I've always wanted to ride Sydney-Canberra or Canberra Sydney.

It would be some time in the next few weeks, probably on a monday or a friday. I'm going to wait for a day when the weather (especially wind and rain) is favourable. Will decide whether to start from sydney or canberra closer to the time (wind and logistics dependent). Planning to start maybe 4am and hope to finish by 8pm.


I've driven sydney to canberra many times, so i'm not interested in the hume. I'm most interested in seeing scenic bits, riding roads i've never seen/ridden before and staying off the hume highway. But also i don't want to have toooo long between opportunities to obtain food/water as i'll be travelling light.


I am aware of this route: Raid Waratah. But it goes sydney to wollongong to robertson via jamberoo, which while it is lovely riding, i've ridden a million times. But - I would probably consider a route encompassing these if i was riding in the CANB to SYD direction, as it wouldn't hurt to be in familiar territory when most likely finishing in the dark.


If i was riding in the SYD-CANB direction I was thinking that maybe i'd start in campbelltown and go near thirlmere lakes towards bowral, then in the second half approximately follow the raid waratah route, although maybe where it dips in to goulburn after bungonia, i'd try to go more directly to tarago to save distance, and i figure the scenery would be better?? This looks to be about 290km with 2500m ascent, which is also more palatable than the 350km and 4000m ascent of the audax route.


Alternatively, approaching canberra from the nowra direction also looks like it has some good route possibilities.


So if anyone knows these areas in terms of road conditions, scenery, gradients, etc, would be glad to hear any suggestions or warnings!


thanks! :)


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You must be pretty fit as this is a serious ride for one (long) day especially on your own and unsupported, if it was me I would be planning at least 3 days but then I am known to be slow. Canberra to Sydney has the advantage that it is in theory downhill but either way I would not go out of my way to find additional hills. As you will known from your previous rides there are not many roads where traffic slows less that 100 even when defined to be minor so doing much in the dark is risky. Freeways are also boring so lesser roads the best option but not the fastest of course. Going south then west from Bungonia rather than west to Goulburn will link up with Tarago but Is a long way between drinks (or anything else) but all tar I think.
Perhaps give it a full weekend or couple of days, good luck.

Hi Bill, yes i wouldn't contemplate this ride if i wasn't quite fit at the moment. Have just gotten back from a 3 month touring holiday riding nearly every day with 30kg of luggage, so am extremely ready for endurance riding. Have also done the ACE250 audax which is about 40 less km, but about twice the climbing so i think it's doable for me.


Hi Nick,

I have ridden Sydney to Canberra but did it over 3 days, approx ~110kms/day. We started from Parramatta to Bowral, Bowral to Goulburn, Goulburn to Canberra via Queenbeyan. We took the scenic route and were only on the freeway for a very small amount of time where it couldnt be avoided. I have maps including distances/climb info/day by day descriptions & warnings etc. Just send me a friend request here with your email address and I'll email them to you if you like. It's too much info to upload here.

In the days when I was also young and fit and foolish, the Sydney-Canberra-Sydney Audax 600 was a staple of those qualifying for Paris-Brest-Paris or trying to complete a Super Randonneur series. The route usually took back routes where available on the southward leg and returned via the freeway shoulder.

These days, now that I am old, though still reasonably-but-not-as-fit as that, (and, sus and Mr O' would probably say, still foolish), I would start the southbound leg at Campbelltown and head via Menangle and the back way into Picton (Menangle Rd/Picton Rd), then the Old Hume Hwy to Mittagong and Bowral. Then head for Bundanoon and follow the road through little villages like Wingello to Marulan. Just south of Marulan follow signs to Bungonia, turning for Goulburn just before that "town". South of Goulburn take the road through Tarago to Bungendore, Queanbeyan and Canberra.

In the 80's and 90's these roads were all sealed and carried little traffic. I think the traffic has increased significantly and the surface has probably deteriorated. But there is not much option for a reasonably direct, off-freeway route.

You could, of course, ride this route northbound.

Did this ride with a support company.  Which translates to all roads but lots of flags and lights to warn car driveres of cyclists ahead.  Other than that its subject to weather conditions as to how hard and fast you are.  Kicking off at Campbelltown, head to Picton via Camden and Razorback ( tough climb but not going to blow you up) follow rememberance drive Tahmoor etc thru to Bowral, Moss vale and Bundenoon, pleasant back roads to Marulan boring bit getting to Goulburn from here on hwy, From Goudburn head to Bungendore, then kick back to the highway for some hills on macs reef road.  Federal hwy into Canberra.  Basically a good solid ride on good surfaces and plenty of small towns to refuel rehydrate.  A few hills to stop you feeling comfortable but nothing that would make you get off and walk.   Optional items - bypass razorback for hwy to Picton. bypass macs reef road to fed hwy.

let me know if you want the name of the support company but they did this as a one off for our club so don't know when they would do it again.

Thanks already for some great tips, especially Justine who sent the maps and route descriptions from her trip (attached as MS-Word).


Was also looking into this way (roughly) as a possibility.


Does anyone know about the roads between nowra, yerriyong, nerriga and tarago?



Cullulla Rd and Sandy Point Rd (east of Tarago) are dirt, that's where I was going to send you after Bungonia. Otherwise Nowra to nerriga is now a nice road and all tar
ok - if avoiding cullulla and sandy point (no desire for dirt) then maybe more like this?
As at last year still 20km of dirt in the middle of the section from Braidwood (Kings Hwy) and Nerriga

Any of the suggested routes would be OK, my suggestion would be to start in Canberra, and wait for a weather window with strong SW winds. This time of the year SW winds are fairly common if you are prepared to wait for that window.


When Neil A and I used to do Audax 600s to Canberra and back  we used to leave at 8am Saturdays from Parramatta, arrive in Canberra around 10pm, eat and sleep, then leave around 6am for an arrival time back in Parramatta around 8pm Sunday.


Of cause we used a lot more of the Federal Hwy and the Hume Fwy than you are proposing as we were aiming at a combined total of 600kms in under 40 hours, ( we used to do it in about 36 hours)

"Cullulla Rd and Sandy Point Rd (east of Tarago) are dirt"

Are you sure they are still unsealed? Both the street view photos in Google Earth, and the street view photographic version of Google Maps show those two roads between Tarago and Oallen Ford Road as bitumen. I.E. this route between Marulan and Canberra is all sealed: http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?msid=200995432536710643498.0004ac526...

Hey Kylie, i'm back for a month without naomi (to get my uk visa). Naomi's touring on her own riding from dartmoor to cambridge via wales and derbyshire. We should really post something about the trip i guess - soon!


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