If you didn’t already know, gravel biking is kind of a big deal.

What was once a niche sport for off-road cyclists has picked up a gear, swerving into the lives of riders who want next-level adventure, minus the challenges that can come with other kinds of bike riding.

Here’s how to get started, and the best spots to go gravel biking in the Margaret River Region.

Cape to Cape MTB Mountain Bike Riding Track
The region offers an abundance of gravel and MTB tracks for all levels. Photo: Tim Campbell

What exactly is gravel biking?

Gravel biking sits somewhere between mountain biking and road cycling. It’s nowhere near as extreme as mountain biking, and lacks the danger and anxiety that can come with riding on the road with cars. Most gravel bikers ride a drop-bar bike, and venture on many different types of terrain – from gravel tracks to sealed unused roads and forest paths.

As you can probably tell, gravel biking is extremely versatile. Riders who want a relaxing jaunt through the countryside can take flat, easy tracks, while those who prefer maximum adrenaline can kick things up a notch with more challenging rides. This is probably why gravel biking has become so popular – it really does have something for every rider.

How to get started

Gravel biking is a super accessible sport. Mainly because all you need is a drop-bar bike that can handle a variety of surfaces, and a helmet. This style of bike allows riders to cruise on sealed roads, while the wider tyres and lower gears make for great stability off-road.

When choosing a gravel bike, you may like to consider what kind of riding you’re most likely to be doing. Some gravel bikes are more suitable for light-off road riding, while others are built for more heavy terrain, and have many of the features you’d expect from a mountain bike.

Hot tip: If you’re not ready to invest in a gravel bike, but want to give the sport a go, then your safest bet is to use a mountain bike. Mountain bikes have wider tires than road bikes, which means they’re able to take on off-road terrain, just like a gravel bike. And there are plenty of places in the Margaret River Region that do mountain bike hire, if you don’t have your own.

Wadandi Track Cycling
The Wadandi Track is relatively flat, passing through beautiful forests and farmland. Photo: Photo Elements Margaret River

The best spots to go gravel biking

Margaret River

The Wadandi Track is a wide unpaved track that runs 25.5km from Cowaramup to 3km past Witchcliffe. Ride there and back, and you’ll get to enjoy a gentle cycle through beautiful native bushland, past cafes and bakeries worth stopping into. The trail is mostly flat, with some epic bridges that cross rivers and streams.

If you’re looking for a shorter ride in Margaret River, then the track past 10 Mile Brook Dam is a great adventure for riders partial to steeper climbs. This 11km trail will take you around an hour and a half to complete. It passes by the Margaret River Dam, over a bridge and through Bramley National Park.

Dunsborough / Meelup Regional Park Biking
Pick between easier and more challenging trails at Meelup Regional Park. Photo: Tim Campbell


Just south of Dunsborough is Meelup Regional Park/Meelup Reserve – a beautiful area of coastal bushland with incredible views of the ocean. It’s also home to some great gravel biking trails. The Yallingup trail is a relatively easy 7km track, which runs between Dunsborough and Yallingup. The trail runs along the coast and is fairly flat, making it perfect for beginners.

If you’re looking for a harder track, then the Meelup to Castle Rock Trail is a great challenge. The 7.5km trail winds through the bushland between Meelup Beach and Castle Rock. It stars beautiful ocean views, and some more technical sections that are suited to more advanced gravel bikers.

Biking in Boranup Forest
Prepare for incredible scenes biking through the heart of Boranup Forest. Photo: Tim Campbell

Boranup Forest

Boranup Forest is known for its incredible mountain bike trails. However, some trails are great for gravel biking too. Boranup Drive is a 14km track that loops through the heart of the forest. It’s an unsealed road that is well maintained, with some steep hills and a few sections that are a little more technical.

The road takes riders through the magnificent karri forest, which grows some of the tallest trees in the world. There is also plenty of native wildlife to take in, and lookout points that make for perfect rest stops. Cars do sometimes come down Boranup Drive, so be sure to keep left and stay safe.

Family enjoying fish and chips next to the Blackwood River in Augusta. Credit Tim Campbell
For quiet and scenic biking, the Augusta Heritage Trail should be on your list. Photo: Tim Campbell


Augusta has an incredible network of trails that are perfect for gravel biking. Like the Augusta Heritage Trail, which runs 10km through the town of Augusta, past the Pioneer Cemetery, Georgiana Molloy Memorial Park, the RSL War Memorial and other historic sites worth checking out.

The trail starts at Georgiana Park in town, then heads along the river and onto Ellis Street. Most of the trail is on a sealed surface, except for a gravel section on Pratt Road, which is pretty easy to navigate. If you want a quiet and scenic gravel biking adventure, then the Augusta Heritage Trail should be top of your list.

Spots to camp

Many gravel bikes are designed to carry paniers. These bags bolt onto your bike and are used to transport supplies for longer rides. Plenty of intrepid riders use paniers to carry camping equipment, which means they can ride to incredible locations, spend the night, then continue riding the next day.

If you’re looking to pair gravel riding with ‘bike packing’ then you may like to check out these great camping grounds, which are accessible via gravel roads:

  • Canebrake Pool – camp under beautiful jarrah trees by the Margaret River in Rapids Conservation Park.
  • Jarrahdene Campground – nestled among marri, jarrah and peppermint trees, right next door to the breathtaking Boranup Forest.
  • Warner Glen Campsite – located 25 minutes southeast of Margaret River on the banks of Chapman Brook, near the Blackwood River.
Margaret River MTB
If in doubt ask a local bike shop, like the Hairy Marron in Margaret River. Photo: Shot by Ovis


One of the best ways to find the most recent information and advice on tracks, conditions and gear, is to chat with the region’s local biking operators. There are plenty of ways to immerse in your newfound sport from do-it-yourself options to fully guided, all-inclusive biking tours designed for beginners all the way up to advanced riders.

Want to watch the best in the world?

The best gravel riders in the world will be in Nannup for the SEVEN Gravel Race on 13 May, as part of the UCI Gravel World Series. Make a pitstop while you’re on your own gravel biking adventure!

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