Bike Riding

Evening rainbow over the countryside near Oatlands, Tasmania, Australia
Evening rainbow over the countryside near Oatlands, Tasmania, Australia

This Page is devoted to information about some highly enjoyable Australian Cycling tours I have helped organise and undertaken with friends (Greg Malcher, Steve Carey, John McDonald and Chris Brennan) in recent years. The information is provided to give other people ideas for their own tours of approx 6-9 days duration (300-720k  total).

Several one week rides are based loosely on similar rides suggested in the Lonely Planet Cycling Australia (2009). We have chosen the (relatively) easy way: not carrying a tent and staying in pre-booked accommodation along the way. For interstate trips (using Melbourne as a starting point) we have typically flown, packing our bikes and panniers in a cardboard bike box which becomes our standard airline baggage. The distances shown below include side trips to interesting places along the way. All trips have been out of the busiest times (typically November) and wherever possible on relatively quiet, rural Australian back roads, or roads with a decent shoulder.

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The itinerary for a recent 2 week September 2017 Romanian Bike ride is included that included Barry Golding and five other Australian guys.

My favourite bicycle rides ex Kingston

105km loop to Newstead:  via Kooroocheang, Werona, Sandton, Yandoit, Limestone Road to Guildford, Strangways, coffee at Dig Cafe Newstead, returning same way but via Clydesdale.

100km Majorca Loop: via Smeaton, Campbelltown, Tullaroop Reservoir, Majorca, Red Lion, Mount Cameron with coffee at Bread & Circus in Clunes, then back via Ullina, Lawrence & Allendale.

65km loop: via Smeaton, Campbelltown,  Clunes then back via Ullina, Lawrence & Allendale.

November 2018 Ride: Beechworth to Canberra, 8 days in total 600km total, 5,500 metres total climbing. Six participants.

  • Ballarat to Melbourne then Wangaratta by train, then ride 44 km via the Alpine Rail Trail to Beechworth
  • 87km, Beechworth to Tallangatta (overnight Tallangatta Hotel) via Tangambalanga
  • 80km, Tallangatta to Corryong (overnight Colac Colac Caravan Park, 6km out of Corryong)
  • 94km, Corryong across the Murray to  Tumbarumba, overnight Caravan Park.
  • 86km Tumbarumba to Tumut via Batlow, overnight Ribbonwood Cottages.
  • 72km Tumut to Wee Jasper overnight Wee Jasper Station Garden Cottage (via Billanpaloola)
  • 99km Wee Jasper to Canberra via Urialla Crossing and Lake Burley Griffin Bike Path, overnight Vibe Hotel Canberra Airport, bike boxes courtesy Trek Bicycles Madura Park.
  • Explore Canberra by bike, fly Canberra to Melbourne and Shuttle Bus back to Ballarat.

November 2017 Tasmanian ride

Launceston to Hobart & Launceston via West Coast, Tasmania: 760 km  total. Five participants.

  • Fly to Melbourne to Devonport, ride 36km to Sheffield
  • 55km Sheffield to Cradle Mountain (in time for a bush walk around Dove Lake)
  • 95km Cradle  Mountain to Zeehan
  • 86km, Zeehan  to Queenstown via Strahan
  • 93km, Queenstown to Derwent Bridge
  • 107km, Derwent Bridge  to Ouse and Ellendale
  • 87km Ellendale to Richmond, via suburban Hobart
  • 93km Richmond to Ross
  • 90km Ross to Launceston Airport via Nile & Evandale
  • Fly Launceston to Melbourne.

2016 Karri Forest and Coast, South Western Australia (640km)

Karri tree below, between Nannup and Pemberton

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  • Fly to Perth, bus to Bunbury
  • 119km Bunbury to Wyadup Brook (just past Dunsborough picking up supplies for overnight)
  • 103km Wyadup Brook to Augusta via Margaret River
  • 88km Augusta to Nannup
  • 77km Nannup to Pemberton
  • 123km Pemberton to Walpole
  • 73km Walpole to Denmark via the Tree Top Walk.
  • 57km Denmark to Albany
  • Bus back to Perth and airport.

2015 Border Loop, Queensland-NSW Border area via Gold Coast (500km plus lots of walking): 

  • Fly to the Gold Coast
  • 114km Ride to Mt Warning (overnight at Mt Warning Tourist Retreat).
  • Morning ride, then walk up Mt Warning (9km), then 41km to Nimbin (overnight Black Sheep Farm)
  • Ride 130km Nimbin to Mt Barney Lodge  via Kyogle, Border Gate and Rathdowney
  • Ride 70km Mt Barney to Beaudesert
  • Ride 67km to O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat, Lamington National Park, plus a rest day to walk and explore
  • Ride 72km back to Gold Coast airport.

2014 West Coast of Tasmania via Devonport (584km)

Road signs between Queenstown and Lake St Clair

 

  • Overnight ferry from Melbourne to Devonport
  • 85km Devonport to Cradle Mountain
  • 141km Cradle Mountain to Strahan via Rosebury & Zeehan
  • Lower Gordon Boat trip next morning, then ride 41km up to Queenstown
  • 93km Queenstown to Lake St Clair
  • 120km Lake St Clair to Deloraine via the Marlborough Highway (not recommended when wet … ) Great Lake and Miena.
  • Rest day with local rides, then Deloraine to Devonport and ferry to Melbourne .

2013 Goolwa, South Australia

Based in a house on nearby Hindmarsh Island, our week was spent riding parts of the stunning coast, small towns, historic ports, wineries  and hinterland of Fleurieu Peninsula. Rides to Normanville, Victor Harbour, Langhorne Creek, Mclaren Vale including up the iconic Willunga Hill.

2012 Victorian Alps (384km)

  • Train to Wangaratta for overnight
  • 41km Wangaratta to Beechworth on Murray to Mountains Rail Trail
  •  89km Beechworth to Bright
  • 65km Bright to Dinner Plain
  • 85km Dinner Plan to Swifts Creek with Omeo side trip
  • 104km Swifts Creek Bairnsdale
  • Train back to Melbourne from Bairnsdale.

Other extended trips I have done in the past decade have included:

  • Hobart to Port Arthur return, & Hobart to Adventure Bay, Bruny Island return (Tasmania).
  • Wangaratta to Canberra (on back roads via Beechworth, Yackandandah, Tangambalanga, Jingellic, Tumbarumba, Tumut, Wee Jasper)
  • Fly to Hobart, then to Richmond, Ross, St Helens,  Orford to Sorell and return to Hobart.
  • Bairnsdale to Wangaratta via the Victorian Alps (as for 2012 trip, but in reverse direction), with train connections at the start and end.

2 weeks in September 2017: Romania

Week 1

The Wine Hills of Dealu Mare, Romania with Cycling Romania:

It was a pleasure to ride with six Australian guys, five Scotsmen, plus our guides Mircea and Alina, to discover the hidden beauties of this wonderful region, as well as some of the best Romanian wine (and țuică).

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Thanks to Mircea for the detailed itinerary:

Route / Distance (km)

Urlati – Varbila – Valea Crangului – Urlati / 40km

Urlati – Rotari – Ceptura – Urlati / 45km
Chitorani – Galmeia – Seciu – Pleasa – Chitorani / 36km
Chitorani – Urlati – Sangeru – Mierea / 80km
Mierea – Sarata Monteoru – Pietroasele / 55km

Pietroasele – Naeni – Gura Vadului – Urlati / 40km

These are the wineries we visited in Week 1:
1. Crama Urlățeanu – http://www.halewood.com.ro/ when tasting wine straight from the barrel.
2. Crama Vitis Metamorfosis – http://www.vitis-metamorfosis.com/en/ with the most amazing food & wine combined.
3. Crama Adrian – the unique wine barrel maker.
4. Crama Diac – http://www.cramadiac.ro, with the special digestive pekin wine.
5. Crama Basilescu – http://cramabasilescu.ro/ – the “angel” wine.
6. Crama La Butoaie Pietroasele – http://www.labutoaie.ro/ – where you can sleep in the barrel after emptying it
7. Crama Lacerta – http://www.lacertawinery.ro/ – the most impressive location with wine & view
8. Crama Budureasca – http://www.budureasca.ro/ – with the special blind tasting

Week 2  Maramures, Romania

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Day 1 Breb – Barsana – Petrova – Viseul de Sus, 67km

Day 2 Viseul de Sus – Bogdan Voda – Botiza, 41km

Day 3 Botiza – Grosii Tiblesului – Tg Lapus – Strambu Baiut – Cavnic – Breb, 115km

Route for first 3 days – https://www.bikemap.net/en/route/3880697-breb-viseu-breb/#/z10/47.5774521,24.0332794/terrain

Day 4 Breb – Vadu Izei – Sighetul Marmatiei – Vadu Izei, 39km https://www.bikemap.net/en/route/3880689-breb-sighet-vadu-izei/

Day5 Vadu Izei – Sapanta – Breb, 76km https://www.bikemap.net/en/route/4211051-vadu-izei-sapanta-breb/?created=1

Day 6   Breb – Cavnic – Baia Sprie – Mara – Breb, 85km https://www.bikemap.net/en/route/4207560-tour-breb-baia-sprie/

Below: ‘Cyclists in Paradise’ (NW Victoria south of St Arnaud ( L to R: John McDonald, Greg Malcher & Stephen Carey)

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