Archive for the ‘Australia’ Category


Start: Hornsby Station
End: Richmond Station
Total distance: 136km
Strava link

I followed the Colo River from where it flows into the Hawkesbury upstream as far as you can cycle. The road along the river is beautiful and peaceful. You have to walk the last 3km through private property to get to the Colo Meroo campground in the national park.

A shorter version of this trip would start and finish in Windsor or Richmond.

Road along the Colo River

Road along the Colo River

Withered signpost along the Colo River

Withered signpost along the Colo River

The Colo River

The Colo River

Heading towards Wheeny Creek

Heading towards Wheeny Creek

Wheeny Creek

Wheeny Creek


Start: Lithgow Station
End: Lithgow Station
Total distance: 95km
Strava link

The Newness Plateau lies behind Lithgow in the Blue Mountains. A 40km dirt track from Lithgow runs along the plateau to the Glowworm tunnel from where you can drop down into the Wolgan Valley. There are lots of little side roads to amazing places like Lost City.

Lost City is a beautiful viewpoint over rock pagodas that look like skyscrapers of an abandoned city. There is not a soul there and you really feel like you are at the end of the world.

Road to Lost City

Road to Lost City

Lost City

Lost City

The Glowworm Tunnel is more frequented by people – an old train tunnel connecting the Newness Plateau to the Wolgan Valley. Glowworms live in the tunnel, and in the middle, where it is completely black, they slowly appear as your eyes get adjusted to the (lack of) light.

Road to the Glowworm Tunnel

Road to the Glowworm Tunnel

Road to the Glowworm Tunnel

Road to the Glowworm Tunnel

Glowworm Tunnel

Glowworm Tunnel

Glowworm Tunnel

Glowworm Tunnel

Wolgan Valley

Wolgan Valley

Returning to Lithgow, you climb up to a beautiful view looking back to the Wolgan Valley.


Start: Observatory Hill, Sydney
End: Newcastle Ocean Baths
Total distance: 84km
Strava link

‘Did you see the naked guy with the branches?’ they asked me at the Budgewoi drink stop. I had – a 20 year old guy walking down the main road naked – only wearing a few branches tied to his body – at 4 o’clock in the morning. These things happen cycling along the central coast to Newcastle overnight.

Normally I cycle alone, but this trip caught my attention. A group of about 150 cycling up the main road (not the freeway) from Sydney to Newcastle. To avoid the traffic, they do it at night.

At night there is a different vibe. Peace reigns as you cycle through the bush, through the night. Everyone is sleeping as a cloak of darkness engulfs, only penetrated slightly by the wobbly beam lighting the road 2 metres ahead. `
Everyone is sleeping except the central coast hoons careering along in packs, illuminating the low-hanging mist, bush and cyclists with their industrial strength headlights.

Two official stops – at Mt White and Budgewoi – and random service stations are were where the cyclists meet. We feel camaraderie as we carry out this crazy activity together. At Budgewoi at 4am I stopped at the little erected tent near the roundabout and had a bacon and egg burger kindly made amazing volunteers. The naked guy was the talk of the town.

Mt White checkpoint

Mt White checkpoint

The most exotic bike to do the ride

The most exotic bike to do the ride

Budgewoi checkpoint

Budgewoi checkpoint

The last stretch into Newcastle was along an old train line – the Fernleigh track. Arriving in Newcastle, it was time for a burger with the works. I had earned it.

Lake Macquarie

Lake Macquarie

Fernleigh Track

Fernleigh Track

Newcastle Ocean Baths

Newcastle Ocean Baths


Starting train station: Wentworth Falls
Ending train station: Glenbrook
Total distance: 84km
Strava link

My eyes had been on the Erskine Range Trail that connected (according to Google Maps) the Kings Tableland Road to Warrangamba Dam. I didn’t know if it existed, and whether it was passable. Well, it exists, and it is closed.

Instead I followed the Anderson and Oaks trails to Glenbrook. They are little fire trails through the beautiful Blue Mountain bush a long way from the hustle and bustle of life.

Kings Tableland Road

Kings Tableland Road

Kings Tableland Road

Kings Tableland Road

Oaks Trail

Oaks Trail


Starting train station: Windsor
Ending train station: Windsor
Total distance: 104km
Strava link

It is a pleasant cycle along the Hawkesbury River on both sides of the river from Windsor to Wisemans Ferry. There are ferries to cross the river at Sackville and Lower Portland. The southern side is bitumen the whole way. On the northern side, it is mostly a sand road north of Lower Portland.

The River is buzzing with water-skiers, and most places where you can enter the water are taken by houses, camping grounds or waterski companies. Following a dead-end road to Half Moon Farm brings you away from the activity, where a half moon is possible.

Half Moon Farm

Half Moon Farm

Half Moon Farm

Half Moon Farm

Half Moon Farm

Half Moon Farm

Hawkesbury River

Hawkesbury River


Welcome to the first of a series of posts on cycles that are a day trip from Sydney.
Starting train station: Blackheath
Ending train station: Woodford
Total distance: 77km
Strava link

Hanging rock is an amazing pedestal of rock hanging out from the cliff-face edge overlooking the Gross Valley in the Blue Mountains. I was there at 7am with no-one but me, the gentle breeze and the early morning sun. Some other lookouts in the area include Pulpit Rock, Perry’s Lookdown and Anvil Rock. Hanging Rock is only a short 7km ride from Blackheath station along a good quality dirt road.

Hanging Rock

Hanging Rock

Hanging Rock

Hanging Rock

Pulpit Rock

Pulpit Rock

The bike

The bike

Ingar pool is beautiful, peaceful pool 15km downhill from Wentworth Falls with about 10km along a moderately bumpy dirt track. The road is blocked off for cars, and only the occasional lost cyclist makes it there. It is a very steep drop and then climb to make it to Woodford station.

Ingar Pool

Ingar Pool


And so they stood, in their beautiful pink wedding dresses, their hair done up nicely, dainty on the road in front of their stationary VW bus wedding chariot. The bus revved up. Again. But the wheels refused to turn. After filming the ordeal I was pulled in to push the bus up the short ramp from the ferry to the road. The slope must have been all of 3%.

The wedding party

The wedding party

Today’s trip was from Gosford to Windsor along the Hawkesbury River. Google showed me a little road called Popran Road that performed a massive shortcut to the river. There were some locked gates, but, maybe doable. Plan B was the long way around through Mangrove Mountain.

Avoiding the motorway and the motorway bridge, I wiggled down to the valley floor and back up again on the old road. It was quiet and lovely, if a bit more strenuous.

The old Pacific Highway

The old Pacific Highway

The shortcut was through Glenworth Valley – a big horse riding area in a beautiful valley. The owners were lovely and let me through, onto Popran Rd and through to the Hawkesbury River.

Glenworth Valley

Glenworth Valley

Popran Road was lovely, although I couldn’t stop for long because of the ferocious mosquitos. They seemed to like the mangroves which were on the river shore.

Popran Rd

Popran Rd

Mangroves

Mangroves

Then along a lovely quiet road following the Hawkesbury River to Wisemans Ferry. The road back to Windsor was familiar, livened up by the wedding party ordeal.