An overnight bicycle adventure – or bikepacking – is an amazing way to discover what’s just beyond your doorstep. Here’s our top picks for bikepacking routes in NSW.

Bikepacking Routes in NSW

You don’t need to lust over spray-on lycra or drool at the thought of carbon-fibre to enjoy riding a bicycle. Cycling is the most accessible mode of transport on the planet and there’s no better way to explore said planet than from the seat of a bicycle.

Below is a selection of bikepacking routes within a few hours of Sydney, all of which are accessible by public transport. The start and finish locations are all at train stations that can get you to and from the city quickly and super cheap. All the camping locations mentioned are basic and free!

1. Lithgow to Mittagong (via Jenolan & Wombeyan Caves)

Distance: 210km
Duration: 2-3 days
Campsite: Werong State Forest

A hefty mountainous route, this bikepacking adventure from Lithgow to Mittagong meanders past Jenolan Caves and through the towering pines of Jenolan State Forest. Pitch up for the night in Werong State Forest, before putting tyre to dirt again on the Oberon-Colong Stock Route via Mt Werong the next day.

Fly past Wombeyan Caves and down into the valley at Wollondilly before crunching it back up the hill to Mittagong.

Catch the train to Lithgow station to begin and end up at Mittagong station for the ride back to Sydney.


Vaga-biking // 8 Overnight Bicycle Adventures Near Sydney Henry Brydon, red dirt road, trees, blue sky, clouds, yellow fields

2. Bundeena to Kiama (via Royal National Park)

Distance: 120km
Duration: 2 days
Campsite: Bass Point

The ride from Bundeena to Kiama follows the coastline, providing an abundance of ocean views and sea breeze to fly through your hair.

Starting at the northern end of Royal National Park, follow Bundeena Drive, Bertram Stevens Drive, and Lady Wakehurst Drive to the southern end of the park.

Jump on the winding coastal road / bike path that meanders between the ocean and toppling cliffs of the Illawarra Escarpment to fly down the coast to Wollongong.

Stick to the bike path as it saunters along the sand and sea, past Windang, Shellharbour, and roll into the surf beaches of Kiama.

To get to the start of the ride, catch the ferry from Cronulla to Bundeena. The train at Kiama will take you back to Sydney in just a few hours.


3. Yerrinbool to Kiama (via Bowral, Kangaroo Valley & Berry)

Length: 177km
Duration: 2-3 days
Campsite: Bendeela

This bikepacking route starts in the Southern Highlands, and winds down the mountains all the way to the South Coast.

Starting at Yerrinbool, follow Old South Rd through farmland and into Bowral, where you can stock up on supplies. Take Kangaloon out of Bowral and back into the countryside.

You’ll pass by the village of Glenquarry, as well as Wingecarribee Reservoir before coming to an intersection with the Illawarra Highway. Continue straight through on Sheepwash Rd, passing through Avoca and arriving at Fitzroy Falls, an excellent spot for a bite to eat while you check out the waterfalls and gear yourself up for the big descent.

Barrengarry Mountain is full of twists and turns and covered in luscious sub-tropical rainforest. Glide down the mountain as you enter into Kangaroo Valley. You’ll know you’re there when you cross the historic Hampden Bridge!

Pitch up for the night at Bendeela Recreation Area, just outside of town by Kangaroo River.

The next day, ride through town and head up Berry Mountain for scenic farm views back across the valley, before speeding down the otherside into Berry itself. Treat yourself here to a coffee and lunch, before making the last break for it through Broughton Village, to the coast via Gerringong, finishing up in Kiama.

4. Maitland to Newcastle (via the Hunter Valley & Dungog)

Distance: 143km
Duration: 2 days
Campsite: Wallaroo State Forest


10 Microadventures You Can Do In Dungog, carawirry forest escape

5. Canberra Loop (via Naas Fire Trail)

Length: 157km
Duration: 2-3 days
Campsite: Camp anywhere!

6. Mooney Mooney to Windsor (via Wisemans Ferry)

Length: 130km
Duration: 2 days


Bikepacking the Old Great North Road, Joe Kennedy, bike, forest, trail, mountain biking

7. Berrima to Goulburn (via Belanglo State Forest)

Length: 150km
Duration: 2 days
Campsite: Tarlo River National Park


Plain and Simple // Belanglo State Forest (NSW) Nicholas Di Genni photo by @mattiejgould forest, pine trees

8. Yass to Canberra (via Wee Jasper)

Length: 170km
Duration: 2 days
Campsite: Bondo State Forest

Essential Equipment for Bikepacking

The most important thing to remember here is that expensive equipment is not essential! In fact, with some crafty Gumtree purchasing and some cheeky borrowings from friends, you could get everything you need for a bikepacking weekend for less than $100.

The main things to get your hands on are;

  • your bike
  • a rack (which sits on the back)
  • two rear panniers to put your worldly weekend possessions into

For camping you’ll need;

  • tent or hammock
  • sleeping bag
  • fresh change of warm clothes
  • plenty of food and water
  • portable gas cooker (including pots, pans etc)

Additional kit should include;

  • camera
  • bike spares
  • a map!
  • duct tape
  • cable ties

You should never step out the front door without these in your possession – whether you’re Macgyver or not.

In case you weren’t convinced already, here are 10 reasons to love bikepacking

  1. It’s ridiculously cheap
  2. It’s beautifully uncomplicated
  3. Getting completely lost in your own dreamworld of thought and that immense feeling of freedom
  4. Truly connecting with Mother Nature (without a window between you and the world)
  5. It keeps you fit as a fiddle
  6. Provides a challenge to overcome and a sense of achievement once you’ve done it
  7. You’re doing your bit for carbon emissions
  8. Camping in the wild, cooking in the woods, and sleeping for free at the million star hotel
  9. It’ll restore your faith in humanity
  10. Anyone can do it – just pick a sensible distance!