Cycling in New South Wales

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Cycling in the Australian state of New South Wales (including its capital Sydney) is a common form of recreation.

Common cycling activities in NSW include


The National Walking and Cycling Participation Survey for 2023 found the following participation rates for cycling in NSW[1]

  • Within the last week : 15.1%
  • Within the last month: 24.4%
  • Within the last year : 38.1%

Bicycle User Groups[edit]

Regional BUGs[edit]

  • Ballina
  • IBUG (Illawarra)
  • KBUG (Kiama)
  • NCM (Newcastle Cycleways Movement)

Sydney BUGs[edit]

Sydney BUGS range from University clubs to commuter groups.

Regional Trails[edit]

Bicycle routes in NSW are poorly marked, if markings are present, and route mapping is predominantly the responsibility of the cyclist. In particular, separated cycleways or shared paths have their entrances and exits poorly marked for cyclists using the NSW system of highways for travel. State mandated routes do exist chiefly as part of the aspiration for a Coastline cycleway, though these are disconnected and sporadic, with long routes in the Illawarra and Hunter Valley.[2]

Occasionally regional council routes manage to connect, though often this is due to the accident of high-speed routes following major vehicle highways as on-road facilities on the shoulder, such as the link between Maitland and Newcastle via the New England Highway's shoulder.

Most regional bicycle trails and routes tend to be disconnected sections of shared pathway, aimed predominantly at leisure or local shopping purposes.

Rail trails[edit]

Annual Rides[edit]

Annual Races[edit]

  • Cootamundra Haycarters and Recovery Race
  • Cootamundra Classic and Recovery Race
  • Wagga Wagga Cycle Classic and Criterium
  • John Woodman Memorial - Wagga to Albury Cycle Classic
  • Tolland Classic
  • Ken Dinnerville Handicap
  • Keegan Downes Memorial Handicap
  • Gunnedah to Tamworth
  • Grafton to Inverell Classic
  • Indian Pacific Wheel Race

Public transport[edit]


Bicycles are generally not carried on buses operated by the Government in NSW cities and towns. There are some exceptions, such as when cyclists are stranded by a ferry or train service being cancelled and buses are organised to carry passengers, including their bicycles.

Bicycles are carried by NSW TrainLink and private coaches on regional routes.


See here for details about taking bicycles on ferries in Sydney.


For the price of a child's ticket, you can take your bicycle on NSW TrainLink Endeavour and Xplorer services to regional areas such as Kiama, Goulbourn and Canberra and Armidale. Hanging space is provided for bicycles in every second carriage.

XPT services (Melbourne, Brisbane, Dubbo) require bicycles to be boxed and placed in the luggage car.


Cyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as other road users, but have additional rules specific to them.[3] They are permitted to ride two abreast, and travel in "Transit Lanes" and "Bus Lanes", but not "Bus Only Lanes" and are allowed to "hook turn" at intersections and roundabouts. Cyclists can only ride on a footpath if they're under the age of 16 or supervising a child under 16. NSW and Victoria are the only states to impose restrictions on footpath riding. All relevant regulations are defined in the latest Road Rules.[4]

Since 1989 Australian cyclists must wear a helmet at all times,[5] and are required to have a working bell and proper reflectors and night lighting when riding at night.

There is no requirement for cyclists to be registered however there was an unsuccessful attempt to force riders to carry ID.[6]

Motorist Regulations[edit]

Cars must stay a minimum of 1m away from cyclists when passing under 60 km/h and 1.5m when travelling over 60 km/h and are permitted to cross white lines to do so.[7]

Relevant Legislation[edit]

Road Transport (Safety and Traffic Management) Act 1999 No 20 Part 3 Division 1 Section 43 Menacing driving [8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Munro, C. "National Walking and Cycling Participation Survey 2023" (PDF). Cycling and Walking Australia and New Zealand (CWANZ). p. 8.
  2. ^ cf: council documents
  3. ^ "Bicycle Safety". 10 January 2018.
  4. ^ "Road Rules".
  5. ^ "Home".
  6. ^ "NSW backpedals on changes forcing bike riders to carry ID". ABC News. 2 December 2016.
  7. ^ "FAQs - Go Together - Campaigns - NSW Centre for Road Safety". 22 February 2016.
  8. ^ "ROAD TRANSPORT ACT 2013 - SECT 118".

External links[edit]