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Hey everyone, first time poster. I am planning on doing a 2 month cycling trip, starting in July and ending at the begining of September. In my research, I have read about how most long distance riders go counterclockwise to avoid serious headwinds. Would anyone have experiance with what the winds would be like heading north from Perth to Darwin during this time? I have found some links to wind roses, but I am still not entirley clear on the matter. This is my prefered route due to other travel plans, but not if I would be fighting a headwind the whole way. Any information would be greatly appriciated.
I have also ordered a copy of 'cycling outback Australia' to help prepare for the trip, but am looking for recomedations for any other books, websites or blogs. Thanks for your time!
You will are likely to have winds mainly from your right side until you swing east around Derby. Then you will likely have headwinds through to Katherine. Once you swing north again you should get winds mainly in your favour. This is based on morning winds, winds in the afternoon can come from a completely different direction.
The following relate to my Dreaming Tour, Darwin to Perth and are resources I have made use of. My route is more inland/off-highways but ...
Chris Bagnall and Nikki Brown book, Cycling Outback Australia: Ecotouring Travel Guide – Cairns-Darwin-Perth.
Jan Holland books on campsites are also a very useful resource. There are three books in the series:
A Guide to Priceless Campsites & Rest Areas in the Northern Territory
A Guide to Priceless Campsites & Rest Areas in the North of Western Australia (3rd Edition)
A Guide to Priceless Campsites & Rest Areas in the South of Western Australia (2nd Edition)
I have also made use of Craig Lewis and Cathy Savage's Camping guide to the Northern Territory. I found it useful for information on water sources.
Another book, worth a read, if only for the historical nature if nothing else is Bob Crane's 1997 publication, Cycling northern Australia: A guide for cyclists caravanners and campers. It is published Pandanus Publishing, Port Macquarie and the ISBN is 0 646 32077 7.
With respect to maps I have purchased a number of Hema Map products including
Hema Maps - Top End and Gulf
Hema Maps – Top End National Parks – Basic coverage between Darwin and Katherine.
Hema Maps – Northern Territory map (10th Edition). Covered the route from Katherine to Kununurra.
Hema Maps - Pilbara and the Coral Coast
Hema Maps - The Kimberley featuring the Gibb River Road
Hema Maps – Mid West Western Australia Including the Gascoyne & Batavia Coast
and a series of StreetSmartmaps.
StreetSmart Touring Map – The Kimberley
StreetSmart Touring Map – Pilbara
StreetSmart Touring Map – Gascoyne Coast
StreetSmart Touring Map – The Mid West – Outback Gascoyne-Murchison
In hindsight I wouldn't have bothered with the StreetSmart ones, well that is based on my use of them for planning purposes.
In terms of websites and guidance on outback riding, and in particular iconic outback cycle routes I suggest reviewing extensively GJ Coop's Cycle Trails Australia. Then go and read his journals at Crazy Guy on a Bike. GJ Coop has two of relevance here, the first is titled Adelaide to Darwin and beyond[/i] and the second one is titled Zig zag across Australia.
The second journal at Crazy Guy on a Bike that I found useful was Dennis Smith's and in particular
Section 2 - Sydney to Perth via Darwin.
A couple of other journals/websites I found handy where The Incomprehensible Blend in terms of Litchfield National Park and travelling between Katherine and Darwin and the Cycling Dutch Girl websites also worth a read.
Some non-cycling specific websites I found useful are:
Explore Australia - Under the heading “Rest Areas” they provide information on rest areas, but more importantly and more useful is information on water availability. Helpful for planning purposes.
Hope this helps.
Proudly "a bleeding heart with too much spare time on his hands"
Andrew Bain's book might be a clue for you
Counter-clockwise is the way to go, Darwin-Perth would most likely be much nicer riding.
Riding bikes in traffic - what seems dangerous is usually safe; what seems safe is often more dangerous.
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