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I am attempting to cycle from Perth to Sydney (Seems the direction of choice!) starting around mid August time. I will first be going around the SW coastline, via Margaret River, Esperance and then upto Norseman, and then across the Nullabor.
I have a Giant XTC, slicks and with all panniers and have experience of touring throughout Europe for 6 months, Belgium to Rome in summer months which was beautiful, one of the nicest trips I've done, and WELL recommended..! I was wild camping and plan to mostly wild camp on this trip too.
If there is ANY info/advice at all it would be massivley apreciated as I cannot really find any good sage advice about it out there on the internet. Eg; Is it safe to camp off the road side at what appears to be out of sight in the bush..? Is it safe to have little fires (morale boosting and not to mention to keep warm and make a brew etc..?) or could they draw unwanted attention from people/animals etc..? (Silly question I know but needs to be asked..!)
Most importantly, does anyone have anything to say about the time of year I'll be setting off at..? I estimate I'll hit Norseman around the 1st September (I have no hurry) and so will be crossing the plains through September time... Is this ok..? What COULD be the prevailing direction of the wind and what about temps and rainfall etc..? I would MUCH rather a hot sunny day than a cold wet rainy one; this is Oz after all..!!!
Anyway, thank you for ANY help, it's appreciated..!
Welcome to the forum. Sounds like a good ride!
Can I assume you're not from Australia? I'll proceed as if that's the case ...
You're pretty safe camping anywhere in Australia, especially out of sight of the main roads. Getting out of sight on the Nullabor will be difficult though. But don't worry about it - as long as you aren't close to the road (ie less than 100m) you won't attract unwanted attention from people who might mean you harm. Very few travellers have malice in their heart, and if you felt safe in Europe, you'll have no worries here.
At that time of the year, I think small camp fires are permitted, but I can't be certain. It's controlled by the local governments for each district.
You should be fine for wind direction at that time of the year. Go to this pageof the Weather Bureau's site and specify some dates from previous years of data. You see a prevailing tail wind occurs.
You'll still need to carry heaps of water though. There aren't many places to fill up on the Nullabor.
Hey, thanks very much for your speedy reply..!!! It's very good to know that it's safe to camp out on the way, and aye, I was planning to get off the roadside around 100 meter distance. Also, thanks for the link to the winds site, that will come in very handy aswell.
I am from Liverpool in England and have driven around Australia 8 years ago and had a great time, but even then was thinking of cycling some of it, hence this trip all these years later..!!!
If I could ask another question, do you have an idea of what kind fo weather/temps I can expect on the route around Sept time..?
Thanks again for your advice..!
On your proposed route, there are weather stations at Albany, Esperance, Eucla, etc (see this map). At each weather station, there is data for their average monthly climates, so have a browse through this page for information on a few selected localities and average it out.
Basically, in spring you can expect some rain and strong (tail)winds, with some nice warm to hot days in between. Temps should be high teens to low twenties (Celcius) along the coast, going up to high twenties through Broken Hill.
I cycled around Oz, starting in Perth, a couple of years ago. I can highly recommend it!
There's no problems wild camping in Oz, even on the Nullarbor, you should easily be able to find tracks leading off the road and stick the tent up behind a bush somewhere - no-one will be able to see you. If you're feeling sociable there's also rest areas, where you'll find lots of 'grey nomads' (who usually want to look after you!) and also the roadhouse camping areas (the only good thing about these are you can get a shower).
Safety-wise, 99.99% of the people I met were just fantastic, and hundreds of people stopped to give us food, drink, offer lifts (the latter of which I refused!).
Weather: I cycled across the Nullarbor in Oct/Nov. A couple of days were hellishly hot (40+ degrees) but the other days were all a much better temperature (anything between 25 - 30 degrees).
DON'T believe anything you hear/read about the wind direction. It seems to be completely unpredictable on the Nullarbor and you can guarantee that, whether you go East to West or vice versa, it will be a headwind!!! I went W to E, believing this to be the 'correct' way, and I had nightmare, enough-to-send-you-bonkers headwinds everyday except one!!
If you need any more help then feel free to ask!
Jan (another pom!)
Great Route! I've done it once, and across the Nullabor twice (W->E both times).
The bad news is July/August is the worst of the Perth & SW WA weather. The good news is this means you can expect one or two wet days a week, and sometimes the max temps don't even reach 20C. As horrendous as we find this, it's still much more pleasant weather than Northern Europe gets through most of it's summer.
Also, wind direction on the Nullabor is usually from the *East*. Over winter and into spring (June - Sept/Oct) there are frequent storm fronts sweeping up from the Southern Ocean, and when this happens (once or twice a week) there will be 1 or 2 days of *really* solid SW tailwinds when heading east. But the rest of the time there will be moderate E headwinds or N cross winds. People in cars notice the former but not the latter, hence the myth about the wind blowing from the west. I found I spent 75% of the time on the Nullabor fighting the wind, but during the 25% of time I wasn't, I covered 50%-60% of the ground.
Absolutely. And on the Nullabor especially, it's the preferable thing to do.
And don't worry about it being hard to find places well hidden off the road off the road. With only one or exceptions, it's easy.
I think it will be fine. And I wouldn't suggest changing it either. With that schedule you'll be hitting the eastern states in Sept/Oct, which is the best time of year climate wise IMHO, and from a wind perspective too (not that that matters as much).
You must appreciate that this is our southern coast/temperate regions, and it's also our winter. So don't expect it to be baking hot and sunny all the time. And it's even possible you might get a bit of rain. But compared with Europe - it's nothing.
Oh, bugger, I've just posted a massive reply to all your help and added a few links in it aswell, but as Im new its deleted the text and won't let me add links..!!!
I am right now in a massive hurry but THANKS FOR YOUR ADVICE AND HELP EVERYONE..!!! I'll reply soon as I can with the links aswell..!!! BUGGER..!!! I think it said I have to post ten and also wait a week...
And just in case you haven't stumbled on this discussion:
http://www.bicycles.net.au/forums/viewt ... sc&start=0
Includes a link to Frogz blog and his current journey.
Aye, I have already read his thread and there was quite a lot of really helpful info in it thanks..!!!
Never mind Caelum, your time will come soon enough hopefully..!
If anyone does want to look at a long cycling blog through Europe, you can do a google search for mine if you just type in:
or something simillar, it SHOULD take you there...
Here you go http://cycletrip2006.blogspot.com/
Don't despair Caelum - do this
Hi there, Yes I am a girl On the route, great route but the wind is quite unpredictable, I had one day with a tail wind, but the rest of the days I had gusty side winds and head winds.
It is quite cold at this time of year. There may be some nice days but quite chilly and possibly wet, it was when I rode.
Should be a good rude though.
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