East Coast Cycling Route

User avatar
RonK
Posts: 10244
Joined: Mon Aug 24, 2009 2:08 pm
Location: Brisbane, Queensland
Contact:

East Coast Cycling Route

Postby RonK » Mon Nov 20, 2017 12:02 pm

Up until recently the only published cycling route from Melbourne to Brisbane has been the East Coast Explorer route which appeared in the Lonely Planet Cycling Australia 2001 edition. This is still a useful resource even though it didn't appear in subsequent editions and some of the information is outdated. The route takes the Barry Way from Victoria into NSW and some tourists would find this section challenging.

But now the NSW Coastal Trail has been extended to Melbourne taking a more conventional route through Gippsland.
Cycle touring blog and tour journals: whispering wheels...

User avatar
Tim
Posts: 1934
Joined: Wed Jul 07, 2010 5:02 pm
Location: Gippsland Lakes

Re: East Coast Cycling Route

Postby Tim » Mon Nov 20, 2017 12:27 pm

Thanks Ron.
This is a resource I intend making use of when circumstances allow me to tour again for extended periods of time.
Bookmarked for future reference.

vicMoo
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Mar 07, 2018 5:43 am

Re: East Coast Cycling Route

Postby vicMoo » Wed Mar 07, 2018 6:33 am

Thanks RonK!

Do you know where I can find the Lonely Planet Cycling Australia 2001 edition in PDF? I would also like to have a look at it to compare :D

User avatar
RonK
Posts: 10244
Joined: Mon Aug 24, 2009 2:08 pm
Location: Brisbane, Queensland
Contact:

Re: East Coast Cycling Route

Postby RonK » Wed Mar 07, 2018 7:50 am

I have a scan. PM your email address and I will send you a copy.
Cycle touring blog and tour journals: whispering wheels...

Scintilla
Posts: 255
Joined: Sun Feb 25, 2018 5:36 pm

Re: East Coast Cycling Route

Postby Scintilla » Thu Mar 08, 2018 11:23 pm

RonK wrote:Up until recently the only published cycling route from Melbourne to Brisbane has been the East Coast Explorer route....

...The route takes the Barry Way from Victoria into NSW and some tourists would find this section challenging.


Probably less challenging than almost any other route you'd take out east.

RonK wrote:But now the NSW Coastal Trail has been extended to Melbourne taking a more conventional route through Gippsland.

The main Princes Hwy?? No thanks. Very hilly, lots of truck traffic, and now with sections of centre-road wire-rope barriers.

avolve
Posts: 223
Joined: Fri Dec 01, 2006 10:49 am
Location: The 'gong

Re: East Coast Cycling Route

Postby avolve » Sat Mar 31, 2018 3:51 pm

RonK wrote:But now the NSW Coastal Trail has been extended to Melbourne taking a more conventional route through Gippsland.


The section from Gerringong (just south of Kiama) to Shoalhaven Heads (before Bombaderry/Nowra) is a single lane in each direction no shoulder and has a 80 and 100km speed limit. I strongly recommend avoiding it. It is very far from an enjoyable ride

You can avoid this by not going though Gerringong and turning off the highway (the road coming from Kiama) onto Toolijooa Road, then Beach Road, Agars lane, Coolangatta Road and then back onto Bolong Road. Alternative, turn off Coolangatta Road onto Bryces Road then Blackforest Road before coming back on Bolong Road (I have not ridden this section as yet).

These are most very quiet rural/back roads. Toolijooa Road has a short unpaved section (minor washboarding). Much more peaceful and enjoyable. You not not see a car on most of them, rather than being buzzed at 100km/hr.

[Other sections I have looked at are similarly highways... :( ]

ashleygray
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Apr 02, 2018 6:44 pm

Re: East Coast Cycling Route

Postby ashleygray » Fri Apr 27, 2018 6:42 pm

Thanks for posting this ronK. This is very helpful and I can use this for future references.

BobtheBuilder
Posts: 115
Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2018 12:33 am
Location: Remote NT

Re: East Coast Cycling Route

Postby BobtheBuilder » Sun Apr 29, 2018 11:31 pm

In 2002 I rode from Sydney to north Queensland, mostly camping.
Between Sydney and Brisbane I rarely hit the highway and did much of the trip on unsealed roads on a hybrid bike. Some sections are rough and there are sections where you need to walk the bike, but much nicer than a highway!
Most of the route is closer to the coast than the highway.
There are lots of passenger ferries across rivers, lots of forestry and national park tracks that are good enough for bikes and many days where you see very few cars and lots of bush.
Happy to send through route details if anyone's interested, but in short: -

Train across to Wondabyne and bush tracks through to Woy Woy (NOT recommended, very hard start to trip!!) - would get one of the ferries across the Hawkesbury to the Central Coast. The old Pacific Highway from Hornsby is also pretty quiet from memory, as far as Newcastle.
Terrigal and coastal roads to Newcastle, then ferry to Stockton and north to Nelson Bay
Ferry across to Tea Gardens then through Myall Lakes NP (some rough tracks here), ending up Seal Rocks, then quiet coastal roads to Forster/Tuncurry
Small roads and tracks through forestry and NP tracks to Manning point and ferry (sadly discontinued last time I looked into it - now horrible detour via Pacific highway) to Harrington, then along the coast through Crowdy head NP to Port Macquarie.
Car ferry across Hastings river then along the quiet Maria River road to Crescent Head then to Hat Head NP to SW Rocks. From there you might be able to get a lift across the Macleay river to Stuarts point - we didn't manage to and had a horrible detour via the Pacific highway, then back on small roads through Stuarts Point, Grassy Head and Scotts Head, then to Nambucca Head via a short stretch on the Pacific.
To Coffs with a fair bit of time on the highway until about Sawtell.
From Coffs it's harder to avoid the miseries of the Pacific on the coast (though on another trip south I went inland from South Grafton to Coffs on largely quiet roads), but around Corindi beach we hit unsealed roads (some very rough!) and wound through Yuraygir NP and forestry areas to Wooli, then out through the Pillar Valley to Ulmarra, crossed the Pacific and got a car ferry across the Clarence and quiet roads through cane country to Maclean and Yamba, with a passenger ferry across to Iluka and Woody head.
From there you probably have to take the Pacific or wend through forestry tracks to the west of the Pacific (as I did one rainy November!). Around Woodburn you can head in to Evans head or go west through quiet roads - there are quite a few options. At Wardell you can cross the Richmond river and follow a very quiet road and head back across the river further on to Ballina.
From there it's a bit of a struggle - all the roads are busy. I found the stretch between Ballina and Byron Bay one of the most aggressive I've ever experienced in Australia.
The same is true of most of the rest of the trip to the Queensland border, or at least was then, with the odd inconvenient trip to get off the main roads. Some of the coastal road around Cabarita beach now has separated bike path, so maybe there's more of that type of infrastructure now than there was then.
I'd guess that now there'd be bike infrastructure through the Gold Coast up to Brisbane or at least suburban back roads. Back then there were pretty unpleasant sections of heavy traffic on crowded roads around the border.

Once we left Brisbane we headed west from Gympie, far from the coast as the thought of weeks on the horrible Bruce highway didn't appeal and had lovely, quiet, good quality roads (and the odd rough bush track!), re-joining the coast via Collinsville and down to Bowen.

User avatar
RonK
Posts: 10244
Joined: Mon Aug 24, 2009 2:08 pm
Location: Brisbane, Queensland
Contact:

Re: East Coast Cycling Route

Postby RonK » Mon Apr 30, 2018 7:14 am

You could have saved yoursekf a lot of typing. That is oretty much the route described in the link.
Cycle touring blog and tour journals: whispering wheels...

BobtheBuilder
Posts: 115
Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2018 12:33 am
Location: Remote NT

Re: East Coast Cycling Route

Postby BobtheBuilder » Mon Apr 30, 2018 8:08 am

No, it's not. The link has frequent sections along the Pacific highway and other busy roads.
My route barely hit the highway until Byron Bay.
For instance this poor route goes from Newcastle to Tea Gardens inland via Raymond Terrace and the Pacific highway when you can take two easy ferries across from Newcastle to Stockton, then from Nelson Bay to Tea Gardens, not even leaving the tar and seeing lots of nice country along the way.

User avatar
RonK
Posts: 10244
Joined: Mon Aug 24, 2009 2:08 pm
Location: Brisbane, Queensland
Contact:

Re: East Coast Cycling Route

Postby RonK » Mon Apr 30, 2018 8:59 am

BobtheBuilder wrote:No, it's not. The link has frequent sections along the Pacific highway and other busy roads.
My route barely hit the highway until Byron Bay.
For instance this poor route goes from Newcastle to Tea Gardens inland via Raymond Terrace and the Pacific highway when you can take two easy ferries across from Newcastle to Stockton, then from Nelson Bay to Tea Gardens, not even leaving the tar and seeing lots of nice country along the way.

And if you had scrolled down the page you would have seen exactly that route. Even includes the ferry timetables.

TEA GARDENS to NEWCASTLE via Ferries
Cycle touring blog and tour journals: whispering wheels...

BobtheBuilder
Posts: 115
Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2018 12:33 am
Location: Remote NT

Re: East Coast Cycling Route

Postby BobtheBuilder » Mon Apr 30, 2018 11:11 am

Fair enough, I just looked at the route that came up on the map.

Anyway, if anyone wants info about the less accessible routes just PM me.

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users