best two week cycle route - NSW/VIC

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best two week cycle route - NSW/VIC

Postby marshmallow » Sun Aug 18, 2013 3:22 pm

I'm hoping to do a two-week cycle in either NSW or Victoria later this year. Does anyone have suggestions for where my wife and I should ride? We can usually cycle between 60-90 km per day. Ideally, we want to avoid heavy traffic. All suggestions welcome.
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by BNA » Sun Aug 18, 2013 4:45 pm

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Re: best two week cycle route - NSW/VIC

Postby WestcoastPete » Sun Aug 18, 2013 4:45 pm

I did this trip earlier this year. Twoz excellent.
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Re: best two week cycle route - NSW/VIC

Postby marshmallow » Sun Aug 18, 2013 7:57 pm

WestcoastPete wrote:I did this trip earlier this year. Twoz excellent.

Thanks WestcoastPete, looks very interesting. We've ridden around Bright and Beechworth (in heatwave) before, but your route offers lots of variety. By the way, your prose is very good!
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Re: best two week cycle route - NSW/VIC

Postby WarrenH » Tue Aug 20, 2013 10:01 am

Marshmallow G'day.

Perhaps consider exploring regions rather than, riding point to point. Try to avoid the school holiday periods, absolutely. You probably do this? ... but if not, study the prevailing winds, the wind roses, and the historic weather data, which can be found on the BOM site. If there is a heat wave when you're travelling, I'd recommend staying out of forests.

The Evans Region of NSW is absolutely amazing. It has fascinating back roads and excellent river crossings, like those across the Macquarie and Turon Rivers and have a swim. The old gold mining towns of Hill End, Ophir, Peel and Sofala are quirky. The Historic Bridal Trail (which despite the signs) is still ridden and enjoyed from Hill End along the cliffs above the Macquarie to just North of Bathurst, this is off-world. The Upper Turon road, blows all those who ride it away. The UpperEvans Region gives a good entry to the historic mining towns of Newnes and Glen Davis.

I particularly like the back roads in the Upper Lachlan Region, this region is to the West and SW of the Blue Mountains. Even the main roads at times can be relatively traffic free and the back roads see very few cars.

If you like flat country, the Riverina SW of Wagga Wagga, has good camping along the Murrumbidgee River, iconic aboriginal sites like Kengal aka The Rock are good for half day bushwalks. The quality of the back roads here is mostly dirt but they're as good as tarmac and at a level of being tennis court surfaces.

The Northern Pigeon House Range, or the Budawangs entering from the South is stunning country. I've spent a lot of time in the escarpment country and I highly recommend it.

The Aspley Wild Gorges Country has some incredible scenery. If you can get the roads right to avoid the worst of the highways, the New England Plateau is special.

From the town of Aberdeen, in the Upper Hunter Region, heading East, you'll hit the Barrington Tops. The places around Belltrees Mountain are again most interesting and the Barrington Tops, is tops.

There are many UNESCO World Heritage sites in NSW. Perhaps link a few of them together.

The Bicentennial National Trail from Canberra to the Blue Mountains can be ridden in a week or spend two weeks really enjoying it and do side trips to the old silver mining ghost town of Yerranaderie or the shale mining town of Newnes. There are good facilities and showground camping in Gundaroo, at Crookwell and in the historic town of Taralga. When you reach the Southern Blue Mountains, there are alternate cycling routes, to the main trail, if you feel like not climbing ... the Range Fire Trail to Mount Werrong. Then catch a train back to Sydney from Lithgow or from a station that's on the trail.

If you have a water filter, finding water will rarely be a problem, for all of the above. And of course, you'll always find water if you request it at the farm gate. Just a warning though, if you do call into a rural property, if the property owner isn't home, treat all garden tap water as grey water ... it may not be potable, town water, bore water or tank water.

If my suggestions interest you? ... locate the spots on Google Maps firstly, then go to SIX Maps, which will show everything, all the fire trails, the lanes and back tracks ... http://maps.six.nsw.gov.au/

Warren.
Last edited by WarrenH on Tue Aug 20, 2013 3:58 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: best two week cycle route - NSW/VIC

Postby Mike Ayling » Tue Aug 20, 2013 11:40 am

An excellent overview Warren!

Now cue IP for a similar report in Victoria.

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Re: best two week cycle route - NSW/VIC

Postby il padrone » Tue Aug 20, 2013 7:06 pm

OK then. Here's an idea for a very scenic route through eastern Victoria. 678kms of mountains and valleys so I reckon it'd take about 10-11 days, plus about 2-3 rest days along the way maybe, so that'll fill out your two weeks. It is hilly so 60-70km per day for a loaded tour is probably a good average.

Begin from Wodonga or Albury. Start and finish with railtrails. Cycle the Tallangatta trail then the very beautiful Mitta Mitta Valley over Mt Wills to Omeo. From here take the Birregun Rd over Mt Phipps and Dog's Grave to Dargo. This section is the most challenging, steep and reallly a rough forest road, with a 4-5km very steep descent to the Dargo River at the end. It can be avoided by continuing along the Mitta Mitta Hwy to Bruthen, the railtrail to Bairnesdale then the back road through Bengworden across the Gippsland Lakes flatlands to Sale. But it is really lovely around Dargo, would be a shame to miss it.

From Dargo ride out the main Dargo Rd, up Castleburn Hill, then take the Freestone Ck Rd - a gravel road but one of the best bush rides in Victoria, through beautiful forest to Blue Pool. This is a great campsite. From here head out to Briagalong. Flat roads now to Sale and ride into the Holey Plains State Park which is a flat country river plain forest but has a great campsite.

From here it's back to the mountians to ride the Grand Ridge Road through the Strzelecki Ranges to Balook, Mirboo North (Grand Ridge Brewery ;))and on past Mt Worth. Note - there is no camping in possible Mirboo North, but about 12kms west of it there is good camping possible at the old Allambee South Hall. Be sure to take the delightful Ferndale Rd (the old Grand Ridge Rd route) near the end, to join the Korumburra Rd. Go down to Korumburra then head out on the road towards Kongwak. Turn off to Inverloch and the Bunerong Coast route to Cape Patterson and Wonthaggi. From here there is a really nice coastal country railtrail to Anderson and then the roads to San Remo and across Phillip Island (lots of bike lanes and roadside segregated bike paths) into Cowes.

From here a ferry takes you to Stony Point and there is a train service right into Melbourne (better to take the train as the roads get rather busy with fast traffic).

Some views along the way (not my photos):

Tallangatta Railtrail - Bridge over Sandy Ck Arm
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Mitta Valley
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Omeo
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Dog's Grave
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Dargo's classic pub
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The Freestone Ck
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Grand Ridge Road
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Eagle's Nest
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Kilcunda rail-trail bridge
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Re: best two week cycle route - NSW/VIC

Postby marshmallow » Sat Aug 24, 2013 8:54 am

Wow! Thanks Warren and IP, fantastic detailed posts which will take me a few days to work through, checking maps and accommodation. We live in the Blue Mts, so climbing isn't such an issue. The Evans Region is of course nearby, so very attractive. And, I haven't explored Eastern Victoria, apart from the Alps.
Pardon my ignorance with Australian touring though. Both of these look like mountain-bike or Surly LHT routes. Correct? My wife and I are more suited to the European style riding (i.e.: sealed paths/roads and hotels), so I imagine both these will be a challenge in that sense.
see my book http://www.amazon.com/baguettes-and-bic ... d+bicycles

I was hoping to keep to sealed roads as I want to get my wife used to riding a road bike (she's ridden hybrids and drop-bars, previously). I'd carry all our gear. We've done this before across Germany and managed with only one set of panniers, even though it rained and was below 10 degrees every day.
Perhaps one option is Adelaide to Melbourne, via the backroads and the Great Ocean Road (which I know is not a backroad!). Any experience with this route?
But, I'll still look at your suggestions - they certainly offer detailed explorations of quiet regions.
Thanks for such wonderful feedback. Much appreciated.
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Re: best two week cycle route - NSW/VIC

Postby iacl » Sat Aug 24, 2013 11:46 am

Hi, in addition to the really excellent suggestions above, you might like to look at Darrel Stone's web site at [http://home.pacific.net.au/~dasmero/index.htm].
2012 VWR : )
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Re: best two week cycle route - NSW/VIC

Postby il padrone » Sat Aug 24, 2013 7:00 pm

marshmallow wrote:Pardon my ignorance with Australian touring though. Both of these look like mountain-bike or Surly LHT routes. Correct? My wife and I are more suited to the European style riding (i.e.: sealed paths/roads and hotels), so I imagine both these will be a challenge in that sense.


OK, well the Birregun Rd between Omeo and Dargo maybe a bit too much for you. It could be done with a touring bike but it would be quite challenging. Better to ride from Omeo to Bruthen, take the railtrail to Bairnesdale then the Bengworden Rd to Sale. The Grand Ridge Rd does have some gravel roads, but it is very rideable on a touring bike, and there is now only about 50kms of gravel, from near Balook to before Mirboo East. Just do it, the riding is great.


marshmallow wrote:Perhaps one option is Adelaide to Melbourne, via the backroads and the Great Ocean Road (which I know is not a backroad!). Any experience with this route?


This is a nice ride, though generally busier roads and lacks the mountain scenery of Gippsland. But more to the point, it again depends on time of year - great in summer and early autumn.

[edit] Although in summer and autumn, best to ride Melbourne to Adelaide because of the prevailing winds - summer south-easterlies.
Last edited by il padrone on Sun Aug 25, 2013 3:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: best two week cycle route - NSW/VIC

Postby Uncle Just » Sun Aug 25, 2013 12:36 pm

Another variant to Pete's Dargo ride is to climb up the Great Alpine road to Hotham from Omeo which is steep in places, then ride to the Mt St Bernard turnoff and take the High Plains road to Dargo. It is dirt but doable with 32 or wider tyres but gets quite muddy if it's had recent heavy rain. You can follow sealed roads all the way to Sale from Dargo if the Freestone Creek road is too rough for you. You don't have to camp, stay at the Blue Duck at Anglers Rest or in Omeo and try Rundells at Dinner Plain which does nice meals and offers a bit of luxury. Or continue down off the mountain to Bright and head back to Melbourne via Whitfield, Mansfield, Alexandra or Eildon, Marysville, Acheron Way Warburton and on the rail trail to Lilydale. Minimal dirt and great scenery.
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Re: best two week cycle route - NSW/VIC

Postby Seventeen » Fri Aug 30, 2013 1:07 pm

Awesome story/pics westcoastpete!! will be doing something similar for the 3rd year in a row soon...can't wait
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