Need help in Preparing trip from Canberra to Bairnsdale

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Need help in Preparing trip from Canberra to Bairnsdale

Postby ssutinee » Sun Mar 24, 2013 8:43 pm

Hi, I am newbie here.

My dad is planning to visit Australia for a cycling trip from Canberra to Bairnsdale in May 2013. This is the route:
- Canberra to Cooma
- Cooma to Bombala
- Bombala to Cann River
- Cann River to Orbost
- Orbost to Bairnsdale

Then, he will take a train from Bairnsdale to Melbourne.

He has done a couple cycling trips in Southeast Asia, But this is his first time in Australia, and I am not familiar with this route, so I am a bit worried about the trip (e.g. accommodation, where to get water to drink, the weather, etc). I have lots of questions below:

1. what accommodation do you usually use when cycling? Do you camp or stay in a hotel?
2. It will take about 6-7 hours a day for cycling, where do you get water? Do you carry like 4-5 litres of water each day?
3. I know it is going to be cold in May, but will there be snow during that time on that route?
4. In case of an emergency (e.g. bicycle is broken), who do you contact ? Highway patrol?
5. Will there be mobile phone signal? I am thinking about hiring a satellite phone, is that important?

Please let me know if you have useful links / blogs about cycling in Australia. It's highly appreciated if you have suggestions/advices. Thank you very much for your help in advances.
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by BNA » Sun Mar 24, 2013 10:52 pm

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Re: Need help in Preparing trip from Canberra to Bairnsdale

Postby il padrone » Sun Mar 24, 2013 10:52 pm

Vintagetourer posts on here and he rode from Canberra to Melbourne via Bairnesdale. He took a similar route but with some differences.

His Crazyguyonabike journal is here.


I would suggest that Bombala to Cann River and Cann River to Orbst would be less pleasant main highway riding with higher levels of faster traffic.

There are other options:
1. Through Delegate, Bonang and Goongerah (all sealed, quite small settlements) very nice rural country roads and forest touring;

2. As VT rode, through Dalgety, Jacobs River, Suggan Buggan, Gelantipy and Buchan (a good deal of gravel road, with longer distances between very tiny places; probably need to carry all supplies for ~4 days).... beautiful country, spectacular scenery, but some long climbs.
Last edited by il padrone on Mon Mar 25, 2013 9:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Need help in Preparing trip from Canberra to Bairnsdale

Postby oxonabike » Mon Mar 25, 2013 10:15 am

Also worth noting that V/Line have suspended rail services beyond Traralgon for an indefinite period while they work through level crossing detection issues. Hopefully trains will be running again by May, but you might want to keep an eye on VLine's web site for info. I mention this because bikes are not normally allowed on the replacement buses, however when I was recently in Bairnsdale during a train cancellation, the bus driver allowed me to place the bike in the luggage hold which required removal of front wheel, seat and of course panniers.
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Re: Need help in Preparing trip from Canberra to Bairnsdale

Postby ssutinee » Mon Mar 25, 2013 6:01 pm

Hi il padrone and oxonabike, Thank you very much for your suggestion. I will have a look at the journal, routes and the Vline you suggested.
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Re: Need help in Preparing trip from Canberra to Bairnsdale

Postby il padrone » Mon Mar 25, 2013 6:21 pm

ssutinee wrote:But this is his first time in Australia, and I am not familiar with this route, so I am a bit worried about the trip (e.g. accommodation, where to get water to drink, the weather, etc). I have lots of questions below:

1. what accommodation do you usually use when cycling? Do you camp or stay in a hotel?
2. It will take about 6-7 hours a day for cycling, where do you get water? Do you carry like 4-5 litres of water each day?
3. I know it is going to be cold in May, but will there be snow during that time on that route?
4. In case of an emergency (e.g. bicycle is broken), who do you contact ? Highway patrol?
5. Will there be mobile phone signal? I am thinking about hiring a satellite phone, is that important?

Is your background Indian? Your father will probably find the touring very different to anything in South-east Asia.

Accommodation - I would generally camp, and stay in the occasional country pub or backpackers. In May it will be getting colder for camping, especially at some of the higher elevations, but not impossible. Does he have a camping background? Prior experience? Camping equipment available of decent quality? There will be stretches where there are quite long distances between hotel accommodation, even following the highway route. There will be lots of options for stealth, or bush camping.

Water - should not be a huge problem. Carry two-three large 750ml water bidons (bottles) and they should last for all day in May. Refills will be possible from town supplies and in streams that you are sure have come from forested catchments (not so reliable on the Monaro Plains, but more reliable in Gippsland).

Snow - very unlikely in May, the Monaro Plains (Cooma-Bombala) will be the most likely area for this if it does occur.

Bicycle break-downs - carry a good repair kit and know how to use it. Failing that he will be on public roads and can stick his thumb out for a lift. Country people are really very helpful to travellers, especially cyclists like your dad.

Communications - would be fairly good reception with Telstra, lousy with Optus or Virgin. A satellite phone is really not necessary. Like I said, he will be on public roads.


Sounds like a great trip for him.
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Re: Need help in Preparing trip from Canberra to Bairnsdale

Postby FatGuts » Mon Mar 25, 2013 8:36 pm

ssutinee wrote:1. what accommodation do you usually use when cycling? Do you camp or stay in a hotel?
2. It will take about 6-7 hours a day for cycling, where do you get water? Do you carry like 4-5 litres of water each day?
3. I know it is going to be cold in May, but will there be snow during that time on that route?
4. In case of an emergency (e.g. bicycle is broken), who do you contact ? Highway patrol?
5. Will there be mobile phone signal? I am thinking about hiring a satellite phone, is that important?

Please let me know if you have useful links / blogs about cycling in Australia. It's highly appreciated if you have suggestions/advices. Thank you very much for your help in advances.


Are you travelling by the highway?

OK, you will not be much more than about 50km from the nearest town on the whole trip. Bombala to Cann river is 75km so that will be one of the largest distances you will have to go with no support.

While its 100km from Canberra to Cooma, there is plenty of spots to get town water as there are little towns such as Michelago and Bredbo. You will have this pretty well the whole trip. Also there are plenty of farms, before I would fill up in a creek I would be dropping in on a farmer for some tank water.

May will have cold nights, expect frosts. The weather will be nice and settles, just cool to cold. To be honest, If I was going to do the highway, I would plan to stay in pubs and motels. Most of the towns are small so accommodation is cheap. They pretty well all have some sort of food so all you should need to carry is your daily supplies if you do it this way.

The Monaro highway is busy but not horrible during the week. Avoid it on the weekends though, too many city dwellers meanering along with their head up theri arses. Once past Cooma the bulk of the traffic drops off and gets even less once you turn right after Nimmitabel. The Monaro Highway to Cann River is a terriffic drive (ride) and you will love it.

The Princes highway will see the traffic build up again but to probably to the same traffic load as the Monaro. It gets really busy around Lakes Entrance (that is if you dont go through Bruthen.

Broken bike are one of those things, you will have to wing it as you go.

There is full coverage from Canberra to Cooma, it drops off around Nimmatabel, back at Bombala, Cann River and then Orbost. You dont really get constant service until Bairnsdale.
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Re: Need help in Preparing trip from Canberra to Bairnsdale

Postby il padrone » Mon Mar 25, 2013 9:15 pm

Cann River to Orbost is also 75kms with virtually nothing along the way (one small shop at Cabbage Tree Creek, about 28kms before Orbost).

Also once you gt to Orbost there is a good ride along the East Gippsland Railtrail which takes you all the way to Bairnesdale via Bruthen. I can recommend using this, it is a lovely ride through forests and farmland.

Image
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Re: Need help in Preparing trip from Canberra to Bairnsdale

Postby FatGuts » Tue Mar 26, 2013 5:33 am

Interestingly, the shop at Cabbage Tree is open again, or it was when we went past in mid Feb.

The Bellbird Hotel is a nice stop too.

I would love to do that rail trail, it would be awesome.
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Re: Need help in Preparing trip from Canberra to Bairnsdale

Postby ssutinee » Tue Mar 26, 2013 6:54 pm

il padrone wrote:
ssutinee wrote:But this is his first time in Australia, and I am not familiar with this route, so I am a bit worried about the trip (e.g. accommodation, where to get water to drink, the weather, etc). I have lots of questions below:

1. what accommodation do you usually use when cycling? Do you camp or stay in a hotel?
2. It will take about 6-7 hours a day for cycling, where do you get water? Do you carry like 4-5 litres of water each day?
3. I know it is going to be cold in May, but will there be snow during that time on that route?
4. In case of an emergency (e.g. bicycle is broken), who do you contact ? Highway patrol?
5. Will there be mobile phone signal? I am thinking about hiring a satellite phone, is that important?

Is your background Indian? Your father will probably find the touring very different to anything in South-east Asia.

Accommodation - I would generally camp, and stay in the occasional country pub or backpackers. In May it will be getting colder for camping, especially at some of the higher elevations, but not impossible. Does he have a camping background? Prior experience? Camping equipment available of decent quality? There will be stretches where there are quite long distances between hotel accommodation, even following the highway route. There will be lots of options for stealth, or bush camping.

Water - should not be a huge problem. Carry two-three large 750ml water bidons (bottles) and they should last for all day in May. Refills will be possible from town supplies and in streams that you are sure have come from forested catchments (not so reliable on the Monaro Plains, but more reliable in Gippsland).

Snow - very unlikely in May, the Monaro Plains (Cooma-Bombala) will be the most likely area for this if it does occur.

Bicycle break-downs - carry a good repair kit and know how to use it. Failing that he will be on public roads and can stick his thumb out for a lift. Country people are really very helpful to travellers, especially cyclists like your dad.

Communications - would be fairly good reception with Telstra, lousy with Optus or Virgin. A satellite phone is really not necessary. Like I said, he will be on public roads.


Sounds like a great trip for him.


Thank you very much. Yes, he has camping experience, he will prepare tent and sleeping bag too. He is very excited about this trip and looking forward to it.
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Re: Need help in Preparing trip from Canberra to Bairnsdale

Postby ssutinee » Tue Mar 26, 2013 6:57 pm

FatGuts wrote:
ssutinee wrote:1. what accommodation do you usually use when cycling? Do you camp or stay in a hotel?
2. It will take about 6-7 hours a day for cycling, where do you get water? Do you carry like 4-5 litres of water each day?
3. I know it is going to be cold in May, but will there be snow during that time on that route?
4. In case of an emergency (e.g. bicycle is broken), who do you contact ? Highway patrol?
5. Will there be mobile phone signal? I am thinking about hiring a satellite phone, is that important?

Please let me know if you have useful links / blogs about cycling in Australia. It's highly appreciated if you have suggestions/advices. Thank you very much for your help in advances.


Are you travelling by the highway?

OK, you will not be much more than about 50km from the nearest town on the whole trip. Bombala to Cann river is 75km so that will be one of the largest distances you will have to go with no support.

While its 100km from Canberra to Cooma, there is plenty of spots to get town water as there are little towns such as Michelago and Bredbo. You will have this pretty well the whole trip. Also there are plenty of farms, before I would fill up in a creek I would be dropping in on a farmer for some tank water.

May will have cold nights, expect frosts. The weather will be nice and settles, just cool to cold. To be honest, If I was going to do the highway, I would plan to stay in pubs and motels. Most of the towns are small so accommodation is cheap. They pretty well all have some sort of food so all you should need to carry is your daily supplies if you do it this way.

The Monaro highway is busy but not horrible during the week. Avoid it on the weekends though, too many city dwellers meanering along with their head up theri arses. Once past Cooma the bulk of the traffic drops off and gets even less once you turn right after Nimmitabel. The Monaro Highway to Cann River is a terriffic drive (ride) and you will love it.

The Princes highway will see the traffic build up again but to probably to the same traffic load as the Monaro. It gets really busy around Lakes Entrance (that is if you dont go through Bruthen.

Broken bike are one of those things, you will have to wing it as you go.

There is full coverage from Canberra to Cooma, it drops off around Nimmatabel, back at Bombala, Cann River and then Orbost. You dont really get constant service until Bairnsdale.


Yes, he will be on the highway mostly. I will book the motels for him then.

Thank you very much for the information.
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Re: Need help in Preparing trip from Canberra to Bairnsdale

Postby ssutinee » Tue Mar 26, 2013 7:00 pm

il padrone wrote:Cann River to Orbost is also 75kms with virtually nothing along the way (one small shop at Cabbage Tree Creek, about 28kms before Orbost).

Also once you gt to Orbost there is a good ride along the East Gippsland Railtrail which takes you all the way to Bairnesdale via Bruthen. I can recommend using this, it is a lovely ride through forests and farmland.

Image


Thank you. I will let him know about this. I wish I could go with him, it would be very nice cycling routes
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Re: Need help in Preparing trip from Canberra to Bairnsdale

Postby ssutinee » Tue Mar 26, 2013 7:04 pm

FatGuts wrote:Interestingly, the shop at Cabbage Tree is open again, or it was when we went past in mid Feb.

The Bellbird Hotel is a nice stop too.

I would love to do that rail trail, it would be awesome.


Thank you
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Re: Need help in Preparing trip from Canberra to Bairnsdale

Postby il padrone » Tue Mar 26, 2013 9:16 pm

FatGuts wrote:Interestingly, the shop at Cabbage Tree is open again, or it was when we went past in mid Feb.

The Bellbird Hotel is a nice stop too.

I would love to do that rail trail, it would be awesome.

We were touring through that area a couple of years ago. We stopped for lunch on Poddy Creek Road, just off he highway. Didn't even know about the Bellbrid Hotel..... and it was just 500m away around the curve :roll:

Damn!

Yes, the railtrail is really nice and worth a tour to do - 100kms I think from Orbost to Bairnesdale.
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Re: Need help in Preparing trip from Canberra to Bairnsdale

Postby Tim » Tue Mar 26, 2013 9:59 pm

If the train from Bairnsdale isn't running and time permits might I suggest that your father extends his tour by about ten days and continues on to Melbourne by bike.
With the Gippsland Lakes, the South Gippsland inlets and coastline and Phillip Island, this part of the State offers some of the most interesting and scenic touring on offer.
ilPadrone mentioned Vintagetourers tour. I followed a similar route from near Bairnsdale last January. I loved every moment of it.

My first big(ish) tour; http://www.bicycles.net.au/forums/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=61111
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Re: Need help in Preparing trip from Canberra to Bairnsdale

Postby FatGuts » Thu Mar 28, 2013 7:24 am

il padrone wrote:
FatGuts wrote:Interestingly, the shop at Cabbage Tree is open again, or it was when we went past in mid Feb.

The Bellbird Hotel is a nice stop too.

I would love to do that rail trail, it would be awesome.

We were touring through that area a couple of years ago. We stopped for lunch on Poddy Creek Road, just off he highway. Didn't even know about the Bellbrid Hotel..... and it was just 500m away around the curve :roll:

Damn!

Yes, the railtrail is really nice and worth a tour to do - 100kms I think from Orbost to Bairnesdale.



Hahahaha, you missed out.

Yah, I ordered a pamphlet with the map from the rail trail site but I have not heard back from them at this stage.
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Re: Need help in Preparing trip from Canberra to Bairnsdale

Postby FatGuts » Sat May 18, 2013 5:48 pm

Well my pamphlet & map has not arrived yet :?

Anyway, how is you Dad going? The weather asnt been too bad until this last week.
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