The Hilltops by bike
The best bicycle adventures and cycling vacations in the Hilltops
People, place and produce. A cyclist's dream! And you'll be spoiled for all three as you experience this region by bike.
'Pick your own' orchards galore, over 22 vineyards - many with cellar doors open to the public, local coffee roasters, and gourmet, quality products across the region; you won't know which to choose! A regional country area, you'll also experience all of this as traditional service with a smile; a genuine smile, with the locals here keen to welcome cyclists and to make you feel at home. And place - you'll know immediately why this region is the 'Hilltops' as you ride along the beautiful undulating countryside of pastoral and grazing lands, with expansive vistas of rolling hills and country landscapes in every direction.
The Hilltops region is located just over an hour north-west of Canberra in Southern NSW and comprises part of the broader Southern Tablelands area; together with the Upper Lachlan, Goulburn-Mulwaree, Yass and Queanbeyan-Palerang.
Key townships of the Hilltops are Boorowa, Young, Harden and Jugiong; with country roads (both paved and gravel) linking these and more quaint villages, each telling unique Australian histories. The townships offer a good range of accommodation and eateries to support a single or multiday adventure by bike in this iconic grazing country.
A handsome country town in a deep valley, Young offers the full urban experience, with comfy motels, B&B’s and self-catering accommodation as well as a central caravan park. Its award-winning cafes and boutiques are among grand 19th century buildings. The town shopping strip is surrounded by fine 20th century streetscapes with some gorgeous gardens.
The town offers the amenities of an urban center, award-winning coffee, scrumptious eateries near formal parks and lakes along the creek.
In 1831 Young’s first European settler, James White, built his homestead on a slope 15 km north of the present town, on the advice of the local Wiradjuri people. The sheltered area where his ewes gave birth was known as the Lambing Flat. Gold was first discovered there in 1860. Thousands of miners and prospectors flocked to the field, and the town developed. Young’s museum, housed in the 1883 schoolhouse, tells the story of the 1861 riots against energetic Chinese miners.
Young is surrounded by orchards, vineyards, olive groves, and strawberry farms. Through Spring, the orchards blossom. Young hosts the annual National Cherry Festival on the first full weekend of December. Venture into the orchards to pick your own or stop by one of the many shopfronts and road-side stalls to stock up and fill the car with the sweet aroma of cherries, and cherry pies. Later, plums, peaches, apricots, and other stone fruit, fresh and in pies and preserves, are available. Wine connoisseurs, and others learning, can enjoy a tasting at one of the cellar doors.
All this, and more, can be explored by bike, no matter your level of fitness.
With a colorful Irish heritage, wide-open landscapes on the Boorowa River, a long tradition of pastoral activity, a vibrant township and pure country charm, Boorowa is an early Australian country town located just seventy minutes north-west of Canberra.
Boorowa is a delight for travelers, offering a vibrant and well-preserved township brimming with cultural attractions.
Explore a rich history spanning the gold rush era, visits from bushrangers and the first Australian Light Horse, complemented by old-world charm and warm country hospitality.
Because the two towns developed at different times they offer distinctive architectural styles. Murrumburrah has two former bank buildings in the Arts & Crafts style, the earlier buildings in the Italianate style: look at the elegant red-brick courthouse: the museum is located at the bottom of the hill in the old Mechanics Institute, it is in the Federation Style.
The Light Horse Memorial in Albury Street honors the district’s contribution to Australian history. A Heritage Footbridge leads to St Mary’s Church and a view of the town, certainly worth the climb. Harden Murrumburrah offers a range of cafes, pub meals and accommodation.
Harden’s vibrant town center, north of the Highway around Neill Street, is the commercial precinct of the twin towns. The newly landscaped main street has dramatic groups of mature date palms, and shade trees framing attractive Federation era and Federation Style shops, hotels, banks, and a Mechanics’ Institute.
An alternative to the main Road to Young takes you beside the magnificent railway viaduct, is through the lovely Currawong valley, past charming homesteads and the beautiful Currawong Church - perfect for exploration by bike.
The Long Track Pantry, in the beautifully restored Jugiong General Store, is a thriving produce store and café loved by locals and travelers alike. Serving home-style breakfast and lunch from Wednesday to Monday, the warm and welcoming eatery is the embodiment of Hilltops dining.
To enjoy Jugiong fully, stay overnight in the Jugiong Motor Inn (which also serves beautifully prepared meals) and next day visit the newly renovated Sir George. The establishment combines a modern, elegant design, high-end dining, (with their own bakery) complemented by professional friendly service. The Jugiong Wine Cellar, the third feather in the village’s culinary hat, showcases the finest wines from the surrounding wine regions of Hilltops, Tumbarumba, Canberra, and Gundagai.
information on this page sourced from: https://www.visithilltopsregion.com.au/
All the info
Where to ride - sightseeing
Where to ride - road rides
Where to ride - gravel rides
Where to ride - overnight and multi-day rides
Where to stay
Where to eat and drink
Events, key attractions and other points of interest
Advocacy groups and local cycling clubs
Getting there and away
Traveling to the Hilltops with your bike couldn't be easier.
Located right off the Hume Highway, it's an ideal destination in its own right by private car; or as a break on the Sydney to Melbourne route.
The Hilltops region is located just an hour's drive north of Canberra and around three hours drive from Sydney.
XPT Regional Trains runs a regular service from the heart of Sydney through to Harden in the Hilltops, taking around 4.5hours and with two to three services each day. It is also possible to catch a train from the Kingston station in Canberra, via Goulburn to Harden.
You must reserve a place for your bicycle when purchasing your ticket. Reservations can only be made over the phone or in person and costs $12.10 per bike. Folding bicycles can travel for free if packed in a protective cover and are no larger than 79cm long x 59cm high x 36cm wide. All non-folding bikes need to be packed in a box no larger than 135cm long x 80cm high x 24cm wide and weigh no more than 20kg, and checked in at least 30 minutes prior to departure.
The Hilltops region is generally relatively quiet in terms of on-road traffic. However, as with any on-road cycling, all cyclists are asked to make themselves visible; and to show courtesy and consideration for other road users, particularly when riding in groups.
NSW Road Rules require that drivers allow at least 1 metre when passing cyclists in a 60kph zone or less; and that they give at least 1.5m when passing in speed zones above 60kph.
It is legal for cyclists to ride two abreast; and cyclists must keep as far as practicable to the left of the road at all times.
Cyclists must also have front and rear lighting when riding in poor light conditions, including dawn, dusk and at night; as well as fog and rain.
HILLTOPS VILLAGES AND COUNTRY SERVICES
You're in for a treat visiting this region of People, Place and Pruduce. You'll be welcomed and made to feel right at home in the region. Part of the charm of the region is the country nature of the experience. Please note that this means that many local businesses and services may close earlier than those in larger cities; and may not open at all over the weekend. If in doubt, please call ahead to confirm.
Please also be aware that much of the region does not have mobile service coverage. Please make sure you are fully self-sufficient for any rides in the region, including carrying basic spare parts such as inner tubes and Co2 gas canisters or a small pump.