2017 Route Around Australia (updated weekly)

Week 1

We left Melbourne on a hot day in March and rode to Macedon 56 kms and stayed with friends
On to Heathcote 78kms really nice- set up tent in a camp kitchen
Elmore 60kms with half of it via the OKeefe rail trail which was wonderful to be off the roads. It was raining so we set up in old spidery shed
Echuca 44kms stopped for lunch at Rochester which is the birthplace of great Australian cyclist Hubert Opperman. Camped at expensive caravan park in town. Met lovely campers great camp kitchen
MurrayBank at Picnic Point 44kms gorgeously perfect lovely owners of a little wild park
Nathalia 55kms Noisy lots of french fruit pickers playing doof doof all night
Barooga 65kms Nice owners & friendly Malaysian pickers84 kms and two nights in beautiful Corowa. By the Murray river – perfect rest day.

Week2 DSCN3620.JPG

Rode 66kms to Ettamogga pub and free camped out the back it was great but have heard it’s closed now!
Holbrook 47kms off the highway via back roads
Tarcutta 90 kms free camped next to the Hume thank god for ear plugs
Gundagai 62 kms
Jugiong 42kms beaut free camp and lovely meal at the pub
Yass a hard 62kms along the Hume Highway into a headwind with some big hills

DSCN3771.JPGWeek 3

Rode off through the hills to Canberra 61Kms and we enjoyed 2 days exploring Australia’s Capitol City
Back to Yass 61 kms
Yass to Boorowa 58kms
Cowra 77 kms was an interesting place there was a prisoner of war camp there during ww2 and some prisoners escaped.
To beautiful and peaceful Canowindra (pronounced Can- ow-n-dra) 47 kms

DSCN3934.JPGWeek 4

Molong 70kms camped right next to the highway- not a wink of sleep!
Wellington Caves 58 kms was a lovely place to camp on the edge of a national park.
Gulgong 80kms
Spent Easter at Mudgee for the Mudgee Bike Muster 33kms

DSCN4013.JPGWeek 5

Returned to Gulgong rode along the Henry Lawson Way 37kms
Coolah 75kms
Free camp at Binnaway via the Black Stump Way 73 kms
Coonabarrabran 58kms
A big day to Narrabri through the Pillaga Forrest 125kms
Free camp at Belatta Golf Club was fantastic – great meal and peaceful camp.
Moree to take a dip in the hot springs 54kms rest day

DSCN4165.JPGWeek 6

We decided to get off the highway and headed west to Boomi 99kms into a headwind – tough but they have springs there and that was lovely. Next stop Talwood it was raining heavily 36 kms free camp
Westmar 79kms free camped at a truckers stop
Meandarra 74 kms lovely beside the creek and we met great campers there.
Condamine 53km
Possum park 90 kms worth pushing on after lunch at Miles
Wandoan 71kms

DSCN4200.JPGWeek 7

Taroom 61Kms camped out the back of the pub it was great
Theodore 97kms free camp on the river and met campers we had met previously.
Moura 59kms
Dululu 99kms free camp
Rockhampton 73kms

DSCN4189.JPGWeek 8

Marlborough 107 free camp at the back of the pub
St Lawrence 83kms a beautiful community camp lots of animals birdlife.
Clairview 42kms it was lovely to be at the beach- had a rest day
93kms to Sarina
51kms to Blacks Beach for a few days rest just past Mackay

DSCN4503.JPGWeek 9

Calen 62kms
Proserpine 78kms
Bowen 70 kms where we hunkered down in a cabin for 2 days. Caught a fish for dinner before the rain came. Then we had a tropical storm for 2 days 400mms
Molongle Creek 71 kms caught fish for dinner lovely spot to camp.

DSCN4707.JPGWeek 10

Ayr 58 kms
Woodstock 78kms stealth camped at a recreation reserve
Mingela 44kms stayed out the back of the pub for $5 lovely people there and friendly locals. Charters Towers 50 kms
107kms Pentland pub was a great free camp
Stayed at a quirky and historic Prarie pub 96kms and then a short 46 kms ride into Hughenden

Week 11

IMG_0024.JPGleft Hughenden and arrived at Richmond for a rest day 116kms. Lovely spot lots of fossils, even in rocks in the side of the road used for edging! Millions of years ago it was the sea here.
Wednesday rode to Corella Creek country farm stay 103 kms. Lots of free range ducks, chooks, guinea fowl, goats and a darling rescued Brahman called Millie.
Julia Creek 51 kms – its a friendly little town. Janine in the Marwill store gave us a new tube for free! They have a triathalon there so had emergency bike gear.
A big days ride to Cloncurry 140kms. As we rode into the caravan park exhausted some workers asked us if we’d seen an accident we said we’d seen the police, fire and ambulance go by. One guy said he was glad we were safe “they were talking about you guys on the CB radios, thought it might have been you.” It’s nice to know there are people watching out for us.
A hilly ride 2 lots of travellers stopped and offered us good and water. We turned off the highway to get to the amazing Clem Walton park 56kms. It’s a lake in the outback!!! Free camping at its best.
A tough hot and hilly 69 kms ride to Mt Isa: Rest day tomorrow to prepare for some remote outback cycling and camping as we head into the Northern Territory.

IMG_0055.JPGWeek 12

We left Mt Isa after a rest day and after 102 kms we camped at a rest area on the side of the road. We met some fantastic travellers who made us great coffee for breakfast- thanks Rosa and Mick. Rolled into Camooweal after a lumpy 91kms and stayed behind the pub and enjoyed a meal and some great company with Tam and Marco!
Woo hoo we crossed into the Northern Territory and stayed at Avon Downs rest area 70 kms, opp an outback police station literally in the middle of nowhere. Sargeant Robyn stopped us on the way for a chat. Then it was 66 kms into a headwind to Soudan Bore rest area: no water no nothing there except a beautiful sunset and incredible full moon and night sky!
We have become acutely aware of the importance of carrying extra water as our supply diminishes with coffee, noodles and just drinking it, and there is not much about.
Yesterday, we had a sweet tailwind managed the 120 kms to the gorgeous oasis that is Barkly Homestead Roadhouse. Onward today towards Threeways with a bush camp in the way.

DSCN4915Week 13

Sunday took off early from Barkly Homestead rode 116 kms and made camp off to the side of the road. The next days ride into Three Ways 71 kms and I must admit we were thinking of having a rest day there, but it wasn’t great so we camped there overnight then headed to Banka Banka Station 77 kms, where we were greeted by some new friends we had made back in Qld. They invited us to their campsite for a delicious vego, Sri Lankan curry. OMG I had 3 helpings!!! We then went and listened to a morbid country and western singer who sang depressing songs that no one knew so we couldn’t even sing along with him. This didn’t stop our friends from entertaining the crowd with some incredible ballroom dancing which was fantastic. Afterwards we had our own sing along back at the camp.
Onwards to Renner Springs 70 kms, Elliot 92 kms and Dunmarra 108 kms, where we woke in the night to dingoes making their ghostly howl.
Travelling through beautifully wooded country with lots of different trees coming into flower: Grevillea, bottlebrush, wattle and flowering gums. The birds are too quick to photograph and identify, but we have seen lots of chats, finches, budgies, cockatoos and eagles.
A short ride on Saturday 52 kms to be at famous Daly Waters pub, where we met Tasmanian Graeme. Nick asked him about eating mutton bird and Graeme just happened to have some in his fridge and shared it with us. It was delicious kind of like fishy chicken!!
Then we rock and rolled the night away to some good old country… and western., and rock… and roll outback style!
Up early and rode the 93kms to Larrimah where we are staying out back of the pub.
We are mostly out of internet and phone range this week and it’s quite nice to digitally detox. It’s also getting hotter so we are trying to start at daylight and get some kilometres done early.

DSCN5045.JPGWeek 14

Left Larrimah early on Monday morning and got to Mataranka around lunch time 81kms. We spent all afternoon in the warm river at the beautiful Bitter Springs where we floated to an end point then walked back and floated again… and again… and again! The restorative powers of the hot spring water worked wonders on our weary cyclist bones and muscles. We decided we needed a rest so spent the next day doing the same- it was fantastic!
Rode a big, hilly 113 km day with a headwind to Katherine. It is really beautiful country! Katherine is the first big town we have been to since Mt Isa 2 weeks prior so we did some much needed shopping. We then tried to check into a campground who refused us due to our “tent” status. We ended up going another 7 kms to another park on the outskirts of town.
Pine creek 95 km was another hot and hilly day but the scenery is breathtaking. Saw buffalos, donkeys, horses and a couple of snakes sunning themselves on the edge of the road. Riding along the road between Kakadu and Litchfield it’s beautiful.
Decided to have a short day to Hayes Creek 55 kms. That was a great decision because after checking there were no crocs, we spent the afternoon swimming in the river- could have stayed a week but took off the next morning and rode through floodplains and over river beds, both wet and dry, where we looked for crocs but didn’t see any. Got to Coomalie Creek 83 kms and camped on a farm.
A smokey 65 kms victory ride into Darwin- they are burning off and the smoke just sits in the air and that made it a tough ride.
Nick and I share a real sense of achievement that we got here to Darwin- Yippee

Total so far 6029 kms

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