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Old 04-29-14, 12:53 AM   #1
m2c
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Melbourne to Cairns Bike Ride

Hi Everyone,
I have decided on my year holiday here in Australia to buy a bike and cycle from Melbourne to Cairns (leaving in 1 month). I have been cycle touring in Europe for years and years but don't want to pay a fortune shipping out all my kit and bike (steel frame Orbit) so am looking around at bikes here that might do the job. At the moment I am looking at Kona Dew Plus and Norco VFR bikes as they seem a good price for what they are and can take the weight and are quite nifty. Would love to hear from anyone with advice on these bikes as well as things to look out for cycling in Australia. Thanks

Adam

25,000 miles of touring under my belt and only one accident
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Old 04-30-14, 07:10 AM   #2
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I can't offer you advice on those particular bicycles.

But ... what route are you planning to cycle? I would recommend that you avoid the coast between Lakes Entrance and Wollongong ... although, you're starting this trip right in the middle of winter, so perhaps there might not be too much tourist traffic. It'll be too cold and wet for most tourists. There will, however, quite likely be a lot of logging traffic.

Rowan and I asked around about cycling up the coast and were warned away from it because of the logging traffic etc. Apparently the bit between Orbost and Eden is the worst part.


If you're planning to go inland, and if you're plan is to go to Canberra and Sydney, just remember that you'll have to cross the Great Dividing Range ... in the middle of winter. There will be snow. Are you prepared for cycling through the mountains and snow in winter?


You could go even further inland ... come up Euroa, Benalla, Wangaratta, Albury/Wodonga ... that part is pretty good, and I can offer more advice about cycling in that area (Rowan and I used to live in that part of the world). But after Albury/Wondonga it gets remote.


So, first of all, what route are you planning to take?

And where are you now?
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Old 04-30-14, 07:44 AM   #3
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Since (as it seems) you are already in Oz, it would be sensible to post your query here, after perhaps read some of the existing threads that have discussed the route in some depth.

Last edited by ekibayno; 04-30-14 at 07:50 AM.
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Old 05-02-14, 12:51 AM   #4
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Since (as it seems) you are already in Oz, it would be sensible to post your query here, after perhaps read some of the existing threads that have discussed the route in some depth.
Beat me to the suggestion

Andrew
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Old 05-05-14, 08:23 AM   #5
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Just get a cheap secondhand bike n put some racks on it n off u go its aus its a rip off and there are plenty good enough bikes gettin chucked out all the time!

No major traffic to look out for its as dead as a doornail compared to other parts of the world traffic is crazier in an asian village than sydney, rest stops everywhere aus is easy easy if not a bit boring cos of long stretches and all havin that same gumtree look to it.... Itll be cold but nowhere close to europe, there are mountains true but not a big deal after 25,000 mile in europe.... Theyll be more like hills... Just enjoy the peace n quiet, aussies are drama queens theyve been brainwashed by being over regulated they think everythings a hazard so best get advice from Other foreigners who done the route.... Peace
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Old 05-31-14, 04:48 PM   #6
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Hi Everyone,
Thanks for your replies, we went with Kona Dew Plus in the end as the shop gave us a good deal. Pannier racks were loose, the kickstand nearly fell off (I took them off in the end as they were useless on a loaded bike) and had some loose spokes on the front wheel so while we got a good deal, they were a little rubbish at putting the bike together to start. Anyway we set off using google maps (cycling setting) and found some awesome cycle tracks, quiet country roads and places so far. Its only the first week and we're taking it easy (to avoid her knees packing in) so about 380km done with 1000's to go but so far so good. Weather has been wet/dry/windy/sunny/stormy and foggy so a full range of things in the first week.
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Old 05-31-14, 09:24 PM   #7
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Hi Everyone,
Thanks for your replies, we went with Kona Dew Plus in the end as the shop gave us a good deal. Pannier racks were loose, the kickstand nearly fell off (I took them off in the end as they were useless on a loaded bike) and had some loose spokes on the front wheel so while we got a good deal, they were a little rubbish at putting the bike together to start. Anyway we set off using google maps (cycling setting) and found some awesome cycle tracks, quiet country roads and places so far. Its only the first week and we're taking it easy (to avoid her knees packing in) so about 380km done with 1000's to go but so far so good. Weather has been wet/dry/windy/sunny/stormy and foggy so a full range of things in the first week.
Where have you been? Melbourne to ... ???

And I expect you'll get a whole lot more similar weather. It is winter here now.
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Old 05-31-14, 09:37 PM   #8
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Where have you been? Melbourne to ... ???

And I expect you'll get a whole lot more similar weather. It is winter here now.
We started in Melbourne and then took the following routes:

Day 1: https://goo.gl/maps/JQK3B

Day 2: https://goo.gl/maps/ot3Ea

Day 3: https://goo.gl/maps/CTvzB

Day 4: https://goo.gl/maps/n7g69

Day 5: https://goo.gl/maps/dfBEW

Day 6: https://goo.gl/maps/6tAzI
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Old 05-31-14, 09:45 PM   #9
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We started in Melbourne and then took the following routes:

Day 1: https://goo.gl/maps/JQK3B

Day 2: https://goo.gl/maps/ot3Ea

Day 3: https://goo.gl/maps/CTvzB

Day 4: https://goo.gl/maps/n7g69

Day 5: https://goo.gl/maps/dfBEW

Day 6: https://goo.gl/maps/6tAzI

I like that area of Victoria, and I also like the plethora of quiet country roads Victoria has to offer. You didn't go down Wilson's Prom? Was that because of time or is Tidal River closed for the season?
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Old 05-31-14, 10:03 PM   #10
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I like that area of Victoria, and I also like the plethora of quiet country roads Victoria has to offer. You didn't go down Wilson's Prom? Was that because of time or is Tidal River closed for the season?
We went there already by car during the summer so wanted to see something new. You're right the smaller roads are really quiet but the A roads or B roads are full of trucks. Not so bad if there is plenty of space on the hard shoulder but otherwise a bit hairy for herself as she's not cycle toured before. I did 3 weeks in Poland and it was trucks trucks trucks in the rain, not fun.
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Old 05-31-14, 10:07 PM   #11
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We went there already by car during the summer so wanted to see something new. You're right the smaller roads are really quiet but the A roads or B roads are full of trucks. Not so bad if there is plenty of space on the hard shoulder but otherwise a bit hairy for herself as she's not cycle toured before. I did 3 weeks in Poland and it was trucks trucks trucks in the rain, not fun.
Oh OK ... something new is good then.


And yes, the A and B roads can be quite busy, especially up the east coast, I've heard.
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Old 06-01-14, 10:13 AM   #12
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At least down there, it gets warmer as you go North ..
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Old 06-01-14, 04:57 PM   #13
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At least down there, it gets warmer as you go North ..
and drier as they head towards the dry season.

Andrew
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