STAGE 1 - Surfer’s Paradise to Byron Bay 109.1 km
We will leave home base in the heart of the Gold Coast and encounter wildlife quickly on the journey. David Fleay Wildlife Park, on Tallebudgera Creek near Burleigh Head is home to some of Australia's most iconic wildlife - crocodiles, koalas, emus, brolgas, dingoes, dunnarts, bilbies, kangaroos and platypus. After 99.8 km, we will stop for the night in Byron Bay, the most Eastern part of the Australian coastline. Byron Bay offers a quaint coastal village with shops and excellent opportunities to whale watch. If we can’t see whales from the shoreline, we will check out the smaller fish underwater with some snorkeling. https://ridewithgps.com/routes/16721047
STAGE 2 - Byron Bay to Yamba 130.1 km
Heading south towards Yamba, we will stop at two national parks – Broadwater national park and Bundjalung national park, both noted for whale watching. We will look for whales for a while to catch a little rest on this lengthy second stage ending in Yamba, New South Wales. Yamba is a sleepy beach community that had media press in 2007 due to an abundance of sea foam. The town has a relaxed lifestyle with access to two pubs and two clubs. Yamba is also known for whale watching and tons of dolphins. So after we hit up the 2 pubs and clubs, we may be so tired from the long ride and pub/club scene that we end up resting in a sandy bed of seafoam. https://ridewithgps.com/routes/16721482
STAGE 3 - Yamba to Woolgoolga 149.2 km
It’s a long one…. And we will now be a third of the way through our bike tour on day 3! We aren’t quite following the recommended 40-60 miles per day, even a little lighter on the miles in the first few days. We will take a short break in Yuraygir National park to see some more whales and surf. This 148 km stretch will end in Woolgoolga, which is known for banana plantations and blueberry farms. After this longest leg of the journey, blueberries and bananas may not cut it. The Seaview Tavern, also known as The Fountain on the Mountain, is the only pub and will have to supplement the fruit. We will probably call it an early night given the distance traveled. https://ridewithgps.com/routes/16721813
STAGE 4 - Woolgoolga to Sawtell 41.2 km
A short ride to Sawtell will leave more time on foot than on bike. We will have a recovery ride and relax along the way at Coff’s Harbour, another banana plantation city. Besides bananas, Coff’s Harbour has a small natural reef to explore via snorkel. Just a few more km south, we will end up at our destination for the day in Sawtell. Lined by 100-year-old fig trees, the village is a delightful mix of cafes and restaurants, a restored Art Deco cinema and boutiques. We will stop by Bongil Bongil national park, which is known for its large population of koalas. https://ridewithgps.com/routes/16722368
STAGE 5 - Sawtell to Scotts Head 70.5 km
Half way! A shorter stage allows for two scenic stops. Captain Cook's lookout is located beneath the Smoky Cape lighthouse near Kempsey on the north coast of NSW. Just south we will stop at Gaagal Wanggaan (South Beach) national park for some kayaking. This shorter stage will conclude in Scotts Head, New South Wales, another small coastal community. The beach is popular with surfers, offers a picturesque landscape, well known right handed breaks, frequently visited by dolphins and is on the whale migratory route. The best part of this beach town is its very own dog beach park! We will be sure to get some footage of the local dogs enjoying the beach lifestyle. https://ridewithgps.com/routes/16722602
STAGE 6 - Scotts Head to Port Macquarie 104.9 km
Before hopping on the ferry in Port Macquarie, we will take a quick look at the lighthouse of Hat Head National Park on the mid-north coast of NSW near South West Rocks. We will also explore Port Macquarie and visit the spectacular Glasshouse building set right in the heart of Port's vibrant riverside city centre. The Glasshouse building is large theater and performing arts center.
STAGE 7 - Port Macquarie to Old Bar 97.6 km
After the ferry ride, we will arrive at yet another coastal national park – we will stop in Crowdy Bay national park to relax on the beach before the last 1/3 of our journey! This 97 km stage will conclude in Old Bar, New South Wales. Old Bar has a number of businesses and restaurants. It is a tourist town, known for surfing, fishing by river, beach or rocks and various watersports. We will relax in the evening at the Taree Old Bar Surf Life Saving Club which boasts the best views in town with its classic Vic Rushby bar.
STAGE 8 - Old Bar to Blueys beach 64.3 km
This super scenic route will help us finish with ease. Right next to Forster, Booti Booti national park is comprised of an 8 km peninsula between the ocean and a lake, complete with pristine beaches and rainforests. This shorter scenic stage will conclude in Blueys Beach of Pacific Palms, New South Wales. A major attraction for visitors is the Green Cathedral at the north end of Pacific Palms. This outdoor Cathedral is within in a cabbage tree forest overlooking Wallis Lake.
STAGE 9 - Blueys beach to Raymond Terrace 121.9 km
Breakfast will be served before this longer, 117 km stage at the Twenty by Twelve café, which is a local, breakfast joint for cyclists and surfers. After breakfast, the beachfront scenery continues! This longer stage will go by quickly with an oceanfront view for more than half of the stage. We hope to get even closer to the water’s edge by taking kayaks in Tomaree national park to Point Stephens Lighthouse on Fingal Island to explore the lighthouse and historic ruins. https://ridewithgps.com/routes/16723157
STAGE 10 - Raymond Terrace to Ettalong beach 142.1 km
The second to last stage – we are getting close with another fairly lengthy stage. We will take an early stop at Newcastle to prepare for the city life in Sydney. The Newcastle metropolitan area is the second most populated area in the Australian state of New South Wales. If our legs are holding strong, we may take the recently completed ANZAC Walk – a zigzag pathway to the ocean.
STAGE 11 - Ettalong beach to Sydney 50 km
The grand finale!!! We are on our way to Sydney with only 50 km to cover! This super scenic coastal stretch will allow for constant ocean views and 3 ferry rides (ferry at Brooker Bay road to ferry at Palm Beach to ferry at North Sydney Olympic pool). We will gratefully complete this journey in the heart of Sydney, spending a long weekend in the city before venturing back to our roadog, Burton in Los Angeles. Live track for Route