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Ride on: the holiday habits of regular cyclists

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), July 2014–June 2015 (n=15,867). Base: Australians 14+.

As we reported recently, cycling participation in Australia has risen dramatically over the last few years, with almost one in five of us (19%) now riding a bike either regularly or occasionally. For some people, it’s an enjoyable pastime; for others, it’s a way of life, even influencing their holiday activities, attitudes and preferences.

According to the latest findings from Roy Morgan Research, just over 1.5 million Australians aged 14+ (some 8% of the population) regularly ride a bike. And their tastes in travel tend to reflect this passion for pedalling.

For example, regular cyclists are far more likely than the average Aussie to name certain destinations as places they’d like to spend a domestic holiday. South Australian regions feature prominently: regular cyclists are 140% more likely than the average Australian to nominate the Adelaide Hills as somewhere they’d like to visit, 138% more likely to name the Riverlands/Renmark/Blanchetown region, and 119% more likely to name the Flinders Ranges.

A cursory glance at any South Australian travel website reveals that these regions are all notable for their popular cycling paths, catering for everyone from easy-going wine-country tourers to folks who prefer more challenging terrain.

Outside of SA, other destinations more popular with regular cyclists than the average Australian tend towards thigh-bustingly high-altitude areas (Falls Creek; Mt Buffalo/Mt Baw Baw/Lake Mountain) and another bike-friendly wine region, Queensland’s Stanthorpe.

Where cyclists would like to holiday (compared to average Australian)


Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), July 2014–June 2015 (n=15,867). NB: Chart shows the index of the target profile group compared to population average, with 100 being the average. Base: Australians 14+.


But it’s not only their choice of destination that sets cyclists apart from other travellers. The Roy Morgan Holiday Tracking Survey also reveals that cyclists are 30% more likely than the average Aussie to agree that ‘I’m always very active on holidays’ and 32% less likely to agree that ‘On holiday I like to do as little as possible.’

And just in case anyone doubted their dedication, regular cyclists are a mighty 238% more likely to report that they went bike-riding on their last trip!

Angela Smith, Group Account Director, Roy Morgan Research, says:

“Just as yoga participants and skiers tend to prefer holiday destinations that allow them to practise their chosen sport, so too do Australia’s keen cyclists show an above-average interest in destinations with bike-friendly attractions — several of them in South Australia.

“Renowned for its wine-country biking routes, as well as its more strenuous cycling trails, South Australia may be due for an update from its old nickname ‘The Festival State’ to a more active moniker such as ‘The Free-Wheeling State’ or the  ‘The Cyclists’ State’.

“Regardless of destination, our data shows that regular cyclists tend to prefer active holidays over lazy ones, and frequently manage to fit in some bike-riding while they’re away, whether or not that is the main purpose of their trip. Furthermore, regular cyclists tend to be from the more affluent end of the socio-economic spectrum, making them a potentially lucrative market for savvy destination marketers and tourism operators. “

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About Roy Morgan

Roy Morgan is the largest independent Australian research company, with offices throughout Australia, as well as in Indonesia, the United States and the United Kingdom. A full service research organisation specialising in omnibus and syndicated data, Roy Morgan has over 70 years’ experience in collecting objective, independent information on consumers.

Margin of Error

The margin of error to be allowed for in any estimate depends mainly on the number of interviews on which it is based. Margin of error gives indications of the likely range within which estimates would be 95% likely to fall, expressed as the number of percentage points above or below the actual estimate. Allowance for design effects (such as stratification and weighting) should be made as appropriate.

Sample Size

Percentage Estimate


25% or 75%

10% or 90%

5% or 95%