Your guide to cycling Lake Mac

Get on your bike

Make sure you bring your bikes when you come to Lake Macquarie. You can rise to the challenge of navigating steep mountain biking trails in the hills or by the ocean, or simply enjoy a day of gentle riding with your family along an iconic rail trail.

Bike every mountain

Hidden away in the foothills of the Watagan mountains, Awaba Mountain Bike Park is Lake Macquarie’s premier mountain biking trail experience. Head west of the lake to discover a network of trails through 200 hectares of Awaba State Forest developed and maintained by Hunter Mountain Bike Club volunteers.

Depending on your skill level, you can choose to tackle the Monkey double black diamond-rated downhill track (for very experienced riders wearing appropriate protection) or take off cross-country on the 12-kilometre Awaba Loop or the shorter Watagans Loop.

Bring the kids and see their confidence grow as they navigate the beginner-level Tunnel Loop and Twisties Skills tracks, or bring your all-terrain wheelchair for a spin on the two adaptive mountain biking trails – the Breakaway Loop and the exhilarating Faulk Line gravity track between one roadside access point and a car park far below on the steep slopes.

You’ll find Awaba Mountain Bike Park on Mount Faulk Road, one of the roads into the Watagans National Park, around 10 minutes from the Freemans Drive exit on the M1 Motorway. You can also bring your bike up from Sydney on the Central Coast & Newcastle Line train – it’s around a 12km ride along country back roads from Dora Creek Station.

There are no entry fees, but you are welcome to donate to the Hunter Mountain Bike Club to help maintain the park.
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Tackle stunning coastal tracks

Once you’ve experienced the thrill of cycling through the bushland of Awaba State Forest, head to the other side of the lake for a day of biking around a spectacular coastal nature reserve. Glenrock State Conservation Area boasts diverse coastal landscapes, an abundance of wildlife and Aboriginal heritage sites – and 14 kilometres of purpose-built bike trails and another 20 kilometres of linked management trails.

Buckle up and take on tracks with names like Cliff Jumps, Double Barrel, Seismic, Big Dipper and Six Shooter through open forest and bushland in the northern half of the 554-hectare park. Some trails are suitable for beginners, and there’s a good mix of more challenging options for intermediate and advanced riders. Refuel with an energy bar at some of the park’s scenic spots, including Glenrock Beach and Leichhardt’s lookout high above Glenrock Lagoon as well as a sprinkling of waterfalls.

Glenrock State Conservation Area is open 24 hours a day – check on the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service page for the park for details of any temporary closures and see the Glenrock Trail Alliance Facebook page for updates on trail conditions and availability. Adaptive riders can access the park’s trails from Fernleigh Loop at Gun Club Road, via a MLAK-secured gate.

Mix it with the locals

Developed on crown land by Lake Macquarie residents, the Holmesville Mountain Biking Trails between the lake and Mount Sugarloaf features a mix of single-track and double-track trails as well as gentle beginner-friendly runs.

You can find the unofficial trail network by heading to Holmesville Oval on Appletree Road, Holmesville and looking out for the parked cars of local biking enthusiasts. Many of the narrow trails through the bush wind their way through close-set trees, making them suitable for adaptive riders.

Gather steam on a rail trail

Swap winding trails through eucalypt forests for a breezy ride on the Fernleigh Track, a wheelchair-friendly shared pathway and green corridor tracing a former railway line for more than 15 kilometres from Belmont in the south to Adamstown in the north.

Keen to ride the entire length of the track? From Railway Parade in Belmont you’ll ride past Belmont Lagoon and into a landscape of paperbarks and swamp mahogany in the Belmont Wetlands State Park before continuing on to the site of the old Redhead train station. You’ll then pass by Awabakal Nature Reserve and through Glenrock State Conservation Area before crossing under the Pacific Highway on the historic 181-metre-long Fernleigh rail tunnel to reach the Newcastle suburb of Adamstown.

If you prefer a shorter ride, you enter or exit the track at one of a dozen-plus access points, with most of the entrances located between Redhead and Adamstown.

Encounter Aboriginal culture on the lake
Make a splash in Lake Macquarie