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Approaches to Brisbane...

Route maps into Brisbane, Australia

Like many larger cities, the approach roads closer to Brisbane are mostly high-speed motorways, where bicycles are not permitted. If you are not familiar with the region, safe routes for bicycles may be hard to plot. This article provides information and mapped routes into the city. They are by no means the only possible routes, but they will get the touring cyclist through the maze of local roads in a reasonably direct way. The maps terminate in Upper Roma Street, the location of the YHA and numerous backpacker hostels, places a cycle tourist may likely choose to stay.

The Greater Brisbane Area and the Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast regions combined stretch for almost 250 kilometres along the South-East Queensland coast. This presents the cycle tourist with a challenge to navigate safely on roads that often carry heavy traffic and are not particularly bicycle friendly. Best advice is to plan your arrival for a weekend is possible, and definitely do not arrive during peak traffic hours.

This article assumes cyclist tourists will approach on the Bruce Highway (A1) from the north or on the Pacific Highway (A1) from the south. A western approach on the Cunningham Highway (A15) or Warrego Highway (A2) is possible but it's uncertain that cycle tourists ever choose this route. However a western approach can be mapped if necessary, and if one is needed just leave me a note in the guestbook.

Tourists approaching from the north may choose to continue along the Bruce Highway to the city outskirts, or they could take an alternative route from the Caloundra turnoff at the southern end of the Sunshine Coast. If you were a Steve Irwin fan the route affords an opportunity to visit Australia Zoo, as it takes the Steve Irwin Way (SH6) through the Glasshouse Mountains and via Beerburrum Road (SH60) through the outer suburban areas of Caboolture and Morayfield to Burpengary, where it joins with the other routes. Via Steve Irwin Way

Edit: Recently I received advice from Queensland Transport & Main Roads that the motorway now extends as far north as the Caloundra turnoff, leaving cyclists little option but to take the Steve Irwin Way.

The northern approach is relatively straightforward. Whilst it is possible to venture a little further along the Bruce Highway before the motorway is encountered, the locality of Burpengary presents a good opportunity to leave the highway. There are two choices - the northern suburbs route is the most direct, whilst the bayside route is a little longer but more picturesque and probably less heavily trafficked. The bayside route is recommended.
Via Bayside or Via Northern Suburbs

The southern approach is much more complicated. There is really only one option, along a maze of service roads that parallel the Pacific Motorway (M1) which extends all the way from the City to the Gold Coast. The mapped route the avoids the motorway to take the Gold Coast Highway (SH2) and Hope Island Drive (SH4) after crossing the state border from New South Wales into Queensland, but be aware that this is still a very busy route. It does however afford an opportunity to visit the Gold Coast beaches - Surfers Paradise and the like, if you are so inclined. Via Gold Coast

There is a long alternative route that heads inland from Coffs Harbour along the Orara Way, Summerland Way (SH91) and Mt Lindsay Highway (SH13). This route follows much quieter backroads, but does include some climbing over the Border Ranges, and of course you miss the opportunity to visit the very popular north coast towns such as Yamba, Evans Head, Ballina, and Byron Bay. Via the Summerland Way

I hope those touring in the region find this article helpful. For additional information about routes around Brisbane and South-East Queensland leave a comment.

Note: The maps have been updated but the new Google Maps can behave erratically.


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