Newcastle is fast becoming a cycling hotspot, with newly-launched bike tracks ready to be explored.
Adding to the city’s already extensive bike track network, the new Stockton cycleway has just opened in Newcastle. The track forms part of the NSW Coastline Cycleway – a 1400-kilometre stretch of bike paths running along the entire length of the State’s coastline.
The cycleway winds through stunning coastal and wetland scenery, starting at the Stockton Bridge and following the harbour around to Stockton Breakwall. The track’s flat surfaces means riders of all levels can enjoy the leisurely off-road biking trail.
Along the way, cyclists can explore the sandspit at Stockton Bridge, a dynamic habitat where shorebirds roost, and the 1904 Adolphe shipwreck wedged off the breakwall. A picnic in Stockton’s foreshore park or a meal at Lexies by the Beach café is a great way to complete the experience.
The Stockton cycleway is conveniently linked to Newcastle’s city centre by ferry and cyclists are permitted to travel with bikes for no additional charge.
Another newly-opened cycling route in Newcastle is the three-metre-wide off-road Tramway Track. Running for 3.65 kilometres through natural bush and farmland between Wallsend and Glendale, the track follows a corridor which used to be part of the West Wallsend tramway, which operated from 1912 to 1930.
In addition to the new tracks, Newcastle is home to a variety of cycling routes, from family-friendly coastal rides to epic adventures for advanced cyclists.
A popular route for both walkers and cyclists is the Fernleigh Track, created along the path of a former railway corridor between Adamstown and Belmont. The 15-kilometre track meanders through a picturesque bush land and coastal scrub setting, through a 180-metre brick-lined tunnel and along a wetlands boardwalk. Another Newcastle cycling staple is the Throsby Creek cycleway – a scenic five-kilometre shared path between Islington Park and the marina in Wickham. This gentle off-road path runs along Newcastle’s harbour foreshore providing cyclists with views of the wetlands and water sport activities that frequently take place in the harbour including rowing, stand-up paddle boarding and kayaking. Cyclists can also stop for a bite to eat at one of Newcastle’s most popular cafés, The Source which is located along the route.
Visitors can hire a bike from Civic Bikes located in the city at 822 Hunter Street in Newcastle West, with hourly rates from $12 for adults and $8 for children, including a helmet and bike lock. Civic Bikes is currently offering a weekend special of two days’ hire for the price of one day, of $35 for adults and $30 for children.
For more information on cycling tracks, as well as other attractions, accommodation options and events taking place in Newcastle, go to www.visitnewcastle.com.au.
Voted one of the top 10 cities in the world by Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2011, Newcastle is a bustling coastal city made up of cosmopolitan cafes and restaurants, harbourside bars, a diverse arts culture, boutique shopping precincts and pristine beaches – all without the crowds of a metropolis. Newcastle is just two hours from Sydney by road or 30 minutes by plane or seaplane, and less than an hour’s drive to the Hunter Valley wineries. www.visitnewcastle.com.au.