Putty Road, Western Sydney, NSW

Self-Guided Adventure

Few roads carry the same legend status among the motorcycling fraternity as the Putty Road. The 155km stretch of bitumen, twists, turns, and winds its way north along the western edge of the greater Sydney basin from the historic town of Windsor in Sydney's Northwest, until it reaches the coal mining town of Bulga on the edge of the Hunter Valley. Hit it on a good day, and it's one of the most enjoyable rides you will ever have. Even on a bad day, it’s brilliant 

Type: Self-guided
Total distance: 
155km each way
Estimated duration: 
2-3 hours (with stops)

The Putty road offers a superb blend of enjoyable open road riding, exhilarating sweeping bends, and switch-backs to form a kaleidoscope of riding disciplines. The road provides plenty of opportunities for riders of all levels to hone their riding skills, and is suitable for all types of motorcycles. It’s not unusual to see the unusual on this road. The road surface is mostly smooth with the main obstacles being slow weekend traffic. Mostly one lane each way, there are numerous broken white line passing opportunities as well as overtaking lanes. The road can be heavily policed during peak times.

Starting at the historic town of Windsor and heading north through Colo Heights, Mellong, Putty, and onto Bulga, the Putty Road is motorcycling heaven sitting on Sydney's doorstep.

The 40km run from Windsor to Colo Heights is a great way to get into the swing of things and settle into the ride ahead. Leaving suburbia behind the road crosses the Hawkesbury and Colo rivers before reaching the popular Colo Heights Caltex service station. This is a smart place to fuel up.

Heading north from Colo Heights towards the famous Grey Gum cafe 48km away, the road takes another step up in enjoyment with some classic sweeping bends as it presses into the Wollemi National Park. Stopping at the Grey Gum Cafe is almost compulsory for motorcyclists, it’s also the halfway point on the Putty Road ride. The place appears to have been purpose-built with motorcyclists in mind, and has become the meeting point for small social groups through to large organised rides. The place can get extremely busy, but it's worth the effort to stop and get stuck into an egg and bacon roll while chatting with fellow enthusiasts. 

Departing the Grey Gum Cafe, things become very tasty as the corners get tighter the further you get into Wollemi National Park. The 31km stretch of road through Putty and Garland Valley, and onto Howes Valley has seen its fair share of accidents in recent times. The road surface can be unpredictable with the added difficulty of wildlife wandering on the road. Ride sensibly and look out for wet sections and patches of moss during winter.

For many, the most enjoyable part of the run is the final 38km from Howes Valley to Bulga. Consisting of a long series medium-speed corners that snake around the bottom of Bulga Mountain, it features a rock wall that adds to the sensation of speed. Due to limited sunlight, the road can remain wet long after rain has fallen, and can be extremely slippery. Keep an eye out for the local Bulga police who frequent their end of the road to enforce the speed limits.


Trip Highlights