Just across the border from us in Queensland, and extending further down into central and southern NSW, there are some top new rail trail and cycling trail networks. This article covers three epic (and epic-in the-making) trail destinations for multi-day adventures plus we also include some shorter rail trail and day rides.
Venture into small country towns and rural communities that welcome cyclists with accommodation, refreshments and country hospitality at its best. Whether you’re just getting started with trail rides or are a seasoned long-distance tourer, these cycle destinations are well worth putting on your list to do.
Central West Cycle Trail
Launched in July 2020, the Central West Cycle Trail (CwC) takes cyclists on 400km circuit of the central west region visiting numerous small towns and taking in some beautiful, outback countryside in the Wiradjuri nation.
The trail has been mapped to avoid busy roads and encourage visitors to enjoy some great country hospitality and culture along the way, with farm morning tea and lunch stops one of the highlights.
If you choose to ride through the whole 400km circuit, you’ll be riding through the backroads of Mudgee, Gulgong, Dunedoo, Mendooran, Ballimore, Dubbo, Geurie, Wellington, Goolma, finishing back at Gulgong and Mudgee. You can also choose to just ride stages of it too of course.
Download the full and sectional maps and Ride with GPS coordinates here: Maps – Central West Cycle Trail
Looking for navigational apps? Check out our recommendations: Best Cycling Apps | Electric Bikes Brisbane
There are ten trail sections and a host of food, accommodation and off-bike things visitors can do. For example, spend a couple of days in the town of Dubbo and see the impressive Dubbo Zoo.
Image credit: Destination NSW
Visit the Central West Cycle Trail information page for more details on accommodation, tours and transport options.
The visitor information centres are very helpful with route planning and things to do too and we list the main ones along the trail here:
Orange360 - Orange Villages Bike Trail
The Orange Villages Bike Trail is a picturesque cycling route that offers a 360km circuit around Mount Conobolas in the Central Tablelands region. It starts and finishes in the town of Orange, passing through the smaller towns and villages of the area.
The route was developed for bikepackers and cycle tourists and shows off the natural beauty of the region, encouraging visitors to enjoy the food and wine that the region has become known for along the way.
Image credit: R & M Brisby
The trail utilises secondary rural bitumen roads and gravel tracks, and there are some sections that have quite a bit of climbing ....so it is great for ebikes!
Ride some of it. Ride the whole circuit. The options are there for you to create a memorable and enjoyable cycling trip.
Bicentennial National Trail
This is an epic indeed! The Bicentennial trail actually starts in Cooktown, Queensland, and finishes at Healesville, Victoria, so it covers the entire length of NSW.
You will ride through some stunning countryside, and there is plenty of adventure with this trail as much of it is not on sealed or groomed tracks.
The trail exits Queensland through the town of Killarney and enters NSW through the village of Ebor. From there, bikers will follow the river through the Guy Fawkes National Park, to Barrington Tops and through Oxley Wild Rivers National Park.
In a nutshell it follows the Great Dividing Range from Barrington Tops through to Jenolan Caves in the Blue Mountains and from there you make your way to Mount Kosciuszko. Keep going to Omeo and you cross the border into Victoria along the way.
This trail is not recommended for beginners and the faint-hearted - recent riders have taken 9 months to complete it end-to-end! However if you are looking for an epic adventure this is one to put on your list or just pick a section of it that appeals.
The best place for further information including trail maps is the Bicentennial Trail website.
Northern Rivers Rail Trail
Coming soon! The proposed Northern Rivers Rail Trail will span 128km from Casino to Murwillumbah, passing through Lismore, Byron Bay, Ocean Shores and Burringbar.
Once fully open, this trail will traverse through a World Heritage region, renowned for its beauty, food, music and arts, and the wonderful laid-back vibe of the northern NSW towns. See the proposed route below.
Stages / Proposed Stages
- Stage 1 (24km)
The Tweed Valley Rail Trail will run from the Condong to Crabbes Creek. Works on this stage has now commenced and the trail is expected to be open to the public in early March 2023.
- Stage 2 (13.5km)
The Casino to Bentley Rail Trail also has approved Federal Government funding. The final design was completed in February 2021 and work starts this year.
- Stage 3 (37km)
This section that runs from Bentley to Booyong, while still unnamed, is included in the NRRT council’s top 5 projects to apply for funding.
- Stage 4
The Byron Line is a multi-modal section that plans to accommodate both bike trails and a functioning train line. This project has generated a bit of controversy in the community so is still seeking final funding.
Restoring a disused rail corridor and creating a safe, enjoyable means of transport for the local community while providing a fantastic destination for outdoor lovers to enjoy can only be a good thing.
Local Suggestions for Northern Rivers
If you are impatient to explore the beautiful Northern Rivers region and can't wait for the Rail Trail to be developed then here are two route suggestions kindly provided by friends of EBB.
- Murwillumbah to Kingscliffe Loop (65km)
- Kingscliffe - Murwillumbah - Tumblegum - Tyalgum - Kingscliffe (300km), including Mt Warning
Other Rail Trail Rides in NSW
If you are looking for something shorter here are some other notable rail trail rides that will take you to and through some picturesque countryside and towns. Great options for day and overnight rides.
Tumbarumba to Rosewood (Riverina Highlands) Rail Trail
Start/End: Wagga Wagga to Tumbarumba
Terrain: Flat to Slight Incline
Best Seasons: Spring, Summer and Autumn
Things to See:
- Tumbarumba Visitor Information Centre and Museum
- Hume and Hovell Track
- Pioneer Women's Hut Museum
Wolgan Valley Rail Trail
Start/End: Glow Worm Tunnel to Newnes
Surface: Compacted Earth
- Former Private Railway
- Will Ascend to 1200m by the Clarence Station
- Will Drop to 530m in Newness
- Will Pass Through Tunnel Full of Glow Worms
Electric Bikes for Rail Trails and Tours
Most electric bikes can take on the shorter trails. But if you want to maximise your efficiency, comfort and overall experience, as well as the capacity for hauling luggage, we have an excellent selection of Adventure Bikes to choose from.
You may also check out the EBB Owners Club for upcoming group rides or to connect with people who share the same passion for electric bike touring.
And if you love your cycle touring also have a look at our articles on rides in other states: