Overnight Solo Bike-packing Trip

First off-road camping expedition

Giant Trance 2019

My first camping expedition to Marramarra Creek campground

This was my first bike packing trip and I chose to go to a primitive campground (no water, no cooking, basic toilet) carrying everything on my dual suspension Giant Trance 2 mountain bike. Although a short distance, the descent in to the Marramarra National Park and subsequent climb out make this trip difficult, but a whole lot of fun.

Watch the adventure unfold on YouTube.

This was also my first chance to test out the Naturehike Cloud Up 2 tent. The tent is small and light. It states that it’s a two man tent, but I would not fancy sharing the space with another body except for an absolute emergency! Weighing-in around 1.5 kilos, the tent, footprint and fly could pack-up small enough to sit up under my handle bars.

Nature Hike Cloud-up 2 tent

The campsite is small, very quiet and unlikely to have more than one other camper sharing the area. If you like your own company and want to get away from it all, this is a good place. It’s a deep valley with water access to Marramarra Creek which forms part of the Hawkebury River catchment.

Two great features

If you have time to explore, there are two great features;

  1. At the bottom of the hill, rather than turning left to the main campground, you can turn right and head to the orchard campground. A long time ago, one of the early settlers decided to plant an orange grove in the valley. So, if you are here at the right time of year, you can pick a few oranges to supplement your camp food.
  2. This is the bottom of Smugglers Ridge; a tough climb back up the escarpment which used to be used by local smuggling in alcohol and tobacco as the creek was quiet and the area remote, so they were unlikely to be disturbed in their activities.

Note, if you are intending to cycle this trail; the descent is difficult if you are riding a fully loaded mountain bike and the climb out is steep and taxing. You must carry plenty of water and expect the climb to take several hours. There is no mobile phone signal in the valley, nor vehicle access beyond the gate, so be well prepared.

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About Mike 315 Articles
As publisher of The Kuringai Examiner, I have an interest in all things on the North Shore, particularly news, sport and food. I'm always on the outlook for something unique and original to bring to my readers.