Cycling the Sapphire Coast
Cycling the Sapphire Coast
The Sapphire Coast is just as picturesque in real life as it sounds – sapphire blue waters, untouched beaches, pristine forests of spotted gums leading right to the water’s edge and the rolling green dairy farms of the Bega Valley – home of the famous Bega Cheese. With a temperate climate, it has something to offer the cyclist year-round.
The Sapphire Coast Region is perhaps best known for its mountain biking experiences including single track experiences such as the 70km Bundadung Trail single track network near Tathra and the Bermagui Mountain Bike Park. Steeped in Aboriginal history, the Bundadung Mountain Biking network of trails was built by volunteers from Bega Aboriginal Lands Council (BALC) and the Tathra community. The name Bundadung, is an Aboriginal word for wombat and the trail network is also home to the annual Tathra Enduro event, which has a cult following for families and serious competitors alike.
Affectionately known as the ‘Dirt Surfers’ The Bermagui Mountain Bike offers an exciting 6.7km track through the State Forest, featuring bridges, berms, switchbacks and technical sections. There’s a 900m track for the kids too.
However, the region also offers ambient cycle experiences for the whole family, pedalling alongside the coast on well-formed shared paths in the main coastal townships or further inland to explore quaint market towns such as Candelo & Cobargo. The Merimbula to Pambula Bike Track is one example. A 6 km relaxing ride from Merimbula Lake on a flat trail takes you to the quirky village of Pambula. Explore all the specialty shops or stop for a bite to eat in one of the many cafes. Take another bike track to beautiful Pambula Beach to discover stunning beaches as well as the local kangaroos and other wildlife and return via the Panboola wetlands, which feature more flat trails that wind their way past ponds and lakes teeming with birdlife.
If lucky, you may even spot a whale during Springtime as Southern Right and Humpback whales migrate south for the summer. The Sapphire Coast is one of the few places in south east Australia that whales nurse and rest as they migrate to their summer grounds in Antarctica.
For the road cyclist, there are countless scenic drive routes, off the Princes Highway, which connect the various townships, national parks and beaches.
The region’s national parks provide ample outdoor opportunities for the whole family, to compliment your bicycle experiences and, once you’ve exhausted the ride opportunities and/or yourself – find a pristine beach on which to unwind, rest and relax! Perhaps with a fresh local seafood platter or ice cream. You’ve earnt it!
Key townships of the Sapphire Coast are Bega, Bemboka, Bermagui, Cobargo, Eden, Merimbula, Pambula and Tathra.
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images courtesy of Sapphire Coast Destination Marketing