Feasibility of cycling Melbourne to Brisbane?

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Feasibility of cycling Melbourne to Brisbane?

Postby GlynG » Thu Jun 30, 2011 11:58 pm

Hi all,

I'm hoping to head down under for the first time later this year for a working holiday. I'll be cycling around on my own (I have never learnt to drive and never will) and over the course of the year or two I plan to cycle between Melbourne and Brisbane. I won't be doing it in one go - I don't have any particular timescale but I'd be stopping off for weeks or months along the way to WWOOF / work. I'd bring a tent, solar cooker and possibly a trailer if I have to, though I'd rather try and manage with just panniers if possible.

I'm not that experienced a cyclist (will need to gradually build myself up to it) and I realise it will be quite a challenge, but does that sound feasible to do? I mentioned it in passing elsewhere and I've had a people insist I'm crazy for trying to cycle between cities like this and that I'll never make it and/or die. I thought I'd try here for some more experienced advice/opinions...

Thanks! Glyn
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by BNA » Fri Jul 01, 2011 12:22 am

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Re: Feasibility of cycling Melbourne to Brisbane?

Postby Mulger bill » Fri Jul 01, 2011 12:22 am

G'Day Glyn, welcome outside.

To be honest, I wouldn't have a clue if it's feasible. It does sound like an excellent goal tho'.

We've got a few hardcore tourers rolling about so I'll leave that to them. What I will do is move this thread over to the touring section so the target audience is more likely to spot it.

Cheers
Shaun
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Feasibility of cycling Melbourne to Brisbane?

Postby RonK » Fri Jul 01, 2011 8:00 am

Of course, it is perfectly feasible. I suggest you start by visiting the Lonely Planet web site and buying a copy of "Cycling Australia". There is chapter that covers exactly the route you're considering. After you have digested the wealth of information it contains about the route and cycle touring in general, you would then be able to ask any specific questions that are not covered.

BTW - you may already be aware of it, but there is an Australian WWOOF web site, and there are other sites that list seasonal work opportunities - fruit picking and the like. Depending on your age and country of origin it is possible to get an extended visa if you do a certain amount of work in country areas.
Last edited by RonK on Fri Jul 01, 2011 10:57 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Feasibility of cycling Melbourne to Brisbane?

Postby Uncle Just » Fri Jul 01, 2011 10:45 am

Hi GlynG we rode to the Gold Coast in 2 attempts. Euroa-Goulburn in May 07 and from just north of Goulburn to the Gold Coast in Oct/Nov 09. (Didn't ride out of Melbourne but caught the train to our starting point as we had done many tours within surrounding districts beyond the city limits.)

Go for it! You don't need to be experienced just do your research on a suitable bike/gear, then decide on whether you'll camp or do supported touring staying in accommodation along the way. Do some test rides before you go then start off slowly for the first week or so to get used to the bike, distances and how you feel. You travel as far as you like dependent on time you have allowed, terrain and weather. It is a lovely ride to Qld and we, as RonK posted, used part of the LP Cycling Australia route. Very helpful book. There are many route possibilities, half the fun is planning. We rode through the NE of Victoria crossed into NSW up through Tumbarumba, Tumut, Wee Jasper, Collector and Goulburn where I fell ill. In '09 we continued the trip via the lovely southern highlands down the escarpment to Wollongong, along the bike path and through the NP then taking the ferry at Bundeena to Cronulla. The next part to the Qld border was a combination of the LP guide and our own routes. The Myall Lakes area is a place worthy of a visit and take the sandy track to Seal Rocks via Mungo Brush to avoid part of the Lakes Way. The Orara Way from Coffs Harbour to Grafton was a delight to ride too. The Border Ranges in the hinterland near the Qld border are special and worth exploring.

The LP route will take you through some very diverse parts of Oz from flat open plains, to mountains and beautiful coastal scenery. My advice is to avoid busy highways particularly the Pacific Hwy unless you like fast noisy traffic and sometimes extremely narrow shoulders. I would also visit the beautiful beaches on the NSW far north coast. Pick a quiet time for touring, avoiding school hols, easter and Xmas/New Year when prices can soar for accommodation.

It's a ride I'll do again but slower, as there are places I visited last time I never wanted to leave. :D
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Re: Feasibility of cycling Melbourne to Brisbane?

Postby Riddley » Sat Jul 02, 2011 9:12 pm

Absolutely possible. Uncle's post is a good route option, but there are heaps of ways you could approach it. Try looking in Crazy Guy on a Bike, and searching via Oceania / Australia for locales and tours, and keywords of for towns that look interesting for some ideas. There's lots of bush camping, hostels, and camping grounds for accommodation. The height of Summer will be very hot, you may wish to time your run to manage that.
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Re: Feasibility of cycling Melbourne to Brisbane?

Postby birdart » Thu Jul 07, 2011 4:43 pm

Hi!

I'm also planning on doing a ride from Melbourne to Maryborough (in Queensland) at the end of the year. It is part of a research/creation phase of an new media art project I'm working on that is looking at migratory birds and the human networks that support them. As such, I'm going via the coast and stopping in at a range of locations to meet with local birders and visit wetland sites. I'm in the process of trying to map out the trail I'll take. Any advice on where is best to go to for trails in this area?

Thanks!
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Re: Feasibility of cycling Melbourne to Brisbane?

Postby phy9pas » Tue Dec 20, 2011 9:08 pm

Hi there,

I'm setting off tomorrow from Brisbane heading towards Melbourne.
I'd love to hear from anyone who's already done the route. Either email me through the forumn or post any tips you've got along the way.

We've planned:
Brisbane - Coolengetta - Byron Bay - Bundjalung - Coffs Harbour
but we're open to suggestions of the best route down from there. Is it best to stick to the coast, are there any must-see parks or inland diversions on the way round.

How about tips for getting around Sydney? Should we try and skirt around the outside? Ride through the middle or try and get a bus through the middle?

Cheers everyone... and wish me luck!

Peter
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Re: Feasibility of cycling Melbourne to Brisbane?

Postby phy9pas » Fri Dec 30, 2011 1:36 pm

Just a note for anyone looking for the route in the lonely planet book- it's not in the most recent edition, only in the old version (the orange cover one).
Incidentally, if anyone has a copy of th orange cover version and could scan this route in or me that would be really useful. we have had real trouble finding it online or in book shops.

Cheers

Pete
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Feasibility of cycling Melbourne to Brisbane?

Postby RonK » Fri Dec 30, 2011 8:44 pm

phy9pas wrote:Just a note for anyone looking for the route in the lonely planet book- it's not in the most recent edition, only in the old version (the orange cover one).

I didn't realize that. I'll see what I can do when I get home to Brisbane tomorrow. Don't know if my scanner still works as I upgraded my OS recently and some devices don't seem to work.
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Re: Feasibility of cycling Melbourne to Brisbane?

Postby Baalzamon » Fri Dec 30, 2011 8:46 pm

RonK wrote:
phy9pas wrote:Just a note for anyone looking for the route in the lonely planet book- it's not in the most recent edition, only in the old version (the orange cover one).

I didn't realize that. I'll see what I can do when I get home to Brisbane tomorrow. Don't know if my scanner still works as I upgraded my OS recently and some devices don't seem to work.


Could you not mimic it upto something like bikely, or mapmyride etc?
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Feasibility of cycling Melbourne to Brisbane?

Postby RonK » Fri Dec 30, 2011 8:59 pm

Baalzamon wrote:
RonK wrote:
phy9pas wrote:Just a note for anyone looking for the route in the lonely planet book- it's not in the most recent edition, only in the old version (the orange cover one).

I didn't realize that. I'll see what I can do when I get home to Brisbane tomorrow. Don't know if my scanner still works as I upgraded my OS recently and some devices don't seem to work.


Could you not mimic it upto something like bikely, or mapmyride etc?

Sure, but that would only be a plot of the route - it's the supporting information about places along the route which makes it worth having.
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Re: Feasibility of cycling Melbourne to Brisbane?

Postby RonK » Mon Jan 02, 2012 1:39 pm

phy9pas wrote:Just a note for anyone looking for the route in the lonely planet book- it's not in the most recent edition, only in the old version (the orange cover one).
Incidentally, if anyone has a copy of th orange cover version and could scan this route in or me that would be really useful. we have had real trouble finding it online or in book shops.

Cheers

Pete

PM me your email address and I'll send you a copy.
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Re: Feasibility of cycling Melbourne to Brisbane?

Postby Peteandian » Mon Apr 09, 2012 1:00 pm

We cycled Brisbane to Melbourne over 6 weeks starting Christmas 2011. It was incredible - I can completely recommend taking a short inland detour along the Barry Way between Buchan and Jindabyne (see photo). Our full cycle tour log for the Brisbane to Melbourne cycle route can be found here

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Re: Feasibility of cycling Melbourne to Brisbane?

Postby GregLR » Tue Apr 10, 2012 8:30 am

Noticing the threads on touring Brisbane/Sydney/Melbourne or in reverse reminded me about the Pacific Bicycle Route that I followed most of the way between Brisbane & Sydney (with only one highway section, north of Kempsey) when eventually riding to Canberra in the mid-90s.

Though dating from the mid-80s it appears that the guide is still available and should still be very helpful in planning a tour, since the roads followed (largely keeping to the west of the Pacific Highway) will still be relevant:
http://www.woa.com.au/ba/routes/pacific/

The guide is also included in this list of Australian cycletouring books dating from 2008:
http://members.iinet.net.au/~bikefish/books_tour.html

(sorry if someone has already mentioned this in one of the threads; IP referred to a tour he did that sounded similar)

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Re: Feasibility of cycling Melbourne to Brisbane?

Postby GregLR » Tue Apr 10, 2012 8:50 am

To add to my previous post about the Pacific Bicycle route, set out below is a route from Canberra to Melbourne that I worked up for a friend recently, complete with links to electronic maps on BikeRouteToaster. This was suggested as an alternative route largely avoiding the Hume Highway and Hume Freeway (my friend's 7-day charity ride starting in a week or so is using the main highways). There are a couple of short highway sections between the Yass Service Centre and Bowning and near Euroa in Victoria.

Note that the backroads I have used for this route, such as the Burley Griffin Way after Bowning and the Olympic Highway, don’t always have a hard shoulder and are used by trucks. I'm familiar with most of the roads from long distance audax rides. Needless to say, these roads are not anywhere near as heavily trafficked as the Hume Highway and the Hume Freeway.

Thought this might be helpful for anyone planning an inland route to or from Melbourne.

Greg

CYCLETOURING ROUTE FROM CANBERRA TO MELBOURNE (OR REVERSE) AVOIDING THE MAIN HIGHWAYS

Total estimated distance from Hall (on the NW edge of Canberra) to Melbourne: 755km
Average distance per day (over 7 days): 108km

Stage 1: Hall to Binalong (85km; 505m vertical climbing)
(via Nanima, Murrumbateman, Yass & Bowning)
http://bikeroutetoaster.com/Course.aspx?course=347670

Stage 2: Binalong to Junee (122km; 759m climbing)
(via Harden & Cootamundra)
http://bikeroutetoaster.com/Course.aspx?course=347673

Stage 3: Junee to Culcairn (119km; 435m climbing)
((via Wagga Wagga, Mangoplah & Cookadinia)
http://bikeroutetoaster.com/Course.aspx?course=347674

Stage 4: Culcairn to Beechworth (106km; 799m climbing)
(via Walla Walla, Jindera, Albury & Wodonga)
http://bikeroutetoaster.com/Course.aspx?course=347677

Stage 5: Beechworth to Benalla (84km; 232m climbing)
(via Murray to the Mountains rail trail, Wangaratta, Glenrowan & Winton)
http://bikeroutetoaster.com/Course.aspx?course=347684

Stage 6: Benalla to Seymour (136km; 202m climbing)
(via Baddaginnie, Voilet Town, Euroa, Longwood & Avanel)
http://bikeroutetoaster.com/Course.aspx?course=347685

Stage 7: Seymour to Melbourne City (103km; 499m climbing)
(via Broadford, Wondong, Epping, Reservior, Fitzroy North, Fitzroy to Bourke St Mall)
http://bikeroutetoaster.com/Course.aspx?course=347687
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