Where to rollerski in Sydney
When you first start roller skiing it can be a bit hard to work out where you can do it. With Roller skis in particular you want somewhere that has smooth tarmac and not too many cars. Most of the locations here are based on going there early in the morning or during the week when there aren't many cars. Be aware of cars, bikes and pedestrians and other hazards such as sticks and imperfections in the road. And, always wear safety gear.
In no particular order
North Head, Manly
The best thing about roller skiing at the North Head near Manly is the views of Sydney Harbour. It looks over the harbour and out to the Pacific Ocean. The road surface is smooth but there are annoying speed bumps (moguls). There aren’t many cars on a Sunday morning. The road goes gradually uphill (which is what I want) and if you don't fancy skating uphill you can drive and park up the top. There is a nice cafe there.
Parramatta has a good medium sized loop, about 2.4 km long around the park. There are separate lanes for cars, bikes and walkers so traffic is not a worry. The terrain is relatively flat so it is quite good for beginners. It is busy on the weekends though with cars and lots of walkers.
Western Sydney Parklands
Starting at Glendenning near the cricket ground is a great flat path. There are no cars and few bikes or pedestrians on it even on the weekend. So if you don't fancy getting up early in the morning it is a great option to train on.
Cumberland State Forest, West Pennant Hills
Cumberland State Forest at West Pennant Hills has quite steep hills so it’s ideal for hill training. And when I say steep I mean steep. I would strongly suggest having brakes on your rollerskis or using Skikes. The road is also quite rough and there can be lots of twigs and sticks so I recommend Skikes. There is very little traffic and what cars there are drive very slowly. The area has lots of nice trees and even a café.
Tempe bike track
Starting at Tempe there is a huge range of bike paths. It is generally flat. The only downside to Tempe is that some of the tracks are concrete making it hard for the tips of the poles to dig into the ground.
Bicentennial Park, Homebush
There is a lovely bike path going into the mangrove forests. It’s asphalt all the way. Although there are bikes, in my experience, they are few and tend to be just Mum and Dad out riding with the kids rather than Tour de France wannabes. If you have rollerskis be careful of all the twigs that get dropped onto the track. Also there are wooden bridges which could trip you up. (I use Skikes there instead of roller skis for this reason).
The main loop isn't recommended because there are too many fast moving bikes. You are not allowed to use poles on the loop but you can rollerski. However, on the corner near Oxford Street there are some good loops.
M7 bike path (Baulkham Hills to Liverpool)
The M7 bike path is very long (40km). It has long gradual hills. It does have concrete sections which are better skated as the pole tips won't grip. Also be careful of the bridges as some of them have holes, perfect for snapping the tips off poles. The path is primarily for cyclists which can be moving quite fast so be aware and give them space.
Looking for someone to rollerski with?
If you would like train with us please contact us. Biathlon Australia (NSW) rollerski every Sunday in various locations around Sydney.
The law in NSW
A pedestrian includes "a person in or on a wheeled recreational device or wheeled toy". This includes rollerblades, a skateboard, scooter, unicycle or similar wheeled device:
Foot scooters, skateboards and rollerblades may be ridden on footpaths unless signs specifically prohibit them, however, riders must keep to the left and give way to other pedestrians
Powered foot scooters and skateboards cannot be registered and can only be used on private land
On separated bicycle and pedestrian paths, foot scooter, skateboard and rollerblade riders must use the section designated for bicycles, but must keep out of the path of any bicycle
Foot scooters, skateboards and rollerblades can only be used on the road during daylight hours
They cannot be used on roads with a dividing line or median strip or a speed limit greater than 50km/h, or a one-way road with more than one marked lane