Cycle the stunning NSW South Coast under the expert guidance of a local leader and enjoy the perfect mix of adventure both on and off the bike.. Ride the flat, traffic-free cycling path from popular Wollongong to laidback Thirroul alongside some of the South Coast’s most spectacular beaches.. Catch incredible views of the Pacific Ocean and sandstone cliff faces from atop the Illawarra Escarpment – a sight that’s well worth the cycle up!. Discover both local sites and local life as you explore charming coastal towns and sample some of the finest produce Australia has to offer.
Cycle the NSW South Coast from cosmopolitan Wollongong to charming Kiama, enjoying spectacular views, ancient rock formations, pristine beaches and fascinating heritage along the way. Just a stone’s throw from busy Sydney, the South Coast is an ideal place to ride. From the protected coastal bike path to laidback Thirroul, to the inspiring views atop the Illawarra Escarpment and the largest Buddhist monastery in the Southern Hemisphere, this trip has something for everyone at a pace everyone can enjoy. And there’s plenty to do off the bike as well!
Breakfast Included: 3 Lunches Included: Dinner Included:
Welcome to Wollongong, the coastal heart of the Illawarra region. Your adventure officially begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm tonight. You can arrive at any time before this as there are no daytime activities planned. Just an hour south of Sydney, Wollongong – or “The Gong” as it is known locally – has become one of the premier destinations on the South Coast. If you arrive early, you may want to meander through the Wollongong Botanic Garden or get close to Australian and exotic fauna at Symbio Wildlife Park. Or simply relax in one of the many outdoor saltwater pools. After our meeting, you may choose to go out for an evening meal with the group. If you are driving, take the Grand Pacific Drive through the Royal National Park. You’ll get a true highlight travelling across the breathtaking Sea Cliff Bridge that juts out into the Pacific Ocean as it follows the contours of the sandstone cliff face. It’s a small detour but well worth the effort.
Thirroul & Wollongong
Your first morning is a relaxed one. After breakfast and getting acquainted with your bike you’ll have the chance to further explore this beautiful area on a guided ride from Wollongong Harbour to the laidback coastal town of Thirroul. This route follows a dedicated bike path, hugging the coastline past a chain of sandy bays, including Wollongong North Beach (the city’s favourite place to swim or surf), as well as Brighton, Bulli and Sandon Point beaches. The trail is paved the whole way and with almost no roads to deal with, making it the perfect introduction to riding. We’ll take our time enjoying the coast and views of the towering Illawarra Escarpment. In Thirroul there is ample time to explore, feel the sand between your toes on the pristine beach, swim in a saltwater pool or grab a bite to eat at a local café. After lunch cycle your way back to Wollongong, then perhaps enjoy dinner as the sun goes down over the South Pacific Ocean.
Lake Illawarra (Windang)
Today’s ride is a little longer and includes a lot more climbing – but is well worth it! Your first stop of the day is Wollongong Harbour and a quick visit to the Flagstaff Point Lighthouse before turning inland and engaging your easiest gears as you spin up the Illawarra Escarpment and the Kembla Heights viewpoint. Catch your breath and enjoy stunning views over Wollongong and the ocean before a well-earned freewheeling descent to visit Nan Tien Temple, the largest Buddhist temple in the Southern Hemisphere. Relax in the peaceful surroundings then head to the north shore of Lake Illawarra, following a flat bike path all the way to peaceful Windang. After a long but rewarding day in the saddle, put your feet up or just kick back and relax by the lake. If you are still feeling active there are plenty of short walks nearby. Wander the beach or cross the bridge and hike to Windang Island at the mouth of the lake to view the famous Windang Island Wheels that have been sitting on the beach for over 100 years.
After breakfast leave Lake Illawarra behind and head towards the coast on a winding, fascinating ride. Cruise through lovely Shellharbour, then detour down to the famed Mystics Beach (Minnamurra Beach), a local surfing haven. After pausing to enjoy the view, continue south to the small town of Bombo and the stunning Bombo Headland. Stop for a quick photo op at the impressive Cathedral Rocks, then park your bike and hike the circular walking trail along the headland. Admire the unique heritage-listed Bombo Headland Quarry Geological Site, where hexagonal columns of basalt jut up out of the ocean, and the sheltered Boneyard Beach. Continue to the gorgeous seaside town of Kiama. Ride past the picturesque sea baths along the harbour and the awesome Kiama Blowhole and lighthouse. The views over the ocean and back over Kiama town are truly spectacular. Tonight, perhaps visit one of the many excellent restaurants in town or enjoy the freshest of fish and chips overlooking the harbour – the choice is yours.
Today is your final day in Kiama and while there is no cycling there are plenty of options to enjoy prior to checking out. Opt to hit the waves at Kiama Surf Beach or nearby Kendalls Beach, chill out in the peaceful Bonaira Native Gardens, check out the vibrant arts scene or – for a deep dive into local Indigenous culture, as well as the history of European settlement – take the Kiama Historical Walk. For those staying on, the nearby Kiama Coast Walk, considered one of the best walking trails in Australia, is well worth the effort. Between May and November, you may even be lucky enough to witness whales migrating along the coast.