Cycling is an excellent way to get around, save money, keep fit and reduce your impact on the environment. A bike trip of less than 5km can be even quicker than taking the car. Many of the key attractors in Newcastle are within a short bike trip of each other.
Our Newcastle Cycleways map (PDF 2.5MB) shows our existing cycleways, recommended connecting routes and some of our proposed future works for the whole local government area. Hardcopies are available at Newcastle libraries, many bike shops, the Newcastle Shop and City Administration Centre.
Check out these maps and guides, to help you find your path:
Bathers Way loops (PDF)
- Approximately 20km loop - Bathers Way, Foreshore and Hamilton
- Approximately 10km loop - Bathers Way, Foreshore and Cooks Hill
Breakwall to breakwall (PDF)
- Approximately 25km
- Scenic flat ride on shared pathways and quiet back streets
Newcastle City to Belmont (R1) (PDF)
- Approximately 22km
- Includes 16km Fernleigh Track
- Low to moderate difficulty
Kotara South to Mayfield, TAFE and University (R4) (pdf)
- Approximately 8km
- Off-road cycleway except for approximately 2km
- Intersects with cycleways to Newcastle City, University and TAFE
Newcastle City to University (Callaghan) (R6) (PDF)
- 11km north route through Wickham, Maryville, Mayfield and Waratah
- The route follows shared pathways and mostly quiet back-streets
- Easy, except for the crossing of Maud Street
John Hunter Hospital to University (Callaghan) via Jesmond Park (PDF)
- Off-road cycleway except for 300m of quiet back-streets
- From Jesmond, runs parallel with the Newcastle Inner City Bypass
- Easy (off road) but steep in parts
Newcastle City to Wallsend (R1, R5) (PDF)
- Continue on from Wallsend to Glendale on the Tramway Track (3.6km)
- Mostly easy, some sections of moderate difficulty
- Runs from Ganney Street, Wallsend to Frederick Street, Glendale
- 15km shared path along former rail corridor
- Connects Adamstown and Belmont
Reading our cycleways maps
Level of difficulty
Whether you are a confident rider, new to cycling, riding with others or alone, it is important to choose a route that suits.
Routes have been shown in our maps as off-road or low, medium or high difficulty. Unless indicated as 'steep', most routes are at easily traversed grades. The level of difficulty - low, medium and high, is based on consideration of traffic volume and speed, not on gradient. In addition to the routes shown as low difficulty, many of our local streets have low traffic volumes and speed limits of 40km/h, which make them suitable for riders of most abilities.
- Off-road routes are shared paths used by both pedestrians and riders and are identified by signage. Bike riders must always give way to pedestrians on shared paths.
- Low difficulty - These routes are on streets with low traffic volumes and speeds.
- Medium difficulty - These routes have low to medium traffic volumes and a speed limit of 50km/h generally applies. They may involve negotiating intersections that warrant a high degree of caution.
- High difficulty - High difficulty routes are generally on arterial roads, which are direct but have high traffic volumes and speeds greater than 50km. These are suitable for more experienced and confident riders.
- Proposed (dashed line) - These are routes that are either under investigation, in design or under construction.
The cycleway nodes shown on our maps are points which correspond to destinations on our wayfinding signage. Distances shown on the wayfinding signage are measured along the route to these points.
Some things you may encounter on your cycling journey are:
- On-road symbols - these are used partly to alert drivers to the presence of cyclists and partly for indicating where riders should position themselves on the road.
- Bike lanes - these are visually separated marked spaces on roads for use by bike riders. At major intersections, they are often highlighted by the use of green paint. In this situation, they indicate a clear path of travel for the rider through the intersection. If there is a signed and marked bike lane, riders should use it unless it is impractical to do so.
- Bike-only contra-flow lane - these lanes allow riders two-way travel on roads that are marked one-way for other vehicles.
Council provides bicycle racks at key locations throughout the local government area. The Newcastle Development Control Plan requires that new development provide end of trip facilities, such as lockers and showers. If you have suggestions for additional bike parking, contact Council on (02) 4974 2000 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Secure bike lockers are available for hire at various train stations throughout NSW. For details, visit the Transport NSW website.
Bikes on public transport
If you are using an Opal card, you can take your bike on a Sydney or Intercity train for free at any time. If you are using a paper ticket, you can take your bike for free on the weekend and during off-peak periods on weekdays. You must buy a child's ticket for your bike as well as your own ticket if any of your weekday trip is made during peak hours (6am to 9am or 3.30pm - 7.30pm).
Folding bikes ride on Sydney and Intercity trains free of charge at all times, provided that the bike in its protective cover, is no larger than 82cm length x 69cm height x 39cm width, with a maximum wheel rim diameter of 51cm.
Bikes cannot be taken on buses in NSW. Bikes are permitted on the Stockton Ferry, free of charge. Check with the crew for location of the bike storage area.