Best place on web for info
I am flying out next month to spend some time touring around OZ and maybe New Zealand, 6 months to 1 year.
I think I will be landing in Sydney or Brisbane, just finalising some minor travel details so am not too sure at the moment
so ,,,where do I go to on the web to get the best info on places to ride and see and stay
cheers in advance
State cycling organizations
Government tourism sites
Suggested places to ride:
(I'm describing in reverse direction to your planned point of arrival)
(Nb. I'm from Victoria and have also spent time in Tassie; others probably know heaps more about other states. I've ridden in Vic and Tassie, a bit in Qld, a bit around Alice Springs, and have driven WA)
- Western Australia southwest coast (Perth to Margaret River wine area via coast, then down to Hamlin Bay, then through the woodland areas to Albany or Esperance) with option to ride the Nullarbor to South Australia
(- Nullarbor ride is a classic/epic ride, sounds hard and boring to me, but many do it)
- South Australia to Victoria/Wine aareas/Great Ocean Road - Adelaide to wine areas near by, along coast, cross into Victoria near Mt Gambier, see the Ottways and Great Ocean Road, +/- detour north to Grampians, end up in Melbourne
- Tasmania Tasmania Tasmania. Definitely go there. Usually easiest to fly with bike in a box, can take ferry as an alternative. Suggest flying to Launceston or ferry to Devonport. Do the Northern hills and up to Cradle Mountain. West Coast is very hilly, but the Gordon/Franklin river areas and Strahan are worth it. Again hilly going across the middle of the state to Lake St Clair and then to Hobart. Detour south to Huon Valley. Return, then follow coast to Port Arthur. Up West Coast to Freycinet, then up through Elephant Pass, Pyengana, Scottsdale and back to Launceston via Pipers Brook wine region. Can then fly back to Melb or to Sydney.
Nb. DON'T fly jetstar with a bike. Both Qantas and Virgin are fine with bikes.
- Victoria - Gippsland Coast is nice and could lead to travelling up the coast to Sydney. However the areas around Rutherglen and Beechworth/Bright are stunning esp. in Autumn. I don't like the idea of overland Melb to Sydney (although it is the commonest route) so unless there are other inland areas you want to visit, it's probably best to see the Vic/NSW border region (wine, high country) via 3hr train ride from Melbourne (then 5 or so days on the bike should be heaps).
- NSW and Qld coasts - I haven't done riding here but it is apparently fantastic. I've seen Sunshine Coast (just nth of Brisbane) which is fantastic, also Cairns to Port Douglas for reef and rainforest and Atherton tablelands just inland of these. Also essential.
These areas are all pretty much in continuity, except for WA unless you cross Nullarbor.
There are beautiful areas in the Northern Territory and north WA, all more remote. Look at the various around Australia tour reports on the net.
join the forum and ask some questions. A lot of very helpful people there
Looks like I have a lot of reading to do there.
Cave: I have decided to land in Perth now and do the Nullabor first, so the route you give is the right one now.
mentat6059 : I joined the forum.. thanks
Wow, sounds like you are going to have a fantastic trip.
There are quite a few Around Australia reports on crazyguyonabike and elsewhere; google is your friend!
I think starting in WA you'll really get that "Australian experience" of beaches and sunsets (bunbury and Busselton), red outback (if you head inland a bit, I'd not bother as you'll see plenty of this across the Nullarbor; you'll be there in spring and there might be lots of (short-lived) wildflowers inland), fine wine, forests, etc etc. You'll love it.
While in Perth, visit the Aquarium which is pretty cool. Rottnest island may or may not be worth a visit; I've never been there but friends who've visited thought it was good. There is a lovely bike path along the river if you want a nice suburban-type ride.
The dunes and rock formations around Cervantes are a popular 4WD day trip, I don't know if you'd want to cycle there and back but depending on finances it might make a fun day trip. Also around the Ningaloo Reef they have whale sharks but we're definitely talking about plane flights unless you're doing a full circumnavigation of the continent.
I've described the coastal road route from Perth to the south. You'll see a few other bike tourers on the way. There is also a MTB track called the Munda Biddi trail which might be good if you're into offroad touring. I haven't seen it.
Perth to Busselton/Margaret River area you'll probably be staying in hostels, B&Bs/hotels or caravan parks. There is some bushland but development progresses and there are lots of farms. Maybe the vineyards around Margaret River would be happy to have you camp there; can't hurt to ask (Nb. many run accommodation as well as wine).
Cape Naturaliste has a lighthouse and wind. I liked it but I drove there; nothing works for a headwind like 6 cylinders. There are caves slightly further south (like about 15km) then you're into the wine region.
Seeing the surf (or surfing it if that's your thing) west of Margaret River is great. I don't surf but pulling out the binoculars to see how much bigger than the surfers the waves were was awesome. (May 2005).
Hamelin Bay is nice because of the beautiful beach and the stingrays that congregate there. They are safe to wade amongst IF you don't stand on them (heard of a guy called Steve Irwin?).
Then you have the forests. Simply amazing. Do all the tourisy foresty things, it's all good. There is a bit of space between settlements here but shouldn't have too many problems with water. Easy bush camping, apparently. (might be worth looking for some 1st hand opinions).
Moderately serious uphill to get to Pemberton but you can climb a 60m high tree if you want. Also has pinot noir (but so does France and New Zealand and both are better) (sorry conpatriots).
More trees, wineries and various things like mead and windmills on the way to Albany. Pleasant. Rolling, some steep hills but no mountains.
I haven't been east of Albany in WA.
Further to what Cave was saying -- The Gold Coast Hinterland/NSW Border Ranges is arguably the most underrated cycle touring area in Australia. A surprising number of rainforests and waterfalls just backing the coast. The Border Ranges loop from Kyogle is definitely worth doing if you can cope with the dirt. Nimbin is also an interesting place if you're into the hippie culture, even if you're not, the scenery surrounding it is stunning.
Further north you can venture to Springbrook and Lamington National Parks, or further west to Mt Barney and Main range. Also the area around Stanthorpe is worth exploring for the wineries, fruit stalls and granite formations. From there you could stay inland, or back toward Brisbane, and through the Glasshouse Mountains to the Sunshine coast. About the only drawback with that part of the world could be the weather when you get here -- it's really much better suited to winter touring than summer -- but summer is doable if you can cope with the occasional tropical downpour.
Thanks for all the info guys
Loads of reading material of places I hope to see.
why why why did you have to mention Ningaloo Reef, I just saw pics of it, and Shark Bay.Wow amazing etc etc awesome.
Now. How do I get there??? (rhetorical question)
Seems like I came to the best place of the web for info. :)
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