Megan Scott (white jersey) celebrates her Bowral Classic success with members of the Giant Sydney Cycling Club at the event village.

Bowral 101: All You Need To Know About The 2019 Bowral Classic

Updated: Online registrations for October’s Bowral Classic are filling fast with record numbers of riders expected at the 2019 event. 

The Bowral Classic is the jewel in the Gran Fondo crown, it’s Bicycling Australia’s signature cycling event, and regarded as the premier event on the annual ‘must ride’ calendar.

Come the weekend of October 19 and 20, the thousands of riders who’ve registered for this award-winning cycling spectacular will again descend on the stunning roads of Bowral and the Southern Highlands. You Can Join The Action By Registering Via This Link Today.

Bowral Classic: The Story So Far

Megan Scott (white jersey) celebrates her Bowral Classic success with members of the Giant Sydney Cycling Club at the event village.

First held in October 2016, the inaugural Bowral Classic was Bicycling Australia’s first mass participation cycling event. With the objective of raising funds for charity while also providing a challenging and goal-oriented day out, around 3000 riders collectively raised more than $120,000 for those most in need. The Classic returned bigger and better in 2017 & 2018, with more riders and ultimately more money raised for charity, bringing the collective total to over $350,000!

The Bowral Classic then won a number of major awards including Australian Event of the Year in two categories – Best New Event and Best Community Event, and has recently been nominated for yet more awards. 

The popularity and success of the first two Bowral Classics led to both the Clare Classic in South Australia and the Noosa Classic in Queensland – both considered major successes and both scheduled to return, Clare in April 2020 and Noosa again in August 2020. The Mudgee Classic – to be held on Sunday 3 May 2020 – has also been announced.

The Fourth Annual Bowral Classic

On Sunday October 20 riders of the fourth annual Bowral Classic will have four ride options instead of previous year’s three – the 35km Social Classic, 90km Rouluers Classic, 120km Challenge Classic and the big one, the 175km Maxi Classic.

Yet to register and want to know more about each ride? Let’s take a closer look at each option.

35km Social Classic 

This year’s Social Classic offers a brilliant way to sample the Southern Highlands. 

The 35km ride features an easy 353m of ascent. Riders will first visit the beautiful village of Berrima, here riders will stop in to one of the cafés to re-fuel using their voucher in exchange for coffee and cake.

Participants will then continue along the same route as all the other loops, direction Moss Vale. Once through this Moss Vale riders will then take the bike paths through Burradoo and Bowral, meandering toward to Expo Area at Eridge Park. Please note that the course is subject to changes due to various factors. Details can be viewed here. 


90km with 1142m ascent: That is still a lot of climbing! We are offering this as a timed ride. Riders will do a similar course to the 120km loop without doing the Bundanoon Loop. There is a still large sting in the tail waiting for you, many consider the last 40km to be much tougher than the first ‘warm-up’ 50km.

Like the 120km loop riders will pass through the beautiful village of Berrima followed by a fast section through to Rest Stop 1 which is located just outside of Moss Vale. After leaving the Rest Stop there is a non-timed section. Riders will turn left, missing the Bundanoon Loop and head to Robertson up the Eschappée which is the length of Myra Vale Road – more information here. 


120km with 1429m ascent: Ready? If you have done the 120km at a Bowral Classic before you did not do this much climbing. This will be a timed ride again this year.

After leaving Bong Bong Street, riders will pass through the beautiful village of Berrima followed by a fast section through to Rest Stop 1 which is located just outside of Moss Vale. After leaving the Rest Stop there is a non-timed section. Riders will turn right and complete the Bundanoon Loop, going through this 30km loop riders will experience the beautiful Southern Highlands, including some short sharp hills. At Rest Stop 2, Exeter Oval, there will be water and bananas. Then riders will complete the Loop and head towards the Eschappée which is the length of Myra Vale Road – more information can be found here

The 175km Maxi Classic 

The course will take riders through a 175km adventure that includes the rolling hills of Bowral, Berrima, Exeter, Robertson and Kangaloon. 

The 175km includes 2097m of climbing! Clip in and get ready for a course which will challenge even the fittest of the bunch. Again starting on the historic main street of Bowral, we head out to stunning Centennial Road before turning left onto the Old Hume Highway.

Riders will head past Bendooley Estate, and turn right onto Greenhills Road for a match up with a little leg burner: Mt Misery….aptly named! At this point we are on route to Wombeyan Caves road where we, as in previous years, go out and back, a relatively fast stretch with limited elevation.

At the end of Wombeyan Caves Road riders will head right and back to Bowral, and as we turn left onto Centennial Road riders should be preparing for the first big climb, Oxley Hill, our official Bowral Classic Oxley Hill KOM/QOM.

More details and the GPX files here

Where Else To Ride

To get the low down on all things cycling in the Bowral region we spoke with event ambassador Harry Kooros, a local cycling legend and store manager of bike shop The Fixed Wheel Bowral.


Quite possibly the most ridden cycling route in the Southern Highlands, this is a 40km loop with approximately 400m of elevation. With a few rolling hills, it is not an overly difficult loop and will take the average rider between 1hr 15min to 1hr 45min to complete.


Another common route ridden dozens of times per day by local riders, this loop traces the first quarter of the Bowral Classic Maxi Classic and is a challenging yet rewarding ride. It features several tough hills, but the breathtaking scenery makes it all worth while.

Macquarie Pass Return

This 75km loop is not an easy one, but is definitely a spectacular one. This route takes you from the height of Bowral (at 690m above sea level) to Albion park (at only 21m above sea level). You will descend the awesome Macquarie Pass (a 9km climb) and the challenging return climb. With a fair bit of elevation, this ride is a tough one and usually takes between 3 and 4 hours (including breaks).

The Bowral and Southern Highlands region offers a wide variety of road and mountain biking options as Harry Kooros explains here.

Tallong Return

A relatively flat 100-120km out-and-back ride that takes you along some of the course of this years Classic. A few dead roads will test your patience but otherwise it’s a very cruisy ride.

Avon Dam

This ride takes you up north to Avon Dam, where you will climb 3 short (3km) hills. You descend all the way to Avon and climb your way out. It is a very scenic ride.

More Than Cycling

October’s Bowral Classic provides the perfect opportunity for riders – along with their families and friends – to discover the wide-ranging delights of the beautiful Southern Highlands region.

So comparatively close to Sydney but genuinely feeling so far away, the Southern Highlands is an unspoilt country oasis within reach of the State’s major population centres.

Top 5 Things To See And Do In The Southern Highlands

There’s literally so much to do in this amazing region you’d honestly need a week to see and do it all. In no particular order here are some of the standout highlights.

*The Bradman Museum and International Cricket Hall of Fame, commemorates legendary Australian batsman Sir Don Bradman, also known simply as ‘The Don’.

Final Salute: A tribute to Australia’s greatest cricketer, Bowral boy Don Bradman.

*A Short Drive Southwest of Bowral is historic Berrima and the convict-built Surveyor General Inn, a sandstone pub. This is a must-visit town that will truly take you back in time.

* Visit The Magnificent Fitzroy Falls in the vast Morton National Park. And near the village of Robertson is the splendid Belmore Falls. With a sub-tropical feel, these dramatic falls are a photographers, walkers and bird lovers paradise. There are also enjoyable bushwalks, such as the Lovers Walking Track, and exhilarating mountain biking trails near Bundanoon.

Fitzroy Falls and Morton National Park are among the must-see destinations when in the Southern Highlands.

*The Food And Wine experiences are delicious. The altitude is perfect for cool-climate wines, with plenty of wineries to visit. There are acclaimed restaurants, such as Biota Dining and Eschalot.

*Corbett Gardens becomes tulip central each September for the annual Tulip Time Festival. More than 100,000 splendidly coloured tulips bloom. This beautiful park is enchanting at any time of the year, with its seasonal colours.

For a full range of year-round activities see the Southern Highlands events calendar and plan your getaway today. You can also book your accommodation on the website – visit today.

For More On The Bowral Classic And To Register Today Visit The Event Website.




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Megan Scott (white jersey) celebrates her Bowral Classic success with members of the Giant Sydney Cycling Club at the event village.

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