Lithgow to Mittagong / Katoomba to Wollongong
Suggested duration: 2-3 days
Notes: This trip is about half dirt road / fire trail, not all of it in great condition. If you're not sure if your bike can handle it - ask us! You can read an account of this trip over on Chris' blog, and of the Katoomba/Wollongong variant on the shop blog here.
Day 1 (62km)
Catch the train along the Blue Mountains line to Lithgow station (all the way at the end). Ride out along the highway for a bit, then through some dirt and pavement to Jenolan Caves. It's worth going on a tour or two. Take it slow up the big hill. Bush camp somewhere near Kanangra Rd, or else stay at the Jenolan Cabins.
Day 2 (80km)
Day 3 (66km)
Ride up out of Wombeyan Caves, then down to the Wollondilly River. Gently climb back up onto the plateau, then cruise into Mittagong.
From Mittagong, take the train back to Sydney. You can't fit more than 2-3 bikes on the train from Mittagong though - so plan carefully! And see below for an alternative ending to the ride.
Doing the trip in 2 days
This is a big ask - you need to be pretty fit. We'd recommend camping at the Mt Werong hut (rainwater tank, no guarantees as to its status). Be aware that you're going to lose speed over the rough sections on the second day, and you won't get to spend any time exploring the caves.
There was trackwork from Katoomba-Lithgow the last time we planned this ride, so we started at Katoomba and rode along the Six Foot Track. We also finished on the coast so we could all fit our bikes on the train. The map for that trip is here.
Bear in mind that if you don't have a mountain-ish bike, you'll be walking a lot of the Six Foot Track. The middle day is the same but the first and last days are harder and longer than for the Lithgow-Mittagong variant (but we reckon better!). It is a very, very hard ride so please speak to us if you have any doubts as to your ability to ride it. You can read a blog post about it here.