Newcastle is one of my favourite biking cities. It’s an end-point for the famous Fernleigh Rail Trail (from Belmont to Adamstown); it has long, wide paths around its beautiful harbour, as well as interesting architecture and history. I loaded my ebike onto an 8am train at Hornsby and after a scenic two-hour trip arrived at Hamilton station, only ten minutes from the city centre.
Newcastle has an open, attractive harbour-scape, full of colour and lined with cafes. I have toured the city before, so the game plan for this ride was to take the ten-minute ferry ride to Stockton and explore the area.
You get a better view of Nobby’sLighthouse from the Stockton side of the harbour. After riding east to the end of the Stockton breakwater pier, I tried to stay close to the beachfront going north but huge sand dunes and vegetation blocks most of the views. I found a couple of trails that led to some secluded locations with wonderful views.
I returned to the bike path on the western edge of Stockton and rode north until I reached the Nelson Bay Bridge, under which you find the Stockton Wetlands. It’s hard to understand why the Bridge does not have a bike path as it would have created a fantastic riding loop.
Heading south on the return leg to Newcastle, you see the contrast between the redeveloping city-scape and the industrial port skyline in the distance.
The ferry runs every fifteen minutes, and I was soon re-entering the city. Cruising around the bay towards the beaches is a lovely ride, with; lots to see including classically styled buildings, gardens, and ornamental features.
As the beachside path rises, the views become more expansive with Newcastle Surf Club looking north and Memorial Park looking south. The Park has historic ruins of cliff -top fortifications and a spectacular viewing walkway that extends over Bar Beach with steps going down to beach level. I wished it had a bike ramp.
For a medium-lenght ride of 38kms under three hours, this is a safe, scenic, relatively flat ,and thoroughly enjoyable tour.