Yalwal Trail Ride

Cycle Sydney, Mountain Bike Ride, Yalwal Trail Ride

This reasonably challenging loop bike ride explores the rugged and remote area west of Nowra. It’s a real mixed bag taking the rider through rolling farmland, the remote bushland of Morton National Park, and then following a section of the beautiful Shoalhaven River. A highlight of the bike ride would have to be the section along Yalwal Road and Old Burrier fire trail where three magnificent lookouts are visited. Two of these provide easterly views with the last looking over Morton National Park. Whilst not overly technical the bike ride traverses steep terrain resulting in some real leg burning climbs followed by the inevitable high speed grin inducing descent.

I’ve chosen to start this ride at the corner of Bamarang Road and Longreach Road. The first section involves a section of bitumen along Yalwal Road, this can be replaced with an extra helping of dirt by simply riding the Bamarang Road section on both legs. After an initial section of bitumen past Bamarang Dam the trail surface soon turns to a well graded dirt road and the climbing begins.

After a steep climb of a few kms the gradient lessens and at around the half way mark the highest point of this ride is reached. A few kms before this point two lookouts are reached. The first of these lookouts is unnamed and involves a short sandy ride out to a rock ledge from which excellent views can be had of the Burringella Creek Valley. The next lookout involves a 4km return ride along a reasonable trail to another large rock shelf with more amazing views. From the lookout you can take in a vantage to the north and east with views out over Burrier Plateau and the Meadow Creek Valley. Just when you think you’ve had enough of amazing lookouts a short ride leads to our last at McKenzie’s point, from which yet more stunning vistas can be had out over Morton National Park and Yalwal State Forest.

Once you reach the half way mark the trail points downward and all your efforts are now rewarded with a fun but steep downhill run to Grass Gully Road complete with air giving waterbars. Soon you will find yourself at the small town of Burrier and then back on the black top following the Shoalhaven River. Bamarang Road marks the beginning of the dirt again and this section of trail initially follows the river before heading through rolling farmland and makes for fun cycling on the final leg back to the cars. A reasonable ride distance combined with some steep climbs make this ride suitable for more advanced riders with good levels of fitness.

Technically the ride is straight forward and for the most part takes place on well graded dirt roads, reasonable quality fire trail, and sections of bitumen. Most of the ride is open to vehicle traffic so remember to keep to the left and ride responsibly. The proximity of this bike ride to the coast means that temperatures will tend to be milder than inland, making it suitable all year around.


Bitumen, unsealed roads and fire trail, all in fairly good condition. You will climb with a rewarding descent.


Ride is open to 4wd vehicles and trail bikes


Princes Highway to Nowra, turn right into Kalandar Sreet, left at roundabout into Albatross Road, right into Yalwal Road, right into Longreach Road and park at intersection with Bamarang Road.

Food and Drink

No food or drink available along ride, however Nowra has shops, cafes and pubs.

Side Trip

Numerous fire trails can be explored along the way


Ride Log

  • 0.0 Start of ride, turn right into Longreach Rd.
  • 0.4 Turn right onto Yalwal Rd.
  • 2.8 Bamarang Dam on your right, steep decent begins.
  • 5.5 Turn left. Note sign: Yalwal picnic area, road will soon turn to gravel and start to climb.
  • 8.2 At almost top of climb you pass under high voltage power lines.
  • 12.4 Ignore Wattle fire trail to left.
  • 12.6 Ignore Deans Gap Rd to your left and keep to right.
  • 14.3 Right turn into minor trail, this leads to the first lookout and is quite sandy.
  • 15.0 Trail terminates in open area complete with burnt out car. Excellent views from the large rock platform. After taking in the views retrace your steps to main fire trail.
  • 15.7 Back at main fire trail, turn right.
  • 16.7 Right turn into fire trail. This leads to the second lookout.
  • 18.8 Lookout is reached and is a large rock platform which is on your left.
  • 21.5 Back at main trail turn right.
  • 22.9 Turn right into Old Burrier fire trail. Left turn into Salls trail which leads to McKenzie’s Lookout.
  • 29.7 Back at Old Burrier fire trail turn left.
  • 31.5 After a steep downhill you hit T-intersection with Grass Gully Rd, turn right.
  • 35.1 At T-intersection right turn into bitumen.
  • 44.4 Left turn into Bamarang Rd.
  • 48.6 End of ride.
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    42.849 km / 26.625 mi

    Total Distance

    863 m / 2,832 ft

    Total Ascent

    863 m / 2,832 ft

    Total Descent

    364 m / 1,193 ft

    Highest Point

    Ride type:
    Mountain biking
    Road riding
    Kid friendly
    Rail Trail
    Difficulty: Intermediate (Red)
    Ride Duration: 1/2 day
    Fitness Level: High
    MTB Segment: flow
    Shared Bike Path - Paved
    Shared Bike Path - Dirt
    On-Road Bike Lane
    Off-Road - Fire Trail
    Off-Road - Rail Trail
    Off-Road - Single Track
    Off-Road - Downhill
    Mobile Coverage: Limited
    Estimated Distance: 48.6
    Elevation Gain: 1223
    First Aid
    Bike hire
    Bike servicing
    Accessible by bike
    Accessible by car
    Accessible by public transport
    Accessible by shuttle / uber

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