Melbourne to Malo

cycleman
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Melbourne to Malo

Postby cycleman » Sun Oct 15, 2017 2:17 am

Hello

I am 48 years old German and flying over to Melbourne Jan 2018. Together with my girlfriend we would like to cycle to the area of Marlo. We would like to do this self guided. We are used to do longer bicycle trips, carrying our own luggage. The main problem, we are facing right now is, how to get a bicycle in Melbourne for at least 9-10 days. Has somebody experience renting a bicycle for this kind of trip in Melbourne? It is not possible for us to ship it from Europe to Australia for such a short time period.

Has somebody experience cycling this tour? or does somebody knows another exciting self guided 10 days tour (70 - 100 km per day) starting from Melbourne, we are still open minded for any suggestions.

Would be great to get some feedback :-)

Cheers
Juergen

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WarrenH
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Re: Melbourne to Malo

Postby WarrenH » Sun Oct 15, 2017 9:31 am

Juergen, welcome to the Forum Mate. If you can delay your bike tour until February, you will basically have the region to yourself. January is a busy school holiday period. Although coming from Europe, you might think January here is relatively people free.

This is a very beautiful part of Australia to visit, particularly cycling on the back-roads, avoiding the main roads. Some might say this region is too flat, but I say all the better.

The Gippsland Lakes and the 90 Mile Beach are extraordinary places. Little towns like Lock Sport between Lake Reeves and Lake Victoria and Hollands Landing on the McLennon Strait are out of the way and very interesting. Here you can walk across the dunes to Bass Strait or enjoy the wildlife in the Gippsland Lakes wetlands. The World's longest silt jetties are at Mitchell River Reserve on Lake Victoria.

At Paynesville the ferry is free for cyclists to visit Raymond Island. Raymond Island is known for it's large Koala population, you can't miss the Koalas. On Raymond Island Koalas are common in the trees of house gardens.

There are several Rail Trails in the region, check out the Rail Trail site, if you haven't already.

Bairnsdale has a bike shop.

Because the school holidays are in January, booking/finding sites in National Parks or at Caravan Parks to camp can be difficult, on the Victorian coast. Again consider February.

I've a lot of photographs of this region from my tours, but they are on Photobucket unfortuately, which has recently been made inaccessible ... here are two images, of Lake Reeves in my DeviantArt gallery ... https://wildwassa.deviantart.com/art/Po ... -115528776
and wild weather on the Snowy River near Marlo ... https://wildwassa.deviantart.com/art/Up ... -115472446

Warren.
"But on steep descending...Larson TT have bad effect on the mind of a rider" - MadRider from Suji, Korea 2001.

"Paved roads ... another fine example of wasteful government spending." - a bumper sticker.

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Tim
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Location: Gippsland Lakes

Re: Melbourne to Malo

Postby Tim » Sun Oct 15, 2017 10:01 am

I agree with Warren. January is a very busy time in coastal Victorian towns and surrounding areas.
The campgrounds and caravan parks are packed to capacity, although often times they can find room for a small tent and a coupe of cyclists if you don't mind being squeezed in like sardines.
People's minds are in holiday mode and quite often their concentration levels on the roads are very low.

The Eastern side of Vic is a terrific area for bike touring (I live here).
Any advise on routes, destinations, campsites etc I can provide. I've ridden various courses between Marlo (especially Cape Conran) and Melbourne on many occasions.
A large portion of the ride from Melb. to Marlo can be done on Rail Trails and back roads, minimising traffic exposure. You can camp "wild" almost anywhere but for showers and creature comforts finding accommodation in January will be difficult, especially on the coast.

Don't forget the Strzelecki ranges in South Gippsland and the Great Dividing Range (High Country/Vic Alps) if you don't mind hillclimbing and prefer more remote and rugged locations.
I've toured through the Vic high country in January and while there are a fair few people out and about finding a spot to camp is easier than coastal sites.
One of the most memorable trips was organised with a group from Melbourne. They caught the train up to Bairnsdale and we met at Bruthen, near where I live.
The basic trip was; Bairnsdale>Bruthen>Ensay, Swifts Creek>Omeo, Benambra>Native Dog Flat, Cobberas>Wulgulmerang, Gelantipy> Buchan, Nowa Nowa, then home.

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Leaf T
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Re: Melbourne to Malo

Postby Leaf T » Sun Oct 15, 2017 12:16 pm

Hi Jeurgen,

I agree with what the others say. February will be better but even mid/late January it starts to get less busy. Personally I think one of the best times to ride in Gippsland is March and April due to the usually excellent weather. To Marlo and back in ten days is fast riding to me. If Marlo is a must then Perhaps train to Bairnsdale is best.

Leaving Melbourne the two best options that come to my mind are...

1.Train to Frankston then Stony Point and ferry across to Phillip Island. Pick up the rail trails to Inverloch and again near Fish Creek then head over or through the Strzeleki ranges via Balook. Or from Foster to Boolarra and on to Traralgon.

2.Catch the train to Lilydale and then rail trail to Launching place before heading to Noojee. From there continue onto Fumina and eventually Morwell. From there you can pick up the rail trail east near Traralgon or head south towards the Strzleckis.

3.Third alternative is to make a loop out of the above suggestions starting in Lilydale. That way you get some beach time and beautiful scenery with time to spend in Wilsons Promontory. You could head south from Fumina to Trafalgar then Mirboo Nth(rail trail down) to Boolarra. Free camping at Boolarra pub as long as you spend some money on food or a cold beer. Boolarra to Foster and rail trail towards the Prom. This section isn't as pretty as the Balook route but still excellent riding and scenery.

These suggestions will be quieter if you can avoid weekends. There are previous threads on this site about these routes and if you search the place names on crazy guy on a bike you will probably find extra info.

Bike hire I don't know of any place that does this and I suspect it will be expensive if they do. I would try Commuter cycles in Brunswick (fun area to stay as well) or Abbotsford cycles in Richmond. StKilda cyles too perhaps. These are all shops that sell touring bikes and equipment. There are probably others too. Sadly bicycle touring is not as popular here as in the EU or US so prices and range of equipment can be limited. Many of us shop online from shops like Bike24 although local stores are catching up.

https://goo.gl/maps/4DP2tksDr1E2

https://goo.gl/maps/fRYZKDobsLv

https://goo.gl/maps/L5ysxrEwQnA2

https://www.railtrails.org.au/trail-des ... s/victoria

https://commutercycles.com.au/

http://abbotsfordcycles.com.au/

robbo mcs
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Re: Melbourne to Malo

Postby robbo mcs » Sun Oct 15, 2017 7:59 pm

Hi,

I'm not from melbourne, so not sure about touring bike rental there

However, I do know there are quite a few places in Tasmania that rent out full touring setups, eg http://www.longhaultasmania.com.au/ Also I know of one in Sydney eg https://omafiets.com.au/pages/bike-hire Probably not much help to you!

cycleman
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Re: Melbourne to Malo

Postby cycleman » Sun Oct 15, 2017 8:37 pm

Thank´s all of you for your help and great touring descriptions :-)
Indeed January is not the best time to travel, but the only time where I could go. So there is no chance to change it. So I have to live with the crowds of tourists. I seems that there are plenty of nice tours around Melbourne.
The main issue right now is how to get a bicycle for traveling and not only cycling in a city. It would be great if somebody has some information where to rent it in the area of Melbourne

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Tim
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Location: Gippsland Lakes

Re: Melbourne to Malo

Postby Tim » Sun Oct 15, 2017 9:02 pm

You could try this mob;
https://www.snowyrivercycling.com.au/self-guided-cycle-tours
They are based in Orbost which is close to Marlo and run guided and self-guided multi day bike tours.
I don't know much about them and I'm not sure they can rent bikes suited for fully loaded, self reliant touring. I think their style is more-so day trips with accommodation and food supplied at the end of each day. Worth a try though.

robbo mcs
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Re: Melbourne to Malo

Postby robbo mcs » Tue Oct 17, 2017 5:33 am

cycleman wrote:The main issue right now is how to get a bicycle for traveling and not only cycling in a city. It would be great if somebody has some information where to rent it in the area of Melbourne


The vivente world radonneur is a very well made and popular touring bike, made here is Australia

https://viventebikes.com

I would suggest looking on the website, and contacting the melbourne bike shops that are listed as dealers. They may do rentals, or may be able to come to some arrangement. Alternatively try contacting Noel, the owner of Vivente through the website. He may know of somone renting them out.

I'm not from Melbourne, but would be very surprised if there is nowhere you can organise this from.

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RonK
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Re: Melbourne to Malo

Postby RonK » Thu Oct 19, 2017 10:29 am

cycleman wrote:The main issue right now is how to get a bicycle for traveling and not only cycling in a city. It would be great if somebody has some information where to rent it in the area of Melbourne

I just stumbled across this - looks like just what you want.

Australian Cycling Holidays
Cycle touring blog and tour journals: whispering wheels...

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antigee
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Location: just off the Yarra Trail but not lurking in the bushes

Re: Melbourne to Malo

Postby antigee » Wed Oct 25, 2017 10:38 pm

A useful link from Ronk and looks like should work well - just in case doesn't work out I've used St Kilda cycles to rent road bikes for friends visiting from the UK and found to be pretty helpful on changing things around to sort a bike that meets preferences - they sell a lot of touring stuff so should understand what want and I notice that their price list includes an option to hire panniers

https://stkildacycles.com.au/bike-hire

one other thing to be aware of touring in January is to be aware of bush fire danger and be aware that you might have to change plans if conditions mean fire danger is of serious concern - though I'm sure people will be helpful

http://www.cfa.vic.gov.au/plan-prepare/ ... ou-travel/

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