All about touring, whether you are a local or visiting from overseas.
Decision made, think its too late for Europe so why not do the rest of Australia, so the plan is to fly to Sydney and follow the coast.
Time: approximately 6 months depending on how things go.
Distance: about 12,500km
Will be getting a Telstra number before leaving for a better mobile coverage.
Would appreciate if people that are on the forum and leave along the way could offer a sleep over etc. If anyone lives not too far from the Sydney airport and could have me for the first night that would be nice too (bike will be in a few pieces etc), please send me a personal message.
and the machine:
Polish are you leaving Sydney in june july. Could i suggest you leave now so that you can be in the top end in june july August. You don't really want to be there much later. June july (even starting out in May) is the best time to be doing the savannah way from east coast to west coast because there will be water about, and temperatures are most agreeable. Other times it may be too hot in the day.
if you had time, i would also suggest going right up past cape tribulation to cooktown and back down the same track again because its so nice and i did it and highly recommend it.
You are welcome to stop over at mine but please don't expect me to cook for you. That said given that i live between cairns and port douglas you will probably perfer to continue on. But anyway stop in if you like and you can at least have a shower here and safe place for the night. There's also a nice little camping spot if you preferred right on the beach just before you come off the range. It even has fresh water. Its called pretty beach. contact me for more instruction if you want to do that close to when you are here, say a few days before.
When in the northern territory near darwin, i'll jsut add a few comments. If you want to do kakadu you really need to take a fair amount of time because all of the sites are well off the main triangle road so theres's quite a bit of thering and back again. A good alternative is the other national park closer to darwin. Starts with L but the name is not on the tip of my tongue. You can happily spend up to 4 days here. I was in the park only for one night and wished i had more time for its. Its very lovely, especially after the outback.
On your way down to katherine, make sure you ride in to edith falls. Its a wonderful place but you don't have to camp there. You can go back about 10km and camp by the edith river in a very nice spot. Just take the turn off to the right. This is a side trip but i believe well worth it. its a great place for swimming and you can have a hot free shower at the camping ground if you want too.
Right across from Cairns to Broome you should be able to camp by a creek or water most nights. I've been as far as the turn off after fitzroy crossing to tunnel creeek. Actually i highly recommend tunnel creek too and would even suggest you take this turn off and continue on to derby at the other end. You will be able to skip most of the GRR but see windjana gorge, tunnel creeek, the lovely devonian reef (if you watched the time travellers guide to australia recently, it was featured.) i also think you can visit the important aboriginal art centre just before derby. make sure you check out all the art centres along the route ie at kununurra, halls creek, fitzroy crossing and yeyili (spelling). find out before hand how best to make you sure arrive at opening times. Lots of great aboriginal art in darwin too. Don't waste your time in the souvenir and most commercial galleries though. Look for the "best" ones. Note "art centre" has a specific meaning. Its not just any old art gallery. They are government funded and managed and the artists are often there to paint so you can meet them. It was a highlight of my recent trip through the kimberley.
Also however difficult it may seem, do go into the bungle bungles. I didn't know this at the time but it seems its quite acceptable for cyclists to camp along the road in overnight. This will make the whole experience much less exhausting.
If you stop in at my place i will ask a small favour of you. Will you please collect me some boab seeds and post them back to me. I had a collection but lost them. I really want to grow some.
Well after having some discussions here and there it seems more feasible to start in Cairns to take the advantage of the weather so Cairns to Perth going the originally planned route with some side trips here and there.
Plan is to fly to Cairns ~18th of June and be back in Perth ~3rd of December or so, ~10.000km.
Good move I reckon Polish.
The weather up here in Darwin is beautiful at the moment - great cycling and camping weather.
One night each year in about late April or May, I find myself waking up cold and needing to go and get the doona out of the cupboard - it changes that quickly. The doona will stay on until some time in October I reckon. There was a beautiful late season thunder storm last night - cool and dry rather than hot and sticky - leaving a beautifully fresh cool morning...
Will you be keeping a journal of your trip?
yet to buy some thermal clothes to keep me warm at night
i generally dont do blogs etc, will more likely update this post every some time, not taking any laptops with me so updating such blog wouldnt work too well, i want to be technology free!
trying to setup a charity fund so will post details once finalized.
stay safe : )
Ok, for those who have a spare coin please follow the below link and donate some money if you can, charity is setup to go towards Princess Margaret Hospital for children.
Amen to that, Pawel!
All the best with it. I enjoyed the series of pics you posted after your last adventure over east.
All manner of half finished projects and a bit of randonneuring
I used to be tech-savvy. Now I'm just tech-weary.
Pawel, please do record & publish as much information as you can about your trip.
I am planning (in the long-term) a large tour which covers most of your route, starting from and finishing in Perth (mostly with the addition of Nullarbor and Capricorn Highway to your route).
My research on the trip primarily relies on various travel logs, but the information is very outdated, inconsistent regarding distances, available facilities etc, and very much confusing regarding names and positions of rest areas.
I trust you can do a better job! Your information would be valuable to me and others planning trips to Oz.
rama - if you want ot have a look, this is perth-sydney going down south along the coast for some ideas:
will most likely update this thread every now and then, i generally keep a written journal and record everyday so should have a nice diary at the end of this trip.
to be honest i never planned the route too much, just general km's between any civilisation, i found the signs to be very good once you are on the road, not sure if such stops would be marke on a citynav oz map?
hey rama - I understand your sentiments and interest, but do you think Pawel is doing the ride for himself or other people first and foremost? You shouldn't ask of him something that's not a natural urge. Not everyone is a intuitive writer and or typist.
And I certainly understand the sentiment about keeping the gadgetry to a minimum. Technology give me the 5h!ts enough during the work week not to obsess over it too much in my own time. Why marr the beautiful simplicity of a bike ride with techo-gidgmajery? I am a lapsed geek.
Thanks for sharing what you do manage, Pawel
All manner of half finished projects and a bit of randonneuring
I used to be tech-savvy. Now I'm just tech-weary.
The ride is clearly for Pawel's pleasure. I just thought it would be nice of him to share some information and help others dreaming of a similar tour, especially those outside Australia.
You are never far from a village or running out of supplies in Europe. But in the Australian outback, it is madness to set off without some preparation. And accuracy of information does matter, when calculating supplies.
Pawel, I would be happy to send you a spreadsheet with information about my planned trip (very similar to yours). It currently has some 425 waypoints (towns, rest areas, roadhouses, etc) and more is added on a daily basis. Send me your email address with a pm if you're interested. Same goes for anyone else interested in the spreadsheet.
Regards to all
Rama i agree with the other poster. You are trying to ask people to do the work you should be doing for yourself. You should jsut ask questions if you want to know the answers but to some extent there's a lot of info that you simply don't need to know in advance. You really don't need to plan you ride to the nth degree ie distances between kms and if you did wnat to know that look on google or buy a map. Its not hard to find out approximate distances on the web anyway.
The best way to get a sense of distances is to buy a map for planning of the whole country. Its what i do when i am going to any foreign country. I don't necessarily take that map with me but it helps to have an overview for trip planning.
Pawal although polish lives in Australia so he doesn't really see the country like a foreigner either.
If you want to talk to others who've been around australia similar to yourself visit thorntree.lonelyplanet.com The regulars there are very experienced cycling tourers and a few have done rides in australia - simon hill, ike and i've done a few long sections across the top end myself already. I would have thought that capricorn highway is one of the lesser interesting routes you could take. Why do you want to do it?
When you are travelling in Australia on a bicycle you don't need to know in advance names and positions of rest areas. You really don't. The information will be on the maps you buy when you get here anyway. And you can talk to the locals in the town you leave about any likely camping spots ahead of you. IN the outback the rest areas are not the best choice. Its always better to try to find a creek where you can be alone. If you have to share a rest area you will be sharing it quite often with many other motorhomers and that's not really such an exciting experience. Of course when you are down south you might relish their company for safety but its not the case in the norht or the far outback.
AS i said, all this will become much clearer when you get on the road. For now you should be planning according ot the wather and the sights you want to see along the way such as the great barrier reef which you wont see if you go west along the capricorn highway. But of course if you are here in our summer then it would be a good idea to skip the GBR as its too hot up north for riding a loaded bike for 6+ hours a day.
Perhaps start up your own thread where you can ask all the questions you want with the data you have found and ask to find out if it is accurate.
Masi Speciale CX 2008 - Brooks B17 special saddle, Garmin Edge 810
lol it did not sound like that.
btw. would anyone be interested in doing some/all of it with me?i guess you never know!
also, if you are reading this and live in cairns/know someone who does, any chance of a spare couch for 2 or so nights?
Wow. Really? That's kinda cool. How detailed is it? How does it rate Pemberton vs Walpole for example?
Do share - I cannot resist a bakery.
Cycle touring blog and tour journals: whispering wheels...
Good luck for the trip - stay safe and have a great time!
"A dessert without cheese is like a beautiful woman with only one eye."
Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin
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