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Postby Patrickewatson » Mon Sep 09, 2013 8:38 pm


Just wondering if anyone would like to ride down to canberra from sydney and back if you want to sometime during November (preferably the 22nd to start the ride)

I not taking much supplies. Just the necessaries and a sleeping bag and some money. I'm thinking of riding straight down the Hume highway and then onto federal highway to canberra.

Thanks :) leave your comments,


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Re: Sydney-Canberra-Sydney

Postby find_bruce » Tue Sep 10, 2013 10:18 pm

Not exactly the most scenic of routes :)

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Re: Sydney-Canberra-Sydney

Postby WarrenH » Wed Sep 11, 2013 9:36 am

Patrick, you might have to cut me some slack here, because I'm presuming that you're not overly familiar with these two highways or your time is limited?

By the way, one doesn't "ride down to Canberra" one rides up to Canberra from Sydney ... and then down hill on the return trip, :roll: .

Do you know that there are two Federal Highways North of Canberra? The Fedral Highway and the Old Federal Highway. The Old Federal Highway runs parallel to the Federal Highway and is a popular road for cycling. Consider getting onto the Old Federal Highway, after Lake George, as soon as possible.

If you have, Serfas Drifters or Marathons or a similar type of tyre, there are several fine roads that will alternate between high quality dirt and rural quality tarmac coming into Canberra. Roads that will be more sympathetic to riding on, than the Federal and Hume Highways. The 22nd Nov is a Friday, on the Hume and Federal Hwys the traffic will be extreme and more extreme on the weekend. The traffic is extreme everyday ... until the Goulburn Yass turnoff on the Hume, there will be a car or a truck every 50 metres, after leaving Sydney. Then a car or truck every 50-100 metres after joining the Federal. Both highways have good shoulders, except for the narrower shoulders crossing the long bridges near Nattai, on the Hume. The fast moving highway air will make the ride more slippery, that is one bonus.

From Goulburn you can head towards Breadalbane and then into Collector, or if you can handle the dirt at Cullarin (about 30 kilometres), from Breadalbane, head across to Cullarin-Lerida-Marked Tree Road across the Lake George Escarpment, then into Canberra through Gundaroo and Mulligans Flat. After Cullarin the prevailing wind is a Northwesterly, just perfect and the route is beautiful.

Vintage Tourer aka Graham S did a ride from Goulburn to the Blue Mountains via the Abercrombie River, then to Penrith, a few months back, well worth a read. ... ... 11918&v=7c

If you decide not to ride the two most boring highways across the Southern Highlands and Southern Tablelands ... you will be spoilt for options. If you do a loop route rather than just riding out and back, as a bonus you'll encounter little to no traffic on the other roads. Although if you ride into Canberra, East of Lake George through Tarago, the coastal traffic from Bungendore on, at places like Smiths Gap and on the Macs Reef Road, can be a bit hairy. Canberra drivers on the coast runs are always in an hurry.

Cheers and Good Luck.

"But on steep descending...Larson TT have bad effect on the mind of a rider" - MadRider from Suji, Korea 2001.

"Paved roads ... another fine example of wasteful government spending." - a bumper sticker.

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Re: Sydney-Canberra-Sydney

Postby Vintagetourer » Wed Sep 11, 2013 10:13 pm

Hi Patrick... as Warren said it'd be worth at least exploring a map or two to check out what the non-highway options are. There are quite a few possibilities, either via the Blue Mts, or south along the coast and the Southern Highlands.

One route is here: although you'd need to modify it to avoid the need for a tent.

If you are in a tearing hurry, by all means rip down the highways. The breakdown lanes are wide and safe but the noise and distraction of the traffic isn't pleasant. I needed to get Sydney airport from Canberra in two days last week. On Friday I rode my folding bike lightly loaded from Canberra to Bundanoon via Goulburn in about 6.5 hrs along the Federal Hwy, Hume Hwy and then the Highland Way.
Rather than push on down the Illawarra highway I then caught CityRail from Moss Vale to Central on Saturday morning. So it is possible to do a quick highway ride (especially combining it with CityRail), but there are more enjoyable routes if you can take a bit longer to smell the wattle.

Regards Graham

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