Grand cycle tour of Oz

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Grand cycle tour of Oz

Postby trailblazer21 » Sun Dec 31, 2017 9:27 am

Hi everyone!

A friend and I are planning on cycling Australia and would love some advice! We will be in Bali in May and plan to fly to Australia - landing point to be decided - at the end of May and start cycling in the beginning of June. We would like to avoid extreme temperatures and headwinds. I am aware that cycling in Oz means that at some point we will be in the wrong place at the wrong season - so in view of that we also intend to fly to NZ and tour there to wait out the Australian summer (we are both Brits and not used to the heat!) Can anyone recommend a route which would begin in June and take in the following:

Great Ocean Road
Some of the 'Big Things'!
Darwin (end destination in order to fly to Indonesia/Asia to continue our ride home to the UK)

What would be a good starting point in June and a good end point before it gets too hot? An average of 70km a day on sealed road, 40km a day on trails, with at least 2 rest days a week. When would be good to return from New Zealand to continue cycling to Darwin?

Our bikes are a Surly Long Haul Trucker and a Surly Troll. We will be fully loaded, self supported. I am happy on trails but she has not yet experienced them, however has ridden the gravel roads of Alaska and has 2.25 marathon tyres.

Looking forward to your responses and thank you in advance!

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Re: Grand cycle tour of Oz

Postby Vintagetourer » Sun Dec 31, 2017 10:35 am

Similar question and thread with answers here ... sted=0&v=E

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Re: Grand cycle tour of Oz

Postby RonK » Sun Dec 31, 2017 11:21 am

You do realise that June is the first month of winter Down Under? So it's the best time to visit Northern Australia and it will be cold in the south of the country. It won't be hot - well maybe to a Pom. :D

You don't say how long you plan to stay - it's a big county and you could spend months here. Do you want to do the whole lap and the centre? If so it may be best to enter through Cairns and ride across Northern Australia and around the coast to Perth. If you are prepared to tackle some unsealed roads the the Savannah Way and the Gibb River Road would be a good route. The sealed route via the Barkly and Stuart Highways could be a little tedious. This route would likely take up most of the winter months so the weather would be warming up by the time you arrive in the south. It would probably be the best seasonal timing and give you a chance to see some of the Great Barrier Reef while in Cairns.

You could also enter at Darwin and follow the coast down to Perth and on to Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane if you have time.

North of Brisbane the national highway is busy and notorious. It's mostly not near the coast so many of the popular tourist spots will require a side trip. I don't recommend it. Anyway you didn't mention the Great Barrier Reef so I'll assume you don't want to go there.

Or you could ride straight through the centre via Alice Springs to Adelaide and take it from there. It is quite a lengthy side trip from the Alice to Uluru, and climbing it is now banned by the traditional owners so it's a long way to go by bike to look and take a few photos. It will be cold overnight inland though - you can expect warm days but overnight frosts in the Alice.

Another option would be to fly into Perth or Adelaide and follow the coast around to Brisbane. This way you would be heading north before the worst of winter sets in.

It would probably be too cold to visit Tasmania at this time of year. It will also be too cold to visit New Zealand until October.

I think you need to do a little more climate research to help you understand what is possible.

The BOM Wind Roses will give you an idea of the winds you are likely to encounter. Be sure to check both the AM and PM roses.

The BOM Climate Averages will give you an idea what temps can be expected.
Cycle touring blog and tour journals: whispering wheels...

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Re: Grand cycle tour of Oz

Postby brandy234 » Mon Jan 08, 2018 12:08 pm

I think you would want to stay away from WA's central and north coast (between the Kimberley and Perth) around November - it's colloquially known as "blow-vember" and the wind might send you crazy!

Stay away from the top-end (north QLD, Northern Territory, north WA) between November and February as that's the wet season. Not only will there be incredible amounts of rain, you'll also have to worry more about crocs and many sites will be inaccessible.

Winter & spring would be best for northern QLD, NT and the Kimberley - but be aware that humidity will start to build up in these areas from early October and it's very uncomfortable.

NSW, Victoria are best around summer & autumn (December - March). These areas can be very windy (and quite cool) around winter & spring.

South-east and central QLD is best around spring (July-October) but also quite bearable in winter.

Australia is massive. I got back from driving around it not too long ago... Doing it on pedals sounds both amazing and terrifying.

There can be massive gaps between towns and even roadhouses (petrol/food/accommodation) especially in Western Australia, Northern Terroritory and north Queensland. You will need a good supply of food and a better supply of water in these areas.

It will be literally 3 days between any kind of facilities at times (assuming 100km per day).

It's a dream of mine to do a long distance trip in Australia some time in the future, but I don't think I could do the entire country!

Best of luck!

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