Cycling guide to tour the Central Coast

cute classic bike at winery
cute classic bike at winery
Ready for some people powered adventure? Get outdoors, take to two wheels and enjoy the best cycling routes across the Central Coast region
Cycling is the eco-friendly option to travel long distances with ease, sight-see, stop for an essential espresso and enjoy feeling fit and free. The Coast’s extensive network of shared pathways and cycle tracks will transport you there instantly…

There are so many reasons to pedal your way from home to café, gallery to bay, or lake to lunch. Cycling offers adventure and pleasure in equal measure. It’s a great form of exercise. And best of all, it’s an extremely sustainable way to travel.

No crowds. Social distancing is a breeze. Plenty of vitamin D. Cycling is your free ticket to feeling free and tapping back into that childhood joy of tackling a hill climb and rolling with glee down the other side, wind in your hair – and surrounding cars stuck in traffic. Tee hee on your two wheels.

To plan a safe and exciting cycle trip on the Central Coast, we’ve rallied together this guide featuring some of the best routes available. Whether it’s conquering BMX tracks, mountain biking in State Forests, or pedaling the perimeter of Tuggerah Lakes with the family – this list of local routes has you covered!

red bike on communal bike rack at cafe
Glass Onion Society guest bike rack, Long Jetty
bike leant on tree in autumn leaves
Image: @agirlandher_ebike via Instagram
See the Central Coast sustainably

The stunning natural scenery of the NSW Central Coast is connected with a bicycle network spanning more around 300km, including 105km of on-road facilities and 200km of off-road shared pathways.

These paths cater to both recreational and touring cyclists, with a range of off-road pathways following natural waterways, lakes and pristine coastline. Cycling routes are in place traversing Brisbane Waters, Lake Munmorah, Budgewoi Lake and Tuggerah Lake.

The NSW Coastline Cycleway also has local links between Brisbane Water and the popular town centres of Terrigal and Avoca Beach, plus Toowoon Bay and Soldiers Beach (Norah Head). This cycling route aims to follow more than 1,400km along the eastern coastline, from the Queensland border at Tweed Heads, along coastal New South Wales and to the Victorian border south of Eden.

cyclist at long jetty mural
Image: @cyclo_paths
Get your kit together

If you’re bringing your own bike on the journey, simply don’t forget a water bottle, helmet, suitable level of lycra (MAMILs we’re looking at you), and bike lock if you plan to take some breaks in cafés or restaurants. The shared pathways across the Central Coast also have multiple public water drinking stations, making it easy to stay hydrated – doggy water stations included!

There are also options available to hire bikes on the Central Coast, such as Boomerang Bike Hire run by well-travelled worldly cyclists Rod and Deb, who deliver a range of bikes (including tandems) to your location. They also have self service hire hubs at Ettalong Beach (near Mantra Resort), Ocean Beach (Sydney Avenue), and The Entrance (open 24:7 near Memorial Park).

Ride Ettalong is also a great option for bike hire on the Central Coast, with Specialized e-Bike Cruisers and MTBs available from their shopfront on Ocean View Road. Mountain bikes can also be hired on the stunning Bouddi Peninsula at Killcare’s Boat, Bike, Paddle Hire Central Coast, giving you easy access to some of the best off-road cycling trails on the Central Coast.

For mountain bikers, Transition Extreme run an uplift shuttle at Ourimbah Mountain Bike Park from Friday to Sunday, with half or full-day sessions available.

If you’re a local, you can also give one of the local friendly cycling groups a spin, such as the Central Coast Touring Cycling Club, or Central Coast Bicycle Users Group (CCBUG). Their group rides are scheduled, safe and supportive.

women hiring bikes
1. Point to Pelicans

Route: 26km (13.5km one way)
Level: Easy to moderate, mostly flat
Water refill stations: Tascott Straight, Pelican Park, Lions Park Playground, Gosford Boat Ramp

Perfect for cycle tourists seeking an easy jaunt around the spectacular Brisbane Water Cycleway. This ride begins at Pioneer Park in the suburb of Point Frederick, jutting into Brisbane Water bay near Gosford. We recommend catching this view early in the morning, it’s a beaut!

As you cycle through Gosford, over the bridge passing Central Coast Stadium, loop into Adcock Park in West Gosford (which also has a fantastic, free velodrome for some speed laps). Follow the shared cycle path along the water to Point Clare, Tascott and Koolewong, passing wetlands and scenic waterways, before crossing Spike Milligan Bridge and finishing up at Woy Woy town centre.

Stop for fish and chips or you may even like to visit the many cafes, bars and restaurants of Woy Woy including Tropicana Social Club, Woy Woy Fishermen’s Wharf, or Frankie’s Rooftop Bar. From here you can cycle back, take the train home, or catch a ferry across to Saratoga and Davistown.

woy woy wharf
aerial of woy woy waterway path
2. Woy Woy to Ettalong

Route: 10km (5km one way)
Level: Easy to moderate, some road cycling required

You can also opt to continue the Point to Pelicans ride onto neighbouring Ettalong Beach, following on from the Woy Woy shared pathway toward Blackwall Mountain, briefly connecting to Blackwall Road, and taking a left onto Blackwall Road meeting Memorial Avenue, following the cycle path down Barrenjoey Road to take a left onto Karingi Street, right onto Broken Bay Road, and emerging at Ocean View Road. Here you’ll meet a plethora cute local boutiques and you’re just moments from the beautiful beachside Esplanade and its shared pathway - with even more foodie spots to refuel by the sea.

3. Ettalong to Umina

Route: 6.8km (3.4km one way)
Level: Easy and scenic

Whether you decide to continue on from Ettalong after touring Woy Woy, or arriving on the ferry with your bike from Palm Beach (alighting in Ettalong wharf) cycling the Ettalong Esplanade shared to the Umina Peninsula Recreation Precinct is one of the Central Coast’s most simple but scenic rides! Start your journey at Ettalong Wharf, and follow the path along the water’s edge, stopping for a sip or bite wherever it pleases you and your peloton between Ocean Beach and Umina Beach.

Once arriving in Umina, the public park features a skate park, BMX track, junior cycling track and awesome playground for families – with a handy onsite café, Jasmine Greens Kiosk.

bike at ettalong beach
bikes at ettalong beach
4. Kincumber to Davistown to Saratoga

Route: 5.5km return
Level: Easy, mostly flat
Water refill station: Broadwater Playground

A scenic and easy family ride starting from Carrack Road, Kincumber (near the Kincumber Hotel) along the shared cycleway that tours you past the wetlands, mangroves, over boardwalks and around the Broadwater to Davistown Road. There's a playground at the Kincumber leg with a handy water refill station, and several plaques en route which tell the story of the local 1800s shipbuilding industry as part of the Shipbuilder’s Heritage Walk that stretches the length of this cycleway.

If you're feeling adventurous head across into the village of Saratoga and Yattalunga, or poodle on down Davistown Road into Davistown itself. Pop into Davistown RSL or try the Little Teapot with its delightful garden courtyard.

5. Tuggerah Lakes Cycleway

Route: 24km (12km one way)
Level: Easy, mostly flat
Water refill station: Picnic Point, Long Jetty, plus several more en route

This spectacular Coast-to Lake shared cycleway runs around the southern foreshore of Tuggerah Lake, from Chittaway Bay, through Long Jetty and onto The Entrance. The route is perfect for a safe and leisurely weekend family ride, with bike hire available at The Entrance near Memorial Park. You can start at Picnic Point at The Entrance and continue for 12km to Chittaway Bay (or travel in the other direction starting at Lakedge Avenue in Chittaway with lunch at The Entrance). Along the way you’ll pass plenty of picnic areas, parks and playgrounds, including the popular Saltwater Creek park at Long Jetty, with barbecues and a kid’s BMX track. There’s also an outdoor fitness station at Picnic Point if you’re cycling for fitness.

You can also start your cycle tour of Tuggerah Lake by arriving via train at Tuggerah station. From here, follow Bryant Ave along the shared path to Wyong Rd with care, and onto the shared path connecting to Tuggerah Business Park, then to Lees Reserve and cross at the roundabout. Follow the shared path for 100m and take a left into Chittaway Rd, a right into James Watt Drive, and then finally a left to Thomas Walker Drive for 600m. This will connect you with the Tuggerha Lakes shared pathway, traffic free, for the next 12km!

bloke cycling by the lakeside
tuggerah cycleway bridge
national park cycleway path
Wyrrabalong National Park cyclepath toward Norah Head
6. Magenta (North Entrance) to Toukley and Norah Head

Route: 24km (12km one way)
Level: Moderate to athletic

Extend your Tuggerah Lakes Cycleway ride north of The Entrance bridge via the shared pathway with ease. From Picnic Point, cross the bridge over the channel with care, and cycle past the fishermen and dog walkers through Terilbah Reserve and the Sensory Garden, and continue to head north through to the suburb of Magenta. If you’re a confident cyclist, this route connect as far north as Norah Head, touring you alongside the dense red gum forest of Wyrrabalong National Park. Once you reach the end of the national park, the cycle path veers off from the main road to the left, onto Evans Road, which will take you into the heart of Toukley town centre. There’s cafes, pubs and waterfront restaurants galore – including Rise Mofo, The Beachie, 350 on Main, Mexicoast Cantina and Hearts & Minds Social. Just don’t forget you may need to allow time to tackle that hearty return cycle ride in daylight!

Alternatively, you can travel the same distance instead to Norah Head, where there’s a historic lighthouse and tasty cafés by the sea. Make sure you safely turn right onto Denison Road at the cemetery, then right again onto Bungary Drive that leads to the centre and shops, such as The General Store Café.

7. Budgewoi Lake to Wallarah Creek

Route: 8km one way
Level: Easy, flat, partly shaded
Water refill stations: Several en route

Commencing at Slade Park by Budgewoi Bridge, also nearby the local shops (with some great fish & chips options for later!), take your journey along the Budgewoi Lake Foreshore shared pathway and keep an eye out for the flurry of native bird life in this area. The track is has multiple reserves, park benches and grassed areas en route for your pit stops – we recommend Edgewater Reserve or Buff Point for handy amenities and spectacular lake views.

The one-way route concludes at the bridge near North Lakes Shopping Centre, so you better rally the troops to get pedalling back to Ocean Blues Seafood at Budgewoi for a well deserved feed!

budgewoi bridge cycle path
seafood basket
Cycle on the beaten track

Mountain biking is also a popular pastime on the coast, and there are lots of great mountain bike trails to try out in forests and council reserves.

Check out some Central Coast MTB routes:

 

Check out some Central Coast BMX routes:

  • Visit the revamped BMX track at Terrigal, Duffy’s Oval Recreation Precinct
  • Saltwater Creek Reserve, Tuggerah Parade, Long Jetty
  • Extreme Sports Park, 2 Highview Avenue, San Remo
  • Peninsula Recreation Precinct, Umina Beach

 

terrigal bmx track
Terrigal BMX Track
woman cycling through forest
Image: MTB at Ourimbah State Forest, Rocky Trail Entertainment
family on mountain bikes smiling happily
Ready to ride?

Whatever level of cyclist you are, and however you’re motivated to get on your bike – you’ve got plenty of opportunities to fall in love with cycling on the Central Coast. Some cycle for the coffee stops, some for the pastry refuelling, while others soak up the scenery and enjoy travelling in the great outdoors in the most eco-friendly way.

For more information on specific ride routes to suit you, visit Bicycle NSW’s interactive map and select our region.

For a list of shared pathways and foreshores that welcome gentle, family-friendly cycling across the Central Coast, you should also roll on over to our guide to Central Coast waterside shared walkways.

mtb on edge of lookout at broken bay
Image: Transition Extreme

Share the love

Do you have a favourite cycle path on the Central Coast that deserves a spot here? We’d love to hear about it. Simply contact us via email or feel free to message directly on our Love Central Coast socials.

 

Don't forget – when sharing your love for local on the Central Coast, tag #LoveCentralCoast and mention us on Instagram and Facebook.