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Old 05-19-17, 12:25 PM   #1
3615gregoire
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1 year Australia tour

I am going to tour Australia with my partner and our dog. We will arrive in Melbourne mid-October. I am starting looking at the route we want to take: we rather go around than cut through the middle and we want to avoid the hottest locations / times. Any advice? Thanks!
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Old 05-19-17, 01:25 PM   #2
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Link to my Australia tour: http://www.mvermeulen.com/oneyear

The essential idea I followed was to be in the north during the winter and south during the summer.

You are arriving during Spring, so I wouldn't go north too quickly. Instead, I might start by taking ferry to Tasmania and spending four to six weeks fully exploring Tassie. After that wind my way north via Victoria/NSW and plan on arriving in northern Queensland in April or so. Slowly work way across and then as winter turns to Spring, go south and catch wildflowers in WA before crossing Nularbor to finish the loop.

Something else you could do before heading all way north would instead be cycling to Alice/Uluru and taking the Ghan back. However, that doesn't meet your "I'd like to cycle around" objective.

My trip was 8 months, but essentially included a month in Tassie as well as cycling up to Alice to add to my circumnavigation.
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Old 05-19-17, 01:38 PM   #3
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Yeah, don't pull a Johnny Depp and try to sneak your dog into the country. Realize they have stringent import procedures, including a quarantine period: http://www.agriculture.gov.au/cats-d...guide-for-dogs

Other than that, no, but have a good time!
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Old 05-19-17, 01:53 PM   #4
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Mev, that's great advice! Thank you.

Jefnvk, we are careful with that and we are following the guideline, thanks!
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Old 05-19-17, 06:47 PM   #5
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My advice. Leave your dog at home.You will find that dogs are not permitted in places such as national parks, many campgrounds and other accommodation places, and transport will be a hassle.

Also, and while this may not apply to you, illicit drugs are a major issue here, and for better or worse, that includes cannabis/weed/dope/grass. The laws are entirely different to those in the Netherlands in relation to cannabis and importation in particular is dangerous territory.

Australia is a big country. Do you have any particular interests? What are you expecting to see or experience? Have you considered a working holiday visa if you are both under the age of 30? The visa allows you to work on farms and in businesses in regional centres, enabling you to keep a healthy cashflow, and if you work enough days, you can apply to stay in Australia for a second year. This is also a good strategy for using your bicycles to travel between centres, and you can take extended breaks between jobs to see and experience the sights. The best-known resources is The Harvest Trail.

mev is right about going north in the southern hemisphere winter, and going south in the summer. The middle of Australia contains a lot of hot desert which you would need to be fully prepared for.
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Old 05-19-17, 07:11 PM   #6
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Be warned! Australia has a hard core percentage of motorists who believe that cyclists do not belong on the roads. Be prepared for punishment passes, objects thrown from cars and more such fun and games.

"Australia ‘world’s worst place for cyclists’, says Danish rider who’s circled the globe..."



Sydney cycling: Australia?s biggest city ?world?s worst place for riders?


"...Safe Cycling Australia Founder Dave Sharp wants police and Facebook to crack down on pages like ‘Brisbane and Cyclists,’ where people continuously post threats against cyclists, including allegedly condoning killing them if they did not get off the roads...."


No Cookies | The Courier Mail


Mind you, where I live it is quite OK as most locals are very courteous and careful around cyclists - the blow ins and tourists can be a different story.

EDIT: I would not tour Australia with a dog. You will not be welcomed in many places with a dog and water can be very scarce in the outback.

Last edited by Ball Bearing; 05-19-17 at 07:17 PM.
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Old 05-19-17, 07:44 PM   #7
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Be warned! Australia has a hard core percentage of motorists who believe that cyclists do not belong on the roads. Be prepared for punishment passes, objects thrown from cars and more such fun and games.

"Australia ‘world’s worst place for cyclists’, says Danish rider who’s circled the globe..."



Sydney cycling: Australia?s biggest city ?world?s worst place for riders?


"...Safe Cycling Australia Founder Dave Sharp wants police and Facebook to crack down on pages like ‘Brisbane and Cyclists,’ where people continuously post threats against cyclists, including allegedly condoning killing them if they did not get off the roads...."


No Cookies | The Courier Mail


Mind you, where I live it is quite OK as most locals are very courteous and careful around cyclists - the blow ins and tourists can be a different story.

EDIT: I would not tour Australia with a dog. You will not be welcomed in many places with a dog and water can be very scarce in the outback.
I have to say that Sydney is the pits. And NSW roads in general are the worst I have ridden in Australia. I simply won't plan to ride in the state.

Melbourne, in my experience, is great. The trams sort of have given motorists a bit more patiences and are great speed moderators on the main roads in the city.

Brisbane, in my limited experience, is all right. Adelaide is great; Perth is good. I live in Hobart, and was born and bred here, but on return from about a decade in Victoria, I've decided it is too much like Sydney (a mini-pits if you like). The northern part of Tasmania is much better, including Launceston.

Generally, Queensland and NSW drivers visiting Tasmania are not respectful of cyclists at all.

There are awful people in every population group. Once you are out in regional/country areas, things seem to settle down a bit. Stay off the main highways as much as possible to avoid the heavy truck and high-speed car traffic. Country Victoria was delightful for us. Similar for the other states except NSW.
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Old 05-19-17, 08:00 PM   #8
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...Something else you could do before heading all way north would instead be cycling to Alice/Uluru and taking the Ghan back. However, that doesn't meet your "I'd like to cycle around" objective.

My trip was 8 months, but essentially included a month in Tassie as well as cycling up to Alice to add to my circumnavigation.
would be a shame to go all the way to australia and skip the center. not just alice, also some
nice parks both a day or two ride east or west.

in the winter, after you leave darwin, bike south to alice. spend a week or so in the area, then
take a bus back up to katherine and continue the circumnavigation.

if time is an issue, better to spend it in alice springs area. make up time by taking a bus from
broome to geroldton.........unless you really really really wanna see 1000 km of flat scrubland
with no sea views, but plenty of stiff headwinds.
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Old 05-19-17, 08:23 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by 3615gregoire View Post
I am going to tour Australia with my partner and our dog. We will arrive in Melbourne mid-October. I am starting looking at the route we want to take: we rather go around than cut through the middle and we want to avoid the hottest locations / times. Any advice? Thanks!
Yes, first ... regarding the dog. I assume you know you'll have to have it quarantined for some time after arrival.
http://www.agriculture.gov.au/cats-dogs


Secondly, how old are you? If you're under 30, a 1-year tour of Australia should be all right, but if you're over 30, it is unlikely you'll be able to get a visa for that length of time.


Thirdly, have a good look over this site: https://www.border.gov.au/


Where are you coming from? If you're coming from New Zealand, you might be all right with the above issues, but if you're coming from another country, do check the rules and regulations carefully.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

As for the route, the hottest time of year is January/February and the hottest area is the north.
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Old 05-20-17, 04:50 AM   #10
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It'll suck with the dog on a bike. National Parks are a no go zone.
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Old 05-20-17, 07:32 AM   #11
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AND, How will you get a tourist visa to be good for a Year?

Ireland/UK was 6 months..







....

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Old 05-20-17, 07:39 AM   #12
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AND, How will you get a tourist visa to be good for a Year?
If he's under 30 he can get a working tourist visa for a year. But if he's over 30, the best he can do is 3 months.
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Old 05-20-17, 07:40 AM   #13
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AND, How will you get a tourist visa to be good for a Year?
not a problem.
embassy will tell you required documentation.
in my case for 1-year tourist visa, needed
to show RT tix and bank statement or other
proof of funds.
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Old 05-20-17, 09:09 AM   #14
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Thank you all for the input!

One year tourist visa + dog import process are being sorted.

Indeed the temperature will be a challenge for the dog, that's why I'm planning around the weather.
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Old 05-20-17, 12:08 PM   #15
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"Australia ‘world’s worst place for cyclists’, says Danish rider who’s circled the globe...".
For what it is worth, doesn't necessarily match my experience during my trip (I am in midst of riding across my sixth continent and have ridden in a little over 30 countries).

One thing that may explain some of the discrepancy: Australia is a surprisingly urban country, at least if you add up what percentage of population lives in Capital cities or adjoining metro areas (Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide, Hobart, Canberra, Darwin).

I did visit each of these cities, but spent very little time in them e.g. 2 days Sydney, 2 days Melbourne, 2 days Adelaide, etc. I'm pretty sure I spent less than 10% of my trip in metro areas where greater than 80% of the population lives and likely more than 80% of my time in areas with less than 5% of the population.

So mine was more experience of someone cycling around Australia than the more typical Australian cyclist.

Did I have an automobile interaction I recall in 234 days in Australia?: sure. Was it the worst place I've cycled?: absolutely not.
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Old 05-20-17, 12:14 PM   #16
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AND, How will you get a tourist visa to be good for a Year?

Ireland/UK was 6 months..







....
Best spot to get details is from embassy web site.

When I went (quite a while ago and with US passport, so might be different now), there was an a standard ETA visa for 90 days that happens mostly electronically. There was also a more explicit visa that I could apply and get pasted in my passport. I filled out the forms, went to nearby consulate and ended up with a 12-month visa pasted into my passport.

Check with local embassy in the Netherlands to see visa types and requirements for Dutch citizens.
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Old 05-20-17, 02:48 PM   #17
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"Australia ‘world’s worst place for cyclists’, says Danish rider who’s circled the globe..."
Here is his blog for the day he cycled into Sydney: Day 839: Kiami ? Sydney! | Cycling The Globe

His text suggests that he attributes it to Sydney and not to Australia in general:
Then something happened that I haven’t experienced before. Three times drivers would roll down their window and yell “****ing Cyclist”. I wouldn’t say I was doing anything out of the ordinary, so I guess these people just didn’t like cyclists in general. Strange behaviour, and not really in line with the otherwise very positive conception I have of Australians.
Here is my blog for day I cycled into Sydney: December 11-20

I mostly excited at completing one lap . I had spent the previous evening staying with some very nice people I had met camping with their caravan on the Nularbor and their stayed at their house. I finished the day with some other round-Australia cyclists who I had helped celebrate their circumnavigation and now they were helping celebrate mine.

So I don't doubt that he had an ugly day riding into Sydney and that he told someone writing an article about it. However, if his trip was like mine: one day riding into Sydney, one day riding out is a very small part of a much longer trip.

In my case, I would put some US cities higher on the bad experience list than Sydney, e.g. Miami, Detroit, Chicago, Houston and parts of LA - but that was probably luck of the draw in my touring.

Last edited by mev; 05-20-17 at 06:20 PM.
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Old 05-20-17, 07:07 PM   #18
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No doubt that Australia is worth touring. I happened to notice the OP is from The Netherlands and I don't think there could possibly be two more opposite cycling/motoring cultures. I am glad that your touring experience was positive - unfortunately, the cyclists here that experience daily harassment and endangerment experience a very different reality. Passing through and living in a place are often very different experiences.

Like I said before, where I live the local motorists are normally extremely cautious when I am out for a ride. Being in an affluent rural gentrified village is a factor, I'm sure.

The late Mike Hall Tweeted a warning...

"...As he passed through the Allansford area of Victoria on March 26, he posted a message on Twitter warning other cyclists about a white saloon which had “just tucked his front wing under my right knee”. He added the hashtag “#intimidation”. Responding to concerned replies, he added: “I’m fine, thanks to those asking, you can add about half a dozen close fast passes since last night though unfortunately” He continued: “Riders will want to be alert when entering this area, don’t hug the shoulder, give yourself somewhere to bail to.”

Read more at: Harrogate cyclist Mike Hall killed on trans-Australia race after warning of ?danger cars? - Yorkshire Post
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Old 05-21-17, 10:20 AM   #19
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If he's under 30 he can get a working tourist visa for a year. But if he's over 30, the best he can do is 3 months.
Yup, 3 months for this 68+ y.o. rider works for me. Just applied for my ETA today and should have it in a couple of days. No VOA available for this Canuck.

Good comments about not travelling with a dog - then there is the quarantine "thing". Australians are great people and you must respect their unique habitat, and thus their quarantine laws - which also applies to SOME unprocessed foods. Check the quarantine rules...
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Old 05-21-17, 10:43 AM   #20
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If he's under 30 he can get a working tourist visa for a year. But if he's over 30, the best he can do is 3 months.
Here is the link I found on Australia Embassy in USA: Visas and migration
Click on "What is the best visa for me" and you go to the visa finder: Visa Finder

Click on "holiday or vacation" and then enter "USA" passport holder and age "31 to 50" or "51+", and one gets two options:
- ETA subclass 601 - for 3 months
- Visitor Visa subclass 600 - for 3, 6 or 12 months

It was subclass 600 visa that I used. It cost a little more and had a formal application, but it allowed me to visit Australia for up to 12 months with a multiple-entry visa. Changing to Canada also gives 601 and 600. Changing to the Netherlands seems to give only class 600. However, in all these situations, the Australian Government Department of Immigration and Border Protection seems to suggest a 12-month visa is possible.

As far as climate goes, the following come from Bureau of Meteorology. As I recall during my investigation it wasn't so much that summer was a huge amount warmer in the north - but two related things: (1) much more humid, e.g. sweltering as well as cyclone season (2) bigger changes as far as being colder in the south



It the OP is Dutch, another useful site to consider is http://wereldfietser.nl It is a Dutch cycling organization that has also collected useful information about different countries (landeninformatie) including a whole page on Australia: http://wiki.vakantiefietser.be/index...Australi%C3%AB I was born in Amsterdam and speak and read Dutch. I cycled across Russia with someone active with wereldfietser.nl group

One last link and perhaps a little dated by now, but I found invaluable was a listing of water stops: http://members.iinet.net.au/~bikefish/fact_sheets.html since there can be large gaps.

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Old 05-21-17, 11:04 AM   #21
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I'm in Sydney and for the most part agree with what is said above. It gets bloody warm here mate during our summer. I'd stay south during the summer months. Good chunks of the middle are closed to all vehicles during the summer. The thing to remember about the Alice is that the temp Averages in the mid 30's with 40's daily during summer. There is no water to speak of in the red center so make sure you plan really well. I'd stick to the coast where it is more populated unless you are taking a bus or some other vehicle to the center. Dogs are a big no no in National parks even just passing through in cars. It's a lovely country for sure,, but hot dry and unforgiving in the center.

Cheers
Bear

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