The New Year is in full swing! It’s time to get out and riding this summer! Riding on the road can be daunting (and boring) for some, why not explore the beautiful scenery that New South Wales has to offer? Great bike tracks are in abundance in the State, and whether you’re up for something scenic or challenging, New South Wales does not fall short in either of these categories.
Here are 10 amazing (tried and tested) bike routes to inspire you to get your bums out this Summer!
The Bay Run
Nestled in Sydney’s Inner West is one of the most popular Harbourside tracks in Sydney. From Rozelle to Birkenhead point, this 7 km long track is a shared path for cyclists and pedestrians encircling stunning views of Iron Cove. The beauty of the Bay Run is that you are never more than 20km away from the water and it is a completely flat track allowing for easily cycling with beautiful water views. If you’re really in the mood for a workout, there are state-of-the-art fitness facilities scattered along the Bay Run, accommodating for all needs.
Home of the cyclists, Centennial Park in Sydney’s East is the perfect location for first time cyclists or experienced riders who love the quaint track that is Centennial Parklands. Being one of the most popular tracks in Sydney, it hosts over 700,000 cyclists annually with riders of ages young and old, so you’ll never feel out of place. Enclosed, with 3.7 km of track, and complete with smooth roads has a segregated bike path which allows for smooth and safe cycling. For those who don’t own a bike, no fear, there is bike hire available at the Centennial Park Cycles Centre, or if you’re looking for something a bit more convenient, why not hop on an OFO bike? Download the app on your smartphone, locate a bike and get riding for a low cost, saving you the hassle of having to bring a bike or returning one at the hire centre at a specific time.
Take a bike ride back in time on one of New South Wales’ little known, yet historic cycling tracks, located in Sydney’s South-West. You will trail a track that’s 23 km of open space, calling for a day out exploring Sydney’s south, from Settler’s Park in Ryde, all the way down to Botany Bay in Kyeemagh. For those weekend where you feel like exploring a little bit of Sydney, the Cook’s River trail is ideal to endure a long ride with great views.
Manly Dam Mountain Track
Smooth, paved bike paths, not your thing? Looking for something a little rougher? If you’re looking for a mountain biking experience, Manly Dam Mountain Track is for you. It is a quick track, only around 10 kilometres, but the difficult terrain, swooping turns and drop offs galore, is sure to be a great experience. Not only is the track one of the most interesting in New South Wales, it is actually the most used off-road trail in Australia, with over 150,000 riders a year and 500 passes distributed per day. For inexperienced riders, this is a great starting point if you wish to try some mountain biking. If you’re interested in hiring a bike for the day, Manly Bike Tours offers bike hire at a low cost.
Prospect Reservoir and Orphan Creek
We’ve all heard the term, the West is best, and from what we have found, Western Sydneysiders surely have struck gold when it comes to cycle tracks. Prospect Reservoirs closure in 2013 was a sad day for locals as a 13.6 billion upgrade was taking place, but after its re-opening in 2015, the cycleway is as popular as ever. For those who are new or nervous to riding, this is perfect for you, as it is possible to cycle through the Prospect cycle way without crossing a single road. This is also a bonus for parents who want to avoid the stress of children cycling across the road, as the extensive cycle networks are a perfect location for teaching yourself or your child how to ride. Once some confidence is built, you can try the Prospect Canal Reserve, around 10 km long and then loop back to Prospect on the 34 km Parramatta-Liverpool Rail Trail.
Akuna Bay and West Head Loop
Invigorate your senses with a breathtaking ride through the Akuna Bay loop, situated right near Ku-Ring-Gai Chase Regional Park. The beauty of this route is that it will suit anyone of any skill, challenging experienced riders with technical climbs and descents, while inexperienced or casual riders can cruise the track. Akuna Bay Marina is captivating with views of multi-million dollar yachts and an award winning restaurant to fuel up for the rest of the ride. From here, you can take the Coal and Candle Road route towards the West Head lookout including a 3 km climb with a gradient between 6 to 8 percent to really get that adrenaline pumping.
The Three Gorges
Are you up for a cycling challenge? Because you are in for a treat! Those calves will be burning and foreheads dripping with sweat up the tough, 60 km track at The Three Gorges. This track is not for the faint-hearted and is a challenge to even the most experienced of riders, calling for any daredevils who are keen for a challenge. What makes the route so challenging is it’s vertical inclines and hairpin turns, which requires some intense endurance. Luckily, all that hard work does not go unrewarded as at the top of the hill, there are breathtaking views of Hawkesbury River and Ku-Ring-Gai Hills, which leave you with a sweet finish to a killer bike track.
Loftus Loop Trail at The Royal National Park
Get your heart pumping on this 10 km mountain bike trail through Sydney’s stunning Royal National Park. There are a number of linking loops throughout the trail which range from around 15 minutes to 4 hours. Along the trail you will encounter a range of different terrain as it changes from wide, flat trails to steep, single track trails, keeping you challenged by what the trail has to offer.
Ettalong to Umina Beach
Beach bums, this one’s for you. A route sprinkled with some refreshing sea salt, the Ettalong to Umina Beach ride is sure to be enjoyable. The 7.5 km ride is packed with adventure, so why not make a day of it? Bring your swimmers along for a refreshing swim on a break and enjoy the beachside cafes that the central coast has to offer. This is a fairly easy route which can be spiced up for your tastes, and instead, you can try the Putt Putt to Putty Road track, which offers a 13 km on road route speckled with beautiful beaches and views, either track provides a great ride.
Dubbo Tracker Riley Cycle Path
What better way to experience the Macquarie River Foreshore than on the Tracker Riley Cycle Path in Dubbo? There are two river based loops that can be taken; a 13 km route which follows from Serisier Bridge to Tamworth Street Footbridge or Tamworth Street Bridge to Dundullimal Reserve which passes Taronga Western Plains Zoo, adding an interesting bonus to your trip. The sealed and relatively flat cycleway allows for smooth cycling inviting bike riders of all abilities and ages. If you’re ever in Dubbo, make sure that you give the Tracker Cycleway a go, you will not be disappointed!