Saturday, May 26, 2007

Royal National Park - Lady Carrington drive Ride

The Royal National Park in southern Sydney (or northern Wollongong) is the second oldest national park in the world and it makes for some pretty fine riding. I decided to catch the train up from Wollongong and ride into the park from Heathcote, scoot along Lady Carrington drive and follow Lawrence Hargreave drive and the coastal cycleway back to home to Wollongong. The first part of this ride was a modifcation of the trip found in Bruce Ashley's Cycling Around Sydney and it's a pretty popular place to ride.

After catching the 7.48am train to Waterfall and changing for Heathcote, I got on the bike at 9.15am and headed off down the management trails to Farnell Ave and the entrance to the park. Met up with a few other riders who helped me out with directions. The steep descent down to Audley was great if a little cold and some guys I met rider out recommended that I leave my gloves on.
Lady Carrington drive starts at Audley and is closed to cars - only bikes and walkers are allowed and you follow the Hacking River south through a range of flora - quite a few red cedars. At one point, hurtling along I startled and was startled by a Lyre Bird running across the track in front of me. To9o slow for the camera unfrotunately but it was only the second Lyre Bird I've ever seen in the wild.

I stopped for a break and some dates at the end of Lady Carrington Drive were it joins the Lady Wakehurst Drive before climbing (slowly) up out of the park. It was still fairly early and only a few motorcyclists roared by. The southern end of the park is pretty popular as a tourist drive and can be tricky in places for cycling.
Stopped for a well earned coffee and energy drink at the Otford Pantry before heading down Lawrence Hargreave Drive and the coastal cycleway from Austinmer to Wollongong. The whole route is on bikely and I recommend it

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