'Cycle Across Oz' is a long distance cycle touring business, based in Melbourne. To date, Cycle Across Oz has run three cycle tours on the Perth - Melbourne route, one on the Darwin - Adelaide route, one on the Rockhampton to Darwin route and most recently from Broome to Perth. During the early part of the Darwin to Adelaide tour in 2006, the talk turned to planning a cycle tour across the Top End. That resulted in the Rockhampton to Darwin ride. During that ride, there was a sense of unfinished business - why not ride all the way across. Two reconnaissance trips in the winter of 2009 and in early 2010 proved that Darwin to Perth would be tough but Broome to Perth was doable. Now that all the doable has been done, it is time to take on what has never been done by an organised tour - go all the way around. The reconnaissance on the last leg has been done and a route chosen along the Great Inland Way from Melbourne to Cairns, the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef.
For an insight into the last tour, Cycle Across Oz read the fun-filled Cycle Across Oz blogIn the next few weeks more information will be published on this site to lay out details of times and places and costs and itineraries and the like. So far the plan looks like this. Click on the route section name highlighted to download a draft itinerary:
This is not a tour for the faint hearted. That said, any reasonably fit person can do it - whether you are 38 or 70 (the age ranges for previous trips). You don't have to be super fit - just committed enough to ride 5 to 12 hours a day for at least 5 days consecutively. Of course, making the ride as comfortable as you would like is your priority - increasing your mileage before the ride will help enormously. Every tour is a little different but you will find a 100 mile day early on in all the tours and almost very week when you will have to ride 5 or 6 days over 100 kms consecutively. Rest days are every 4 or 5 days, so there is time to recover but you do need to be happy to ride 5 or 6 consecutive days over 100 kms a day. There are 4 or 5 days off between segments - time enough to take in the tourist sites or to wander home for a few days or just to unwind and get everything shipshape for the next leg.
Cycle Across Oz provides a unique opportunity to travel very cost effectively across Australia without risk and without losing that pioneering feeling. The trip is primarily a camping trip. We use 4 star caravan parks wherever possible, which have good facilities for dealing with camp life. We will be bush camping, in camps set up well off the road , on several nights when distances between towns are too great. For many, there is nothing better than camping under the stars to the light of a camp fire. On most nights, you can choose to upgrade your own accommodation by staying in a cabin or motel room in most but not all stops. So you need also to be comfortable enough camping in a tent after a day's riding.
Rather than provide all your food needs, we have had great success in leaving food under your control. We do provide evening meals in the bush camps and on specific nights along the way (for example, in Cossack). We also provide tea and biscuits for morning and afternoon breaks (when a ride includes an afternoon break). For the remainder of the time, you can then choose your own budget, your own styles of food and your own mix of eating out or eating in. Typically what riders have done is provide for breakfast in camp and lunch on the road and use local facilities (the pub or club or roadhouse or restaurant in town) for evening meals. The van does have cooking facilities and most caravan parks have too, making it possible to cook in camp should you so choose and whenever you choose.
Doesn't matter as long as you are comfortable on your bike. Road surfaces are good, favouring road bikes - no real need for mountain goat capability. On past trips, we have had a range of road bikes, more conventional touring bikes, hybrid bikes and mountain bikes. The unusual bike brigade has been represented by a Moulton, a Bike Friday and a Thorn tandem. Whatever you choose, your bike should be in good mechanical shape as there are long stretches between bike shops. You do need to be able to carry 2-3 litres water, provisions and spares for a day - no more than a pannier or handlebar bag will be needed.