This ride started in Thirroul, at the head of the Wollongong Cycleway, and continued to Gerroa, a few kilometres south of Gerringong. I left Sydney at 6:30am and got on the bike in light rain by 9am, arriving in Gerroa at 4pm. With 96kms on the clock, it was good to have an overnight cabin before riding back the next day.
The detailed route can be examined via my Strava link, but in general terms, the ride has two parts. The first is suitable for riders of all levels and any kind of bike: it’s about 65kms and runs from Thirroul to Kiama. There are shared paths almost the entire way, the scenery varies from panoramic beachscapes to the industrial grunge around Port Kembla to the seaside-resort towns of Shellharbour and Kiama. There is no road-riding needed at all.
The second part of my route was shorter at about 30kms (with a few exploratory diversions). It started in Kiama and followed the shared Coastal Walk Trail to Gerringong, then the bike path to Gerroa. This trail is suitable only for riders comfortable with very hilly terrain: it needs a MTB with good suspension, wide tyres and grippy thread. The track surface varies: you’ll need to walk your bike in a few places where its rocky but its mostly grass (which can be slippery on slopes). The trail hugs the cliff line the entire 20kms, except when passing the Big4 caravan park. An ebike makes it easier, and I used my top power setting often.
The photos summarise the story, and the two GoPro videos give you a feel for what these two rides were like. They are longer than usual, but so were the rides. I am not blogging my return as it was a meandering exploration, I got lost, hit strong headwinds off Lake Illawarra, and took a train for 20kms from Albion Park to Wollongong.
In summary and IMO, both of these rides are brilliant; but the Coastal track was breathtakingly beautiful. I cannot think of another ride that is so amazing yet such hard work; I just had to ride it again the next morning.
PART ONE: Thirroul to Kiama
PART TWO: Kiama to Gerringong via the Kiama Coastal Walk