18 great bike rides in the Narooma - Tilba - Bermagui area of the New South Wales Far South Coast
Bodalla to Reedy Creek
Return distance 57 kms, easy
Possible 30 kilometre extension to Dignams Creek, moderate grade with some hills on the last section
For this ride, take all food and refreshments with you, as there are no facilities along the way. Take a good map with you.
Parts of this ride are on isolated roads. Do not travel on this ride alone.
This ride begins at Bodalla. See details of Ride 17 for more details about Bodalla, and about the start of the ride. There is ample car parking opposite the police station on the main road, and the ride begins at Eurobodalla Road, almost opposite the police station.
The first few kilometres are as described for Ride 17, from Bodalla along the sealed road, past the Eurobodalla Road turn-off, and on to Reedy Creek Road.
Reedy Creek Road
Reedy Creek Road is sign posted. Turn left, and after passing a couple of farms, you have nearly ten kilometres of idyllic riding along a narrow dirt road through State forest, with tall ribbon gums and tree ferns lining the creek bank and the valley on one side, and a delightful low forest on the opposite side of the road.
Riders often wish Reedy Creek Road would go on for much further than the ten kilometres. There’s a junction. The road is Morts Folly Road. Turn left, and you soon realise how it got its name, but don’t just guess at its name, you can return to Bodalla by taking Morts Folly Road. But more of that later.
At the junction, there is a sign to JC Road. It’s ‘just around the corner’ from the junction, and before the Reg Murphy Bridge. Go down JC Road to the creek. This is an ideal lunch spot, especially if the creek is flowing. Don't drink the water, as the creek flows through several farms just upstream from where you are.
An extension to the Reedy Creek ride
From this point, there is a 30-kilometre return extension to this ride to Dignams Creek.
Cross over the bridge. A hundred metres from the bridge on your left, there is an old grave that might be of interest to local historians, that is the grave of George Bottin and his son Willie. The grave dates from the 1800s.
Follow the road for a little over two kilometres. There, it divides, with Reedy Creek Road being the centre road, Wild Horse Road the left fork. Don’t go along Wild Horse Road unless you are a masochist. Dignams Creek Road runs off to the right. Ignore that one too.
Keep going along Reedy Creek Road. The vegetation changes abruptly, but it still provides for delightful cycling.
Of national parks and forests
The first nine kilometres of this part of the road passes through sections of the Bodalla State Forest, and further on, it passes between the Gulaga National Park on one side, and the Kooraban National Park on the other. The vegetation is very dry and open compared with the wet forest of the first part of Reedy Creek Road. Various small tracks make for interesting riding, as they give riders various representative samples of the natural environment along this part of the coastal forests. Most of this road includes the gentle uphill riding, which you can really enjoy on your return.
There is one short but steep descent before you come out into the farming area of Dignams Creek. Enjoy the peace of this valley, its cattle and alpacas, and the small farming settlement. The Princes Highway is at the end of this road, about five kilometres beyond the first farms you will come to.
Returning to Bodalla
On your return to the Reg Murphy Bridge, there are two options. The preferable one is to retrace the route you came.
The second option is to take the left road - Dignams Creek Road - but this is hilly, often rough, and has a couple of kilometres of steep climbing at the end. But if you enjoy hills, then this one is for you!
Back to the Reg Murphy Bridge ...
There are a further two options to get you back to Bodalla.
More options for your return
The first is to go along Reedy Creek Road the way you came. It is more scenic, it’s easy riding, and overall is probably the better option for the average cyclist.
Morts Folly Road
Once you cross Reg Murphy Bridge, go straight on (Reedy Creek Road will be on your left). This road will be marked Morts Folly Road. It climbs for about two and a half kilometres without any relief to the climbing, but at the top there are views of the distant ocean and the State forests.
There is another road junction at the top. The road to the right will be marked as F Ridge Road. That goes down to the Scenic Road. Go north along Morts Folly Road. This road is a little over seven kilometre long, the first half being up hill (nothing too dramatic), the second half being a fast downhill nearly all the way.
The junction at the end is Cobra Road. Turn left, and Cobra Road joins up with the Eurobodalla Road after a little over two kilometres. Turn right into the Eurobodalla Road and return to Bodalla.
Map for Ride 18.