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  1. #1
    Junior Member Cyclinggal's Avatar
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    Best road cycling for a 2-3 week cycling trip

    I am planning on cycling in Australia for 3 weeks in December and am looking for pointers on the best coast, roads, routes. I welcome any tips, suggestions or even better mapmyride.com links that I could use as a starting place to plan my trip.
    Also, if you know of any cycling groups that may be good to reach out to, that would be great too.

    I am planning on flying into Melbourne to see a friend but am open to flying somewhere else to start.

    I appreciate any tips you have,
    Cycling gal

  2. #2
    Senior Member AnthonyG's Avatar
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    Cycling Gal. Melbourne is as good a place to start as any. It's also better than most. Melbourne itself is a quite cyclist friendly city. Unfortunately THE coastal road up the entire east coast of Australia is the Pacific Hwy and its not particularly bicycle friendly (its hardly car friendly). Try searching for Melbourne cycling clubs as I'm not local to there although I do visit regularly.

    Anthony

  3. #3
    Allez means go. bengreen79's Avatar
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    I bet @Machka would have some input for you.

  4. #4
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyclinggal View Post
    I am planning on cycling in Australia for 3 weeks in December and am looking for pointers on the best coast, roads, routes. I welcome any tips, suggestions or even better mapmyride.com links that I could use as a starting place to plan my trip.
    Also, if you know of any cycling groups that may be good to reach out to, that would be great too.

    I am planning on flying into Melbourne to see a friend but am open to flying somewhere else to start.

    I appreciate any tips you have,
    Cycling gal
    1. Australia is big ... bigger than mainland USA. 3 weeks will only allow you to see a very limited portion of the country.

    2. When in December? Christmas + coast = very, very busy. But if you're talking early December, it's not so bad.

    3. What would you like to see?

    Victoria (the State where Melbourne is located) is beautiful, with lots of variety. If you want coast, I'd recommend both Wilson's Prom and surrounding area, and the Great Ocean Road. That'll pretty much take up your 3 weeks. I can give you more detail if you want. I've spent approx. 4 years living just north of Melbourne and travelling around Victoria.


    Most of the photos in this collection are of Victoria:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/machka-...7602419256784/

  5. #5
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    Most of the photos in this collection are of Victoria:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/machka-...7602419256784/
    If it is beaches you want, these are some photos of trips Rowan and I have done along the Great Ocean Road and out to Port Fairy. We like the Port Fairy area.


    Near Portland ...


    Waves near Port Fairy ...


    London Bridge, along the Great Ocean Road ...

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    Day rides, touring - circuit or point to point? Distance you can cover in a day? Prefer coast over mountains and inland? Flat or hilly rides preferred?
    http://climbinglama.blogspot.com.au

  7. #7
    Junior Member Cyclinggal's Avatar
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    Machka-
    Wow! Amazing pictures. Thanks for the tips and inspiration. I'm debating between doing it myself (never done a self supported ride before) and with a group. I may reach out again once I have more of an itinerary.
    Thanks again,
    Shireen

  8. #8
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyclinggal View Post
    Machka-
    Wow! Amazing pictures. Thanks for the tips and inspiration. I'm debating between doing it myself (never done a self supported ride before) and with a group. I may reach out again once I have more of an itinerary.
    Thanks again,
    Shireen
    Yeah, do.

    We can probably give you a reasonable idea if it is doable.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Wildwood's Avatar
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    Never been on the AUS/NZ sub-Forum before.
    But since there is a chance I might visit an old friend on assignment in Perth, could anyone answer the initial question ("road cycling for a 2-3 week trip") relative to the western side of your continent - in July/Aug. Tom has mentioned a wine region south of Perth? My style would be 100km/day - don't mind sleeping on the ground but prefer not to carry too much gear, so probably modest hotel/hostel.
    Thanks.
    edit: I should check for WA's rainy months.
    '81 Austro Daimler Olympian, '87 DeRosa Professional, '91 Gary Fisher SuperCaliber, 1999 Calfee TetraPro, '03(?) Macalu Cirrus, '04 Tallerico, '97 Co-Motion Tandem

  10. #10
    Senior Member AnthonyG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wildwood View Post
    Never been on the AUS/NZ sub-Forum before.
    But since there is a chance I might visit an old friend on assignment in Perth, could anyone answer the initial question ("road cycling for a 2-3 week trip") relative to the western side of your continent - in July/Aug. Tom has mentioned a wine region south of Perth? My style would be 100km/day - don't mind sleeping on the ground but prefer not to carry too much gear, so probably modest hotel/hostel.
    Thanks.
    edit: I should check for WA's rainy months.
    You would be looking at the Southern part of Western Australia. You don't have to go too far north to be into desert and semi-desert in WA. July/August is winter in Australia although that probably is a good time to maybe venture a little north. North of Perth is still sparsely populated.

    Yes, July and August is the wettest time of the year in WA.

    Anthony

  11. #11
    Senior Member Wildwood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AnthonyG View Post
    You would be looking at the Southern part of Western Australia. You don't have to go too far north to be into desert and semi-desert in WA. July/August is winter in Australia although that probably is a good time to maybe venture a little north. North of Perth is still sparsely populated.

    Yes, July and August is the wettest time of the year in WA.
    So departing Perth the best alternatives would be: north to Kalbarri hugging the coast through Nambung & Geraldton -- or south to Bunbury, Hamelin Bay, Denmark. I assume East would be rather barren and potentially tough in rainy winter. Also I assume the major highways in/out of Perth are less bicycle friendly. My questions would be road conditions, amount of traffic, & accomodations each direction for a solo rider.

    Or is July/Aug just a bad idea to begin with. Remember, I'm from Seattle so a little rain is OK but no washouts please. TIA
    '81 Austro Daimler Olympian, '87 DeRosa Professional, '91 Gary Fisher SuperCaliber, 1999 Calfee TetraPro, '03(?) Macalu Cirrus, '04 Tallerico, '97 Co-Motion Tandem

  12. #12
    Senior Member AnthonyG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wildwood View Post
    So departing Perth the best alternatives would be: north to Kalbarri hugging the coast through Nambung & Geraldton -- or south to Bunbury, Hamelin Bay, Denmark. I assume East would be rather barren and potentially tough in rainy winter. Also I assume the major highways in/out of Perth are less bicycle friendly. My questions would be road conditions, amount of traffic, & accomodations each direction for a solo rider.

    Or is July/Aug just a bad idea to begin with. Remember, I'm from Seattle so a little rain is OK but no washouts please. TIA
    I'm on the east cost so I'm not an expert on Western Australia. Up to Geralton would be OK. Past Geraldton even the Coast becomes a desert. Going North would be warmer in Winter. Actually I've just looked at the map again (Google Maps). Along the way to Geraldton is still VERY sparsely populated. There will be more to see if you head south from Perth although that will be moving away from the Sun.

    No, it won't be a total washout but the average rainy days is about 16 to 17 days per month at that time. OK, that is a little wet.

    See, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perth

    Anthony

  13. #13
    Senior Member Wildwood's Avatar
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    North for solitude, south for things more things to see and people. Thanks.
    Since solitude usually means fewer cars, if the coastal roads North of Perth are acceptable, then that might be the preference.
    Decisions can be made after (if) I arrive. Got to get a bike locally, so my mate will have that to investigate. Trying to make this trip wonderous if friends in Rotorua NZ are game for skiing in Aug, never experienced 'southern glisse'.
    '81 Austro Daimler Olympian, '87 DeRosa Professional, '91 Gary Fisher SuperCaliber, 1999 Calfee TetraPro, '03(?) Macalu Cirrus, '04 Tallerico, '97 Co-Motion Tandem

  14. #14
    Junior Member Cyclinggal's Avatar
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    Thanks Anthony! I've decided to do the Great Ocean road, then head to NZ and will cycle Christchurch to Queenstown, then Sydney for New Years (no cycling!), then Tasmania for a few days and ending my trip in Melbourne. I will look into local clubs as it would be great to get some good road cycling in at the end.

  15. #15
    Junior Member Cyclinggal's Avatar
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    Wow! Thanks for sharing the pictures. I am even more excited now! Were the roads on the Great Ocean Road OK for cycling? Not too much traffic?

  16. #16
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wildwood View Post
    Or is July/Aug just a bad idea to begin with. Remember, I'm from Seattle so a little rain is OK but no washouts please. TIA
    Just remember that July/Aug is the middle of winter.

    I'd recommend the Albany area southeast of Perth ... beautiful beaches!!


    Photos of Perth and the Albany, Augusta, etc. area ...
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/machka-...7630125700190/

  17. #17
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyclinggal View Post
    Thanks Anthony! I've decided to do the Great Ocean road, then head to NZ and will cycle Christchurch to Queenstown, then Sydney for New Years (no cycling!), then Tasmania for a few days and ending my trip in Melbourne. I will look into local clubs as it would be great to get some good road cycling in at the end.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cyclinggal View Post
    Wow! Thanks for sharing the pictures. I am even more excited now! Were the roads on the Great Ocean Road OK for cycling? Not too much traffic?

    When
    are you planning to go?

    The Great Ocean Road is good for cycling between about mid-February and mid-December ... but mid-December to mid-February (i.e. now) is school holidays, and the road will be busy ... as will accommodations. Lots of traffic. Lots of people. Narrow shoulders. Some parts of it have wider shoulders ... some parts have narrow shoulders ... some parts have crumbling shoulders ... and some parts have no shoulders at all.

    The further west you go, the less traffic there should be. Most people don't go west of Warrnambool ... but of course, that's right at the end of the Great Ocean Road.


    That's quite a bit of hopping around. How long are you planning to spend riding the Great Ocean Road, and how are you planning to get back to ... Melbourne(?) to fly out to NZ?

    Where are you planning to go in Tasmania? It's bigger than you think.

    I lived in Victoria (north of Melbourne) for 4 years, and have just moved to Tasmania.

    Photos of the Great Ocean Road area:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/machka-...detail/?page=6

  18. #18
    Senior Member
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    I was going to reply to this thread sooner. But didn't, figuring the cyclingal would have already finalized plans.

    Mrs. Fred, myself and another couple road the Great Ocean Road over the Xmas/NYE holiday last year. While it's definately busy, we didn't suffer any issues. The drivers of Victoria were/are the most courteous we have ever encountered. We covered from Warnambool to Phillip Island. Using my in-laws place in Geelong as a base of operations. Accommodations in the Loorne to Torquaay area are the most challenging aspect, as there's a music festival that consumes everything.

    The train can get you from Melbourne to Geelong and out to Warnambool. Or, back again. They won't guarantee room for bikes. But, we had absolutely no issue with that. The only issue we did have was when they consolodated two scheduled runs into one, because of low ticket sales. It really was a show up and see when the next train might be coming sort of afair.

    Make sure to take tires that will allow you to use secondary roads. We were a bit out of place with our 23-28mm. And would have happily taken more of the off the beaten path options if we had slightly wider tires.

    The only reason to go to Phillip Island was to see the penguins come ashore. Otherwise its just a summer holiday town. But, we used the two ferries between there and the Bellamarine Peninsula and found a couple wineries that we enjoyed on the Pornington Peninsula. So, all in all we still enjoyed that portion of the trip.

    We did try to get on the road reasonably early each day. Summer holiday makers don't seem to be out and about in their cars 'til mid day or so.

    We enjoyed ourselves. But, again, accommodation between loorne and torquaay was the crux.
    Birth Certificate, Passport, Marriage License Driver's License and Residency Permit all say I'm a Fred. I guess there's no denying it.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigfred View Post
    Mrs. Fred, myself and another couple road the Great Ocean Road over the Xmas/NYE holiday last year. While it's definately busy, we didn't suffer any issues. The drivers of Victoria were/are the most courteous we have ever encountered.
    Must be the high proportion of European tourists traveling on the GOR that made you think that! As for the most part Vic drivers are extremely intolerant of cyclists!
    http://climbinglama.blogspot.com.au

  20. #20
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dalai View Post
    Must be the high proportion of European tourists traveling on the GOR that made you think that! As for the most part Vic drivers are extremely intolerant of cyclists!
    I have to say I was quite surprised by the bigfred's comment ... but then he's from NZ and I've heard the drivers there are not the most courteous, so perhaps the somewhat scary Victorian (or more specifically Melbourne and area) drivers are comparatively better than NZ drivers.

    (As an aside, the best drivers I've encountered have been in Alberta, Canada)


    I also know that one Christmas I tried to book accommodations anywhere along the coast from Lakes Entrance to Port Fairy, and there was nothing available. We ended up in Mt Gambier, SA ... which was nice, but that's some distance away!!

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dalai View Post
    Must be the high proportion of European tourists traveling on the GOR that made you think that! As for the most part Vic drivers are extremely intolerant of cyclists!
    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    I have to say I was quite surprised by the bigfred's comment ... but then he's from NZ and I've heard the drivers there are not the most courteous, so perhaps the somewhat scary Victorian (or more specifically Melbourne and area) drivers are comparatively better than NZ drivers.

    (As an aside, the best drivers I've encountered have been in Alberta, Canada)


    I also know that one Christmas I tried to book accommodations anywhere along the coast from Lakes Entrance to Port Fairy, and there was nothing available. We ended up in Mt Gambier, SA ... which was nice, but that's some distance away!!
    An American, transplanted to Aotearoa. I find NZ drivers comparatively better than those in the States. So, maybe I'm measuring against a pretty low bar. In the US I've had drivers cross the center line to play chicken with me, shot guns pointed out windows at me, a friend lassoo'ed by the passanger of a truck hanging out the window and dragged from his bike and down the road, etc. Literally Assault with a Motor Vehicle. After that it doesn't take much to seem "better". Or, in the case of Victoria "Great". It probably doesn't hurt that we were there within 18 months of Evans winning the TdF. But, even as far from Geelong as Warnambool there were large signs informing drivers that the road was a "Cycling Route". And we had very few passes that were anything but very safe.

    On the lodging front. It probably helped that we were very flexible in our lodging requirements, utilizing anything from extremely nice holiday homes to taking over a backpacker's bunk room at a campground.
    Birth Certificate, Passport, Marriage License Driver's License and Residency Permit all say I'm a Fred. I guess there's no denying it.

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    Some serious and scary incidents Bigfred! For the most part motorists here are okay, it is the small percentage (I have had close passes, cut me off etc) stick in the mind. Though I have had the chicken drivers, stuff thrown from moving cars, yelled abuse, door swung open as they drove past and even a couple times bogans stopping to get out and want a fight. It is getting slowly better here...

    Not sure where in the States you were, but I found the complete opposite when I was there for 3 weeks in September. I rode in CA, CO and AZ and was very surprised how nicely the motorist interacted after hearing such horror stories. Especially in CO where most vehicles were huge trucks and many drivers wearing camouflaged clothing!
    http://climbinglama.blogspot.com.au

  23. #23
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Well, I don't think you're too likely to find Victorian drivers (or even Australian drivers in general) as bad as what you've described bigfred. Where in the US did you live??

    From my experience, Australian drivers tend to drive fast and close. I've been clipped by a mirror once, and have bailed into the ditch a few times. Heart in mouth stuff.

    And I did experience quite a few "fast and close' drivers on the Great Ocean Road. If you're uncomfortable with that, ride the GOR during the week, not on the weekend, and ride early in the morning.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    Well, I don't think you're too likely to find Victorian drivers (or even Australian drivers in general) as bad as what you've described bigfred. Where in the US did you live??

    From my experience, Australian drivers tend to drive fast and close. I've been clipped by a mirror once, and have bailed into the ditch a few times. Heart in mouth stuff.

    And I did experience quite a few "fast and close' drivers on the Great Ocean Road. If you're uncomfortable with that, ride the GOR during the week, not on the weekend, and ride early in the morning.
    The places Dalai are some of the more cycling aware.

    I was raised, for the most part, in Missouri (the Mid-West). Most of my worst experiences have come from guys in jacked up 4X4s. There have been exceptions, but, spend enough time on the road and we'll all accumulate some close calls and contact. I recon they're simply more memorable than close calls in an auto because of the vulnerability and stakes.
    Birth Certificate, Passport, Marriage License Driver's License and Residency Permit all say I'm a Fred. I guess there's no denying it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bigfred View Post
    In the US I've had drivers cross the center line to play chicken with me, shot guns pointed out windows at me, a friend lassoo'ed by the passanger of a truck hanging out the window and dragged from his bike and down the road, etc. Literally Assault with a Motor Vehicle.
    Crikey. You can't seriously mean what I think you mean. That sounds like something out of the 19th century. Worse than the final scene from Easy Riders really.

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