An overnight bicycle adventure – or vaga-biking as we call it – is an amazing way to discover what’s just beyond your doorstep with an entirely new perspective, whilst spending quality time with your mates the process.

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

Here’s our top picks around Sydney:

Where to go?

Below is a selection of rides within a few hours of Sydney, and are all accessible by public transport – the start and finish locations all have train stations that can get you to and from the city quickly and super cheap. All these camping locations are basic and free!

# 1 Lithgow to Mittagong

(via Jenolan & Wombeyan Caves)
210km | 2-3 days | 4/5 rating | Camp in Werong State Forest

# 2 Bundeena to Kiama

(via the Royal National Park and Fire Road)
120km | 2 days | 3/5 rating | Camp at Bass Point

# 3 Maitland to Newcastle

(through the Hunter Valley via Dungog)
143km | 2 days | 2/5 rating | Camp in Wallaroo State Forest

# 4 Yerrinbool to Kiama

(Via Bowral, Kangaroo Valley and Berry)
177km | 2-3 days | 2/5 rating | Camp at Bendeela

# 5 Canberra Loop

(via the Naas Fire Trail)
157km | 2/3 days | 5/5 rating | Camp anywhere!

# 6 Mooney Mooney to Windsor

(via Wisemans Ferry)
130km | 2 days | 3/5 rating |

# 7 Berrima to Goulburn

(via Belanglo State Forest)
150km, 2 days | 3/5 rating | Camp in Tarlo River National Park

# 8 Yass to Canberra

(via Wee Jasper)
170km | 2 days | 3/5 rating | Camp in Bondo State Forest


Essential Equipment for a Vaga-Biking Weekend

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 weekend for less than $100.

The main things to get your hands on are obviously your bike, a rack (which sits on the back) and two rear panniers to put your worldly weekend possessions into.

For camping you’ll need a tent or hammock, a sleeping bag and a fresh change of warm clothes. You’ll also need plenty of food and water, portable gas cooker (including pots, pans etc). Additional kit should include your camera, bike spares and a map!

Other essential items include duct tape and cable ties. You should never step out the front door without these in your possession – whether or not you’re Macgyver.

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In case you weren’t convinced already, here are our 10 Reasons to Love ‘Vaga-Biking’

  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!

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“Cycle tracks will abound in Utopia.” ~ H.G. Wells