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11 of Sydney’s Best Bike Tracks for the Ultimate Weekend Ride
It's the weekend, and it's time to recharge the batteries after a long week at work. Why not get outdoors and ride along one of the many great bike tracks around Sydney? If you're looking for a way to get some quality exercise (we have a range of bikes that are perfect), fill your lungs with fresh air and take in some sights, then kill three birds with one stone with these awesome Sydney bike paths.
Here are 10 of the best (in no particular order):
1. Lady Carrington Drive
Royal National Park is where the stunning Lady Carrington Drive cycling trail resides. It follows the Hacking River upstream from Audley and covers some of the most spectacular natural wonders you'll find on the south coast. It also features more than a dozen creeks, all identified by their Aboriginal names, and is home to a wide array of native birdlife including lyrebirds.
Timed at between one to two hours to complete by bike, Lady Carrington Drive features three different picnic points along the trail. So, make sure you stock up on healthy snacks and bring your picnic tableware before heading out and take a break in some truly magical scenery.
Under the rules of Royal National Park, pedestrian traffic has the right of way. Make sure you check the weather before heading off - Lady Carrington Drive can get really soft under your wheels if it's been raining, increasing the chance of an accident, which can be a big dampener on an otherwise great day out.
2. Harbour Bridge to Anzac Bridge
It might be a short ride in terms of distance - and is far from being any kind of endurance test - but this cycling route gives you some great bang-for-your-cycling-buck, making it ideal for cycling fans visiting Sydney from other parts of Australia or overseas.
Starting at the Harbour Bridge, this Sydney bike path offers great photo ops of the Opera House and Sydney Harbour, then you can make your way to the Kent Street Cycleway, travel across the Pyrmont Bridge, before heading westward to Anzac Bridge.
The route includes dedicated cycle paths, so it's perfect for families or tourists that want to see Sydney without the anxiety of negotiating busy traffic in unfamiliar surroundings. There's also no end of choices for somewhere to stop for a bite and/or a coffee, or to sit back and watch the hum and thrum of everyday Sydney pass you by.
3. Akuna Bay and West Head Loop
Taking in some spectacular waterfront locations, bays, beaches and hills, the Akuna Bay and West Head Loop Bike Trail is no place for either the inexperienced or faint-hearted cyclist.
Whatever the Akuna Bay Trail offers in terms of scenery, it more than matches in difficulty, with a range of climbs and descents that are sure to give even the most experienced riders a welcome adrenaline hit at various stages of its brutal 70-kilometre distance. The route includes areas such as Mosman, Narrabeen, Mona Vale, Church Point, Terrey Hills (and its selection of cafés for refuelling), Akuna Bay and the Ku-Ring-Gai Chase National Park.
The circuit is not a dedicated bike track, so you really need to be an experienced road rider with a good level of fitness. As for its duration? Well, the real question is: how far can you go?
4. Tempe to Kurnell
The Tempe to Kurnell point-to-point bike trail is a chance to explore some of Sydney's south west beaches and the Shire at a truly relaxed pace with a mix of on and off-road trails suitable for new and experienced riders alike.
Around 40 kilometres in length, saddle up at Tempe Recreation Reserve and make your way down the Botany Bay coast, checking out Brighton-le-Sands, Sans Souci and a huge choice of eateries and coffee stops along the way. Cross the Captain Cook Bridge, link on to Captain Cook Drive and then simply cruise down to Kurnell. If there's still juice in the tank, the further ride time into Kamay Botany Bay National Park will not disappoint.
Doubling back to Cronulla Beach for a traditional pub feed to end the day is recommended by regular riders of the Tempe to Kurnell Trail - and who are we to disagree?
5. Parramatta Valley Cycleway
One of the major benefits of the Parramatta Valley Cycleway is how it gives you the chance to avoid busy roads and enjoy dedicated bike paths at your own stress-free pace instead.
Starting at Morrison Bay Park in Pitney, this 20-kilometre shared trail is the ideal way to explore the Parramatta River foreshore between Parramatta Park and Olympic Park. It's the kind of track that suits all ages and experience levels, making it perfect for family rides.
There's also no shortage of places to stop and grab a bite on the cycleway, although packing a picnic at home and enjoying the surroundings after a lap of the park is just as popular. (Make sure you check out our guide on how to picnic like a pro).
Staying out west, the 10B Cycling Trail, located in the Dharawal National Park near Campbelltown, is an excellent way to immerse yourself in the great outdoors and experience an off-the-grid bike ride at the same time. The trail takes you from the south end of the park near the Appin Road entrance, and ends at Wedderburn in the north.
Unsealed and suitable for use by road bikes and mountain bikes in equal measure, 10B is also relatively flat except for a pretty onerous ascent/descent stage at Stokes Creek Gorge at the park's northern end. Take it carefully on the downhill section here if you're not the most experienced rider getting around!
Apart from the Stokes Creek Gorge section, the 15-kilometre trip is pretty benign, offering a great family-friendly weekend cycling adventure.
7. Three Gorges
Another searching trail, Three Gorges is a 60-kilometre loop around Sydney's north that sorts the contenders from the pretenders with its tough climbs, tight switchbacks and adrenaline-fuelled descent stages. Notable descents take place at Galston Gorge, Bobbin Head and Berowra Waters (which involves a ferry ride to access, and gives you just enough time to mentally and physically prepare for the toughest part of the trail). You get all this while sharing the road with heavy traffic loads.
Much like the Akuna Bay and West Head Loop Trail, the payoff is the amazing scenery including views of the Hawkesbury River and the Ku-Ring-Gai National Park. Clocking in at around four hours long, make sure you pack a drink bottle so you stay well-hydrated and that you've got some nutritious snacks to keep your energy levels up for the whole trip.
8. The Bay Run
If you want a relaxing bike ride that gets you close to the water's edge and finishes with a coffee and sweet treat, then The Bay Run is the bike track for you.
An inviting seven kilometres in length, this Sydney bike path follows the Iron Cove Foreshore taking you through Rozelle, Lilyfield and Drummoyne. It's a pretty easy track to sink your teeth into, and is extremely popular with residents and visitors to Sydney's inner west.
Be conscious that the entire trail is a shared path, so you'll need to be on your toes for pedestrians, joggers, rollerbladers and all kinds of traffic!
9. Centennial Parklands Circuit
Centennial Park sees more than 750,000 cyclists every year, so it's no surprise that it's one of the most cycle-friendly parts of Sydney.
The Grand Drive Cycle Lane is a three-to-four kilometre trail that takes you on a sensory tour de force of tranquil waterways and lush green open spaces in the heart of the city's eastern suburbs. While there's a main loop track, plenty of riders enjoy making up their own routes and taking what can feel like all the time in the world to explore Centennial Park.
The Learners Cycleway is often busy with people of all ages practising to stay upright on their bikes - a great family-friendly way to enjoy being out of the house and away from devices and gaming consoles.
10. Cooks River Cycleway
This 23-kilometre stretch of bike track takes in some of Sydney's most significant historical sites and, like Centennial Park, it's one of the more popular weekend cycling destinations on the menu.
Starting at Settlers Park, Cooks River Cycleway gets you up close and personal with parks, mangroves and the unique local wildlife in their natural habitat. There are also some great places to stop for a breather as you make your way from Ryde out to Botany Bay.
Note that you can easily join or leave the trail at a number of different places along the track, like Bicentennial Park and Gough Whitlam Park, making it an ideal day out for riders of all kinds of experience and fitness levels.
11. Narrabeen Lagoon Circuit
Boasting some spectacular views, the 8.5-kilometre Narrabeen Lagoon Circuit is an off-road trail that takes you through a variety of parklands and diverse ecosystems.
The trail hosts four different picnicking areas: Middle Creek, Jamieson, Berry Reserve and Bilarong. At each of these, you'll find picnic tables, shelters, electric BBQs, public toilets and some well-shaded areas for a break from the sun in the warmer months. Berry Reserve near Pittwater Road is close to a cafe if you need a java hit and/or are running low on food.
Narrabeen Lagoon Circuit attracts cyclists, joggers and pedestrians. Not surprisingly, it's at its busiest on weekends, so you'll need to be switched on and ready for the unexpected. Regardless, it's about as close as you can get to the perfect weekend cycling adventure for families of all sizes and ages.
Before you head out for your next ride, make sure you check out our great range of cycling gear available in store or online!