One of my favourites is the Wollongong Beaches ride. Its an hour and three quarters drive by car from Sydney to Thirroul Beach which is the start of the bike path. You can park at Thirroul for free and the train station is only a few minutes away. Make a day of it.
The bike path is something the local council can be proud of (you can see it on the RHS of the image). It is well maintained and meanders beautifully while hugging the beaches.
From Thirroul its just under 18kms and about an hour of endless beaches and nature reserves before you get to the lovely bayside cafes of Wollongong.
Above the cafes is a great lookout over the Wollongong Lighthouse; take time to explore the port and enjoy the Lighthouse view. This is a highlight of the tour.
From ‘The Gong’ its another 10kms to get to Port Kembla. This leg of the tour is entirely on bike paths or wide local footpaths. The path diverts around the refineries which look like ancient industrial sites.
On this particular tour, I was curious to see Lake Illawarra which I heard was worth the extra hour and another 18kms of riding. I’m not so sure about that and do not recommend this extension: the Illawarra region is heavily industrial and not bike-friendly.
I used pedestrian footpaths for the Illawarra leg which were far from friendly. Fortunately, the Lake is lovely and if there was a path around it I would happily have spent another hour going around, but the path was too patchy and ran out too often.
The tour was 83kms in total and four and three quarters of an hour, but the last 36kms is not for everybody. I certainly will do the Thirroul to Port Kembla again. It’s a lovely 50kms and about three hours with a few breaks. Who wants to join me?
Categories: eBike Tours