Touring - Upcoming Australia Tour
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01-19-08, 02:49 PM
I'm planning to cycle an inland route across Eastern Australia from Sydney to Cairns. The route I intend to follow can be seen here:
I have a month to do this, beginning 10 February. Ideally I'd like to take longer, but this is the most time I can take off work.
Does anyone have any tips or advice on this part of the country?
I haven't cycled in that area, but:
- Why the inland route across northern NSW? You'll miss the northern beaches (Byron, Tweed Heads), Hervey bay, Brisbane, the Sunshine coast. You can hit the Atherton Tablelands in central/northern Queensland for some inland action with more greenery, then head back to the coast at Cairns or Port Douglas for the Great Barrier Reef.
Some starting points:
- ChrisL seems to have some experience with northern NSW and Queensland
- jibi has just done Perth to Melbourne and Tassie; not sure if he's continuing up the east coast, I understand he was planning to. Try his web site or PM him.
- cyclingforums.net has more local content than bikeforums does.
- www.crazyguyonabike.com has some Australian journals
01-19-08, 05:50 PM
I also wished I had specific info on your route but I don't because I stayed on the coast between Sydney and Cairns. I think it's great that you are also taking in the interior since a lot of folks visit Australia and only see the beaches. The Great Dividing range is amazing. If you follow your route and go by Mackay, Eungella Natl Park is worth the visit.
I was curious how you came up with that route and if it was recommended. I am sure you have checked it out but being in northern Queensland in late Feb and March can be pretty wet and humid.
01-19-08, 06:03 PM
Thanks for the info.
I've already done the coastal route (although not on a bike) and have seen all of the places you have mentioned. My impression was of a very developed and touristy stretch of coast. I'd very much like to get off the beaten track and see some of the remoter parts Australia has to offer. (It would be nice to visit a place that isn't overrun by boozy 20 year old backpackers!).
The route itself is basically what Google Earth threw up. I have tweaked it a bit to incorporate some bits I'm keen on seeing. As you can see from the link, my route will take me along the coast for the last few hundred miles. This is out of necessity more than anything else. The outback route to Cairns in northern Queensland is completely barren and deserted. I'd have real difficulties getting hold of food/water or help if I needed it. Better to be safe and travel through slightly more populous areas, especially in that heat.
I've cycled and bussed all the way from Cape Trib to Melbourne ... so yeah, I've covered that area. The bit between Sydney and Brisbane, I'm a little vague on because we bussed that bit. And from Brisbane, north, we stuck to the coast ... Maryborough, Gin-Gin, Rockhampton, Airlie Beach, etc.
BTW - I'm doing a tour in Australia starting mid-Feb ... but around the Melbourne area. :)
01-21-08, 04:51 AM
if you had a bit more time you could take some really nice tracks up through NSW, going through some forestry tracks and visit lush rainforest/wet schllerophyl forest
Barrington Tops is just to the East of Murrurundi ~ plus all up the East Coast (but inland away from drunk backpackers) is a lush off~the~beaten~track route
although the route you have chosen will certaintly show you a side of Australia the average Ozzy doesn't even get to experience, with this wet season it'll be a bit more lush then usual out there...
I am cycling to North Qld in March/April from Northern NSW
my plan is to make my way to Roma and visit Canarvan Gorge (which is experiencing major flooding right now) and then follow pretty much your route north
I reckon you should follow the New England Highway up through the Tablelands .. just look on Google Earth, there is some amazing country up in the mountains
if you go through Timbarra (where the gold mine was) .. you'll come across Strawberry Gums (Eucalyptus olida) ... the whole forest smells like strawberry's from the leaves
i'm sure whichever path you choose, there'll be magic ... may be a bit wet though ~ !!
01-28-08, 02:05 PM
Apologies for not reading this sooner. Thanks for the advice.
At the risk of sounding ridiculously underprepared, just how wet can I expect it to be?
Wet? Like raining? I'm landing in Sydney on February 16th. It will be raining that day. I'm flying out to Melbourne that same day, so it will be raining in Melbourne too. So if you are starting your tour on the 10th, you have a good chance of being out from under the cloud that travels above me when I tour. You might have some very nice days! But listen for flood warnings in the Melbourne area.
It rained when I was in Queensland in 2004 (of course), but was so warm that the rain just felt refreshing in most cases. However, if I were you, I'd at least bring a rain jacket ... in case the rain cools things down.
01-29-08, 03:31 AM
steve, most of Australia has been in drought for some time now
but this year is different ... we've had our annual average rainfall in less then a MONTH~!
the last few days have been among a handful of sun-shining days, very hot and humid
the good side of this is .... Australia is the lushest looking it has ever been
the wetlands are full up and most of the waterfalls are running once again
i'd certaintly bring a rain jacket.. but i would also go ahead and enjoy the journey
Drought and flooding rains...
01-30-08, 12:29 PM
i know this will probably be ignored, but consider bringing a flynet.
01-30-08, 01:03 PM
That's almost 90 miles a day. Good luck, looks like an awesome tour.
i know this will probably be ignored, but consider bringing a flynet.
Yep, the flies are in almost plague proportions. Little black fellas right through to big blowies and the marchies. Either a flynet, which can get a bit tiresome as it tries to fill in your mouth while you ride (or you always have to lift it out of the way to take a drink, inviting in a visitor which you then have to get rid of, too)
a good insect repellant; I prefer the Off! variety because it contains picaridin which is somewhat less nasty than the DEET contained in Aeroguard and similar brands. Off! also doesn't burn my lips like Aeroguard can, plus it comes in a pump-action bottle rather than an aerosol can, and it is much smaller and more convienent to carry around (I keep mine in my work trousers pocket while in the orchards).
If it was me I'd be going throught Tamworth, Armidale, Glen Innes, Warwick, Toowoomba, Maryborough, Makay, or just up the coast and allowing myself 6 weeks or more, but I'm old. Not sure what the purpose of your trip is, but if it's to sample outback, you need to go further inland, very cruel at that time of year. Flat straight roads are so boring. It'll be hot enough as it is might as well stay in the shade a bit. The route I've suggested is slower, hillier, more interesting, for sure. That's a long ways to go in a month.
Sorry to go on. Rid, is the insecticide of choice - it's DEET. There can be sand flies - innocuous little buggers that cause great itching and welts later, hard to spot until it's too late. Not sure if they're a problem in sthe summer, but they are in the winter, particularly in coastal areas. You'll know wet. Your prune will prune and your fungus will grow fungus. Tully averages 10 feet of precipitation a year. Good luck and enjoy.
The rain seems to be keeping the flies down, During all of the last 4 months I have had little problems with them down here in the south. The "Aussie Salute", of waving your hand across the face is sufficient to clear them away at the moment. Even across the Nullarbor, when it was hot and dry they were not too bad, I was able to cook in shorts in the evenings. They are irksome but not too many to be a problem, I have not had to resort to my net once yet!!
I am hoping to continue up to Darwin, I am in Canberra at the moment, so I may get plagues later, after al the rain, thunderstorms etc, I am sure they will come out in force.
Have fun. We may cross paths
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