Is it time we reimagine the spaces around us? Two mates have done just that by launching cycling tours on the Great Ocean Road.


Jason Williams and Simon Greenland have created an epic new way to explore Australia’s most popular driving destination. 

Pumping your pedals past the 12 Apostles, sucking in the cool air of the Otway rainforest and freshening up with icecream as you give your saddle sores a rub – what could be better? 

Their Great Ocean Ride tours were born from a good dose of collaboration, an attitude to explore and a desire to turn their bad luck around. Things we could all put into practice!

Been wanting to put a few more kilometres on your bike? You’d better get out and join them!


An Ideal Collaboration

Jason’s an outdoor guide who founded The Great Trails Company and has run cycling tours across the world. (He also created this 72km Walk through the Dandenong Ranges). 

Aussie border closures were the motivation he needed to find a cycling destination close to home. Victoria’s south-west coastline, with its iconic winding road, stunning vistas, and friendly seaside towns, seemed like the perfect spot.

He turned to his mate Simon who, as owner of The Private Tour Guide, has spent years touring the Great Ocean Road (he reckons he’s driven it over a 1000 times – that’s a lot more than me!) His knowledge of the region and local contacts was essential when putting the cycling tours together. 


Now’s The Perfect Time

The unpredictability of the last two years may not seem like the best time to launch a new touring business. But on the other hand – the Great Ocean Road coastline is the quietest it has been in years – the perfect time to reimagine it as a cycling destination. 

When I worked as a tour guide pre-Covid I’d occasionally see bikepackers on the road. I couldn’t help but wonder how they were faring with the constant stream of tour buses, hire cars and speedy locals passing them. 

If I saw a bike parked up at the 12 Apostles I’d be asking the owner, ‘Did you actually just ride here?’ It’s a challenging road to drive, let alone cycle.

But the current lack of traffic, tour buses and international drivers has made the road safer than ever for cyclists.



Simon at the 12 Apostles

Testing Out The Tours Themselves

I caught up with Simon and Jason after they’d spent a week together riding and researching their new tours. Their initial research trip had been canned due to a lockdown and they were stoked to finally have a chance to put two wheels to the road.  

They’d barely sat down before the stories of their week’s adventures came pouring out.

 Locals were running out onto the road to greet Simon and welcome him back and discovering awesome backroads had Jason buzzing with energy. 

They’d even found themselves dismounting to do star-jumps and warm up during a chilly morning ride through the rainforest. 

Getting out on the road together allowed them to put the final touches on the tours. And it cemented the idea they already had in mind – now is the best time to ride the Great Ocean Road.


Time To Ride

For these guys, the ultimate cycling experience on the Great Ocean Road is not just about riding it end to end. In fact, it’s a tour designed for mountain, hybrid or e-bike riders, because the chance to explore off-road is just too good to miss. 

The five days of cycling – 300 km in total – will include backroads, rainforest rides and rail trails as well as the hero pavement. 

There’s an option for road cyclists too – just in case you’re keen to put your lycra on, go for a spin on the famous thoroughfare and sip a latte in Lorne.

There’s something special about pulling your bike up to a cliff-side lookout with the Southern Ocean pulsing below. Or stopping for a break in the shade of towering California Redwood trees.

Experiencing an awesome destination can be a whole lot sweeter when you know you’ve earned it. 

And there’s no race to the finish line – their aim is to take it slow and appreciate the destinations along the road. Take in the scenery, meet the locals, taste the region’s produce. Hell, even do a few star-jumps along the way.


Is it time to re-imagine our favourite places?

These guys got me thinking. It’s great to be able to unlock outside in any capacity – but is now also the perfect time to reimagine our outdoor environment? Maybe there’s a killer collaboration waiting to happen with your mates? Or potential for a new adventure in a destination that’s free of the usual crowds?

Try switching gears on your thinking next time you’re out exploring – you might just be able to reimagine your favourite destinations as well!