18th June, 2024
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A Ride from Newcastle, along the Fernleigh Trail

This past Easter Saturday, I decided to take the train up to Newcastle, and then ride back to Woy Woy – a distance of just over 100km. I’d actually planned to do this route about five or six weeks ago. However, due to one reason or another, it was delayed.

After leaving home, just after sunrise, with a quick change of train at Eastwood, I arrived up at Hamilton station just before 10:00. Hamilton is the current terminus, for trains going to Newcastle. Up until about a year ago, the line went into Newcastle proper. This section was closed, however, to allow for building developments along the corridor. A bus service now serves the stations of Wickham, Civic, and Newcastle. A light rail route, however, is planned.

Changing trains at Eastwood.

After getting off the train at Hamilton, I ‘started the meter’ and rode on to Nobbys Head. The pathway up to the lighthouse seems to be closed, these days, so I continued along the breakwater. Fantastic day, fantastic weather!

Bike and backpack.
A short stop at the end of Nobby’s breakwater.
Looking back at Nobby’s Beach.
Looking back towards Nobby’s Lighthouse.

After spending a bit of time at the breakwater, I made my way to towards Adamstown. This is where the Fernleigh Trail starts. This used to be an old railway line, which has now been turned into a rail trail. It is quite popular with both cyclists and pedestrians.

The beginning of the Fernleigh Trail.

One of the features of the Fernleigh Track is the old railway tunnel. This single-track tunnel is certainly wide enough for two to three cyclists or pedestrians to travel side by side, or to safely cross – just had to throw some railway terminology in there. 🙂

The Fernleigh Tunnel.

Further along the trail, is the old, abandoned, station of Redhead. Unlike most stations along the old permanent way, they’ve pretty much left the station platform in tact. It was a shame that I didn’t think to walk up on the platform, at the time. Still, there will be other occasions!

The old Redhead railway station.

After leaving the trail, I made my way to Swansea and picked up some lunch. I had a hunger for fish and chips, though, I would have preferred it being grilled rather than fried. In the end, though, I found it quite acceptable. 🙂

I left Swansea, after lunch, by cycling south towards Gosford. After finally making it to Noraville, I decided to call it quits. There wouldn’t have been enough daylight for me to reach Gosford, let alone Woy Woy. And, considering this was my first decent ride, my butt had pretty much had it by this time! Still, I had another 10 km to get to the nearest station, which I found to be Warnervale. Warnervale is one station north of Wyong.

Calling it quits at Noraville – but still another 10km to go!.

All in all, it was a pretty decent day. Not too hot. And even though I had planned on riding 100 km to Woy Woy, 75 km isn’t too shabby either!

At the end of the ride, I considered getting new handlebars. Being a mountain bike, the current handlebars are flat. For my bicycle ride to Melbourne, I’m thinking of getting butterfly handlebars.

Hamilton (10:01)
74.9 km
16.6 km/h
Warnervale (18:11)
26th March, 2016

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