What Is Bikepacking? The Adventure Holiday Everyone’s Talking About

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Where to bikepack in Australia.

If your social media has been flooded with mesmerising photos and videos of idyllic cycling trips then you wouldn’t be the only one. All of a sudden—it feels like everyone’s bikepacking.

Bikepacking, if you’re wondering, is simply a trendy word for long distance cycling trips.

The concept may have been around for a while but until recently, its always been the domain of middle-aged men.

However, the adventure trip has become one of this year’s biggest travel trends, becoming popular for everything from family holidays to girls trips.

Zoe Foster-Blake and her family regularly share their passion for the adventure holiday, with the family regularly posting about their fun family bikepacking trips in New Zealand and France.

But how exactly do you get started with bikepacking? and is it really as beginner friendly as everyone says it is?

Below, we share our guide to bikepacking for beginners, and the best bikepacking trails to try in Australia.

How Do I Start Bikepacking?

If you have never done an overnight or long distance cycle before then its best to start with a short weekend trip of one to two nights.

This will give you a taste of the trip style and help you find out if you really enjoy it.

While many experienced bikepackers choose to camp along the way, beginners might also find it easier to start with a bikepacking trip that allows you to ride to your accommodation, such as a B&B or hotel.

This is because bikepacking trips generally involve carrying all of your gear. If you’re riding from B&B to B&B this might mean that you have to carry food, water, clothing and toiletries but if you’re camping then you’re also going to have to factor in tents, sleeping bags and cooking equipment.

For those a little intimated by the planning of a bikepacking trip then you can also get help from a tour company or join a fully organised tour group.

What Gear Do I Need?

If you’re doing an independent bikepacking trip then you’re going to need your own bike.

The type of bike you need really depends on the terrain you’re going to be facing—those tackling the Blue Mountain trails will feel more comfortable with a mountain bike, while those riding along the flat cycling paths of Provence will probably be fine with a road bike.

Either way, it’s good to remember that you will be spending many hours on the bike—so, make sure it has a comfortable seat.

Aside from your bike and helmet, you’re also going to need everything that you would bring on an ordinary long distance hiking trip, including food, water, first aid, tents, sleeping mats, sleeping bags and cooking equipment.

Where To Bikepack In Australia

Bikepacking in Australia

There are plenty of amazing bikepacking trails in Australia.

In New South Wales, the Hawkesbury OGNR is a lovely two to three day beginner trail with dirt roads, river quiets and cosy country pubs.

Likewise, The Clare Valley in South Australia is home to an abundance of lovely shady trails (many of which pass through vineyards and cellar doors)

Likewise, Tasmania’s Maria Island is completely car free, which makes biking a breeze.

In Western Australia, its worth tackling some of the more challenging 1000km Munda Biddi Trail, which winds from just outside of Perth to Albany on the South Coast.

Where To Bikepack Overseas

Bikepacking on New Zealand's Otago Trail.

Europe is a cycling haven with routes for beginners to more experienced.

The Euro Velo 6 route takes you along the River Loire in France, while the lovely and flat Capitals Route takes you through the tulip fields, forests and cafes of The Neverlands.

New Zealand has a similar offering of cycling trails, including the Otago Central Rail Trail (a favourite of the Blake family)

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