October 09, 2018

Brisbane by Bicycle: A Mercurious Local Travellers Guide

Spring has arrived, and there is no better way to experience Brisbane than by bicycle. Riding at your own pace surrounded by historic buildings, wonderfully colourful botanic gardens and stunning views of our iconic weaving and winding river. Whether you have 2 hours, or 2 days in Brisbane - jump on a bike and pedal your way through our beautiful city.

Brisbane City Council has made it easier than ever to enjoy Brisbane at your own pace. City Cycle stations are scattered across the city and offer a fantastic way to see, taste and do the best Brisbane has to offer.

City Cycle is a simple and cost-effective way of hiring bikes in Brisbane.

How to hire a City Cycle:

Hiring involves providing a credit card payment of $2 for a Casual Day Pass, plus a $50 pre-authorisation which covers the security of the bike (this $50 is released at the end of the day). It is important to note that the conditions of the $2 Casual Day Pass require the bike to be securely docked at a City Cycle station every 30 minutes. Usage charges apply after this 30 minutes, which is only $2 extra for 31-60 minutes. This is rarely an issue as there are City Cycle stations everywhere in the city, so as long as you stay close to the city this is easy to navigate.
Below you can find a Mercurious Brisbane Local's guide to Brisbane using City Cycle. 

Brisbane by Bike: Mercurious Local Travellers Guide 

After starting the day with a fantastic buffet breakfast at MRepublic Restaurant, set off satisfied, filled-up and excited for your Brisbane cycling adventure.

Turning left outside the Mercure Brisbane and walking 250m along North Quay brings you to the closest City Cycle Station. It takes about 5 minutes to set up the casual one day pass and selecting a bike.

Helmets fitted, and seats adjusted adequately, set off towards the casino, turning right to access the Bicentennial Bikeway.

This bicycle highway stretches from Brisbane's western suburb of Toowong following the winding river around Brisbane city, past Mercure Brisbane leading to the City Botanic Gardens. Riding along the Bicentennial Bikeway offers great views of South Bank, which is directly opposite, while being a safe and leisurely alternative to riding on the roads through the CBD. 

Arriving at the Botanic Gardens you will come across a city cycle station. Take a quick pit-stop to dock the bikes. Shortly after, riding along the path following the River allows a fantastic perspective of the Kangaroo Point cliffs, where you can watch climbers negotiating the famously rugged and sheer cliff face.


Be sure to veer off the riverside path towards the heart of the City Botanic Gardens, where the wonderful colours of Spring are on out display. Spending time in the Botanic Gardens is a remarkable sensory experience, surrounded by tall buildings and being only minutes from the hustle and bustle of the city - the gardens are a stark contrast - a peaceful, quiet atmosphere backed by bird calls and river boats passing by.

Moving on from the Botanic Gardens following the riverside path towards the CBD and Eagle Street Pier affords fantastic views of the majestic Story Bridge, which is a great photo opportunity incorporating the boats moored in the river.

Next, ride along the pathway to Eagle Street Pier and dock the bike at the closest City Cycle station.

A drink at River Bar is essential, being right on the river and featuring spectacular views of the Story Bridge.


After spending some time exploring Eagle Street Pier, jump onto a City Cat ($3-4 per trip) or City Hopper (free) from either Eagle St Pier or Riverside Ferry Terminals.

Taking a water taxi allows a fantastic perspective of the Brisbane's sky-rises and old, historic buildings including Customs House.



Hop off the ferry at New Farm Park terminal. Directly outside the terminal is a City Cycle station where you can jump back onto the bikes and continue exploring. Keeping the river on the right, leisurely cycle past the peaceful New Farm Park towards the Brisbane Powerhouse. City Cycles can be docked nearby just off Lamington Street.

This old brick building was built in 1928 to power Brisbane's tram network.  It was decommissioned in 1971 and renovated in 2000 to become an entertainment centre. Since then, the Powerhouse has established itself as one of Brisbane's premier venues for the arts, showcasing renowned plays, international comedy acts and national orchestras.

Watt Restaurant is a fantastic spot for lunch, serving a modern Australian menu backed by stunning river views.


Jump back on the bikes to pedal along Lamington Street which turns into James Street.

James Street is a Brisbane local’s secret, relatively untouched and unknown by tourists. The famous, upmarket street features fantastic boutique shopping, cafes, eateries, cinemas. Dock the bikes at any of the various stations along the street. Spend time wandering through the shops, sipping on great coffee and doing as the locals do.


Mercurious Travellers Tips:

James Street Cooking School is a must do if you have the time (around 3 hours). Be sure to check their schedule before planning your cycle adventure to see when they are running classes. The professional chefs will guide and inspire you to reach your culinary potential, using the best quality local produce and state of the art equipment.


Bucci Italian Restaurant, on the corner of James and McLachlan is a must try featuring an exquisite menu – the crumbed giant green olives are a must try!


Grab a delicious sweet treat at Jocelyn’s Provisions, offering cakes, sweet & savoury treats and artisan breads – be sure to try the new chocolate dipped honey comb!




Heading north-west up James Street leads to Ann Street. Turning left onto Ann puts you in the direction of your restful night ahead at Mercure Brisbane, but be sure to stop and explore Fortitude Valley and Brisbane’s Chinatown first! The area is famous as Brisbane’s night life precinct, and is home to some of the city's most popular bars.


Mercurious Travellers Tip:


Drop in to XCargo to experience Fortitude Valley’s hottest new social attraction. Set in the heart of the Valley, XCargo is a uniquely designed space, encapsulated by stacked refurbished shipping containers - some stacked at three and four levels high - defining a fantastic bar and entertainment space, as well as food-truck style cuisine, plenty of seating and a VIP bar.



After exploring Fortitude Valley, follow Ann Street south-west, past Anzac Square and Brisbane City Hall before docking the bikes at the City Cycle station on North Quay nearby Mercure Brisbane. 


Walking back to Mercure Brisbane after dark allows remarkable views of GOMA’s new permanent light show art installation from across the river, which combines with the colourful lights projected onto the nearby bridges reflecting off the water to provide a spectacular end to a fantastic day exploring Brisbane by bicycle.