Travels on two wheels

Swap the gym for the open road and make your next holiday a cycling adventure.

A world away from the furious pedalling of a spin class, travel adventures on two wheels are an exciting way to combine exploration and exercise. While the destinations are endless, we’ve picked just a few fabulous locations to get you inspired.

Forrest Graperide, New Zealand

2014 marks the 10th anniversary of New Zealand’s iconic Forrest Grape Ride, taking place next year on Saturday 5 April. Over 2,500 cyclists, nature enthusiasts and wine devotees will descend on the South Island’s Malborough region to participate in this scenic 101km circuit ride. With a variety of distances offered – the 42km (Taster), 202km (Magnum) and the 505km (Ultimate) – there is an event to suit all cycling abilities. Beginning with a flat trip across to Blenheim, riders then journey the undulating passage north to the picturesque coastal town of Picton. New Zealand’s mussel capital, Havelock, is up next, home of the green-lipped mussels and sitting at the head of Pelorus Sounds, one of the Marlborough Sounds. Looping back to complete the ride at the start point, a festival of wine, food and merriment kicks off. Enjoy the popular ‘100 Virgins Grape Crush’, sample some of the region’s finest wines and enjoy delicious local dishes from a pocket of New Zealand renowned for its produce. Access is easy from Australia, with daily flights into Wellington connecting with a short flight or scenic ferry trip over to Marlborough.

graperide.co.nz

Munda Biddi, Western Australia

Munda Biddi means ‘path through the forest’ in the Noongar Aboriginal language, and is a 1000km cycling trail leading riders from Mundaring, just north of Perth down to the rugged coastal town of Albany. A relatively new cycling route, the full end-to-end length of the trail was only officially opened in April 2013, taking riders on a magnificent adventure through coastal, forest and rural scenery. The ultimate ‘hop on, hop off’ adventure, cyclists make the Munda Biddi experience their own, joining the trail wherever suits them with convenient car access throughout points of the journey. Cycle off-road through ancient bush land and towering eucalypt forests, immerse yourself in the unspoilt landscape and discover historic townships and thriving local industries. With roughly 45kms between towns or purpose built campsites, the trail is as well-suited for multiple day cycling adventures as single day rides. Preparation is an important part of any distance ride, ensure you check the trail condition report before setting off for current alerts or closures that may affect your safety on the ride.

mundabiddi.org.au

Sikkim, India

Lush Sikkim is India’s least populous state and a world of clean mountain air, plunging valleys and picturesque remote villages. Challenging cycling passes offer epic views of the snow-capped Himalayan peaks, quiet back roads wind past ancient Buddhist monasteries and descending paths take you down to Sikkim’s holiest lake. A land-locked state, Sikkim is bordered by Nepal, Tibet, Bhutan and West Bengal and was an independent kingdom until 1975. While growing in popularity as a tourist haunt, exploring Sikkim is still a world away from the heat and intensity of other parts of India and offers a peaceful, reflective alternative. Renowned for its rich tea history, Darjeeling, in neighbouring West Bengal, is included as a destination in some cycling tours. Sample the local brew at the plentiful plantations, take the historic local steam train and set the alarm early for the breathtaking sunrises over Kanchenjunga, the main peak of the Himalayas. Sikkim’s landscape is as colourful as its fluttering prayer flags and a chance to soak it up on a cycling tour is a wonderful way to see the countryside.

spiceroads.com/tours/Sikkim

Connemara, Ireland

Biking wild Connemara, a region on Ireland’s west coast, is about experiencing the untamed beauty and rugged nature of this evocative landscape. Part of the Gaeltacht, or Irish-speaking area, many of Connemara’s signs are in Gaelic which adds to the charm and authenticity of the adventure. Steeped in history, cycling tours will take you past Connemara’s longest running smokehouse, specialists in wild smoked salmon, and traditional Galway Hookers, fishing boats moored on Bertraghboy Bay. Sharing the road more often with local sheep than cars, you meander past looming mountain passes, alongside sweeping lakes and through remote moors and bogs. The best part about a day of activity is rewarding your efforts sampling the local cuisine, and Connemara doesn’t disappoint. After starting the day’s adventures with a hearty Irish breakfast, evenings noshing on fresh mussels and lobster, locally-caught wild salmon and Connemara lamb await, followed, as is only customary, with a few sips of creamy Guinness and a traditional Irish ‘craic’.

cyclewest.com

Insure your health when you travel with Medibank travel insurance

Recommended reading - Caring for your mind

Community

Smiling Mind: Mindfulness made easy

Making mindfulness meditation free, Smiling Mind improves the mental wellbeing of young Australians

Read more
In Brief

Women’s health, hospital visits and mental illness

Go figure: women live longer than men, yet are 7.8% more likely to be admitted to hospital

Read more
Experts

10 things you need to know about the mind

Psychologist Emily Toner takes us inside this mysterious mass of nerves and fibres in our heads.

Read more
Experts

Depression and dementia risk

It is not widely recognised that depression increases the risk of late-life dementia.

Read more
Experts

Building a better brain

Brain fitness is a lifelong commitment to health and wellbeing - Dr Brockis shares her top fit tips.

Read more
Community

How Men’s Shed improves men’s wellbeing

Men's Shed has a mission to reduce social isolation by providing camaraderie, skills and support.

Read more
In Brief

Reducing stigma around depression

While stigma around depression has decreased over the past decade, it’s still troublingly prevalent.

Read more
Experts

Dealing with anxiety

Are your worries snowballing and interfering with your daily life? You may be experiencing anxiety

Read more
In Brief

Free online help for children with anxiety

Beyondblue has released a free online program, proven to help prevent and treat youth anxiety.

Read more
Community

5 reasons to run in the morning

Understand how running in the morning can change your life, and why you should start now.

Read more
Experts

6 ways exercise changes your brain

Dr Brockis explains how getting your blood pumping boosts your mood, focus and mental performance.

Read more
Advice

10 best mental health apps

Top apps for managing anxiety, boosting your mood and checking in with your mental wellbeing.

Read more
In Brief

7 steps to better youth mental health

One in five young people may be experiencing mental illness. Strateges to improve youth health.

Read more
Experts

8 ways to improve your mental health

Improve your mental health and your wellbeing will follow. Here’s how to keep things in check.

Read more
Lifestyle

10 fitness and wellbeing podcasts to get you inspired

Supercharge your motivation, learn something new, and be entertained with uplifting health podcasts.

Read more
Lifestyle

5 simple ways to relieve stress (without chocolate biscuits)

Feeling overwhelmed? Calm and recharge yourself with these positive stress-reducing techniques.

Read more
Advice

A journey to better health with Anthony Field

Read about how Anthony Field (a.k.a. the Blue Wiggle) he got his Wiggle back.

Read more
Community

Creating connections for youth mental health

How technology, support and community can help improve the mental wellbeing of young people.

Read more
Experts

Digital technology for mental health

How apps and technology can be harnessed to help improve our mental health and wellbeing

Read more
Community

Exercise for your mental health: Michelle Bridges

Join Michelle Bridges and the Black Dog Institute to get moving in Exercise Your Mood Month.

Read more
Experts

Exercise for mental health treatment

Anxiety and depression can be exhausting, but exercise is one fantastic way of fighting back.

Read more
In Brief

Fruits and vegetables for mental health

Eating five serves of fruits and vegetables each day boosts your mental health and wellbeing.

Read more
In Brief

Giving up smoking improves mental health

Think smoking calms you down? Research shows quitting is much better at boosting your mental health.

Read more
In Brief

Introducing the Medibank Better Health Index

Australia’s biggest quarterly health index provides valuable insights into our nation’s well-being.

Read more
In Brief

SAFEMinds for youth mental health

Helping equip parents and teachers to provide better support for young people who may be struggling.

Read more
In Brief

Mental Health Week

This Mental Health Week, Medibank’s reaffirming its commitment to better mental health nationwide

Read more
Community

Happiness through health

Rachael Finch is peachy keen about all things health and fitness.

Read more
Experts

How to build mental resilience

Life has a habit of testing our limits - mental resilience is your chance to bounce back.

Read more
Advice

How mindfulness makes you calm, clear and focused

Ready to silence your mind, untangle your nerves, and really connect with your world? Here's how.

Read more

For full functionality of this site it is necessary to enable JavaScript. Here are instructions on how to enable JavaScript in your web browser.