Cycling is becoming increasingly popular in and around Coffs Harbour. There are at least four bicycle shops in Coffs Harbour alone, various cycle groups and clubs and regular community rides and events.
One popular cycle route is the cycle path along Hogbin Drive between Coffs Harbour and the neighbouring village of Sawtell. The cycleway is separated from the road by a nature strip so it’s a safe and relaxing ride. And Sawtell makes a fun destination.
Just the stretch along Hogbin Drive is 6km, but if you go from the centre of Coffs Harbour to the centre of Sawtell it’s 10km. That’s a distance you can easily do in one hour (i.e. going a very leisurely 10km/hr).
We enjoy meeting up with friends early on Sunday morning at the start of Hogbin Drive and riding to Sawtell to have breakfast before making our way back.
Some sections of the route you’ll be riding in the shade of tall trees while others are more open, giving you wide views of the area.
At the end of Hogbin Drive, you turn left into Sawtell Road and follow that for about 3km until you reach the centre of Sawtell.
However, if you want to avoid some steep hills, take the following easier, flatter option: At the roundabout at the end of Hogbin Drive, continue straight onto Toormina Road. After passing Centro Toormina Shopping Centre, turn left into Minorie Drive, at the end turn right into Werambie Street and take the path that brings you to the back of the Sawtell Railway Station.
Cross the railway line, follow Hulberts Road to Sixteenth Avenue and then take any left turn off there to bring you to First Avenue, Sawtell’s main street.
Park the bicycles, have a look around the Sawtell shops or follow the inevitable coffee aromas to find a good café for breakfast, morning tea or lunch.
The Sawtell Surf Club Café being my favourite destination in Sawtell, we usually end up at a table overlooking magnificent Sawtell Beach. Keep an eye out for dolphins frolicking in the ocean and, between May and November, passing humpback whales.
For the bike ride back to Coffs Harbour, you can go the same way you came, but in reverse, or try an alternative route through the streets of Sawtell back to Hogbin Drive, although you may want to have a map with you… or someone who knows the way.
Once you’ve done this fun, safe and easy bike ride, I’m sure you’ll want to do it more often. Especially with the cafés in Sawtell having such great rewards on offer for your efforts!