Sydney to Nowra Return

Sydney to Nowra Return

Postby atnan » Thu Mar 18, 2010 5:24 pm

Anyone know what the ride's like out to Nowra, heading down the South Western Freeway? I'm thinking I'd leave early Saturday morning, meet some friends with camping gear that night, and ride back the following morning. Is it a challenging ride, or fairly straight-forward? Anything to be aware of?
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by BNA » Thu Mar 18, 2010 7:57 pm

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Re: Sydney to Nowra Return

Postby wombatK » Thu Mar 18, 2010 7:57 pm

atnan wrote:Anyone know what the ride's like out to Nowra, heading down the South Western Freeway? I'm thinking I'd leave early Saturday morning, meet some friends with camping gear that night, and ride back the following morning. Is it a challenging ride, or fairly straight-forward? Anything to be aware of?

South Western freeway means you're expecting to go through Kangaroo Valley. Definitely a challenging ride - even without packing camping gear (have a search on www.bikely.com for Kangaroo Valley, and check the elevation profiles). Challenging grades, narrow winding roads with poor sight-lines for vehicles, lots of shoulder-less sections (once you're off the freeway).

The coast route would be somewhat less challenging, but the Pacific Highway between Kiama and Nowra is not a real bike-friendly place. Much winding road with little or no shoulders plus construction zones, and fairly heavily trafficked (especially by large trucks). Might be worth thinking about taking the train for some part of the trip.

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Re: Sydney to Nowra Return

Postby norbs » Fri Mar 19, 2010 8:37 am

It would be a challenging ride as said previously. Best part of 200km each way. The coast road is one hill after another, but the alternative isn't real nice either. I am yet to cycle Kangaroo Valley, but it is on my list of things to do this year.
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Re: Sydney to Nowra Return

Postby atnan » Fri Mar 19, 2010 10:56 am

Taking the coastal road looks to be a good suggestion. So long as I hug the coast, the only major climbs look to be around Thirroul (400m) & Kiama Heights (150m). Everything else is pretty small.

I know roughly what to expect until Wollongong from doing the Gong ride, so it's everything onwards that's a bit unknown. I've done a drive through using Google Street View and it all looks pretty good.
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Re: Sydney to Nowra Return

Postby norbs » Fri Mar 19, 2010 11:52 am

atnan wrote:Taking the coastal road looks to be a good suggestion. So long as I hug the coast, the only major climbs look to be around Thirroul (400m) & Kiama Heights (150m). Everything else is pretty small.

I know roughly what to expect until Wollongong from doing the Gong ride, so it's everything onwards that's a bit unknown. I've done a drive through using Google Street View and it all looks pretty good.



The Geroa downhill will be fun. Watch the left curve at the bottom, just before the bridge. I nearly got a couple of young blokes who drifted wide doing about 60kph.

The road along 7 mile beach is a bit hairy in spots. Cars are doing 100kph there.
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Re: Sydney to Nowra Return

Postby hung » Tue Mar 30, 2010 5:16 pm

have you done the ride yet ?

I went to my holiday house at Culburra Beach and took careful note of the road conditions from sydney to nowra

sydney to wollonging would be fairly safe

but

from woolongong to gerringong then to nowra is just scary , there were a few road side memorials to be seen and thats from victims in cars
Colnago C59 for the long road
Cervelo S2 for the short road
GT Carbon Pro for the mountain
Kono Kula deluxe / slicks for the foot paths
Cannondale dually for the big stuff

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Re: Sydney to Nowra Return

Postby norbs » Tue Mar 30, 2010 5:28 pm

hung wrote:have you done the ride yet ?

I went to my holiday house at Culburra Beach and took careful note of the road conditions from sydney to nowra

sydney to wollonging would be fairly safe

but

from woolongong to gerringong then to nowra is just scary , there were a few road side memorials to be seen and thats from victims in cars



Hi Hung,

where is your holiday house? I live in Culburra if you are ever up for a ride.
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Re: Sydney to Nowra Return

Postby hung » Tue Mar 30, 2010 5:37 pm

It's on orient pt rd

definately will bring my bike for a ride next time I'm down
Colnago C59 for the long road
Cervelo S2 for the short road
GT Carbon Pro for the mountain
Kono Kula deluxe / slicks for the foot paths
Cannondale dually for the big stuff

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Re: Sydney to Nowra Return

Postby atnan » Tue Mar 30, 2010 5:41 pm

Yep, I did the ride down on Saturday, but I bailed on the ride back.

In retrospect, it was foolish to ride it on my own. I bonked at Albion Park but decided to keep going, meaning I spent roughly 9.5 hours in the saddle.

Stayed on the Pacific Highway past Waterfall, and rode through to Bulli Tops rather than taking the route via the Sea Cliff Bridge, which made for a bit of extra climbing but a fantastic fast descent into Bulli. The view from the lookout near Panorama House was pretty awesome too.

From there, the traffic was absolutely horrendous, especially after Wollongong. I jumped off the Pacific Highway and onto the Southern Freeway from Wollongong West which was a mistake, because there's such a huge amount of glass/rubber/smashed tiles on the road which made things difficult.

The other big mistake was taking Fern Street out of Gerringong, down onto Crooked River / Gerroa Road along Seven Mile Beach. The road surface was abysmal (unpacked asphalt in sections, rutted in others), and it was full of 4WDs with large boat trailers screaming along at 100km/h. The whole length of road has no shoulder (or 1/2 a meter with grass growing through), which made it pretty stressful.

Once I was onto Bolong Road it was all fine, and I was able to plod along through Nowra North all the way to Shoalhaven Ski Park where I camped the night.

Hired some canoes on Sunday and paddled out to a crag across the river and did a bunch of outdoor climbing for the day, and then I got a lift home. I'll definitely be back for the climbing, but I'd never ride it again, nor recommend anyone else try it either.
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Re: Sydney to Nowra Return

Postby norbs » Tue Mar 30, 2010 6:00 pm

hung wrote:It's on orient pt rd

definately will bring my bike for a ride next time I'm down


Neighbours. I am on Adisson Rd. I ride down Orient Point Road 3 or 4 times a week. :)
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Re: Sydney to Nowra Return

Postby ghettro » Thu Apr 01, 2010 12:45 pm

I'll third the crapulence of Gerroa road through the 7 mile beach part. There is no shoulder, cars are bloody fast and the dirt beside the road is full of sticks, enough that a stick got caught in my chain/wheel and ripped out my rear derailleur. I'd be more likely to go down the pacific highway instead where there is some shoulder most of the time
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Re: Sydney to Nowra Return

Postby familyguy » Thu Apr 01, 2010 2:05 pm

ghettro wrote:I'll third the crapulence of Gerroa road through the 7 mile beach part. There is no shoulder, cars are bloody fast and the dirt beside the road is full of sticks, enough that a stick got caught in my chain/wheel and ripped out my rear derailleur. I'd be more likely to go down the pacific highway instead where there is some shoulder most of the time


Princes Highway.

Try going down from Kiama through Berry, Bomaderry and into Nowra. Much smoother, with a wider shoulder. I wouldnt even walk along the coast road behind 7 Mile Beach :oops:

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Re: Sydney to Nowra Return

Postby X-ray » Thu Apr 01, 2010 9:49 pm

I've ridden to Nowra from Wollongong taking the route along Seven Mile Beach.

I agree with others that the road surface along Crooked River and Gerroa Roads is utterly terrible, uninteresting and has little shoulder. However in my opinion it is far safer to take this route than ride to Nowra via the Princes Highway. Yes, there is no shoulder for much of the section along Seven Mile Beach but the road is straight for kms so drivers have plenty of time to see you. The Princes Hwy takes far more traffic and is essentially one blind bend after another. Not to mention there is no shoulder in some of the more dangerous sections. It's not too bad south of Berry but between Gerringong and Berry it's dangerous enough for a car, let alone a bicycle. There's a reason why there are two fixed speed cameras on that section of road (plus another one on the outskirts of berry).

My advice would be to stay away from the Princes Hwy and stick to the coast. It's the safer option.

Enjoy the ride :D
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Re: Sydney to Nowra Return

Postby wombatK » Fri Apr 02, 2010 1:27 pm

X-ray wrote:I've ridden to Nowra from Wollongong taking the route along Seven Mile Beach.

I agree with others that the road surface along Crooked River and Gerroa Roads is utterly terrible, uninteresting and has little shoulder. However in my opinion it is far safer to take this route than ride to Nowra via the Princes Highway. Yes, there is no shoulder for much of the section along Seven Mile Beach but the road is straight for kms so drivers have plenty of time to see you. The Princes Hwy takes far more traffic and is essentially one blind bend after another. Not to mention there is no shoulder in some of the more dangerous sections. It's not too bad south of Berry but between Gerringong and Berry it's dangerous enough for a car, let alone a bicycle. There's a reason why there are two fixed speed cameras on that section of road (plus another one on the outskirts of berry).

My advice would be to stay away from the Princes Hwy and stick to the coast. It's the safer option.

Enjoy the ride :D

+1 - the blind bends (those curving left where traffic can't see you until right on you) with no shoulder are no fun at all - particularly when it's one of the Manildra tankers bearing down on you.

The Gerroa road route isn't without it's speedsters though - there's a speed camera here
too. Think you are safer overall on a route where motorist have better sight of you.

RTA has plans for highway upgrades between Gerringong and Berry - but it's decades overdue and is going to be years before its fixed.

Cheers
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Re: Sydney to Nowra Return

Postby KGB » Thu Apr 03, 2014 7:08 pm

*puts away shovel*

Sorry for the thread dig but I'm considering riding from Sydney to Culburra over Easter (meeting family down there for a holiday over the long weekend). Return ride is a possibility but not necessarily a priority.
I'm familiar with riding until about Bulli but from there onwards I've only done in a car or on a motorbike. The consensus from earlier in this thread seemed like it was generally a bad idea going much further than Kiama-ish but have the roadworks improved things over the past few years? I know there has been significant change in this time and last time I was down that way there was still more roadworks going on before Berry (I think).

Has anyone done this ride or similar recently? Its in the middle of the school holidays, plus a long weekend so traffic could be a problem - on the other hand, if traffic is a snarl it could be a bit safer. I'll actually be on school holidays so might take a motorbike cruise down there before Easter and scout it out.
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Re: Sydney to Nowra Return

Postby GAV!N » Fri Apr 04, 2014 8:15 am

atnan wrote:
The other big mistake was taking Fern Street out of Gerringong, down onto Crooked River / Gerroa Road along Seven Mile Beach. The road surface was abysmal (unpacked asphalt in sections, rutted in others), and it was full of 4WDs with large boat trailers screaming along at 100km/h. The whole length of road has no shoulder (or 1/2 a meter with grass growing through), which made it pretty stressful.



I live in Gerringong and regularly ride to Berry/Nowra. The 'safe' ways to do it are:

- Go Fern Street, through Gerroa, on to Seven Mile Beach Road. TURN OFF at BEACH RD which heads across to Berry. This still leaves about 2km on the dodgy rd, but you get off it pretty quickly. I have never dared to go the length of Seven Mile Beach Rd. Good news is Council is trying to get the funds together to widen it.

- Go the highway, but only as far as Toolijooa Rd, turn left here. It meets up with Beach Rd again and takes you across to Berry. Downside is about 2km of gravel, which is normally fine for a road bike except after a lot of rain.

The Highway between Berry and Nowra is fine in both directions, or you can take Back Forest Rd which is a bit longer, and joins up with Bolong Rd.

Unless it's quiet, I would suggest the Highway between Gerringong and Berry past Toolijooa rd is more dangerous than Seven Mile Beach Rd. BLIND crests with absolutely 0 shoulder (White line is up against a guard rail), with B Double's roaring around the corner behind you at nearly 100km/h. Not fun at all. Can't wait till the Upgrade is done! (Or the wife lets us move to Berry! :p )
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Re: Sydney to Nowra Return

Postby KGB » Fri Apr 04, 2014 12:33 pm

Awesome, thanks GAV!N. Very helpful.

I'm not overly concerned by a couple of kms of gravel so I'm thinking of continuing on the highway past Gerringong and turning onto Toolijooa Rd -> Beach Rd -> Berry
and then just following the highway again to Nowra.

Would you have a preference or recommendation for the above route vs Fern Rd -> 7 Mile Beach Rd -> Beach Rd -> Berry? I'm thinking avoiding 7 Mile Beach Rd altogether might be a good option since there will probably be lots of holiday traffic.
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Re: Sydney to Nowra Return

Postby KGB » Fri Apr 04, 2014 1:01 pm

Another point I'm unsure about - is it better to stay on the highway through Dapto / Albion Park or stick to the coast and go through Windang? I've driven the highway plenty of times but never been through Windang. I'd be turning off onto Five Islands Rd, taking me past Cringila, Warrawong and Port Kembla. On the map it looks reasonably built-up but are there lots of trucks etc going that way? Much room for cyclists?
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Re: Sydney to Nowra Return

Postby GAV!N » Sat Apr 05, 2014 4:32 pm

Probably not much difference in safety between Dapto/Albion Park, and the coast rd. I would probably suggest the highway is better as it has a pretty decent shoulder the whole way (except albion park rail). The coast road has sections around Port Kembla and Warrawong and Shellharbour etc with no bike lane/shoulder, just 2-3 lanes right to the kerb, and yes quite a few Steel trucks etc going to the Steelworks and Port. That's fine if you ride early with no traffic, but once the traffic builds up I'd probably just stick to the highway.

As for Gerringong, I probably have a slight preference for the Toolijooa Road option, I definitely feel a bit less stressed taking this option, and yes if it's later in the day with lots of traffic would lean me more in this direction.
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Re: Sydney to Nowra Return

Postby Xplora » Sun Apr 06, 2014 5:15 pm

Disappointing that my concerns about the run south were confirmed. I have relatives in Nowra and it seems like a decent run south but the apparently safer option of 7 mile Beach seems as bad as I thought. Wonder how things would go if there was a flat 60 limit if there was no breakdown lane in NSW? How on earth can a car change a flat in the rain on the dirt? Stupid planning.
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Re: Sydney to Nowra Return

Postby KGB » Thu Apr 17, 2014 4:02 pm

Done!
All went well and pretty much as planned. A couple of slight detours and I ended up pulling off the highway and going through gerringong, along the 7 mile beach road due to road works around and past gerringong turnoff. Not much shoulder and crap everywhere.
The worst part was definitely the last 15-20km after turning off from nowra. Flat, open farm land with no shoulder and a southerly breeze made it a pain.

All up about 167km in 7hrs or so with a stop at port kembla and another at gerroa. I'll post the strava link once I have it uploaded.
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