cycle across australia

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
welshman82
Posts: 5
Joined: 20 May 2009, 8:07pm

cycle across australia

Postby welshman82 » 2 Jul 2009, 2:11pm

i am interested on your experiences, good or bad if you cycle across australia, perth to sydney maybe along the coast? how you managed with camping, water supplies etc. What time of year weather was it?
east to west or vice versa, buying kit out there or shipping it from uk....

I am keen on going perth to sydney and maybe up to brisbane following the coast as much as possible. up to brisbane is approx 4000miles, maybe take it easy doing 50 a day but up to 100 through the more remote scarce places. i would have the odd day off and do some sightseeing - so plan to do it in approx 3-4 months. Anybody keen on joining me - starting in late jan/feb. hot i know but i loves it.

d

simonhill
Posts: 2520
Joined: 13 Jan 2007, 11:28am
Location: Essex

Re: cycle across australia

Postby simonhill » 2 Jul 2009, 3:25pm

I suggest you look at the weather first. www.bom.gov.au is a great site, it even has wind roses so you can see strength, prevailing, etc.

Personally I reckon that you are picking the wrong time - there is no 'coast' route as such across the middle - it is the Nullabor. Day after day of nothingness. I also think that it is probably more than 4,000 miles.

I have cycled Perth to Albany, train to Adelaide, then cycled to Melbourne, Canberra, Sydney, Brisbane and on up to Cape Trib (far North Queensland), but I did it in 3 x 3 month trips so I could pick the best weather and enjoy more than just day after day of tarmac. Happy to answer any specific questions.

geocycle
Posts: 1728
Joined: 11 Jan 2007, 9:46am

Re: cycle across australia

Postby geocycle » 2 Jul 2009, 3:46pm

You might want to contact this guy. A very readable and detailed blog as well.

http://www.davidddinoz.blogspot.com/

AndrewClark
Posts: 26
Joined: 6 Jun 2007, 7:46pm

Re: cycle across australia

Postby AndrewClark » 2 Jul 2009, 9:24pm

2 books you might like to read before you go. Plenty of others in the Amazon links as well.

Cold Beer & Crocodiles - a circumnavigation of Australia

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Cold-Beer-Croco ... 923&sr=8-1

Discovery Road - Round the world trip - 1st section is Sydney to Perth

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Discovery-Road- ... 051&sr=1-1

grw
Posts: 195
Joined: 20 Jan 2007, 2:30pm
Location: Melbourne

Re: cycle across australia

Postby grw » 3 Jul 2009, 1:33am

If you already own the kit, bring it with you or have it shipped over a month or so before. Buying cycling kit in shops here is expensive, you've got a more limited range of stock (two of my local shops don't stock panniers). Many cyclists over here end up ordering from wiggle/ribble or other UK based online sources as this is cheaper. Even a guy I know of who works in a cycle shop has ordered stuff from wiggle...
South Australia and Victora can get silly hot in summer. I know some people like the heat though. Earlier this year there were 10 consecutive days of over 40 deg c in Victoria. If that kind of heat is your thing, then you'll be happy!
Australian motorists are bad. Little consideration, impatient, too fast. Crude generalisation I know, but I've found them to be much worse than their equivalents in the UK. Monash University produced a study which showed that exceesive speed of cars was a contributory factor to a much higher propertion of road fatalities here than in the UK (something like 30% vs 8%). However, once you get off the main highways, the cycing can be good - you've really got to pick your route though. What looks like a quiet road between two places of no significance on a map, can in reality be a fast busy road. The Google street view feature is quite useful when planning a ride - over here it covers all roads rather than just cities (unsurfaced roads not covered yet!) so you can take a look at a broad section of the roads before you go out.
Lonely Planet do a good book called Cycling AUstralia - it has a 30 day tour from Melbourne to Brisbane along the coast described - I have a copy somewhere which I'll try and dig out. There are a couple websites which are good too: http://home.pacific.net.au/~dasmero/index.htm and http://www.cycleaustralia.info/index.html which look quite useful
I think I would avoid a lot of the coast and come inland for some of it. Some of the coast is beautiful, but then again so is much of the interior of Australia which I thingk tends to get overlooked as people on holiday dash from Sydney to Melbourne to Perth to Brisbane via Ullaroo.
I doubt I'd be able to join you for the ride but if I'm still here then, I'd be happy to join you for a couple of days in the SYdney region
Gareth

welshman82
Posts: 5
Joined: 20 May 2009, 8:07pm

Re: cycle across australia

Postby welshman82 » 3 Jul 2009, 5:38pm

simonhill wrote:I suggest you look at the weather first. http://www.bom.gov.au is a great site, it even has wind roses so you can see strength, prevailing, etc.

Personally I reckon that you are picking the wrong time - there is no 'coast' route as such across the middle - it is the Nullabor. Day after day of nothingness. I also think that it is probably more than 4,000 miles.

I have cycled Perth to Albany, train to Adelaide, then cycled to Melbourne, Canberra, Sydney, Brisbane and on up to Cape Trib (far North Queensland), but I did it in 3 x 3 month trips so I could pick the best weather and enjoy more than just day after day of tarmac. Happy to answer any specific questions.


thanks for the advice simon. Why do you say im picking the wrong time, is it regarding the heat, lack of water supplies during the Nullarbor? I would aim to get through the Nullarbor in about a week at maximum, Maybe nothingness isnt your cup of tea, but it would still make for an interesting ride, away from everything , at one with nature and all that stuff. Well i know i would enjoy it, maybe not over and over but, down to the individual i suppose.

were you camping wild during your trips? at any time did you go for a few days between water supplies? if so what type of water purification sacks or tablets did you use? did you cook much or just use roadhouse stops
lots of question but i'll start there.

thanks

welshman82
Posts: 5
Joined: 20 May 2009, 8:07pm

Re: cycle across australia

Postby welshman82 » 3 Jul 2009, 5:42pm

geocycle wrote:You might want to contact this guy. A very readable and detailed blog as well.

http://www.davidddinoz.blogspot.com/


this is a great little blog, makes for good reading i thought. was gripped when i got into it.
It is a useful source for ideas on what he used and prep etc on his travels but more importantly it is a good and interesting read. would recommend it
thanks for that

welshman82
Posts: 5
Joined: 20 May 2009, 8:07pm

Re: cycle across australia

Postby welshman82 » 3 Jul 2009, 5:59pm

many thanks for the replies everyone. much appreciated.


Gareth, great advice about the google street view map thing, i didnt think about that! that is an interesting statistic about the driving! you aussies!
I was thinking about doing cycling at tail end of summer so it would start to get slightly cooler, especially out in the Nullarbor, so it would be around 30's rather 40's (I looked on the Australia government weather page, lots of useful graphs and plots for temps during the year) but i dont mind the warm.

I have two further questions - Is 'skype mobile' available in Australia yet? I to using a skype mobile phone or the skype package on a mobile ( i think maybe on three network), rather than the skype on a pc and internet.

Generally, which direction are headwinds 'supposedly' go? west to east or other way round. (and i know it is going to vary but 'generally')

thanks
Dean

paragonman
Posts: 21
Joined: 4 Jul 2009, 4:29am

Re: cycle across australia

Postby paragonman » 4 Jul 2009, 5:37am

G,day Dean. It might be a good idea to join the Australian Cycling Forum and let them know what you plan to do , they will give you some good advice and may even join you part of the way.

paragonman

JC4LAB

Re: cycle across australia

Postby JC4LAB » 6 Jul 2009, 9:53am

Other forums which have large aussie membershipa and threads are Bikeforums.com and Cyclingforums.com

grw
Posts: 195
Joined: 20 Jan 2007, 2:30pm
Location: Melbourne

Re: cycle across australia

Postby grw » 7 Jul 2009, 7:11am

http://www.bicycles.net.au/forums/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=12483
The above is from the BNA forum - quite useful.
Fairly sure skype mobile is available here now.
Prevailing wind information at this site: http://chestofbooks.com/travel/australia/Art-Living-Australia/The-Climate-Of-Australia-Part-6-Prevailing-Winds-Hot-Wind.html. I'm not sure how accurate it is. In NSW I had the impression that the wind was most often from the North East in summer (November to Feb) which made it very warm and you'd occasionally get a southerly, which would cool things down significantly. I'm really not sure about the other states - when I've cycled in Queensland in spring (Central Queensland - west of Brisbane) and winter (Cairns and north), there was not much wind at all but I'm sure this varies considerably.
welshman82 wrote:you aussies!

:shock:
Please, no! Last time I checked, 'Gareth' is not a typical Australian name!
Gareth

simonhill
Posts: 2520
Joined: 13 Jan 2007, 11:28am
Location: Essex

Re: cycle across australia

Postby simonhill » 7 Jul 2009, 11:04am

You asked:

About the winds. Look at the weather site (BoM) I put in my first post - most detailed info on wind I could find;

Wrong time, because it will be very hot across the Nullarbor. I did cycle Mel > Bris at this time and that was pretty warm at the start. I don't know if you have experienced the Oz sun - it is incrediblly fierce and best avoided for a few hours in the middle of the day. I regularly cycle in the tropics (SE Asia, India, etc) and the Oz sun is far more severe (no ozone?). Still, if you like it hot, then go for it.

Not sure if you'll make the Nullarbor in a week, I thought it was a lot further than that. The people I met who did cycle it had planned carefully and knew where the supplies were.

I didn't camp, but used hostels, cheap pubs (good Aussie culture) an on-site vans. Often camps sites charge per place and this can often be nearly as much as a hostel, where you get better provisions, cooking facilities, company, etc and no need to carry all that gear. If crossing the Nullarbor you will need to camp as no other accom. In other areas wild camping or cheap Conseravtion/Nat Park areas are available. Trouble is carrying water etc, Also be aware that many areas have a total fire ban so cooking even on a stove is banned and very strictly enforced, particularly after the terrible fires of last year.

A good source of touring info is the Lonely Planet site http://www.lonelyplanet.com/thorntree/f ... forumID=32 there are plenty of cyclists there who have toured in Oz. Probably a better source than Oz sites as I found very few Aussies who actually tour in their own country (I think I only met about 4 in 9 months!).

Go and enjoy.

Neil Mc Ivor
Posts: 158
Joined: 17 Mar 2007, 6:04pm
Location: Rutherglen / Glasgow

Re: cycle across australia

Postby Neil Mc Ivor » 17 Jul 2009, 9:05am

welshman82 wrote:
simonhill wrote:I suggest you look at the weather first. http://www.bom.gov.au is a great site, it even has wind roses so you can see strength, prevailing, etc.

Personally I reckon that you are picking the wrong time - there is no 'coast' route as such across the middle - it is the Nullabor. Day after day of nothingness. I also think that it is probably more than 4,000 miles.

I have cycled Perth to Albany, train to Adelaide, then cycled to Melbourne, Canberra, Sydney, Brisbane and on up to Cape Trib (far North Queensland), but I did it in 3 x 3 month trips so I could pick the best weather and enjoy more than just day after day of tarmac. Happy to answer any specific questions.


thanks for the advice simon. Why do you say im picking the wrong time, is it regarding the heat, lack of water supplies during the Nullarbor? I would aim to get through the Nullarbor in about a week at maximum, Maybe nothingness isnt your cup of tea, but it would still make for an interesting ride, away from everything , at one with nature and all that stuff. Well i know i would enjoy it, maybe not over and over but, down to the individual i suppose.

were you camping wild during your trips? at any time did you go for a few days between water supplies? if so what type of water purification sacks or tablets did you use? did you cook much or just use roadhouse stops
lots of question but i'll start there.

thanks

I crossed the Nullarbor - Norseman To Ceduna 1250 Km in 8 days. There are Roadhouses and Motels at intervals of 200km or less.so you don't need to camp if you don't want to.

A good map to get is the RAC Perth to Adelaide via the Eyre Highway.

I took a Katadyne Pocket water filter but did not see any surface water from Norseman until just before Port Augusta.I either filled up at the accommodation or bought bottled water.

My planning consisted of picking my road across Australia marking off 100Km sections finding where there are towns or settlements a suitable days riding apart (the furthest I cycled in a day was 220Km),looking at an old school atlas to check likely weather and wind patterns for the time I was going (May-June) I did not look at any guides before I went.
Last edited by Neil Mc Ivor on 1 Aug 2009, 11:59am, edited 1 time in total.
Neil Mc Ivor
138 Kingsburn Grove
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treddlie
Posts: 2
Joined: 29 Jul 2009, 11:57am

Re: cycle across australia

Postby treddlie » 29 Jul 2009, 12:07pm

Hi

I have cycled across twice...with a little help the first time.

Certainly better to take your own gear, you can break it in and get used to it before you leave. The first time I wwnt to Oz with the bike I had no idea what I was doing. It took a month or so before I sorted myself out

Jan will be hot, I cycled both times in September and October. September was hot and that was just early spring. October was much better but it did get dark early and it was COLD at night...frost on a couple of occasions.

Route wise I would travel West to East and go via Bunbury/Albany and Esperance, you will see enough outback later on.

Crossing the Nullarbor is a great experience, people are friendly and the sky at night has to be seen to be believed.

Sydney to brisbane is OK but traffic can be havy and there isnt a great deal to be seen. If you have the choice I would suggest getting a cheap flight up to Townsville or Cairns and do some cyling in the tropics...virgin Blue have some very cheap flights but I dont know their bike policy.

Good Luck....I am planning another crossing next year but to take in the Ashes as well in november time

simonhill
Posts: 2520
Joined: 13 Jan 2007, 11:28am
Location: Essex

Re: cycle across australia

Postby simonhill » 30 Jul 2009, 10:27am

Why do you want to cycle it THREE times?? Aren't there plenty of other places to see? Congrats on the first one, though.

Re the route from Sydney to Brisbane, I agree that straight up the coast is not the best riding. As with much of Oz, doing inland forays changes the scenery, culture and makes a break from the standard coastal routes. I cycled from Sydney via Manley, up to Newcastle (great coastal scenery), then train up Hunter Valley so I could cycle down (horse studs, open cast coal mines and vineyards - what a contrast), then along the Buckettes, through Stroud and Gloucester (interesting almost Mendip landscape), then some more inland in N NSW (Murwillimbah and the Tweed River area). I found this some of the best riding I did in Oz, but it takes a bit of effort studying the map first. The final stretch into Surfer's Paradise was not very pretty but gave a great view of Aussie (high rise) beach culture.