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I am from China and plan riding bike to Melb from Adel next week. I will reach Victor Harbor First day and go to Meningie next day through Goolwa. I have to catch ferry from Goolwa or some where nearby to Port Mcleay. Is there anybody can tell me where I should catch ferry? Can you provide me with timeable?
Thanks in advance!
Mate, there's no ferry from Goolwa that goes anywhere. Seriously.
Travelling from Adelaide towards Melbourne, you MIGHT go through Meningie, but you won't go anywhere near Victor Harbour or Goolwa unless you are deliberately taking a non-direct route.
The direct route from Adelaide to Melbourne which takes you through Meningie (there are two, an inland route and a coastal route - the coastal goes through Meningie), does not involve going to Victor Harbour or Goolwa. However, if you wanted a sizeable detour, you can go through those towns. Whatever route you take, there are no ferries needed, unless you find yourself crossing the Murray River and in those cases, you will arrive at the river bank with the ferry in front of you crossing the river.
Without a more detailed route, I can't help you any more than that. However, no matter what route you take through South Australia and Victoria, nearly all ferries have been replaced by bridges AND, those few that haven't been are all on minor roads and are just river crossings.
Like to tell us more about your trip? Riding from Adelaide to Melbourne will take at least a week if going the most direct route - you can not afford to add side trips such as to Victor Harbour. However, if you were to ride from Adelaide to Meningie, by the most direct route (along the freeway or the old highway that follows the freeway), and then down along the southern coast, all you need to do is follow a clearly marked highway (with no ferries and no Victor Harbour or Goolwa) ... but you'd be lucky to do it in a week.
Actually I have no ideal about this route, only got details from one website.
Plan as following:
Adelaide to Victor Harbor 98km
It's on again! Our most popular ride. Adelaide's wide streets and gardens fade as we gradually climb the Lofty Ranges, on quiet roads to Eagle on the Hill.
The prettiest fern laced lanes open up to countryside covered with cattle, grazing amongst battle scarred gum trees. The vineyards and forest give way to seaside views and Norfolk pines.
Victor Harbor to Meningie 145km
Leaving the harbour, you're spoilt. Our cycle path runs alongside the coast to Port Elliot and Goolwa, gateway to Hindmarsh Island, then north for a cuppa in the fascinating old town of Strathalbyn. Cycling is easy through the hectares of vineyards and past lovely old buildings. The ferryman takes us across the mighty Murray, then it's south to Lake Albert an area steeped in Aboriginal history.
Day 3 Monday
Meningie to Robe 186km
Gliding pelicans and wild ducks add interest on this big day, as you cycle alongside The Coorong National Park, a haven for wildlife and the location for the film "Storm Boy". Sand dunes, lakes, swamps and dry salt pans pass you by, as you push on to this popular holiday point, and savour the rewards of perseverance.
Day 4 Tuesday
Robe to Mt Gambier 135km
Emus are roaming free as we pedal by numerous large lakes and pine plantations before Millicent. Lunch here beside the pioneer museum where early machinery is lovingly restored by local craftsmen and women. Keep a lookout for the Tantanoola Tiger as you cycle over underground caves to the extinct volcano and crater city of Mt Gambier, home of the mysterious Blue Lake.
Day 5 Wednesday
Mt Gambier to Port Fairy 152km
We continue through the gum and pine plantations and follow the old Princes Highway through Dartmoor and Heywood a popular wine region. Fresh local fare prepared by the locals will fill your bill before tackling the undulating road protected by hills stategically placed with windmills pumping electricity for the locals around Port Fairy.
Day 6 Thursday
Port Fairy to Port Campbell 100km
Woody's Murray to Moyne annual charity cycle relay finishes here in March and we depart to visit the wildlife in the extinct volcano, before being joined by the Warrnambool starters, then weave our way through back roads. You see and hear the roar of waves battering limestone walls and London Bridge. This is it, the shipwreck coast.
Day 7 Friday
Port Campbell to Lorne 150km
Wild seas and high winds continually pound the rugged shoreline, creating landmarks like the Eleven Apostles, Loch Ard Gorge and other weird sculptures. Enjoy the spectacle, take a deep breath and climb, winding your way to Lavers Hill, then hang on, it's a roller coaster ride through sub tropical forest to the coastal towns of Apollo Bay, then cycle the surf to Lorne.
Day 8 Saturday
Lorne to Melbourne 145km
This is it! The Great Ocean Road is squeezed between massive vertical cliffs and thunderous waves. You try to concentrate, but it's hard with hang gliders overhead and breathtaking views all around. The coastal towns slip by as you pump through Geelong and on to the home stretch. Melbourne skyline looks grand, you feel grand, proud and completely satisfied. The euphoric sense of satisfaction is known only by those who accept a challenge. Congratulations, see you tomorrow on Around the Bay in a Day.
Anyway, I may not go as this route because this is no ferry take me to Port McLeay. Can you please give me your suggestion? It is my first time to ride in Australia, hope have a clear information.
Many thanks for your help!
The direct and the sensible routes from Adelaide to Victor Harbour do NOT include climbing to the Eagle on the Hill. This a detour that adds nothing to the scenic value of the trip but it does make it a lot harder and a lot further. I can only suggest that the site you have taken this from had some commercial reason for sending you that way.
The direct route from Adelaide to Meningie DOES include the climb to the Eagle on the Hill, but the turn south to Victor Harbour is literally turning at 90 degrees away from Meningie to include an extra day in your trip. The direct and sensible route is to climb to Eagle on the Hill, then follow the old highway from Eagle on the Hill, through the Adelaide Hills to Murray Bridge, then to Tailem Bend (where your proposed route rejoins this route) and then to Meningie.
To be honest, if I were to go via Victor Harbour, I would NOT go via Eagle on The Hill, I would follow Old South Rd from the centre of Adelaide down along the Fleurieu Peninsula and thence to Victor Harbour. This is a very pretty route. However, the run from Victor Harbour to Goolwa to Strathalbyn and eventually to Meningie is NOT a very interesting route. You will give yourself a long day of uninteresting riding, probably fighting with strong winds.
Mate, I strongly recommend that you follow the website's suggestion to Eagle on the Hill, BUT then follow the old highway through the Adelaide Hills to Murray Bridge, then to Tailem Bend, then to Meningie. The route suggested by the website joins this route at Tailem Bend. My suggestion saves you a day of rather uninteresting riding at the start of your trip.
Whatever route you take, you do NOT have to worry about ferries. The only ferries you will meet on this trip are mere river crossings - the road will lead you to the ferry which is just a big, flat, punt like boat that takes you across the river because there is no bridge at that point. You don't have to worry about them.
Richard, Thank you so much for your detailed informationa and kind suggestion. I shall amend my plan accordingly.
By the way, where can I buy or get free map for this trip from Adel to Melb. It should be clear and not too heavy? Also, do I need carry drinking water and food with me for one day consumption? Means any available food supply on the way?
The RAA in the city should be able to help. The RAA is the Royal Automobile Association - the organisation that looks after the interests of motorists and one of their services is to provide touring maps. However, I don't know what the current cost is - maps used to be free for members and a token fee for others but I really don't know what the current situation is. Maybe someone else can advise you.
Australia is a big, hot place. Our Ultra Violet (UV) levels are higher here than elsewhere and you will find that the heat will affect you more than elsewhere, even for the same temperature. Through the south of Australia, it is a dry heat that will dehydrate you very quickly.
When are you planning to do your trip? In summer, you will need at least a water bottle every hour - on very hot days, even more. In winter, you won't need as much water.
There are towns along the route you plan to travel, but you will still be faced with some hours between towns so, even in winter, you will need to carry more than the normal one or two waterbottles - how much extra will depend on the time of year, the weather and the distance between the towns. Once you get to a town though, there will be shops and petrol stations open and usually public parks where water will be available (for free if there's a drinking fountain).
I'll let bicyclewa advise you from here - he's one of the forum touring experts.
If you are camping overnight you will need 2 days water. I've just done a 3 day tour here and the weather is the same here in WA as in South Australia, and I've been drinking 1 litre of water an hour. If you are not used to the heat, you will need to carry more.
If you are carrying enough water for one day, you need 8 litres, plus any for overnight. I've hauled up to 25 litres in one leg of one trip.
There is a drought on at the moment, so water may be hard to find. Some road houses (petrol stations) have bore water coming out of their taps. So filling water from the toilet sink taps will give you salty undrinkable bore water.
You have to pay for water, and it's bottled. Football clubs usually have taps, that you can fill from along with drinking fountains. But with the drought, these have had their handles removed, or are unusable.
I notice on day 3 that you plan to do 186 km. This is a long ride in 1 day especially if on a loaded bike.
If you have to, use radiator hose clamps to strap more water cages onto the bike frame.
You should be able to get food at any of the towns, just carry what you need for the ride in between towns and for breakfast if you are camping overnight.
Mate, I went for a half hour ride this afternoon and had to drink two litres of water in the hour or two afterwards to calm the thirst - I drank nearly an entire water bottle on the ride. It may not sound hot but it drains both the energy and the moisture out of you like an oven. I realise that China too has hot weather, but please do NOT underestimate what you are facing here and remember, you are planning some rather long days in the saddle.
As far as water portage goes, if you are travelling in summer or spring, tow a trailer. In winter, you'll be better able to carry all you need on the bike but then you'll be facing strong winds. The first few days of your journey are through country that is windswept (from the sea) and sparsely populated. Once you get past Mt Gambier, you will be facing weather straight off the Southern Ocean.
Australia is a country about the same size as China physically, but has a tiny fraction of the population. While you will be travelling through established farm lands, there are still some quite large distances between towns (quite a few hours of riding) and you will not be passed by many vehicles on the road unless travelling on a holiday weekend. Although Australians are helpful and friendly people, you can not assume you will meet someone when you need them - it pays to be self sufficient.
Just for fun (and because I had a few minutes) I've put the Adelaide to Mt Gambier part of the trip on bikely.com. I'll do the rest later this morning.
As you can see from the elevation profile, once you get over the Hills, it's pretty flat - but, there isn't a whole lot between stops. On the Meningie to Robe leg, there's precisely one town (Kingston). Robe to Mt Gambier has a whole three (Beachport, Millicent and Tantanoola). I grew up in south east SA and I assure you, it's not the most scenic part of the world.
It's interesting, tomorrow I'm doing my Three Peaks ride and it has nearly as much climbing - in only 40 kms and entirely within the centre of Canberra.
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