Over the next 2 to 3 days, you’ll be peddling through the deepening valleys and the beautiful plateau of the Dorrigo and New England regions. Whilst there are opportunities for small pit stops at quaint country cafés, it is advised that you pack some nutritious snacks and plenty of water to keep yourself hydrated on your journey. Oh! And don’t forget those back up tubes. For the sake of the rider’s safety, it is best that you avoid cycling Waterfall Way as cars tend to reach hazardous speeds and the corners can be very dangerous!
DAY ONE: EXPLORING DORRIGO
North Dorrigo undoubtedly lends itself to picturesque cycling adventures and for this reason, it is the most favourable territory. Whilst the level of experience required for the various loops wavers, the routes are generally all accessible and achievable for intrepid and leisurely riders alike (bar a few!). Today you will be enjoying a relatively short ride beginning at the Lookout Mountain Retreat on Maynard’s Plain’s Road. This route is ideal for a peaceful yet active family outing or for solo cyclists. In fact, if you are embarking on this track alone, you can make it as strenuous or challenging as you like. From this road, you’ll take Mountain Top Road and follow it for 3 to 4 kilometres. You’ll observe the sweeping beauty of the Dorrigo Plateau and stunning countryside. This ride is short and sweet yet it offers one of the most scenic views of the region. Both of these roads are generally very quiet and unoccupied, however, if you’re travelling with young children, be sure to keep an eye out as the corners can be dangerous.
Find a grassy spot and enjoy a picnic lunch overlooking the deepening valleys. Make your way back to Lookout Mountain Retreat.
DAY TWO: TYRINGHAM
For the first half of the day you will be exploring an assortment of cycling tracks which all stem from Tyringham Road. The loops on offer from this road can be considerably challenging or equally as relaxed – this is entirely up to the cyclist’s discretion. The Tyringham Road area has a similar elevation to Dorrigo and thus satisfies very similar conditions. While either direction you decide to take at the intersection is beautifully scenic and mildly challenging, for this ride you will turn left at the intersection and ride into Dorrigo. This road can be quite busy so be sure to keep an eye out for oncoming traffic. Prepare to be amazed by the uninterrupted mountainous valleys and rolling gorges.
Lunch at The Heritage Hotel Dorrigo is highly recommended.
You’ll spend the afternoon exploring another pleasant route extending from Tyringham road. This route begins at Tyringham Rd and loops to Ellesmere Rd and then concludes at Bostobrick. This tarred track is incredibly picturesque and is embedded within the naturally adorned countryside of Dorrigo. If you’re an intrepid rider, you can easily extend this ride by heading west towards Armidale or east towards Grafton (however, this ride is definitely only fit for those serious cyclists with a few backup tubes).
DAY THREE: WHISKY CREEK
From Lookout Mountain Retreat, follow Waterfall way.
(If you’re an intrepid rider, feel free to carefully cycle this first leg. It is roughly 20 kilometres until the next turn. If you want a more relaxed and less dangerous ride, drive this first leg and park at Tyringham Street).
From Waterfall Way, turn left onto Tyringham Street and then a subsequent left onto Whisky Creek. Whisky Creek road runs until the edge of the escarpment and is an estimated 17-20 kilometre ride. However, if you do not wish to ride this far, it is possible to turn around after the desired amount of kilometres has been reached. From Whisky Creek, you’ll take a left onto Shepherds Road and follow it for 10-15 kilometres back to Dorrigo. This ride is enveloped within the countryside plateau of Dorrigo, and serves to showcase the agricultural prosperity of the region.
Enjoy a picnic lunch or a bite to eat at one of the quaint country cafes.
For the afternoon, you can take the family and immerse yourselves in the serenity of the Dorrigo Falls and beautiful, northern countryside. It’s a 1.8km ride from the city centre of Dorrigo to the picturesque Dangar Falls. This is a relatively easy ride therefore you’ll be able to properly enjoy the scenery without feeling too breathless or sore (hopefully). This afternoon is designed for you to relax and enjoy – you deserve it after the last few days!
The countryside and townscape will be stunningly presented to you throughout this ride. You’ll see grazing cattle, crystalised water falling from unimaginable heights and just a glimpse of the nature that crafts Dorrigo.
Alternative for more experienced cyclists:
For the more experienced cyclists, there is a road track from Dorrigo to Megan and then to Ulong. This ride takes roughly 3 hours and 50 mins (one way) via the Coramba Rd and Slingsby Rd. If you’re used to coastal riding, consider not completing the entire loop because it is ascending and very challenging.