If you want a long ride outside of Sydney with lots of lakeside paths and trails, then the Central Coast is closeby and full of scenic beauty. Last year I rode the 50km Tuggerah Lake loop (see ride report and photos at https://ebikerdiary.com/2018/10/12/tuggerah-lake-loop/). That was so enjoyable a return ride adding Budgewoi and Munmorrah lakes was inevitable.
I left the car near Tuggerah Station and followed the bike path to Chittaway Point, the start of the Tuggerah Lake Cycleway. The path takes you to The Entrance (with lots of café options) then crosses the bridge for some more bushland/lakeside riding. After a brief stretch on The Central Coast Highway (with a wide bike lane) you can join the path through the Wyrrabolong National Park before taking a variety of quiet streets and trails until you reach Budgewoi.
The route from Budgewoi was hit and miss, with a few dead-ends and reversals, until I reached the highway and used its wide bike lane to the Munmorrah Lake Motel where I stayed (a modest-looking, but excellent accommodation and facilities). It was a 30 degree week-day so I was happy that I planned a stayover.
The return ride had light rain all the way back to Tuggerah, via the Munmorrah Conservation Area where I couldn’t resist exploring a few trails in the wet. Love those three-inch tyres. I crossed over the Budgewoi Bridge and worked my way through Gorokan and Wyong, again using the Highway bike lane where necessary.
In summary, this 100km+ ride is for those who enjoy variety and are OK using bike lanes on main roads. I estimate about 75-80% of the ride is on paths and trails, the rest a mixture of local streets and highway. The following 3min 50sec GoPro clip shows the highlights of the ride for me, and the Strava link above plots the route.
PS: Who spotted the echidna crossing the path?