Melbourne - Sydney - in winter. Route suggestions

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Melbourne - Sydney - in winter. Route suggestions

Postby bagelonabike » Tue Jan 08, 2013 12:15 pm

Hiya

A newbie here...just landed in Aus and planning my first tour, which unfortunately has to be June because of work.

I'm looking at Melbourne - Sydney, and am after expect local knowledge on routes with the weather in winter. Am aware of 3 approximate options:

- Coast
- Mountains
- Further inland

Presumably 'mountains' has to be pretty much ruled out straight away? And the coast weather could get pretty bad as well?

Any advice massively appreciated - thanks!

http://bagelonabike.blogspot.com
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by BNA » Tue Jan 08, 2013 1:33 pm

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Re: Melbourne - Sydney - in winter. Route suggestions

Postby RonK » Tue Jan 08, 2013 1:33 pm

bagelonabike wrote:I'm looking at Melbourne - Sydney, and am after expect local knowledge on routes with the weather in winter. Am aware of 3 approximate options:

- Coast
- Mountains
- Further inland

Presumably 'mountains' has to be pretty much ruled out straight away? And the coast weather could get pretty bad as well?

Winter temperatures away from the coast can be quite cold. Roads over the mountains are likely to be snow-bound, but frosts and even sub-zero temps are not uncommon inland. The coastal route is the the way to go.

If you can find a second-hand copy of the first edition of Lonely Planet's Cycling Australia, it contains a section detailing the East Coast Explorer route from Melbourne to the Gold Coast.

If you can't find a copy, I have a pdf copy available. PM me an email address if you want it.
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Re: Melbourne - Sydney - in winter. Route suggestions

Postby Uncle Just » Tue Jan 08, 2013 1:36 pm

+1 but if you are flexible I'd consider Sydney Brisbane. Milder temps, getting warmer as you head north with beautiful coastal scenery.
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Re: Melbourne - Sydney - in winter. Route suggestions

Postby bagelonabike » Tue Jan 08, 2013 4:22 pm

Thanks for the information there on both counts!

I'll definitely look into the Brisbane option too and see there are already some good threads on that :)

The Lonely Planet book is already on its way as well
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Re: Melbourne - Sydney - in winter. Route suggestions

Postby Baalzamon » Tue Jan 08, 2013 5:06 pm

Or flight to perth and do Nullabor crossing to sydney
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Re: Melbourne - Sydney - in winter. Route suggestions

Postby RonK » Tue Jan 08, 2013 5:24 pm

bagelonabike wrote:The Lonely Planet book is already on its way as well


Just to reiterate, you need the 1st edition, which you can only buy second-hand. The current edition on sale at Lonely Planet does not include the east coast explorer route and to all intents and purposes is pretty much useless. Again, I have a copy if you need it.
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Re: Melbourne - Sydney - in winter. Route suggestions

Postby FatGuts » Sun Jan 13, 2013 9:06 am

The coast is fairly straightforward; Meblourne/South Gippsland Hwy to Sale, then up the Pinces Hwy to NSW & Sydney.There are lots of little detours along the way and the tempreature will be quite mild, even in VIC.

Over the Mountains will be the long way but still doable but it depends on what you are calling "over the mountains". In Vic quite a few of the sealed mountain roads turn into fire roads which are closed over winter. The Great Alpine Road from Bairnsdale over to Omeo would be open for the most part. You could ride to Bairnsdale, over to Omeo, across to Benambra/Corryong & onto Kanchoban. From here you could do the alpine way as it is moslty open in winter now but you cannot go over Tooma road, it is pretty well closed between the June & october LWE's.

But you could go up Elliot Way, it will bring you out to the Snowy Mountains Hwy at Kiandra or further west to Tumut & then over the SMH to Cooma. Once in NSW you will only get a small amount of areas that will be closed. An example of this is from the SMH, instead of going through Cooma, you could turn left at Adaminaby & go through the Bobyan Road to Canberra.

The best bit about doing the mountain route will be the run into Sydney, my choice would be to hit Maquarie Pass, Woolongong and the Royal NP.

The biggest thing with the mountains though is you will need to be prepared for cold conditions, excellent camping gear will be required as some areas are remote and you may not be able to get to acommodation easily (this is easy on the coast).

In the Subject of the coast, you ride that road and do a couple of mountain interludes, especially in NSW. There are a number of spots you can criss cross the coast range; Mt Darrah, Brown Mountain, Clyde Mountain, Kangaroo Valley and Macquarie Pass. There are also a number of off road passes as well such as Countegany to Cobargo, Araluen Road to Morouya and Nerriga Road from Braidwood to Nowra. All of these areas are all open in winter.


Inland would be pretty straightforward I would think.

Anyway, my 20c worth. I would not be put off doing the ride because its winter, I actually think it would be one of the better times of year to do a trip like this.
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Re: Melbourne - Sydney - in winter. Route suggestions

Postby FatGuts » Sun Jan 13, 2013 9:12 am

I just read your blog & see you are a pom, I ride with a couple of poms & they cant get over how we wont ride in the rain. Pete always says "Mate this is dusty!" :P
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Re: Melbourne - Sydney - in winter. Route suggestions

Postby il padrone » Sun Jan 13, 2013 9:37 am

The coastal route (Melb-Syd), the section from Cann River to Eden is very sparsely settled, very hilly and carries quite a lot of truck traffic.

In June I'd be catching a plane to Brisbane then heading northwards from there. I did Sydney to Murwillumbah in August and it was pretty darn cold and wet for most of the ride until I got to about Port Macquarie.
Riding bikes in traffic - what seems dangerous is usually safe; what seems safe is often more dangerous.
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Re: Melbourne - Sydney - in winter. Route suggestions

Postby FatGuts » Sun Jan 13, 2013 10:37 am

il padrone wrote:Sydney to Murwillumbah in August and it was pretty darn cold and wet for most of the ride until I got to about Port Macquarie.



My cold threshold must be different to yours :) I have never thought of the North Coast as being cold nor Melbourne for that matter.

-7 rides to work are the norm here in August :mrgreen:
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Re: Melbourne - Sydney - in winter. Route suggestions

Postby il padrone » Sun Jan 13, 2013 10:49 am

I tour for fun and enjoyment, not penitence :wink:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YgYEuJ5u1K0
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Re: Melbourne - Sydney - in winter. Route suggestions

Postby Vintagetourer » Sun Jan 13, 2013 11:49 am

bagelonabike wrote:
I'm looking at Melbourne - Sydney, and am after expect local knowledge on routes with the weather in winter. Am aware of 3 approximate options:
- Coast
- Mountains
- Further inland
Presumably 'mountains' has to be pretty much ruled out straight away? And the coast weather could get pretty bad as well?
Any advice massively appreciated - thanks!

http://bagelonabike.blogspot.com


I've cycled and journalled Canberra to Sydney, and Canberra to Melbourne on two separate tours. Join them up and you'll have Sydney to Melbourne by backroads and bikeways in detail.
You can find the journals with maps, notes and pics at http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/grahsmith
The two relevant journals on the site are "House to house sitting on a Thorn" and "Lake to Lake sitting on a Thorn".
Neither are the shortest route but they are probably the least traffic, most scenic routes.
June isn't the best time but it is doable. You may even luck excellent weather.
Just keep a close eye on the weather forecasts for at least a few days ahead.
The journals have background on the local conditions.
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Re: Melbourne - Sydney - in winter. Route suggestions

Postby FatGuts » Mon Jan 14, 2013 5:50 am

Vintagetourer wrote:
bagelonabike wrote:
I'm looking at Melbourne - Sydney, and am after expect local knowledge on routes with the weather in winter. Am aware of 3 approximate options:
- Coast
- Mountains
- Further inland
Presumably 'mountains' has to be pretty much ruled out straight away? And the coast weather could get pretty bad as well?
Any advice massively appreciated - thanks!

http://bagelonabike.blogspot.com


I've cycled and journalled Canberra to Sydney, and Canberra to Melbourne on two separate tours. Join them up and you'll have Sydney to Melbourne by backroads and bikeways in detail.
You can find the journals with maps, notes and pics at http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/grahsmith
The two relevant journals on the site are "House to house sitting on a Thorn" and "Lake to Lake sitting on a Thorn".
Neither are the shortest route but they are probably the least traffic, most scenic routes.
June isn't the best time but it is doable. You may even luck excellent weather.
Just keep a close eye on the weather forecasts for at least a few days ahead.
The journals have background on the local conditions.



Great blog, I read your Melbourne trip in the Pedal Power mag and drooled.
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Re: Melbourne - Sydney - in winter. Route suggestions

Postby Vintagetourer » Mon Jan 14, 2013 6:24 am

Thanks.
I should have nentioned that bushfires are currently burning in the area we cycled through through at the beginning of the Canberra to Melbourne ride. This is the "Lake to Lake on a Thorn" journal. The area currently affected is near Numeralla.
The fire will of course be out by June, but the views I've shown in the blog might be different in some areas.

We rode Canberra to Queanbeyean to Captains Flat to Numeralla to Cooma.
An alternative is to go Canberra to Tharwa to Adaminaby to Jindabyne via the Boboyan Rd route. Very scenic.
Or just belt straight down the Monaro Hwy from Canberra to Cooma if time is short and traffic doesn't bother you.
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Re: Melbourne - Sydney - in winter. Route suggestions

Postby bagelonabike » Sat Jan 19, 2013 5:31 pm

FatGuts wrote:I just read your blog & see you are a pom, I ride with a couple of poms & they cant get over how we wont ride in the rain. Pete always says "Mate this is dusty!" :P



:lol: Not a Pom! I just lived there for a long time. I am finding the heat and dust a challenge though ;)
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Re: Melbourne - Sydney - in winter. Route suggestions

Postby bagelonabike » Sat Jan 19, 2013 5:39 pm

Vintagetourer wrote:Thanks.
I should have nentioned that bushfires are currently burning in the area we cycled through through at the beginning of the Canberra to Melbourne ride. This is the "Lake to Lake on a Thorn" journal. The area currently affected is near Numeralla.
The fire will of course be out by June, but the views I've shown in the blog might be different in some areas.

We rode Canberra to Queanbeyean to Captains Flat to Numeralla to Cooma.
An alternative is to go Canberra to Tharwa to Adaminaby to Jindabyne via the Boboyan Rd route. Very scenic.
Or just belt straight down the Monaro Hwy from Canberra to Cooma if time is short and traffic doesn't bother you.


Some incredible rides you've done there...bookmarked for a proper read.

I'm going to head further north I think - rather than the title of this thread! Either north from Sydney or North from Brisbane. Still figuring out how much time I can afford and what a sensible amount of daily mileage is. What a fantastic country your have here for riding though :mrgreen:

Thanks for the excellent information everyone.
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Re: Melbourne - Sydney - in winter. Route suggestions

Postby alan_k » Thu Jan 31, 2013 2:50 pm

Or you can still take a cheap flight to Melbourne and move up to Sydney.

Here's some useful links:
Luke's ride Melbourne to Sydney
NSW Road Rules
Bicycles : VicRoads

Hope it helps.
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Re: Melbourne - Sydney - in winter. Route suggestions

Postby bagelonabike » Tue Apr 16, 2013 9:54 pm

In the end I'm able to leave a little bit earlier than planned but have a bit less time too. So doing Adelaide - Melbourne in late May.

I've roughly planned 3 routes, on my blog but the coast option is preferred. Looking forward to getting started now! Will look at the Sydney route one summer :D
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Re: Melbourne - Sydney - in winter. Route suggestions

Postby grunwalski » Thu Mar 20, 2014 8:10 pm

RonK wrote:
bagelonabike wrote:The Lonely Planet book is already on its way as well


Just to reiterate, you need the 1st edition, which you can only buy second-hand. The current edition on sale at Lonely Planet does not include the east coast explorer route and to all intents and purposes is pretty much useless. Again, I have a copy if you need it.


Hi,

I'm a backpacker from Belgium travelling Oz by bike.
I just finished a 6 week trip in Tassie, back in Melbourne now and I'm planning to head up the east-coast, in search of warmer areas.
If you read this, would you mind passing me on the first edition of Cycling Australia? (PM me)

Cheers,
Ilias
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Re: Melbourne - Sydney - in winter. Route suggestions

Postby bagelonabike » Mon Apr 14, 2014 9:20 pm

I finally got round to doing this :)

Took 13 days, 1255 km and 10,000 m of hill climbs :shock: Awesome and beautiful route..got back yesterday.

My summary is here

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