Any recommendations for a (long) weekend tour from Sydney?

I'm thinking about heading out for a ride with the long weekend coming up, I was wondering if the experts here had any suggestions about which way to go? Blue mountains, South, North? It would be great to hear about where to find quiet roads and good places to camp (preferably free, legit or not). I haven't decided if this will be 1, 2 or 3 nights. Would prefer to keep the average under 100 km per day on road, much less on dirt (and nothing too gnarly - loaded touring bike on 32s). Starting and ending in Sydney CBD, I suppose a trip that includes the train would be an option too. 

Thanks in advance,

LR

PS might be drifting off topic, but any advice on how to fix a siliconized nylon tent fly that was left tightly rolled and now the coating has degraded into a gooey tacky mess, would also be most appreciated. 

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Lithgow, to Oberon stay in a pub, Oberon to Taralga stay in pub. Taralga to Goulburn. If you want to camp there would be options in each place

The best is that this ride is done with City Rail at each end

There are still trains from Goulburn, just need to check the time table (The 1.15pm train is a bus).

I camped at Oberon about 12 years ago. I had trouble getting to sleep because of the cold. The next morning I woke to find a cup someone had left outside on the table overnight. The top 1.5 inches was frozen solid. Can't say I've been back...

Wife and I were touring on our tandem in winter and overnighted at Oberon. Shivered through the night in our cheap motel room with its one-bar electric heater and woke to find a thick crust of frost on everything. The first few kilometres of riding were murder with freezing hands. Wife had hers up my back.

I've been back once. In summer.

Sounds interesting, I hadn't thought about using the train so much but it certainly opens up the possibilities. Thanks.

I'm thinking of riding form Sydney to Newcastle at some stage (160kms).

The ride from Hornsby to Gosford along the pacific hwy is very pleasant .

No so nice from Gosford to Wyong but adequate.

I haven't been further yet but would like to try and link up with the Fernleigh trail closer to Newcastle.

Train back.

Hey Paul,

Rather than dropping down to Gosford you should consider staying up in the hills and link up Berowra > Calga > Peats Ridge > Kulnura > Yarramalong > Wyong

or have you thought about going the coast way?

Sydney > Manly > Palm beach > (ferry) > Patonga > Umina > Kincumber > Terrigal > The Entrance > Budgewoi > Swansea > Mereweather > Newcastle?

I rode through the Central Coast through Newcastle (using the Fernleigh) track to Nelson Bay last easter using more or less this route. Riding through the CC is ok. Generally good shoulders, although a few places without them. Lots of places to stop for water and food. Lots of bogans expressing themselves with statements like "buy a car" though.

However, having ridden to Cessnock via Wollombi a couple of weekends ago I'd much rather go this way or via the Yarramalong Valley - careful going down Bumble Hill though, it is very steep, of average surface and ends in a T-junction - even though its longer. Much nicer riding and not that much less climbing. In fact, I'm planning to ride up to Nelson Bay this weekend using this route.

The Fernleigh Track is nice... ...if you want a leisurely cruise with the kids. It is not somewhere to ride much faster than what is safe around kids and pedestrians. Saying that though, I'd choose to take if over the roads into Newcastle and just cruise. Water bubblers at the southern end are a bonus (I think there are more some elsewhere on the track but I cannot remember).

The problem with the ferry from Palm Beach is that it does not start until quite late (in cycling terms), e.g. 09:00 on a Sunday/PH. It is ok for coming back, but not so much for heading north.

Hey Si,

FYI theres a bunch of roadwork going on along one section of your first  this route between erina and wamberal - not impossible to get through but shit for cycling. could detour through terrigal to avoid it.

Thanks Jordy. All the more reason to go via Wollombi then :).

Here’s a two or three day ride through the Hawkesbury which starts and finishes at train stations:
DAY 1 – Windsor > Ebenezer > Lower Portland (via river rd) > Wisemans ferry (45km)
DAY 2 – Wisemans ferry > St Albans > Mogo Creek (45km) [dirt road but easy]
Day 3 – Mogo Creek > Buckety > Kulnura > Yarramalong > Wyong (56km)
DAY 2b – Wisemans ferry > Spencer > Central Mangrove > Gosford (76km)
Plenty of other variations to choose from too.

You can either stay at the pubs at Wisemans ferry and St Albans or camp.
Good NP campsites at:
Mill creek campground (Dharug NP), about 6km down river (northern side) from Wisemans ferry
Mogo creek campground (Yengo NP) half way between St Albans and Buckety
Plenty of other cheeky campsites around too

I’ve done different versions of this ride a couple of times when i’ve had a spare weekend. Has a good mix of flat riverside riding, forested dirt roads and some challenging hills - but you get rewarded with the great descent at bumble hill (Finish Wyong) or debenham rd (finish Gosford).

I'm like the sound of exploring in this direction, I might give this (or something like it) a go. Looks like there is a bike trail out to Windsor, might check that out on the way. 

Thanks!

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