Brisbane to Sydney on two recumbents

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Brisbane to Sydney on two recumbents

Postby Cyclingthe360.com » Wed Aug 14, 2013 5:30 pm

Hi "Mates" :)

We are couple travelling around the world as our honeymoon and soon we will reach Australia.
Our rough route plan from Brisbane to Sydney is this: http://www.gpsies.com/map.do?fileId=vcgywdoarqgndlag
It is 1045km and we would like to do it easy, in 15 days.
I have some question about this leg, any help will be highly appriciated.
- Are the up and downs are steep? We have fully loaded recumbents, 50kg each, 5% is okay, but 10% is hell...
- How about free wild camping? Is it possible?
- What are the wind pattern? We will be there in September/October. Headwind, tailwind, how heavy?
- How often we can find the cheapest supermarkets on the way? To buy food, we are on a very low budget, but we have campstove, we can cook. Every 100km, every 200? Every bigger cities? What is the name of the cheapest supermarkets?
- Have I missed any nice byways, detours, national parks, snorkelling spots where it is worth to go?
- If we want to take 1 or 2 rest days during this 15 days, where are the bests places to do this? (we love nature, camping, snorkelling)
- Is it really that dangerous cycling on the main road? We have been in Asia for two years without any serius accident...

The same questions apply to the Sydney - Melbourbe leg: http://www.gpsies.com/map.do?fileId=tqoannigolbvrqvu
1150km - 16 days in October.

And the bonus question:
You have no much money, and you must be in Brisbane 8 days later. You are in Darwin now, with two fully loaded recumbents with your wife. Hitchhiking? Maybe riding some part? It is 3500km... :) What do you think, can we hitch with bicycles? 8 days is enough? As a last-last, Z plan, can we put the bikes on buses baggage area?
Let's say, we manage to do the most of the distance in the first 3 days. Is it worth to cycle the last 5 days (maybe 5-700km), is it a nice area for cycling, N/W from Brisbane?

Many thanks,
Have a nice day,
Zita and Arpi :)
http://cyclingthe360.com
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by BNA » Fri Aug 16, 2013 8:08 am

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Re: Brisbane to Sydney on two recumbents

Postby GJ_Coop » Fri Aug 16, 2013 8:08 am

Z + A

In view of no one else saying anything here ...

Brisbane to Sydney via Highway 1 is probably the most dangerous road in Australia, many heavy trucks and bulk traffic. You travel more or less from suburb to suburb. If you want a bad experience of biking in Oz, well, you've picked it.

There are alternatives, someone went through this same exercise on this site earlier in the year I think.

Then again, I haven't biked the route myself. Just saying ...
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Re: Brisbane to Sydney on two recumbents

Postby Vintagetourer » Fri Aug 16, 2013 8:48 am

"You have no much money, and you must be in Brisbane 8 days later. You are in Darwin now, with two fully loaded recumbents with your wife. Hitchhiking? Maybe riding some part? It is 3500km..."

Bus is probably your best compromise of cost and certainty. You'd need to box or wrap your your bikes.

And I agree with GJ's post above. Reconsider cycling the Pacific Hwy on the north coast of NSW. There are some good sections, but there are some exceedingly dangerous and unpleasant sections. Personally I would not go on it on my bike.

One of the inland routes e.g. the one which includes Thunderbolts Way would be more pleasant. Fairly testing hills will be unavoidable either via the coast or one of the inland routes between Sydney and Brisbane, but you won't find them to be show-stoppers.

Food is very expensive in Australia compared to Asia; even supermarket shopping you will find to be surprisingly costly. There is a duopoly of Coles and Woolworths here, and they have national pricing/products. Sometimes you will be able to find farmers markets, or roadside fruit/veg stalls but not regularly enough to rely on them.

Good maps will save you a lot of angst and greatly assist day to day planning. Once again not cheap, ($8-$10 each) but look for 1:100 000 topographical maps or maybe 1:250 000 from NatMap. Good outdoor gear shops e.g. Paddy Pallin have them, or 4 Wheel Drive type shops, or boating/fishing/camping stores. The HEMA series of maps are also pretty good, but topographical maps are the best. You can also buy hardcopies online.
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Re: Brisbane to Sydney on two recumbents

Postby RonK » Fri Aug 16, 2013 1:23 pm

PM me your email address and I will send you a scanned copy of the East Coast Explorer route from the first edition of Lonely Planet Cycling Australia.

It will be a little out of date viz prices, but otherwise will contain much of the information you seek.
Cycle touring blog and tour journals: whispering wheels...
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Re: Brisbane to Sydney on two recumbents

Postby il padrone » Fri Aug 16, 2013 1:51 pm

Sydney to Melbourne via the south coast on the Princes Hwy is not much fun either. Lots of traffic on a genrally very narrow road. It is quieter further south but on the stretch between Merimbula and Cann River there are no alternate roads and the route is very hilly with not much in the way of supplies. It does depend a bit on the time of year you are doing it but if, as I assume, you will be doing this over the next month or so, I'd consider abandoning the coastal route from Sdney to Melbourne and taking a more inland route, to the west of the Great Dividing Range. Visit Canberra and enjoy its bracing cold. By the time you get down south and into September it should be warming up a bit more as Spring commences.

All the way down the NSW north coast (and maybe in some other areas) the tourist information centres hand out free maps that show local towns and large areas of the surrounding district in very good detail, even with more info than the commercial name-brand maps show. They are paid for through local advertising and are all published by a particular company, can't think of their name, but the maps are great.

[edit] This is the company and these are what their maps look like:

Image
Last edited by il padrone on Fri Aug 16, 2013 8:47 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Riding bikes in traffic - what seems dangerous is usually safe; what seems safe is often more dangerous.
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Re: Brisbane to Sydney on two recumbents

Postby briztoon » Fri Aug 16, 2013 7:25 pm

Would it be a fair assumption that Australia is one of the least friendly biking/touring countries in the world.

Not including countries with inhospitable zones.
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Re: Brisbane to Sydney on two recumbents

Postby RonK » Fri Aug 16, 2013 8:08 pm

briztoon wrote:Would it be a fair assumption that Australia is one of the least friendly biking/touring countries in the world.

Not including countries with inhospitable zones.

No.
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Re: Brisbane to Sydney on two recumbents

Postby il padrone » Fri Aug 16, 2013 8:42 pm

Not at all the case. Australia is very easy to travel across, you have few security risks, no concerns about banned areas or regions with insurgents in uprising. The food is nearly always of high quality and generally water quality is reliable. Country folks in Australia are always very welcoming towards travelling cyclists. It's simply that we are much more thinly spread for re-supply when travelling at bicycle speeds and some roads have regions/times of higher density fast travelling traffic. The simple answer is proper planning and selection of "a road less-travelled" Certainly in the south-east, there is a great network of quieter secondary roads.
Riding bikes in traffic - what seems dangerous is usually safe; what seems safe is often more dangerous.
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Re: Brisbane to Sydney on two recumbents

Postby Vintagetourer » Fri Aug 16, 2013 9:17 pm

"Would it be a fair assumption that Australia is one of the least friendly biking/touring countries in the world."

I am not sure how one would go about ranking countries for bike touring friendliness, or what use such a ranking would be. You'd be hard-pressed to find a country with as much diversity which is accessible and cycleable as Australia. The U.S. perhaps.

Ultimately it depends what type of cycle-touring you prefer. If it is wide open spaces with magnificent landscapes, wildlife, fresh air, quiet backroads, freedom galore and real rural communities then Australia is your place. If it is a tour with quaint villages every 20km with a scattering of chateaux in between, then perhaps the Loire Valley would be your preference.

There are very few countries which don't have some appeal for cycle-tourists and Australia is a popular destination for international cycle-tourists because it has lots of appeal, especially its immense variety.
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Re: Brisbane to Sydney on two recumbents

Postby maxknott » Sat Aug 17, 2013 10:03 am

for supermarkets,keep an eye out for aldi stores
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Re: Brisbane to Sydney on two recumbents

Postby STC67 » Sun Aug 18, 2013 6:51 pm

briztoon wrote:Would it be a fair assumption that Australia is one of the least friendly biking/touring countries in the world.

Not including countries with inhospitable zones.


I've not toured that much in Australia but I think Brisbane offer some fantastic day rides. I rode out to Lake Manchester today from basically the city centre. Bike paths and back streets basically until I was out in the horse paddocks. It helped it was one of those glorious days where there is some fog early than cleared to a "Blue Bird" day.
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Re: Brisbane to Sydney on two recumbents

Postby petie » Sun Aug 18, 2013 10:50 pm

Having travelled up the east coast in a car recently, I have to say free camping is limited. In NSW, state forests are free to camp in but are not often near any of the main routes. National parks are, in my opinion, prohibitively expensive in NSW. You might as well stay in a caravan park and see if they will give a cheaper rate for bikes. At least then you can have a warm shower, a decent toilet and probably some cooking facilities. It's often only a dollar or two more expensive for 2 people! You can try to camp in rest areas and the like but we met many people who had been moved on or fined.... You might fare better being on bicycles though, they were in cars and vans.
The difference to the roads in Asia will be in the speeds. The speed limit is 110kmh and most people will travel that fast, if not faster. They are also not particularly courteous, and can be aggressive. The smaller roads are a much better choice , and have nicer scenery too!

If you haven't been to Sydney, a rest day there would be worth it. I grew up snorkeling off Clovelly and Coogee (in Sydney), if you like snorkeling they are quite nice! Of course the great barrier reef is great but costs a bit to get out there ($200pp+).
PM me if you need more info.
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Re: Brisbane to Sydney on two recumbents

Postby Cyclingthe360.com » Mon Aug 19, 2013 1:46 pm

Thanks for the many info! :) Now we are in East-Timor, with very slow internet connection, but we will PM you for maps, etc, thank you very much! And we will consider the small roads for sure! ;)

We decided to hitch and cycle the Darwin-Brisbane part, cycle between Tennant Creek to Mount Isa just to experience the 650km of emptiness and before/after hitchhiking. If we will be in Brisbane in more than 8 days, we don't care... :) We will spend 1-1 week in and around every big cities (Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne). We may go to Tasmania too if we will have enough time (3 month visa) and money for it.

Will come with more detailed tour plan and more questions, thank you very much for your help! :)
Have a safe and fun ride,
Zita and Arpi from Dili, East-Timor
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Re: Brisbane to Sydney on two recumbents

Postby GJ_Coop » Mon Aug 19, 2013 5:06 pm

No one seems to have stressed this but you will be astonished at how much things cost in Australia, even more with the exchange rate, it ain't Asia.

Accommodation in many caravan parks is around $30 for a site, in the big cities it can be more. Food can be expensive as well, you can really chew through your money here.

I found it hard to live on much less than $25 a day average, for one person, over a long tour here and that was camping for free most nights, ie, 2 nights a month in paid accommodation, and spending almost all my time out of big, or small, cities and towns.

Stay anywhere near the big cities and the money will just evaporate.
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Re: Brisbane to Sydney on two recumbents

Postby Daggo » Mon Aug 19, 2013 9:39 pm

This guy just passed though a month or so ago https://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/?o= ... 12266&v=Zo Going the other way.

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Re: Brisbane to Sydney on two recumbents

Postby Cyclingthe360.com » Tue Aug 20, 2013 11:56 pm

In Asia we have spent around 20 USD / day for two of us in average include food, accommodations, visas, transportation, hospitals and 3 flights. We always eat and stayed at the cheapest places.

In Australia I think we will never go for paid accommodation or restaurant and never enter a city without having a Couchsurfing / Warmshowers / Hungarian host negotiated in advance. We can go for the cheapest possible basic ingredients of food in the Aldis / Woolworth / Coles stores and cook on the camping stove. Actually we are thinking about dumpster diving (never did before), and maybe asking for throwaways... :)

In the roadside restaurants in Vietnam, people left so many food on the tables when they have left. Once we asked and the owners were happy to give this food for us. It was still warm, fresh and served on separated plates (totally clean, almost untouched), we asked how much we should pay, but they said nothing. :) Even in the poor countries of Asia, they throw away food. Okay, otherwise they may give it to the dogs then eat the dogs too in Vietnam, but I don't think this is the case in Australia. :)

It is sure that Australia will be a totally different world after two years of Asia. But we are generally trust the people and we think we can always find some nice person who let us to stay in his garden to camp one night before we hit the road again in the early morning... I would very happy to do the same with travelers (as we did many hosting through CS & Warmshowers.org) and I think there are millions of people out there like me and we can find each other. :) We have so many thinks to share and learn from each other and these meeting are always the best memories from our journey and we have so many friends from all over the world because of their hospitality. Maybe not exactly to them, but we will return their kindness when we get back home. :)

We have cycled in Western Europe, and when it was "not allowed by the law" to camp outside, we just went to a place where nobody seen us and left early in the morning. What do you think, is it possibly in Australia, or there are "not enough bushes" to do this? :) And what about to camp in someones garden with his/her permission? Is it possible or there is any stupid rule what makes it illegal/difficult? What about going to the police station, tell that we can't afford a hotel and don't want to break the rules, so please let us stay in the jail until morning? :) (we should seriously do this one day, but with some hidden cam/mic :D)
I think there is no police station in every 100km, so it can't be an option all the time... :)

Thanks for the crazy guy link, I will check it out in more detail! ;)
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Re: Brisbane to Sydney on two recumbents

Postby Cyclingthe360.com » Mon Sep 23, 2013 5:15 pm

We have successfully arrived to Brisbane, we have cycled around 1000km in the Outback, it was a huuuge fun. We dumspterdived in Katherine and found incredible amount of good food behind the Woolworth, lot of cheese, hams, potato, milk, etc, good quality, all sealed, expiration date in Oct or 2014 Jan... :o For 4 days two of us and some of our friends had nice meals from these ingredients... :) Hitchhiking was not easy, first we tried it for one full day with no success, then we found an ad of a nice Italian guy with a van, we shared the fuel to Tennant Creek. The Devils Marbles was wonderful, then we cycled 7 day and 750km in the middle of nowhere with an average of 15 liter on the bikes, and 8 days of food from the beginning. Amazing sunsets and sunrises, annoying flies, with a dingo trying to get our food from our tent in the middle of the night... In Mount Isa, we hitchhiked for 5 minutes, when a crazy trucky stopped. Huuuge luck: Greg gave a lift to us straight to Brisbane: Two days of incredible Aussie stories while once we run out of the bloody diesel. Luckily a helpful bushy saved us :) So many adventures and memories :)

Now we are in Brisbane, try to plan the next days to Sydney in more detail:
#1
Brisbane - Byron Bay - 159km / 2 days - 75km/day
http://www.gpsies.com/map.do?fileId=mfrzvjjqtuwdohqp
#2
Byron Bay - Coffs Harbour - 285km / 4 days - 72km/day
http://www.gpsies.com/map.do?fileId=slydklwoljtlgpjr
#3
Coffs Harbour - Port Macquarie - 183km / 3 days - 61km/day
http://www.gpsies.com/map.do?fileId=xczyvdtgpnuqwmss
#4
Port Maxquarie - Newcastle - 270km / 4 days - 62,5km/day
http://www.gpsies.com/map.do?fileId=thpddciyciphrziq
#5
Newcastle - Sydney 152km / 2 days - 76km/day
http://www.gpsies.com/map.do?fileId=xsuhvkcsdskoqioi
+ 3 rest days (where we should spend them if we also love trekking and/or snorkelling?)

As you can see we will take a hell lot of byways, small roads, etc and almost no ride on the Pacific Highway at all.
If you have any suggestion, where to go, where to not go and it is better to take the faster highway to save time for the more nice areas, please tell! :)
Also if you see that we are going to pass some interesting areas, free campsites, sights, etc what we should not miss, place give us a note! :) As I already told, we are more keen on nature, free wild camp, snorkelling, photography, budget options. :)

Many thanks for everything and have nice rides, always tailwind and nice people on your way,
Zita and Arpi
ps: you can see some of our photos from the Outback if you roll down on our FB page: https://www.facebook.com/cyclingthe360, we just passed the 20.000km near Adelaide River on a scenic alternate route :)
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Re: Brisbane to Sydney on two recumbents

Postby petie » Thu Sep 26, 2013 11:56 pm

Definitely stop in at macs brewery in port Stephens, you will cycle past. You may not need to ride through Anna bay on that leg either, just straight through?

I think you may be able to camp on the ballast ground in Stockton for free, but I'm not sure. There also may, or may not be, toilets there. It's a pretty conspicuous spot too, so someone will surely ask what you are doing if you camp!
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Re: Brisbane to Sydney on two recumbents

Postby bbqpeanut » Fri Oct 04, 2013 12:45 am

How have you found the wind situation coming down to Sydney through Brisbane?

I hope this trip works out well for you, I plan on doing the Melbourne to Brisbane via Sydney soon so this thread has been incredibly helpful in my planning.
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