Friday, 13 March 2015


For the past 5 years, our group U3A Redlands (University of the Third Age) 'Pedal For Pleasure' has departed for greener pastures in a quest for locating the best recreational cycling tours within our reach and this year we decided to place our trust in Australian Cycling Holidays to organise a tour of the south coast of New South Wales. Although I have traveled through this area a couple of times in the past, this will be the first time I have done it whilst perched on a bicycle saddle. When I return, I will endeavor to give you a blow by blow description of the tour but in the meantime, here is a sample of our itinerary.

Although Australian Cycling Holidays organise a number of  bicycle tours, we chose the Coastal Escape Cycling Tour  which promises to bring us 5 days of recreational cycling bliss with a number of highlights thrown in.

Day 1: Waterfall to Wollongong - 47 kms. The first day will take us through a national park, a slight climb of 170 m to start the blood flowing, road riding on a narrow strip of land between the mountains and the sea, coastal paths affording views of the ocean, beaches, lagoons and waterways.

Accommodation: Novotel Wollongong Northbeach.

Day 2: Wollongong to Kiama - 48 km. Today is spent following bike paths from the boat harbour riding inland for awhile where we have the opportunity to visit the Nan Tien Temple. On the way back to the coast, we ride past Lake Illawarra, through Windang and on to Shellharbour where we will be stopping for a well earned lunch. In the afternoon, we can expect to do some serious huffing and puffing  through the hilly sections on our way to Kiama but I'm sure it will be worth it for the panoramic views to be had on the way.

Accommodation: Sebel Harbourside Kiama.

Day 3: Kiama to Gerrigong - A cycle free day. Today we swap our bicycle wheels for walking boots and walk the 11 km. Kiama Coast Walking track to Gerringong, over rough, uneven terrain  with steep slopes, which purports to be absolutely spectacular.

Accommodation: Mercure Resort Gerringong by the sea.

Day 4: Gerringong to Nowra - 43 kms. Back on the bike today with more exquisite views promised as we pump the pedals along a bike path to Gerroa. Now comes the part that I am not looking forward to, and that is the 4 km ride on a highway with a 100 km speed limit and limited shoulder. I guess it's just a matter of taking an extra bit of care on this stretch. On a lighter note, we stop in Berry for lunch and then head for an afternoon where we are given the opportunity of visiting a number of vineyards and perhaps the sampling of a fine wine or two on the way to Nowra.

Accommodation: Park Haven Motor Lodge.

Day 5: Nowra to Huskisson - 43 kms. To-day is a mixed day of riding and boating, with the morning riding beside a river, through dairy country with a coffee stop at old convict ruins at the Jindyandy Mill complex. In the afternoon we join Wild Dolphin Cruises for our eco-cruise around Jervis Bay.

Accommodation: The group will be split into 3 groups and will stay at different establishments in Huskisson.

Day 6 : Huskisson- No ride to-day. There are a number of areas to explore either by foot or cycle, including the Boonderee National Park, lighthouse ruins and an aboriginal owned Botanic Garden, where you can get an insight into bush tucker and the medicinal uses of native Australian plants or if you want to get away from it all, you can plonk the body beautiful on the beach with the whitest sand in the world.

Accommodation: Same as above

Day 7: Huskisson to Berry - 57 kms. The first part of this trip entails cycling back to Nowra and then on to Berry by an alternate route. As this route will be in the hinterland, I should imagine that the scenery would be somewhat different from the coastal strip and will afford the photographers in the group something different to train their lenses on. One of the highlights will be a visit to the Fleet Air Arm museum which will be of interest to some of our riders including myself.

On either end of our cycling tour, we will have a day in Sydney. It is proposed at this stage, on the day before the cycling tour, a few of us intend to walk the cliff trail from Bondi Beach to Coogee and return, have a surf at the famous Bondi Beach and refresh the inner man at the Bondi Icebergs. On the other end of the tour, we intend to walk some of the northern suburb paths around the foreshore of Sydney harbour and then it's on a jet plane heading back to Brisbane. I'll let you know how we fare.


Cheers and safe riding,

Jimmy Bee


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