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. Here’s our top picks for vaga-biking adventures around Sydney.

Where To Go?

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, 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 the camping locations mentioned are basic and free!

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

Length: 210km

Duration: 2-3 days

Campsite: Werong State Forest

2. Bundeena to Kiama (via Royal National Park & Fire Road)

Length: 120km

Duration: 2 days

Campsite: Bass Point


aCoastal Surf Town Vibes Under 2 Hours From Sydney Jon Harris Kiama Pool, 7 Apr 2019.

Kiama Pool | Shot by Jon Harris

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

Length: 143km

Duration: 2 days

Campsite: Wallaroo State Forest


10 Microadventures You Can Do In Dungog, carawirry forest escape

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

Length: 177km

Duration: 2-3 days

Campsite: Bendeela



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 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 bikepacking 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.

In case you weren’t convinced already, here are 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!