hand detour onto picturesque Fairhill Road. This will bring you back out at Yandina, having ridden past the famous Spirit House Restaurant and Cooking School. Take some time out for a cooling stroll through the restaurant’s tropical garden,where you might meet one of the resident water dragons.
Chasing more breathtaking views? Here’s how to explore the Gold Coast Hinterland by bike.