Cycling from Kiama to Berry, through to Nowra.

blakeavon
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Cycling from Kiama to Berry, through to Nowra.

Postby blakeavon » Thu Nov 29, 2018 7:02 pm

I am just looking at advice for a multiday cycling trip I would like to do. Thinking of starting in maybe Waterfall or Thirroul. Then down to the 'Gong and then Kiama. I would probably be doing it in the first few days of the new year. Stay one night around Port Kembla, then Berry. Then train back to Sydney from Nowra on the next day.

So my questions... how safe is the ride from Kiama to Berry? Any tips? Then how safe is it to ride from Berry to Nowra? Any tips. Are those rides a good idea?

Or any ideas how i can extend my ride from Kiama somewhere interesting. (about 50km a day is comfortable).

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Derny Driver
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Re: Cycling from Kiama to Berry, through to Nowra.

Postby Derny Driver » Thu Nov 29, 2018 8:43 pm

Hi Blake. I live at Wollongong and can help you out with anything you want to know. There are lots of options open to you, great riding in the area if you know where to go. If you email me I am happy to help you work out what you want to do. arnoldcycling (AT) gmail.com
From Waterfall you could take the old highway to Helensburgh, then drop down Bald Hill into Stanwell park and across the Seacliff Bridge. There is a great cycleway from Thirroul that runs alongside the beaches all the way into Wollongong. From Wollongong south is a little tricky but you can use a bike path next to the Steelworks to get you to Port Kembla area. I live every close to Port Kembla and if you dont mind sleeping on a sofa bed, you are welcome to shower and crash at my place depending on if Im here.
Wollongong area to Kiama is easy riding and not really very far, you can go the coast way which is quite scenic and safe, or go inland via Albion Park and Jamberoo, thats a nice ride too.
Kiama to Berry is really not doable, you have to go on the highway around the Kiama bends and there is no shoulder. Extremely dangerous and its the only road. The way we go to Berry from Kiama would be to head to Jamberoo, go up Jamberoo Pass (extremely steep, may need to walk the bottom section) or Macquarie pass which is 10km at a nice 6% and is wide and safe to ride up. Then through Robertson to Fitzroy falls, drop down into Kangaroo valley and then over Berry Mountain and enter Berry from the western side. But thats about a 100k loop and has some decent climbs in it. Beautiful if you are up to it.
Surprisingly you can ride safely from Berry to Kiama going north, you take Toolijoa Road from Berry to the highway near Gerringong, the highway there is new and has a good shoulder, when you get to the Kiama bends the shoulder ends but you are at that point descending all the way to Kiama, so you take the left lane (of the 2) and you are going the same speed as the cars. So its okay. Exit into Kiama and you can catch a train, or ride back north via Minnamurra back streets and bike paths to Shellharbour area.
Personally I wouldnt go any further south than Kiama, you can do a nice 50k Jamberoo loop from Kiama and there are lots of accommodation options in Kiama.
Anyway feel free to email me, happy to help out if I can.
Marcus

blakeavon
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Re: Cycling from Kiama to Berry, through to Nowra.

Postby blakeavon » Thu Nov 29, 2018 9:11 pm

thanks, so much useful information there. I will slowly plod through it tomorrow and get back to you for some finer details. Oh and thanks for the offer/s, I will keep it in mind.

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Re: Cycling from Kiama to Berry, through to Nowra.

Postby LateStarter » Fri Nov 30, 2018 10:56 am

@blakeavon, I don't know your cycling or touring experience but the Kiama bends while a long long way from ideal are not the worst you will encounter.

You will find a relevant and recent (February 2018) discussion (with lots of pictures) here http://www.sydneycyclist.com/forum/topi ... e-friendly

You should also have a look at Google Maps / Streetview, "riding" a route on streetview before will prepare and forewarn you for what you will encounter and that's half the battle.

Also look at the NSW RMS Cycleway Finder (http://www.rms.nsw.gov.au/maps/cycleway_finder), it has the bends marked as "hard" onroad. Another source is the OpenStreetMaps with cycle layer enabled, this has a reasonable recommended route (East Coast Cycleway) https://www.openstreetmap.org/#map=14/- ... 8&layers=C

If you do cycle the Kiama Bends then always stay a bit away from the edge as there is a 50mm+ dropdown from the road to the gutters with a camber towards the gutter as well. Make sure you are very visible (fluro and good, especially rear, lights even in daytime). If you feel especially uncomfortable / unsafe then getting off and pushing gives you a little extra gap from the motor vehicles (but of course extends the time you are in the worst zone). Even though unpleasant many cyclists use this bit because there is no alternate* (*if you have a suitable bike the coast walking path Kiama south is an option, the Sydneycyclist link above discusses this). Or you can catch the train from Kiama to the next stop.

Hope your tour goes well, stay safe, ride happy.
Last edited by LateStarter on Fri Nov 30, 2018 11:25 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Mugglechops
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Re: Cycling from Kiama to Berry, through to Nowra.

Postby Mugglechops » Fri Nov 30, 2018 11:07 am

You can ride the coastal bike path from Thirroul to Kiama, it's around 60kms.

Kiama Bends are better going south than they are heading north. Once you are past Kiama you can turn off the new hwy and head on the old hwy before rejoining it into Berry.

From Berrry take Tannery Rd until you turn right into Agars lane then turn left at the end then take the next right into Bryces Rd. Keep following this until you hit Bolong Rd and it will take you right into Bomaderry.

The hwy from Berry to Nowra is undergoing roadworks so I would steer clear of that.
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Re: Cycling from Kiama to Berry, through to Nowra.

Postby Derny Driver » Fri Nov 30, 2018 12:03 pm

LateStarter wrote:@blakeavon, I don't know your cycling or touring experience but the Kiama bends while a long long way from ideal are not the worst you will encounter.

You will find a relevant and recent (February 2018) discussion (with lots of pictures) here http://www.sydneycyclist.com/forum/topi ... e-friendly


If you do cycle the Kiama Bends ....Even though unpleasant many cyclists use this bit because there is no alternate* (*if you have a suitable bike the coast walking path Kiama south is an option, the Sydneycyclist link above discusses this). Or you can catch the train from Kiama to the next stop.

Hope your tour goes well, stay safe, ride happy.

I beg to differ .... those photos are of the shoulder heading north before the Kiama bends. As I mentioned in my post, the shoulder disappears at the start of the bends but you are then on a slight downhill as you negotiate the sweeping bends, you can claim the lane and travel almost as fast as the cars. Heading north is fine.
The problem is going South. There is no shoulder, you are in the traffic lane going up hill at a slow speed, and the traffic is doing 80kph around the bends. There are concrete barricades on the edge of the road, they partially obscure the motorists view of you, and you have nowhere to go on the left if a truck comes past too close. There is nowhere to walk. No-one rides that section. Its almost certain you will be hit if you do.

The coastal bike path from Kiama to Gerringong is only just passable on foot, you would have to walk sections of it on a mountain bike, and on a road bike you'd be carrying your bike for 90% of the distance. NOT an option.

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Re: Cycling from Kiama to Berry, through to Nowra.

Postby Derny Driver » Fri Nov 30, 2018 12:08 pm

Mugglechops wrote:You can ride the coastal bike path from Thirroul to Kiama, it's around 60kms.
.

No you cant. The bike path from Thirroul ends at Windang. Between Wollongong and Windang its all over the place, swaps sides of the highway on 3 occasions and has missing links where you need to take to the road.
You can use the road from Windang to Dunmore, its multi lane and light traffic. From Dunmore there is a track to Minnamurra. Then back on the roads through to Kiama.

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Re: Cycling from Kiama to Berry, through to Nowra.

Postby Derny Driver » Fri Nov 30, 2018 12:09 pm

Mugglechops wrote:The hwy from Berry to Nowra is undergoing roadworks so I would steer clear of that.

The highway is completed and has a good wide shoulder in both directions.

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Re: Cycling from Kiama to Berry, through to Nowra.

Postby LateStarter » Fri Nov 30, 2018 12:52 pm

Derny Driver wrote: I beg to differ ....
The problem is going South. There is no shoulder, you are in the traffic lane going up hill at a slow speed, and the traffic is doing 80kph around the bends. There are concrete barricades on the edge [middle?] of the road, they partially obscure the motorists view of you, and you have nowhere to go on the left if a truck comes past too close. There is nowhere to walk. No-one rides that section. Its almost certain you will be hit if you do.


Derny Driver, I of course would defer to your local knowledge but in my last traverse of that area, mid this year (May), there was a quite usable shoulder (maybe minimal width for 500 metres or so) going south the whole of the "bends" area, much better than northwards and even streetview shows the same, this seems to be the narrowest but usable https://goo.gl/maps/z4nJE6TEguu , it is straight and a cyclist would be very visible. "No-one rides that section", many people in my knowledge are quite happy to ride that section.

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Re: Cycling from Kiama to Berry, through to Nowra.

Postby Derny Driver » Fri Nov 30, 2018 1:23 pm

LateStarter wrote:
Derny Driver wrote: I beg to differ ....
The problem is going South. There is no shoulder, you are in the traffic lane going up hill at a slow speed, and the traffic is doing 80kph around the bends. There are concrete barricades on the edge [middle?] of the road, they partially obscure the motorists view of you, and you have nowhere to go on the left if a truck comes past too close. There is nowhere to walk. No-one rides that section. Its almost certain you will be hit if you do.


Derny Driver, I of course would defer to your local knowledge but in my last traverse of that area, mid this year (May), there was a quite usable shoulder (maybe minimal width for 500 metres or so) going south the whole of the "bends" area, much better than northwards and even streetview shows the same, this seems to be the narrowest but usable https://goo.gl/maps/z4nJE6TEguu , it is straight and a cyclist would be very visible. "No-one rides that section", many people in my knowledge are quite happy to ride that section.

mate I'm driving south later this afternoon, I will have a good look at it and post here later.
Cheers

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Re: Cycling from Kiama to Berry, through to Nowra.

Postby mikesbytes » Fri Nov 30, 2018 2:13 pm

I concur with DernyDriver (Marcus). I've ridden all of the roads and paths he has mentioned except for the new piece of dual carriage way between Berry and the bends. I've also ridden the bends several times going north, there's a large drain area to the left of the road on the climb into the bends and this is fine to ride on. Where the drain ends it becomes downhill so you can ride with the traffic until the first exit which you take. Some other options heading south is to take the train from Kiama to Gerringong and there's also a walking track but I don't know how hard it is to get thru on a bike, you can certainly discount a road bike.

Also if you look carefully on the map there's some quiet roads that can be used in between the highway thru Berry and the coastal road, I've ridden them and they are good.

One road I loved goes from berry to kangaroo valley, its hilly but its beautiful and quiet

hope this helps
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Re: Cycling from Kiama to Berry, through to Nowra.

Postby Derny Driver » Sun Dec 02, 2018 10:25 pm

LateStarter wrote: Derny Driver, I of course would defer to your local knowledge but in my last traverse of that area, mid this year (May), there was a quite usable shoulder (maybe minimal width for 500 metres or so) going south the whole of the "bends" area, much better than northwards ....

Hi LS, I had a good look at the section in question (heading south), the shoulder ranges from about 50cm wide at its narrowest to about a metre wide along the length of the bends. So I would admit that the section is actually "rideable" if you had to ride it. But the shoulder is pretty narrow in spots and you have a guard rail on your left. Its not a section I would want to ride if I didnt have to. I followed a 4WD along that section and they had their passenger side wheels on, or over the white edge line on a couple of left hand bends. But yes, you are right, it can be ridden if that is your only way south. Once you get to the top you drop down onto the new Gerringong bypass which has a lovely wide shoulder.

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Re: Cycling from Kiama to Berry, through to Nowra.

Postby familyguy » Mon Dec 03, 2018 11:04 am

Derny Driver wrote:
Mugglechops wrote:The hwy from Berry to Nowra is undergoing roadworks so I would steer clear of that.

The highway is completed and has a good wide shoulder in both directions.


Berry to Nowra? Drove it yesterday, it's a works zone from Jaspers Brush to Meroo Road. Berry to Kiama Bends seems really nice now though.

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Re: Cycling from Kiama to Berry, through to Nowra.

Postby Mugglechops » Mon Dec 03, 2018 11:26 am

familyguy wrote:
Derny Driver wrote:
Mugglechops wrote:The hwy from Berry to Nowra is undergoing roadworks so I would steer clear of that.

The highway is completed and has a good wide shoulder in both directions.


Berry to Nowra? Drove it yesterday, it's a works zone from Jaspers Brush to Meroo Road. Berry to Kiama Bends seems really nice now though.


And will be for a while yet. Which I why I suggested going the back way.
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Re: Cycling from Kiama to Berry, through to Nowra.

Postby familyguy » Mon Dec 03, 2018 11:37 am

That was more of a reply to DD, but yes, the coast road is better? Gotcha. Some nice riding around there, wish I could do more of it when I go down that way.

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Re: Cycling from Kiama to Berry, through to Nowra.

Postby Mugglechops » Mon Dec 03, 2018 11:39 am

Derny Driver wrote:
Mugglechops wrote:You can ride the coastal bike path from Thirroul to Kiama, it's around 60kms.
.

No you cant. The bike path from Thirroul ends at Windang. Between Wollongong and Windang its all over the place, swaps sides of the highway on 3 occasions and has missing links where you need to take to the road.
You can use the road from Windang to Dunmore, its multi lane and light traffic. From Dunmore there is a track to Minnamurra. Then back on the roads through to Kiama.


The coastal path runs right thru and I have ridden many times. It stays to the coastal side of the hwy the whole way. Yes in parts it goes on quite back streets but it's all doable.

https://www.strava.com/activities/37686841
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Re: Cycling from Kiama to Berry, through to Nowra.

Postby Derny Driver » Mon Dec 03, 2018 3:08 pm

Oh I must be losing it, I never even noticed the OP wanted to go to Nowra. I thought his last stop was Berry.
Yeah for sure, the highway is a full on work zone from Berry to Nowra. Go via Gerringong along the coast way to Nowra.

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Re: Cycling from Kiama to Berry, through to Nowra.

Postby mikesbytes » Mon Dec 03, 2018 9:06 pm

Derny Driver wrote:Oh I must be losing it, I never even noticed the OP wanted to go to Nowra. I thought his last stop was Berry.
Yeah for sure, the highway is a full on work zone from Berry to Nowra. Go via Gerringong along the coast way to Nowra.
Been that way a couple of times but last time thru I took those back roads inbetween the coast way and Berry and it was tops
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Re: Cycling from Kiama to Berry, through to Nowra.

Postby roberto73 » Sun Dec 09, 2018 10:59 am

If you want to extend south from Nowra you can go to Huskisson. Either take the highway, which has a shoulder (mostly by now, I’d hope, after recent works) or go via Nowra Airport, cutting back to highway on BTU Rd or go a bit further to Parma Rd. There is a footpath across Paddle Creek bridge that you can take if the shoulder looks too narrow. Not sure if Falls Rd is actually a No Through Rd as the sign says, bikes can probably get through to Wallamia Rd, but if you don’t want to risk it it isn’t far to the Husky turnoff, and you can get off Huskisson Rd onto Wallamia a bit further down.

Then you can explore the Jervis Bay Area, camp at Greenpatch, etc. on the return there is a ferry from Huskisson across Currambene Ck, or there was last year, hope it’s still running. That gets you to Myola and Callala Beach and that northern part of Jervis Bay, inc Point Perpendicular if you can get that far. Return to Nowra via Culburra Rd and Greenwell Pt Rd, which are a bit narrow, but you could detour on Jinny Andy Rd and come in to Nowra via Comerong Island Rd.

If prepared to walk your bike over sand it’s possible to go from north end of Comerong Island to Shoalhaven Heads by the ocean beach if tides and sand conditions are favourable. Follow the Walking Track north at end of Comerong Is Rd.

To get back to Berry from Shoalhaven Heads you could take Bolong Rd and turn right onto Back Forest Rd around the back of the mountain, then get on to Coolangatta Rd. Swamp Rd might be a short cut. Berry to Kiama would be best* by train IMO, Unless you are up to walk/riding on the coastal track, which is doable, lots of MTB riders were slightly bobsmacked when I and a group of tourers did it on hybrids and touring bikes recently, but we weren’t carrying full gear, just overnighting in Kiama. Need to plot your course from the end of the track into Kiama too, it’s not that obvious what is best. We blundered around a bit and ended up going thru a caravan park and some footpaths, whereas sticking on the roads might have been better.

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