All about touring, whether you are a local or visiting from overseas.
Ciao Warren!!!!! Hi Guys!
First of all....PHOTOS ARE AMAZING!!!! WOWWWWW!!!
Thank you for your informations about Canberra and surroundings, now I have to decide which route to go to the east coast, if I'll pass from Canberra surely I'll use your tips!
Really, it's incredible the beauty of your photos! Thank you for suggestions about the tree highways and I think I'll follow your opinion;) Don't like trucks! What about this route??
I'll land in Melbourne, visit of the city and then Great Ocean Road, instead to return to east towards east coast I'll follow towards Adelaide (without visit the city) and then up to Broken Hill and I hope the real Australian's outback. Then Dubbo, Orange, Blue Mountains National Park & Sydney. Later I'll make the east coast.
In the last days I was thinking to the opportunity to bring with me a GPS or not. Seeing the roads I have decided to not bring any instrument, only paper maps created at home with Google Maps or similar. In the last trip I did in this way and the result was excellent! You think will be enough to travel around Australia??
What about my outback experience??
Last edited by Montgomery Brogan on Sat Oct 15, 2011 10:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Bring warm clothes Monty - it's going to be very cold on that route.
I understood it was hotter in the inland areas, also during the winter! Cold during the day or in the night?? Could be a good idea to sleep in the little towns along the road. If there are! I have to study the route. But what about landscapes?? Could be a solution to taste the outback?
In the next days I'll buy Lonely Planet "Australia". The "cycling" version wasn't so good for me, I downloaded some chapters with maps and indications but I'm not satisfied. In the classic version I'll find many informations about interesting places and what to see. With the guide and your precious suggestions will be more easy to build my route.
I've said it before - in July..... skip the Great Ocean Road
Try Adelaide, then you have lots of roads to choose heading into the SA Mid-north. Mix the country roads with the Mawson Trail. It's mostly suited to a touring bike -lots of gravel roads of various quality, leading you eventually to the near-outback experience of the Flinders Ranges. Just skip the first bit out of Adelaide into the Mt Lofty Ranges - extremely steep.
My tour heading north from Adelaide - follow on pages for the next 3 weeks. We rode it in May/June - cold in the Barossa Valley at night but lovely days and warmer up north in the Flinders Ranges.
Some bits can get 'orribly muddy after rain
Riding bikes in traffic - what seems dangerous is usually safe; what seems safe is often more dangerous.
Il Padrone, that's a lotta mud! Were you running mudguards at the front? There's so much mud I can't tell!
One of the best things about bicycle commuting is that it can mitigate the displeasure of having to go to work. - BikeSnobNYC
Cycling is sometimes like bobbing for apples in a bucket full of dicks. - SydGuy
Yes, I had mudguards. They were a large part of my problems this day. That's my front mudguard strapped on the back of the bike. The next day I had to remove the rear guard as well. Later when we got off the Mawson trail I refitted the guards.
On this one short section of the Mawson Trail, the red mud was so bad, such a gluey mess, that it clogged up the guards and even the front forks and rear chainstays, stopping the wheels from turning at all. At one point I was removing the bags (all six) carrying them on 200m, then returning and carrying the trailer and then the bike !! Rinse and repeat I almost set up camp for the night to wait for the mud to dry out, but did press on. 3kms took 3 hours
Lesson: never ride outback red clay tracks after rain. Wait at least 2-3 days.
Note, Montgomery Brogan. This is not normal for the Mawson Trail. One section was a mudbath after rain. Most of it was reasonably good quality gravel roads. The hard shale track north of Wilpena Pound (single-track and double-track) was a true delight to ride, through native pine woodlands with the panorama of the Flinders Ranges.
A flyer on the Mawson Trail is here. You might find a GPS handy but certainly do not need it to ride the trail. There is a very thorough set of maps with detailed notes and historical information available from BikeSA here. You could make a pretty good effort in riding the trail just by using commercially available road maps (as we did) which have the route of the trail marked fairly well on them. We did miss the trail turn offs in one or two places, but still got there. There are quite distinctive and informative trail signs along the way that are helpful to guide you.
In some places they were really thorough signboards, but mostly smaller direction markers
The trail does wind about quite a lot (900kms and we took 3 weeks to ride it, where a direct route could take as little as 4-5 days on the roads) but most of its winding and loops take you to scenic and historic sites and attractions.
No, it is colder inland during winter. Look at the chart I linked - you will see that overnight temps along your planned route will average just above zero in July.
Perfect! Thank you Il Padrone I'll keep in consideration also the Mawson Trail and for me would be perfect the first leg from Adelaide to Burra, then I could leave Mawson to continue to Broken Hill...only a question, on the BIKESA site is clearly indicated as Mountain bike trail...will be ok my Kona Sutra??
Ronk, fortunately cold don't worry me I'm a strange italian..I prefer cold at hot! Of course I'm not looking for a frozen holiday but also in my last trip towards Scandinavia and Arctic Polar Circle the temperatures were the same you told me. During the day 10/12Â° and in the night also 0Â°. Sometimes I slept in tent and sometimes in cottages of camping. I'm more worry for rain honestly. What do you think about Barrier Highway towards Broken hill, Wilcannia and the east coast?? I read many good opinions on the web..
p.s. You are ALL very kind with me, if one day you will come to Italy and in Tuscany, I will be more than happy to bring you to discover the most beautiful places in my region!!
Mountain bike or sturdy touring bike. The Kona Sutra should be fine. You might want to make sure you have some wider tyres on it - I ran 26x2.00 mainly for later riding in Central Australia, but some 1.75" tyres would have been fine for the Mawson. The Kona Sutra is 700c so I'd say you could see about fitting some 40mm tyres and you'll be fine. Even 35mm would be quite rideable for most of the Mawson (maybe not the section north of Hawker to the beginning of the Morolana Scenic Road).
The Barrier Highway has never grabbed me as an ideal touring route. It's a long flat ride through very open barren country, but it's a major transport route = lots of trucks. But I've only driven the section from north of Burra to Broken Hill, I haven't cycled it. Maybe it really is good cycling ??
Planning to tour Italy in 2013 myself at this stage, so I may take you up on that
Warren, I'm going Off topic but, can I ask you which is your reflex photo camera?? For my great travel I need a new camera. Australia deserve the best!
Hehe - well I would expect that you are accustomed to cold weather, but many visitors have the same misunderstanding about the inland. Yes, it is warmer than the coast in summer - but not in winter. If you are properly prepared and don't mind camping in frost, it won't bother you. The warnings have been to alert you to prepare with appropriate clothing and equipment.
The Barrier Highway? I have crossed it once, by car. I wouldn't want to cross it by bicycle as it would probably be (to me) one of the least interesting parts of Australia. You, as a visitor may find it otherwise, but I don't think it is anything like Scandinavia. This is what you can expect to see, for kilometre after kilometre. Some of that red (ish) dirt you are dreaming of can be seen here. No cottages or hotels to stay in, just nothing for hundreds of kilometres. To give a helicopter view of the route, on this map click the 3D button on the left in the driving directions. You may need to click the pause button to let the aerial photographs render.
Since you propose to go as far north as Cairns, the plan that comes to my mind would be to get a train to Warnambool and ride the GOR back toward Melbourne, cross Port Philip Bay by ferry at Queenscliff and follow the coastal route to Queensland where it will be warmer, then take an inland route to Cairns. This would get you off the Bruce Highway, which is not a nice road for cycling. Like this perhaps. Even inland Queensland will be cold overnight but the days will be very pleasant.
mmhhh... also using Street View is clearly showed...hundreds and hundreds of nothing.
Surely to do GOR (with the disappoint of Il Padrone! I'm ready to all weather conditions for GOR ) from west to east and then follow the coast toward Queensland and, as you said, warmer temperature could be a good option.
I have already seen Bruce highway in Queensland.. I think where will be possible I'll choose secondary inland roads to go to north.
Previous posters are remiss in not warning you about Drop Bears. 120kg landing ona bike already loaded up with rider and gear can make for a very bad holiday.
You will find what you need to know on the Australian Museum site at http://australianmuseum.net.au/Drop-Bear
After that you should check out wikipedia. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drop_bear)
Unchain yourself-Ride a unicycle
Thanks for that Ron. I wasn't aware of this cool feature in Google Earth.
It's a new feature, only added quite recently, but invaluable for surveying routes...
Thanks for the precious informations, I assure you that I just bought a ton of Vegemite and toothpaste ..should be enough to survive. Also in Italy we have an animal similar to Drop Bear...we usually, to save us, we go around with Fusilli on the head
Here some random photos for you! The last 2 days trip along the Appennino
Ice on the top of Pratomagno (Tuscany) 1600 mt. s.l.m.
Tuscany and its delicious food
The refuge at 1400 mt. s.l.m.
Ice on the top of Pratomagno (Tuscany) 1600 mt. s.l.m.
Pratomagno mountain. 1600 mt. s.l.m.
I think is the better solution but....on the railway web site there is written that bikes can be carry only if there is space available?? Do you know if I can do a reservation for the bike? I talking about V/lines, in service from Melbourne to Warrnambool.
No, you cannot book your bike onto the train. That is only possible for large groups (> 12). There is no charge for bikes so V-line has no qualms about saying "sorry we can't carry your bike"
But travelling solo you will have little problem getting your bike into the guards compartment (luggage space), especially if you are travelling on a weekday. They can easily fit 6-7 loaded bikes as long as you are politely determined towards the conductor that it can be done.
sorry but I don't understand...if I go to the station, buy the ticket and later when I take the train there is no space for the bike what I have to do?
Like I said, you'd be very unlucky for that to happen, even on a holiday weekend. On any weekday service you will get on - 99.95% certain. The luggage compartment is large enough to pack 12-13 unloaded bikes into - heaps of space for your one bike. Any luggage there already could be loaded up onto the fold-down shelves. You are at the mercy of the conductor however - most are fine and some will give you and your bike special treatment, some seem to be a bit unaware of the fold-down shelf and how to efficiently pack bikes into a confined space (eg,. top to tail), and then there are the very few who are 'luggage-nazis' (won't let any part of the bike go outside lines painted on the floor, "why didn't you book for the bikes?"). I'll say it again - there is no facility to reserve space for a bicycle. But travel with bikes on the trains still works well. You will be OK to travel to Warnambool. The Great Ocean Road is a very popular tour and thy're pretty used to taking bikes on the train down there.
In the extremely unlikely scenario that you don't get on, you'll just need to take the next train. You can change over your ticket at the booking office.
This couple had a good time travelling in SE Australia. We toured with then for a long weekend.
Last edited by il padrone on Mon Nov 07, 2011 7:54 am, edited 1 time in total.
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