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  1. #1
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    Need information

    Hi i am thinking of riding around Australia but i don't know what i need to bring and how much money i would need. can you tell me what is the minimum amount of gear and money i'll need? also how long should it take?

    If anyone can help with providing the information i would really appreciate it

  2. #2
    Senior Member 009jim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by someguy1357 View Post
    Hi i am thinking of riding around Australia but i don't know what i need to bring and how much money i would need. can you tell me what is the minimum amount of gear and money i'll need? also how long should it take?

    If anyone can help with providing the information i would really appreciate it
    It's going to be about 15-20,000 km (more than 10,000 miles). If you did an average of 50 miles per day you'll need 200 days, so maybe you should plan to take a year. People doing it in cars take 3-6 months leisurely.

    I've lived in some of the most remote areas but have not done cycle touring myself. I've driven past guys who were cycling around Australia when they were at about the most remote part of the journey. You are looking at 250 miles between food and water (in those remote areas). It is hot and dry, like 120 degrees F. If you're on the main highway, there will be someone who would come by and help you if you got stranded.

    You could consider riding at night, rather than daytime. I've seen guys that are brown from the sun and covered in dust/dirt. I'd assume they had to sleep by the roadside. It is quite safe by my experience.

    I recommend it. You'll have a great time and it will be a real achievement. Start from my place in Brisbane if you want to.

  3. #3
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    I would be starting from Melbourne, then head north towards Brisbane. What i need to know is what is the bare minimum amount of stuff i would need to take and how much money i would need saved up for if i were to take a year to do it. if anyone can provide a list of stuff or a link to where i can find out the minimum amount of stuff i would need I'd appreciate it.

    thanks

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    Senior Member saddlesores's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by someguy1357 View Post
    Hi i am thinking of riding around Australia but i don't know what i need to bring and how much money i would need. can you tell me what is the minimum amount of gear and money i'll need? also how long should it take?

    If anyone can help with providing the information i would really appreciate it
    have you ever done any cycle touring?

  5. #5
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    First of all, Rowan (my husband) is Australian, and I am a Canadian who is also a permanent resident in Australia. I've lived there 3 years. Our home for those 3 years was just north of Melbourne.


    Now we need some information from you.

    1) When do you want to start? Australia is in the southern hemisphere so Melbourne is in the early stages of spring right now.

    2) Have you done any cycletouring before? What equipment do you have? Do you have a bicycle?

    3) What country are you from? If you are from Canada or the US, you'll notice that some prices for some things (like food) are a little bit higher than they are in Canada or the US.

    4) Do you plan to bush camp? Camp in campgrounds? Use hostels? Use caravan park cabins? Use hotels?

  6. #6
    mev
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    Quote Originally Posted by 009jim View Post
    It's going to be about 15-20,000 km (more than 10,000 miles). If you did an average of 50 miles per day you'll need 200 days, so maybe you should plan to take a year. People doing it in cars take 3-6 months leisurely.

    ...You are looking at 250 miles between food and water (in those remote areas). It is hot and dry, like 120 degrees F. If you're on the main highway, there will be someone who would come by and help you if you got stranded...
    I cycled around Australia in 2001. My route was 234 days and 19491km. However, I as part of this, I spent four weeks in Tasmania and also cycled up from Port Augusta to Alice and Uluru. Hottest temperatures were nowhere near 120F, but I also timed my seasons to be in the north during the dry and came up the center in October before it became too hot. I also didn't need to ride at night, though there were a few early mornings I had some peaceful riding under moonlight as sun was coming up.

    I stayed on the main sealed roads and largest gap between points of civilization was 286km (http://www.mvermeulen.com/oneyear/Ph...llery3/397.htm). There were descriptions such as this one (http://members.iinet.net.au/~bikefish/westcoast.htm) that gave points of water stops. I also found the Caravaner's guide with camp locations to be helpful. For example, the bikefish site above gives a few water points in between that 286km gap between Roebuck and Sandfire roadhouses.

  7. #7
    mev
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    Quote Originally Posted by someguy1357 View Post
    I would be starting from Melbourne, then head north towards Brisbane. What i need to know is what is the bare minimum amount of stuff i would need to take and how much money i would need saved up for if i were to take a year to do it. if anyone can provide a list of stuff or a link to where i can find out the minimum amount of stuff i would need I'd appreciate it.

    thanks
    Finances are going to depend on the cycling style including where you stay, etc. Amounts have likely changed some but Andrew and Joanne kept track of their 23-month trip finances around Australia and recorded it here: http://www.where2pedalto.com/finance.htm

    I didn't necessarily do my trip on the cheap (though in large stretches the only lodging choices was camping, or in some cases a donga at a roadhouse). However, the exchange rate has made the Australian $ much stronger in past decade so I'd have to save more for equivalent trip today than 2001. This is the list of equipment I brought: http://www.mvermeulen.com/oneyear/equipment.htm

    If you haven't done a lot of touring yet, I'd recommend doing some shorter tours before. Probably no better way to work out your own style as well as refining your own equipment list. It also tells whether the rough time frame is realistic for yourself or whether you likely want to go quicker or slower than this (e.g. a year is perfectly reasonable time, though I found my trip of 8 months was long enough and I was happier spending the other 4 months of that year cycling elsewhere in addition to Australia).

  8. #8
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    Some things off the top of my head:

    1. How old are you? Have you looked into visa arrangements? A tourist visa for a 30+ year-old lasts for three months. If you are under 30, you can come in on a working holiday visa, but at the end of the renewal intervals you have to prove you have been working and can continue to work. Renewing visas is not easy out in the middle of nowhere. One former poster here was banned from entering Australia again for seven years when he remained in the country after his visa expired.

    2. Be aware that the wet is a major weather obstacle in Northern Australia, and occurs in summer (ie, anytime from November through to March). They can be light or they can result in major, major flooding that has communities cut off for weeks.

    3. Australia is a big country. It has as low population density. If you like having people around you, or live in a big city in the US, for example, the isolation and solitude might get to you.

    4. The coastal routes look attractive on the map, but the residential population gravitates to the coastal regions, which can make some (but not all) along the eastern seaboard unpleasant to ride.

    5. The Australian dollar has been performing quite well against the greenback in the past year to 18 months, and has been above parity more often than not. That means that the prices you see in Australia can translate almost directly to US dollars. Going back five or six years ago, the Australian dollar was much weaker, and an American could buy much more with his/her money.

    6. Australia is quite well served by bike shops, even in regional centres. Small towns may or may not have a sports store that has a section for cycling nestled away somewhere, and if you have stuff like STIs or even 700C tyres, you might be struggling to get them in those small towns. But Australia Post here is really quite good value and stuff can be delivered to even the remotest towns within a few days.

    7. Australian drivers in the cities are quite aggressive. In the country, much less so, but then the city drivers get out there and spoil it for everyone.

    8. Campgrounds are quite common through Australia. They range in standard of course, but there have been only a few I have seen that I have taken a look at and moved on because they looked eerie. Backpacker hostels are quite frequent, too, and the old fashioned country hotel is an option. B&Bs are an option, but they are expensive.

    There is a Canadian guy who's just done Brisbane to Melbourne, and he may be able to give you some perspective. I think his name is SparkyGA.
    Dream. Dare. Do.

  9. #9
    mev
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rowan View Post
    Some things off the top of my head:

    1. How old are you? Have you looked into visa arrangements? A tourist visa for a 30+ year-old lasts for three months. If you are under 30, you can come in on a working holiday visa, but at the end of the renewal intervals you have to prove you have been working and can continue to work. Renewing visas is not easy out in the middle of nowhere. One former poster here was banned from entering Australia again for seven years when he remained in the country after his visa expired.
    What I did in 2001 was get a long-stay tourist visa for 12 months. It looks like Australia still has them as an E676 (http://www.visabureau.com/australia/travel-visa.aspx) and probably easier than trying to renew a short-stay visa. It did require me so send passport and paperwork off to get the visa.
    Last edited by mev; 09-16-12 at 05:23 PM.

  10. #10
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    i'm thinking of doing it early next year if i'm able to save up enough money (hoping to roughly 5-6 thousand). i am an Australian citizen and i have a bike but nothing else, but am looking into getting them when i can i just need a list of equipment i definitely need and what kind of stuff i will need to take with me e.g: clothes etc and i'm also thinking of camping bush to minimize costs

  11. #11
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Do you have a tent? Sleeping mat? Sleeping bag? Something to carry them in?

    If you have those things, go for an overnight tour to your local campground and figure out what else you might like to have along. That's what the rest of us have done.


    Here's my packing list, which I first created on a 3-week tour of Europe in 2003, and then refined for a 3-month tour of Australia in 2004, and then refined again for the RTW tour we're on now. I am carrying much of that stuff, but not all. Maybe it will give you a starting point, but the best thing is to put together a collection of equipment, and then go try it out. You'll discover that you don't need this, but do want that. Several weekend or week-long tours later, and you'll have the items you think you need.

    What is your route? You said you'd like to go from Melbourne to Brisbane, but is that it, or are you planning for a longer tour?

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