Cudal, Manildra and Nanami Lane Century Lap
Spectacular ride through remote rural landscapes with amazing views of Mount Canobolas and rolling countryside
At a Glance
An absolute cracker of a ride, along over 100km of cycling on sealed and gravel roads, whilst experiencing spectacular scenery and the friendly villages of Cudal and Manildra.
Why I choose this course and the bike(s) I prefer to ride
This route is definitely best on a gravel bike, but a mountain bike would also do the job! Riders on e-bikes would have an advantage on the climbs, but there aren’t any bike charging opportunities after Manildra.
Landscapes and vistas are a huge feature of this route, which makes it a perfect day ride to capture beautiful photos and enjoy the scenery. There is also plenty of agricultural variety, including cattle, sheep, as well as stunning canola and corn crops in spring or the seasonal cropping of wheat.
I rated this ride a 4 on a scale out of 9, or “arduous”. With almost 60% of this 107km route on gravel and plenty of rolling hills along the way, it was pretty tough towards the end, so you need a decent level of fitness to do it comfortably… The lack of water / food stops also means some pre-ride planning is required.
A few things to note before embarking on this ride…
- Wherever you can get water along the way… fill up those water bottles! (Especially in the warmer months!)
- Bring plenty of food… whilst the cafes in Cudal and Manildra were both fantastic… you still have another 90kms of riding after Manildra before you’re back in Cudal – best to stock up with supplies
- At 107km, this is a longer ride… and so it is important to factor in ample time to stop and enjoy the beautiful farming country and views. Don’t expect / plan to have the ride completed in a few hours!
- Fabulous views of Mount Canobolas
- Enjoyable ride through mixed farming country
- Good mix of paved and unpaved
- AMUSU Theatre
Sights on Route
- Limited water and food stops – bring more supplies than you expect you will need to be safe
- Can get VERY hot in summer!
- Snakes in warmer months
- Pockets of patchy phone reception
- Some traffic in the earlier stages of the loop
Traps For Young Players
- Wildlife – kangaroos and wombats
Food & Drink
Our adventure started at the quaint little Platypus Café in Cudal, set inside Cudal’s original scout hall. This great café offered fantastic coffee, delicious food, friendly service and a good range of cool refreshments for non-coffee drinkers.
Caffeine-fuelled and ready to go, we warmed up along the paved roads out of Cudal, and before we knew it we were turning right into our first stretch of gravel for the day, along Scenic Drive… and scenic it certainly was, with spectacular views of Mount Canobolas to the right. Such a beautiful start to the ride we found ourselves stopping for photos only 8km in!
At 12km we turned left onto Henry Parkes Way… a lovely downhill roll into the centre of Manildra, past the impressive Manildra Flour Mill, turning into Kiewa St for a quick stop at ‘Coffee on Kiewa’ on our right. This unassuming little café was a pleasant surprise… with delicious pastries, pies, sausage rolls, gluten free slices and of course… coffee.
Leaving the café and crossing directly over the road to the public toilets, we took the opportunity to replenish our water bottles at the water filling station, mindful that this was the last opportunity to do so for some time… and there is still 90kms to go!
A few kilometres down the quiet, broad streets of Manildra, and we were back on the gravel again at North Coates Creek Road. This was a peaceful gravel riding section with beautiful countryside all the way along Yellowbox Road until we were back on The Escort Way again for some paved riding.
It was a bit of an adjustment having to contend with traffic again along The Escort Way after such pleasant gravel riding since Manildra, but after 20kms we were turning left into Nanami Lane for the next section of gravel, just over halfway through the ride. As Toogong Road turns into Cranbury Road (just after Batty’s Lane), there is a Uniting Church on the left… this is the place to stop for a final water bottle fill up if you need it, as there are no other water stops until back in Cudal. There were 2 large rainwater tanks around the back near the play equipment…
Then we were back onto the gravel, heading straight across Canowindra Road and back to Nanami Lane. This was a beautiful undulating section of gravel road with decent elevation all the way up to South Bowen Park Road… where we reluctantly rolled (slowly and wistfully) straight past the Pioneer Brewing Company cursing ourselves that we didn’t organise our ride for a Saturday when they are open!
As South Bowen Park Road turns into Bowen Park Road, we left the gravel behind us and returned to paved rolling hills all the way back to Cudal. Here we had enough time left in our adventure for another stop at the wonderful Platypus Café to refuel with a few litres of water, a milkshake, and… you guessed it… another coffee.